Overcoming Tactile Sensitivity with a Sticky Box!

Ivan with his sticky box

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If your kid’s like mine, they may have a hard time touching certain textures. For Ivan, anything soft or sticky was off limits, even plush toys.

You could always just try to avoid these textures, but when grandma brings your child a new teddy bear or you’re trying to teach them how to feed themselves applesauce, this texture sensitivity can become a real problem!

Rather than avoid the gooey or sticky textures, embrace them! Expose your baby to as many icky textures as possible in an attempt to desensitize them to the way they feel. The idea is that after touching these textures over and over your child will learn that nothing bad really happened to them. Sticky things aren’t so bad after all!

One thing you can do is gather as many sticky, soft, gooey, icky things as you can find (non-toxic of course!) and put them all together in one big plastic basket. Bring the basket out once a day and explore the contents. Your baby will most likely hate this at first, but be persistent and just do a little at a time. Eventually you’ll find that they complain less and less, and may even begin to enjoy playing with their sticky box!

What to put in your sticky box:

Ivan's sticky box

  • Start with a plastic basket or box that is easy to clean. If you get sand or play-doh in the box you want to be able to wipe it up easily.
  • Mini Play-Doh: Ivan likes to squish play-doh so that it oozes between his fingers.
  • Kinetic Sand: This has a very strange consistency and feels both sticky and crumbly.
  • PlayFoam: This foam is kind of squishy, but also holds it’s shape. It actually has a very strange dual texture that is fascinating to play with.
  • Pin Art Board: These feel really weird on little hands and toes and also make a great sound.
  • Sticky Balls: Always a good addition to a sticky box!
  • Squigglets Squishy Ball: These are great fun to pull and hear them go snap!
  • Scrubbies: Check your bathroom for sponges or scrubbies that might work in the sticky box.
  • A ziploc bag full of dried beans or pasta.
  • A ziploc bag full of sand from the beach.

Remember to take it easy and move slowly. Start with something simple, like a sponge, that isn’t too sticky and work your way up to things like sand or play-doh. And don’t forget to have fun, too!

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