In addition to the three main difficulties autistic children face, communication challenges, repetitive behaviour and social interaction, many also have difficulty with posture, coordination and motor planning. However, there are many different ways for a child to help develop their motor skills and their senses, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money buying expensive toys to stimulate your child – you can do it yourself with materials that you already have right on hand in your own kitchen.
One very popular homemade toy is the SENSORY BIN! These are super easy and super fun to make, and can be made exactly for the purpose that you need and exactly how you want it to look!
So what is a sensory bin you might ask? Well, simply put it’s a container filled with your preferred filling that you can use for a tactile experience.
To make a sensory bin, you will need the following:
- Some kind of container such as a cardboard box, a roasting pan or a Tupperware container.
- A textured base. For this, you can use stuff like rice, sand, water or coffee beans. To make your bin extra fun and colourful, you can add fruit colour to your base
- Materials that goes with your theme. This can be toys, figures, natural materials and other bits and bobs that matches your theme.
- Different tool and instruments to play within the bin. Here you can use tongs, spoons or other
There are a lot of benefits coming from playing with sensory bins. It allows the child to think critically and creatively, help strengthen the fine motor skills and can introduce new vocabulary. If your child needs extra support in a specific area, you can make your bin in a theme that helps explore that challenge. Does your child have problems with math? Make a number-themed one. Does your child have a difficulty learning the alphabet? Add letters to your bin. Every bin is unique and can be tailored to your child’s needs. As I mentioned earlier, most of the materials can be found in your very own home and the children can help making them!