As I have mentioned before, I’m a Montessori trained teacher so have a slight obsession with sensory play for young children. Same goes for children with disabilities; Jude for example has heightened sensitivity and still learns a great deal through touch, smell, etc.
A few weeks ago…or maybe a month or so ago now, I mentioned about how I want to make Jude’s bedroom into a little sensory heaven for him but after research all the bits and pieces I’d like, I’ve realised it’s just all too expensive. BUT, there is a ray of light at the end of the tunnel…Family Fund!! (http://www.familyfund.org.uk – a charity that helps people with a disabled or seriously ill child through giving specific focused grants) I applied to them a few years ago and they gave me a grant for something for Jude then, I think it was a bit of money to go towards a weekend away with the children. I’ve just filled in another application for sensory toys and activities so fingers crossed they’ll help me and we’ll be able to do it; Jude would be so excited if we manage to transform his room. At the moment it’s so boring for him.
In the meantime, I found a couple of websites that have good activities that are suitable for disabled children on them.
This one I love; such fabulously simple activities but hours of fun for the child http://www.scope.org.uk/support/families/play/information/sensory-play
Another one is this – http://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/your-family/special-educational-needs/fun-things-to-try-with-disabled-children/
I made an activity for my Tuesday Montessori class and let Jude play with it after school today. It’s amazing how calm and content it always makes him, he totally goes into himself and you can see the concentration and inner harmony wash over him. Love it. I took a few pictures…here he is…
It’s literally a tray of rice, a funnel, a spoon and one of those spaghetti strainer things. The sound it makes and the feel of the grains against your skin is all pretty lovely so I can see why he likes it. Even Elsa wanted to play for a while but Jude wouldn’t let her near it! Guess I’ll have to make her one as well.
Anther activity Jude loves to play at home is anything to do with matching objects or cards together. I gave him a huge bowl of lego a while ago with 4 A4 bits of coloured card that correlated to the lego colours. I told him to match all the lego to the right coloured card and he did it. He must have been working for about 20 minutes non-stop but he did it and when he showed me, he looked so proud. Here is a very simple example of a Montessori inspired matching pairs activity. I made Jude something similar when he was a bit younger and he always enjoyed it, you can literally make matching pairs out of anything and obviously it can be as hard or as easy as you need.
I think this summer holiday I’m going to make a different activity for him every day. It’ll be good to keep his brain active as when he’s bored he becomes grumpy, annoying towards anyone in his path and subsequently hyper and really hard work!