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Debbie's Blog

Back to School Sensory Strategies

Back to school can be a very stressful time for any child as they adapt to new surroundings, new friends, new teachers, new classes, etc.  You may see their sensory needs increase during this time.  For instance, the child may be very fidgety in class, may act out more, may start chewing on things or [...]

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Drooling - Getting to the Root of the Problem

I was looking at some of the tools and videos on your site.  I have a 9 year old daughter with low tone in her face and some periodic drooling.  I have taken her to various speech therapists in the area for help with this issue and most say to remind her to swallow.  Now [...]

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Vertical Velcro Pull for Finger, Hand, & Shoulder Strengthening

This vertical pulling activity is a simple way for your little ones to work on upper extremity strength in their shoulders, wrists, and hands. . . Directions: 1.  Cut 3 strips of velcro, about 12 inches each. 2.  Securely attach the strips vertically to a vertical surface.  We attached them to a section of our tactile sensory board (full post on [...]

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Does the Grabber Work on Different Skills than the Y-Chew?

Skill-wise, what would a child gain from using a Baby Grabber vs. a Grabber vs. a Y-Chew?  In other words, does the Baby Grabber work on different skills than the Grabber?  Does the Grabber work on different skills than the Y-Chew?  .Great question.  The Baby Grabber is for mouthing, teething, and oral exploration for babies/toddlers up to about [...]

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10 Fine Motor Exercises with Putty & Play Dough

Putty, play dough, and other hand manipulatives are classic occupational therapy tools for fine motor work and sensory play.  Not only are they fun, but they can also be used to work on a whole host of developmental skills, such as hand strength, finger isolation and dexterity, bilateral coordination, imaginative play, and much more.  Here [...]

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Assisting Lip Closure

Just like its namesake, lip closure (also known as lip seal) is the ability to close one's lips.  It's important for several different speech/feeding/oral motor skills: .  .  •  Being able to close one's lips around a straw, spoon, a piece of food, etc. •  Being able to pronounce the speech sounds /p/, /b/, and /m/ •  Being able to [...]

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DIY "Birthday Cake" Fine Motor Activity

The best therapy exercises are the ones where the child doesn't know it's an exercise, which is why every pediatric speech and occupational therapist's "bag of tricks" is mostly full of toys and games and other fun activities. Play dough is one of these staple activities.  There are endless possibilities of what you can do with it, [...]

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Practicing a Rhythmic Chewing Pattern

Rhythmic chewing is one component of a mature chewing pattern.  There's a tempo to the way we chew - it's not sporadic;  we don't chew fast then slow then fast again.  We chew to a silent yet steady beat in order to properly break down food. . .  In the video below, however, this young man has a very sporadic chewing pattern.  In fact, [...]

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Using Twizzlers as Spoons

Feeding therapy tip: if a child won't eat with a spoon, use whatever he/she WILL accept. In this feeding session, for instance, the child's favorite spoon was at home and he didn't like any of the other spoons I had.  So, I tried a twizzler and voila!  He ate the entire container of food.  . . You can [...]

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DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

This friendly turkey is a quick and easy craft, both for Thanksgiving and beyond.  You'll need: Play dough of your choice (funky colors welcome) Two eyeballs Pasta of your choice . . If you don't have eyeballs, you can substitute for beads, etc.  If you don't have the pasta shown, you can substitute for almost anything you do have.  There's no "right way" [...]

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