Last year on The Adoption Social I read a couple of posts about Christmas that were really useful.
One of those was sensory ideas for stocking fillers and I must admit that although I’d never really thought my son had sensory issues, some of the ideas were really good for him. So this year I thought I’d make a contribution…this is my post of gift ideas for children who destroy their things. I know that sounds a bit depressing, but so many of our children don’t believe they are worthy, or rage so much that their toys and belongings get broken or ruined, these are ideas for inexpensive and useable gifts – things that are disposable. Some of these things are also good to promote bonding – activities intended for you to work together, get gentle touch and praise in, make eye contact and just spend time together (even if you get a bit messy!).
Playdoh and Plasticine
Spend as little or as much as you like on this one. A pot of playdoh, or even a 4 pack is inexpensive and can bulk out a stocking. Some of the bigger modelling sets cost more. These days there are Minions sets, My Little Pony sets and much more and although there is the ‘eek, not in the carpet again’ factor, it’s fun, the smell is comforting, there’s so much you can make and kids love it.
My two like a big blob of homemade dough (made with peppermint essence and silver glitter), a knife, fork and plate. Their imaginations turn it into so much more…
Plasticine is slightly firmer, and comes in strips. You can buy a small pack or a big bucket…
Craft packs and glue sticks
The good thing about these pre-cut shapes is that your child won’t need scissors! My son is OK with scissors, but I wouldn’t trust my destructive daughter with a pair. They would get squirrelled away and used to snip up clothes or hair. I especially love this website – Crafty Crocodiles – which sells so many different little bits, you’re sure to find something to suit your child.
So my boy will colour briefly – maybe half an hour at most. My daughter however will spend an hour or two with some good pens and pencils happily colouring away, pleased with herself when she stays in the lines. I sometimes join in, sometimes not. But these are gentle, quiet and good for downtime. A staple in your craft armoury.
Save up some old empty jars, remove their labels and let the kids go mad with the glass paints. If you pop a little electrical tea light in, they make really sweet luminaries that you could even gift to other people.
Not necessarily good for children with sensory issues, but great fun for some. Just add to a bath of water and watch it firm up! Bizarre but fun. Supervision required obviously, or maybe an opportunity to bathe with your child and enjoy the weird sensation of a gooey bath!
Water crystals/jelly beads
These tiny packets are good stocking fillers. Just empty the contents into water and watch as they soak up the water. Give it a few hours and you’ll have a bowl of jelly beads to either play with (especially good in the garden or bath). Different colours available.
Have you got any other good ideas for children who need more disposable gifts? Please let us know in the comments…
Many thanks to Mandy for today’s guest post.