Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More "Active Learning" Adaptations for Home

In light of some of the things we discovered about Mason's sensory interests (see the last blog), I made him some more "deafblind education" equipment to use around the house. These items are intended to help him learn independently by piquing his interest in tactile exploration.

The first was a sensory play tray.  You can buy these premade (for $500, shipped!!). So to save cash I bought the peg board from Lowe's for $11 (they cut it to specified size) but the smell was too strong. I used colored adhesive foam to cover the board (and smell!) and to serve as a visual contrast to the toys I wanted to mount on the tray. I used an awl to punch two holes in each foam piece and tied on toys that have interesting combinations of sounds, light and texture. I made a border to soften the edges, from decorative duct tape. It can clamp onto his stander easily.
deafblind education play tray make it yourself
child with deafblindness playing with a toy tray
deablind child exploring toys with his brother
He's always more interested in toys if his brother plays too!

make your own activity bib for deafblind education
I decided to try a sensory activity smock as well. The dollar store had cute kids aprons and I had my super crafty mom make 4 sets of button holes (2 per toy). Then I used plastic links to add a few gizmos I thought would appeal to Mason...a soft plastic scrubber, a shaker, an inflated medical glove, velcro ball, plastic grid, music maker toy, keys on a cup, etc. (Later I moved the last two items to his play tray because they turned out to be too heavy for the smock). Anyway the idea is to have the toys close to where Mason naturally keeps his hands (up by his chest/face) so that he will have little choice but to "discover" new things. We like to let him use the smock when he's having a feed (takes about an hour and he can't really move around much due to tummy issues).
safe play ideas for tactile defensiveness toys for deafblind play

special needs child learning on his own with activity smock
I only posted this pic because I love how he sits like he's just "chillin" and relaxed ;)
Finally, I found another dollar store jackpot..these fun little colored cubes for freezing as ice are perfect for Mason's lightpad. They can be used for many activities such as learning and sorting shapes and colors, counting, manipulating, stacking, etc. Now...if all these activities actually do what they are meant to do, we'll be in good shape :)
learning shapes, colors, numbers on the lightpad
learning is fun on the lightpad

teaching kids with low vision using a lightpad
 "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Prov. 2:1-5

Mason's Mix

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones