The holiday season is upon us, and soon, leftover tinsel will be sold at deep sale prices. As I think about this, I have put on my Sensory Savvy Lenses to brainstorm sensory diet fun with this seasonal steal. Please join me!
This Month’s Challenge: tinsel
Original Purpose: decorating Christmas trees
With Sensory Savvy Lenses: a tool for activities which encourages:
- fine motor practice
- pincer grasp
- proprioceptive input
- tactile input
- vestibular input
- visual input
1. Tinsel Sensory Bottle
Get some fine motor practice in by slipping strands of tinsel into a clear, clean, recycled plastic bottle. Then, work the pincer grasp by adding a few drops of food coloring. Add water or water and oil. Cap the bottle, using glue or duct tape if you wish to seal it, and the sensory bottle is ready. Enjoy the colorful shine for visual stimulation
2. Shadow and Shine
For visual tracking and stimulation, add a new twist to a traditional game of follow-the-light, by hanging a screen of tinsel and then shining the flashlight through it. The interplay of the light with the tinsel is sure to delight.
3. Tinsel Pit
Especially for sensory seekers, fill a blow up pool or small ball pit with tinsel and dive in for some great tactile fun. Just be sure that adult eyes and hands are nearby due to the potential choking hazard of ingested tinsel.
4. Tinsel Pom Poms
To add some auditory input to tinsel fun, lay out a new package or two of tinsel. Gather all the strands together at their middle and tie tightly with a piece of yarn. Duct tape around the gathered portion and upward to create a handle. Then, cheer away.
5. Tinsel Blow Challenge
For oral motor, vestibular and proprioceptive fun, challenge a partner to get a piece of tinsel across a room using only air. Then, hold the piece of tinsel above that person’s head and, on signal, drop it. Have the person give a big blow, following the tinsel. When the tinsel drops to the floor, simply pick it up and drop it again, giving the signal to blow. Once the person has succeeded in blowing the tinsel all the way across the room this way, switch jobs for the way back. The bending, blowing and chasing should provide lots of input and fun.
Common Sense Caution
Common sense safety precautions for both people and pets should be used whenever using tinsel. When ingested by humans and animals, tinsel can be dangerous choking hazard. It can also wrap around intestines, causing problems for playful pets.
What other sensory-tinsel activities can you think of as you don your own Sensory Savvy Lenses this holiday season?