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Today Ellie shares with us a fabulous sensory board she created for her beautiful preschooler. Hours of fun, through lots of hands on sensory play. So if you are looking for fun for children in your home or setting, creating your very own sensory board maybe something you wish to consider....
Hello, I'm Ellie. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who has additional needs.
Before becoming a mum I had worked in many schools, nursery's and within families as a nanny.
I've always been a creative person and enjoy spending any free time making things. These days this is almost always for my daughter.
As a baby she was later to develop her milestones and I made a sensory panel which clipped to our sofa to aid her development.
Today she's in a different chapter of her life. She has outgrown the first little panel I made, so I embarked on a new one.
My daughter is profoundly deaf but has recently been fitted with bilateral cochlear implants.
So basically for the first time she's learning to listen.
I wanted to make a sensory panel which had lots of listening opportunities, as well as covering her need for visual and tactile stimulus.
I started with a recycled table top. Out of all the projects I've made, I've never payed for wood! It's worth asking local schools or offices if they have any broken tables. They are perfect sized for wall panels.
Next I hunted our house, the charity shops and finally good old Amazon and ikea. I try and think of other uses an object may have.
One of my favourite pieces on this panel is a bowl I found in a charity shop. It has little dents in it. I think it may be a jelly mould?! Anyway... It sounds amazing with a drumstick rolling around it!
Pipes and tubing make fabulous ball drops and I used an ikea wall storage box to keep the balls in one place.
Everything was very easily fixed to the wood, using either no more nails glue or by drilling holes and using cable ties.
I wanted to add some different textures on the panel as my daughter loves to explore. I did this simply by painting some sand paper, and adding felt and shiny card.
I wanted to make something which would grow with her. So I added lots of coloured buttons, numbers and shapes which we can talk about when she gains more understanding. I also added different sized washers. I've since had older children come over and be fascinated counting them all!
This panel did not cost me a lot of money I used toys we already had that maybe weren't being used to there full potential and glued them on. One item that did cost me some money (but I find really valuable to our sensory board) were talking buttons that I purchased from Amazon
I have recorded different sounds from these house, a doorbell or the washing machine for example. The great thing about these is you can re record any time you like.
Ikea do little packs of acrylic mirrors (usually in there photo frame section) with adhesive backing which are another perfect item. I used simple round mirrors on this project and splat shape ones on our previous panel.
I also used lights on our last project. I drilled the number of holes to corespondent with the number of led lights I had. (I used battery ones) them I pushed them through from the back and just taped from behind.
It is really easy to taylor make a sensory panel to your child's needs without spending hundreds of pounds. It's also extremely rewarding seeing them get so much enjoyment out of something you made!
Here are some items you may wish to consider for your Sensory Boards:
Talking Buttons - (UK/US)
Liquid Timers - (UK/US)
Musical Instruments - (UK/US)
Colour Changing Glitter Lamp - (UK/US)
Buttons - (UK/US)
Door Knocker - (UK/US)
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