Children with sensory challenges benefit from weighted blankets and other weighted products. They provide proprioceptive input and deep pressure that can help in calming and refocusing their nervous system. I wanted to give my children an opportunity to have a weighted stuffed animal to use during the day while playing or sitting. You can purchase a weighted stuffed animal online, but I chose to make my own. With a few basic ingredients, any stuffed animal can be turned into a weighted one. You need:
~ stuffed animal
~ poly pellets, beads or other weighted material to place inside (2-5 lbs depending on child’s need)
~small zipped bags
~needle and thread
I chose a bear that my daughter likes because of its bright colors. I also bought these colorful “stones” as the filling but you can experiment with different materials such as poly pellets or beads. I used a seam ripper and opened the back of the toy and pulled about half of the filling out. Place your filling into small baggies so they can be evenly distributed throughout the arms and legs and belly. I taped the bags closed for added safety. Put filling in the gaps and on top of the weighted material so the toy retains its softness. When sewing it back together, make sure it is secure (and inspect the area periodically to make sure the stitches are not opening) So what do you do with the weighted animal? Check out my post over at The Jenny Evolution for my 10 favorite activities. Or you may find that your sensory seeking child will find their own ways to play with their new friend.