Why A Big Cardboard Box is A Great Sensory Tool

Anyone else have a ridiculous amount of cardboard boxes always being delivered to their house? Shoutout to Amazon for always shipping smaller things in bigger boxes. Well I discovered a use for these dreaded boxes that literally stack up in my garage. As a parent who is always looking for some way to hold my kids’ attention with something new but not always spend money, this has become crucial for us the past week.

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CONTAINED SPACE

I have SO many ideas of things to do with J but I’m not gonna lie, I’m a parent that doesn’t want to create another mess to clean up. Yeah, I know part of being a kid is creating messes & learning in them but I’ll be damned if I spend double the amount of time to clean up something that it took have the time to make [part of the reason I don’t cook]. But J’s box has served as a great contained space for his larger sensory needs. Like playing with sand, beans, water painting, etc. It’s literally all kept in the perimeter of the box with Jackson. It also satisfies his desire for confined spaces [proprioceptive input] like his bean bag.

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EASY TO CUSTOMIZE

It’s a cardboard box - if this isn’t one of the most disposable, accessible & cheapest things you can find, I don’t know what is. To make it special & fit your kids needs is even easier. You can tear the folds off, draw designs on the walls, cut holes, put on its side, etc. I’m sure at one point, we’ll make a castle or giant car for him to play with but with this being the first one, we’re still exploring how he feels about it.

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CHEAP / AFFORDABLE

EVERYONE shops Amazon & that’s exactly the box I used. I’m not saying to order something massive but I’m sure if you order enough things at once, they’ll just out it all in 1 large box & make everyone’s life easier. If not, a large, clear storage bin is an option as well - I do plan on getting one for outdoor use. We’ve had this one for just over a week & you can tell by looking at it. J has since discovered he can flip it over & crawl on top of it. It is a standard cardboard box so it’s starting to give & actually caved in this morning but he still draws on it!

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EXAMPLES OF USE

ORGANIZATION

We do keep his crayons in here BUT I’ve also taped the original crayon box to the inner wall of the box so he knows to put them back when he’s done [we already do this with his toys he has in the living room].


FINE MOTOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

The crayons in J’s box are always in there so he can draw whenever he wants wherever he wants. Myself & his therapists have written his name on the box so he can begin to trace the letters. I’ve also cut holes in the sides so he can fit pegs & pipe cleaners through.

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& that’s about it! I’m really diving into this world of sensory play for him & I’ve gotta say, I’m learning a lot as a parent. & not just a parent of a kid with SPD - I’m learning how to let go & make the mess, to show him by example. As we all learn more, I’ll be sure to continue posting the projects on here so others can learn as well!


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