Stress Reducing Sensory Bin

Sometimes a mom (and the kids) needs a little stress-reducing.  We’ve done lavender scented sensory play before (a few times!) for a scented relaxation activity.  This stress reducing sensory bin is not scented, but it is stress relieving with it’s sensory play, resistive activity with proprioceptive input, and general slow-down-time-to-play-together-fun.

Stress Reducing Sensory Bin for Kids (and Moms)

Stress reducing sensory bin with strengthening, fine motor play, and proprioceptive feedback
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Gather your sensory bin materials:
Start to play!  We played in the corn a long time.  We pull this bin out all the time for sensory play and it’s common for the kids to ask for it at least once a week.
This time, I showed Little Sister and Big Brother how to place the corn kernels into the balloons.  What a great fine motor dexterity activity!  Tripod grasp on the kernels,  bilateral hand coordination to manage the balloon, eye-hand coordination (visual motor integration) to place the kernel into the balloon…this was therapeutic fun!

Once the balloons were filled up, we had our own sensory bin full of DIY stress balls!  It was cool to manipulate the corn in the balloons with a resistive gross grasp (using all of the fingers together at once to squeeze the balloon)  A gross grasp of the hand is essential for many skills and requires strength and endurance to complete tasks like managing scissors or a hole punch.

Proprioceptive Sensory Bin

Proprioception is a sensory process of the body that allows input to be regulated and responded to with motor movements and positions.   The proprioceptive system receives input from the muscles and joints about body position, weight, pressure, stretch, movement and changes in position in space.  Our bodies are able to grade and coordinate movements based on the way muscles move, stretch, and contract. Proprioception allows us to apply more or less pressure and force in a task.  
This gripper activity will not only provide a strengthening exercise for the hands, it also provides feedback to the muscles of the hands. It can help busy hands to slow down given resistance and amplify the feedback of the muscles of the hands. 
This is a GREAT exercise to “wake up” the muscles of the hands before a handwriting task.  Kids that press hard when pressing too hard when writing with a pencil would really benefit from the feedback this proprioceptive activity provides.
Create a Proprioception activity for hands with a relaxing corn sensory bin
We threw the large balloons around the room and listened to the different sounds corn made when the smaller and larger balloons were shaken.
More relaxing activities for play:

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