• A plastic storage box filled with dry rice, popcorn, lentils, or dried beans. The child can run their fingers through the contents for soothing.
• A container of smooth round beach rocks. The child can hold rocks in their hands for comfort; sort rocks by shape, size, or color; or, if given a cup of water and a paintbrush, "paint" the rocks with water.
• Containers of the following can be sorted and looked through for soothing: ° Buttons
0 Semi-precious stones
° Small miscellaneous "fidgets" and toys (e.g. a dice, a spring, paper clips, game pieces)
° A plastic storage container filled with sand. The child can simply run their fingers through the sand or use small figurines or cars/trucks to set up a little world for their toys.
I like to keep a few of these boxes around and occasionally change them. The children I work with enjoy looking through several different objects and exploring new boxes. However, if you work with a child who has some rigid behaviors and they need that one box to forever be available in your office, you'd best leave it there. Children with autism and developmental delays are not always happy about changes.
Mandalas are typically a circular design that are soothing to color or draw. Many mandalas are symmetrical, but some are not. Mandalas have a rich history in the spiritual and art worlds. Mandalas were mainly used to help people focus their attention in a meditative manner. There are many coloring books of mandalas on the market, and some internet sites such as http://www.freekidscoloring.com/pattern/mandala/ and http://www.coloring-kids.com/ mandala-coloring-book-pages.html have free mandalas to print out and color. On the following pages are a few kid-friendly mandalas to color.
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