Sunday, 17 March 2013

Eczema Friendly Sensory Play

NEEDED: old clean socks, oats (I used organic oats) and a bowl/box of warm water. On reflection I would put in a lot more oats into the socks - they really shrank in there - and the aim was to try and extract the goo to play and write in - but that did not work (even though you could squeeze out goo, it simple was not enough or right to collect) - BUT something surprising did happen...

We found you could mold it into different forms. Its was lovely and squidgy - and if we had put more oats in then I am sure it would have been much better to make more forms and explore with. Adding colour to the oats could also be a suggestion. My children found the colour a bit too gray - but that might not be so kind to the skin. The great thing with oats is that it is actually very calming for itchy skin - and also for non-itchy skin. When Michael suffered from eczema every winter (this is the first winter without) then the sock-oat bath was a regular feature to help soothe his skin. I wondered if it would make a great sensory play after talking with Jackie Musgrave, Senior Lecturer at Worcester  University, who is researching how activities can be adapted to meet the needs of children suffering from allergies so that settings are inclusive... so we tested it today...

As you see it does keep its shape - a little like those squidgy faces you can buy in the toy shops (that always end up leaking)

Here you can see the goo coming out of the sock when it is squeezed. I guess if eyes were drawn in permanent pen before then all sorts of monsters and expressions could be created. The water becomes very cloudy, but it has all the softening and calming properties of the oats. It would make a great water play environment for children with eczema too - so why not add other props too. If there were many socks of various sizes maybe landscapes could be molded and created too? YES there is great creative potential here - and is an inclusive sensory activity for children with eczema.

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