MSE Lab Digital Resources

Home-Based Sensory Solutions

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Tactile System

This week's edition of Home-Based Sensory Solutions will focus on the sense of touch. According to Stromberg, a person's sense of touch is one of the most overlooked of the senses. For example, take a minute and read the following:


"Every one of us receives tactile information about the world around us every second of the day. Right now, if you're sitting, your butt is being squished into your chair. Your fingertips are probably touching a mouse, or swiping the glass of your phone. All this information is so omnipresent, in fact, that the only way to make sense of it is to tune most of it out — you probably weren't paying attention to these sensations until you read those words." (2015).


Additionally, the average person is said to touch approximately 300 surfaces every 30 minutes (CDHAF, n.d).


What are the implications of the above for those with profound disabilities, those with movement limitations or for those who are non-ambulatory? We know that touch is a basic human right and that it has numerous health benefits such as decreasing stress levels, increasing bonding and helping one to explore the world around them.


It is ironic to do a newsletter focused on the sense of touch during a time in history where we are being told to “physically distance”; but, there are plenty of alternative ways to ensure that those we are supporting are still receiving tactile stimulation to enrich their lives. The following edition will provide you with some interesting facts about touch as well as provide you with some outlets to ensure that you and those you support are stimulating this very important system that many of us likely take for granted.

9 Suprising facts about the sense of touch!

To kick-start this newsletter take a peak at 9 interesting facts that you probably didn't know about your sense of touch...


Stromberg, J. (2015). 9 surprising facts about the sense of touch. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/2015/1/28/7925737/touch-facts

DIY Scented Dough

Who doesn't love the feeling of fresh play-dough?! Check out this quick video of a basic DIY recipe that guides you through making your own dough with the twist of adding a scent to it.


*NOTE: just make sure you are aware of any allergies and individual preferences before adding an essential oil to the play-dough*


Sparkles/glitter and food colouring can also be added for a fun visual effect.


HGTV. (April 18, 2017). How to make DIY scented play dough-hgtv. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=EdraObo-23c&feature=emb_title

DIY Cloud Dough

Maybe you already have play-dough or perhaps you aren't a fan of the sticky texture? Not to worry, we have an alternative to play-dough and that is DIY cloud dough! Check out this video for a step-by-step perfect cloud dough recipe.


*Note*- instead of using food colouring to colour this dough, make sure to use coloured chalk & for a gluten-free option sub out the flour for rice flour.


Innerchildfunmedia. (July 5, 2012). How to make cloud dough. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYqyYuV8Chw

DIY Slime Anyone?

So we have the play-dough and cloud dough fanatics covered, but what about those who love slime? Check this video out for a super basic 3 ingredient slime recipe!


Easykidscraft. (July 21, 2017). DIY no glue putty slime-how to make putty slime with no glue. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHQK-2uDdHc

DIY Sensory Hoop

I was super excited when I came across this particular DIY! All you need is a hulahoop and basically your imagination. This is great for individuals across the lifespan with limited mobility. For little ones you can lay them in the center of this hoop and let them explore at their own pace. It's a perfect tool for incidental learning!


A variation of this sensory hoop could be made with a dowel or even a large stick that you could hang above a bed with different fabrics, textures, sounds and other stimulating objects for adults to explore.


*Note- make sure that any items that you choose for your hoop or dowel are securely fixed to avoid any choking hazards and this activity should be supervised*


Lovehappyali. (June 7, 2017). DIY sensory toy hula hoop-easy baby-sensory play-tummy time toy. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz1ulE2N28s&t=21s

Hand Massages

Most people love massages and hand massages are a great way to relieve stress/tension while also providing an outlet for that appropriate and necessary physical touch and bonding. Check our this quick video for a tutorial of a the "aromatouch hand technique".


*Note* gloves should be worn while administering this massage and once again, please be aware of any allergies and preferences when using essential oils.


Orgcapacity. (June 1, 2017). Aromatouch hand technique. [Video fil]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrJjosVKWx8

Sensory Baths

In times like these, we could all benefit from a relaxing and enriching bath experience, am I right or am I right?? Baths are something that we all have to have... why not use this sometimes mundane task as an opportunity to enrich the senses ?


It was actually during a multi-sensory session last year that I was introduced to the bath bomb culture by a mom of a little one who regularly visits the MSE Lab when she brought me a bath bomb during a time in my life where my stress level was high. (I know, I am embarrassingly late to this game!) This mom has a daughter who just loves bath time because mom makes baths a sensory experience by using scented bath bombs. This little girl has limited self-directed movement but in these baths she gets to feel the fizz of the bombs against her soft skin, smell the essential oils and see the bath bomb whirl and whiz around her like a colourful tornado!


Take a look at the following video put out by LUSH for some tips and tricks about how to make baths for yourself and those you support a truly out-of-this-world experience!


*Note* be aware of skin allergies and personal preferences when it comes scents. Bath bombs can be made at home or you can purchase them at any drug store.


Lush Cosmetics North America. (March 13, 2019). Lush deep dives: how to use bath bombs, bubble bars and bath oils. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbGhQ50kG_s&t=549s

"Grounding"

We may not be able to travel many places right now by foot but this doesn't mean we can't practice 10-15 minute a day of "grounding". Simply place your feet on the grass, sand or soil, and then your hands. The benefits of this simple technique are HUGE and it all flows through the touch system.


Check out this video clip below for more information on "Grounding".


The List Show TV. (July 9, 2019). “Grounding” is the latest wellness trend- but what is it? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSk2faYUGRQ