Because for my house, school starts in two weeks.
And while I am excited for school and progress and friends and social interactions, I get a little nervous, too.
Nervous because both of my kiddos start off the year "quiet".
Basically, they are intimidated.
But then again, we all were at one point.
However, two kids with sensory issues need a little extra help once in a while.
And thanks to The Therapy Shoppe, they will be equipped with a few items to ease their minds while calming their nerves: a Focusing Fidget Kit
Now, I don't want any of you to get in trouble with your teachers or schools for sending this kit in with your children, so please ask if items on this kit are acceptable and could be incorporated into your child's day.
If not, the kit is still awesome for home use during homework time.
This kit is jam-packed with great items that even I couldn't keep my hands off.
And lately, my stress level has had a tendency to run on the high side, so this could not have come at a better time.
As taken verbatim from The Therapy Shoppe website:
This exclusive 15-piece fidget kit features a fabulous assortment of some of our therapists' favorite quiet fidgets (except the Super Tooob, which is a blast, but not so quiet)! This neat kit includes: an Inside-Out Ball, a container of Original Silly Putty, a Stretchy String 2-pack, 2 Fidget Pencils, an Earth Squeeze Ball, 3 Fidgeting Finger Springs, 3 Mini Porcupine Balls, an Ultimate Wire Fidgeter, a Noodle Doodle, and a Super Tooob!
*Product styles and colors will vary. Please note that substitutions may occasionally be necessary.
Here is what you will get in this kit:
THE ULTIMATE WIRE FIDGETER
A sparkly, silver globe with brightly colored beads which allow the child to work on fine motor skills while twisting and turning the object any way they like!
It looks sharp, but there is no way that little fingers could get pinched.
THE EARTH SQUEEZE BALL
Basically, it's a stress ball.
And yes, I squeezed the heck out of it while on a phone call today!
This small ball would fit perfectly in a pocket or backpack.
And let's face it: these kids have stress, too!
No, that's not a typo you see.
There are 3 O's in "tooob"...in this case.
Three O's as in "ooooooooo!" because they are so cool!
These bendable, plastic tubes are great for fine motor skills and upper extremity strengthening.
Use little finger tips to gently collapse the tube into a compact one, then use both hands to P-U-L-L it out as far as you can!
And the noise it makes is beyond cool!
I think this is my favorite piece of the kit.
You get two pieces of thick, rubbery string that you can stretch and it doesn't snap in two.
I found myself wrapping it around my wrist, and making shapes on the table with it when I was playing with my son.
According to the website, these items are 12 inches in length but can be stretched to almost 9 feet!
Did I try it?
I didn't have a meter stick to see how long it was, but if I just eyed it...I'd say it was about that long!
Very cool product!
Who didn't have Silly Putty as a child?
We all did!
Better than Play-doh because it is more firm than it's counterpart, Silly Putty is great for those finger warm-ups your child may need to do prior to writing exercises.
MINI PORCUPINE BALLS
Another great little product to help with fine motor skills or just to hold in the palm of your hand as a calming mechanism.
Bright and vibrantly colored, they are only about one-inch in size, so they are perfect to put in a pants pocket if needed for the day.
Think of these as those little grippers that you can put on the lower portion of a pen or pencil to give you a better grip.
But these stretch the length of the pencil.
And, because they are so stretchy, you can put them on other items like a toothbrush, spoon, or hair brush.
I like this because it gives sensory input to the entire palm of the hand, not just the fingers.
This was a little more difficult for my daughter to do, but with a few examples and some verbal cues, she was able to invert this smooth ball into a spiky ball!
She kept telling me "He's hiding!"
I like the cause-and-effect of this product, and it kept both of my children's attention for quite some time.
FIDGETING FINGER SPRINGS
Made of a more rigid rubber and multi-colored, these springs are perfect to wrap around a finger while doing desk work and writing homework.
They exert a gentle pressure on the finger to provide that sensory input your child may be craving and helps to keep them focused as they are practicing handwriting skills.
FIDGET PENCILS WITH TOPPERS
Made of hard plastic, these products can be moved from one pencil to another.
A hit for sure with the little boys as they resemble the wing-nuts and nut/bolt that he may see his Dad working with!
And they are very life-like, allowing the child to move them up and down if fidgeting is a must while taking a break from writing.
*Please be advised that this kit contains small parts which could easily become a choking hazard and should not be used with children under the age of three.
Fidget kits can be very useful for a child with a sensory integration disorder because they can be used to help children focus and maintain attention during challenging activities in a classroom or therapy setting.
A good fidget kit should contain sensory items that help maintain attention and focus but do not distract the person from learning or distract others in their environment.
The last thing we want to do is disrupt a class or make a teacher mad!
In my honest opinion, many of the items in this kit would be completely appropriate for a classroom setting.
And this kit has it all!
Now you can go online and research and purchase each of these items individually for about $24.50.
And you can also go to The Therapy Shoppe website and purchase this entire kit as seen above for $18.99.
But thanks to The Therapy Shoppe, ONE OF YOU can have this kit for FREE!
So here's what you need to do:
1. Become a fan of my Facebook page and leave a comment as a SEPARATE POST.
2. Follow me on Twitter and "retweet" my tweet about this giveaway.
3. Leave a comment on this blog post below.
You may enter all three ways.
This contest begins on Monday, August 8, 2011 and will end on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 12:00 noon (CST).
Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email and announced on my Facebook page.
Contest valid in the United States only.
Sorry, but no PO Box entries will be allowed.
No anonymous entries.
You must have a valid email address.
If the first winner does not contact me within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen at random.
And a big THANK YOU to The Therapy Shoppe for this great giveaway!
(For you legal people, please see "Disclaimer" tab about this and all other giveaways. Thank you.)