A couple weeks ago I put together this cozy “cave” for the kids to keep in their calm down corner. (Excuse the lumpy picture, LittleMan was inside it at the time.)
I got the idea from this pin (click here) on Pinterest, unfortunately when you click on the pin, all that comes up is a 404 error. I tried going to the Understanding SPD webpage, which should have been the source of the link, but I was redirected to A Sensory Life. I searched for pillow cave on the website but was unable to find the original post. If you happen to know the url for the original post please post it in the comments so I can give proper credit.
The pin said, “Use a twin size duvet cover…add lots of pillows inside of the duvet. A perfect sensory retreat! Your child can go inside, cuddle up on top of it like a nest, lay underneath for deep pressure, or use it as a soft landing pad for big leaps and jumps!”
But I didn’t have a duvet cover handy and I really wanted to do this project at a low cost. I managed to pull it off for free and its been used quite a bit so I’d say that it was worth the price, lol.
I found an old fitted single bed sheet that wasn’t being used for it’s intended purpose so I turned it inside out, folded it in half horizontally, and pinned. I did a zig-zag stitch, stretching the fabric taunt as I ran it through the machine, along both pinned sides with the folded edge on bottom and leaving a few feet open at the top.
Once both sides had been stitched (and the stitches had been doubled over for security), I turned the sheet right side out and stuffed it with pillows. Luckily we had 4 full-body pillows that were just laying around not being used for anything and they filled the cave out nicely.
I do feel the need to clarify, LittleMan does not have Sensory Processing Disorder.
When LittleMan was a year old I once made a comment to my aunt about him signing and she assumed he was deaf because why else would I teach him sign language? Well, I taught my hearing child ASL for the same reason I gave my non-SPD child an SPD therapy tool: I felt he would benefit from it.
A child doesn’t have to be deaf in order to benefit from a different form of communication the same way a child doesn’t have to have a disorder in order to benefit from a calm place to retreat when he is overwhelmed or frustrated.
Also in our calm down corner:
– a poster of feelings faces
– LED tea light candles
– picture books with real pictures
– a mirror
– a weaving loom and bowl of ribbons
– a painting hung at child-eye level
– a mobile hanging from the ceiling
– jar of oil and glitter
We used to have some scented playdough, stress balls, bottle of bubbles, bowl of pine cones, and a stuffed animal but those just weren’t getting any use so we removed them.
Now I’m working on making a sturdy finger labyrinth. At some point I’d also like to purchase a Tibetan singing bowl, but that is probably months down the road.