Sensory Crash Pad
Crash, bang, kerplunk! Those all too familiar sounds when your child is running around the playground chasing after their sister or brother or it’s what happens when they fall from the monkey bars. Fortunately, when your little ones are playing at the park or on the swing set in your backyard, you usually don’t worry about when they stumble and fall because normally they fall into the soft sand or the padded grass on your lawn. So unless your child is jumping from a 10-story building, you usually have the peace of mind that they will jump right back up and continue playing tag and sliding down the slippery slide. If that’s the case, then why use a crash pad for your child to fall into? What’s the benefit or purpose?
Having a crash pad for your child at home can actually provide more benefits than you realize. Ironically enough, a crash pad can improve your child’s gross motor skills and motor planning. By jumping into a crash pad, your child receives a large amount of sensory support that provides deep pressure from the leg and knee muscles to the joints, which is good for muscle tone and their core strength. In addition, when children fall into the crash pad, the fabric helps strengthen their tactile senses as well as their balance and coordination in their vestibular system.
Crash pads are especially important for children who have sensory processing disorders or who are sensitive to touch, tags, texture, loud noises or who have heightened fears. If your child tends to run into furniture, crashes into people, walls or doorjambs, crash pads are one of the tools that can improve attention, create body awareness, calm aggression, and it’s just plain fun! That is why we have several crash pads at our center because it provides a safe, secure environment that the kids love it.
Now you may be asking yourself, what does a crash pad have to do with learning? Well, because our motor skills and sensory input and output has everything to do with how we hear the teacher in class, follow instructions, comprehend test questions and sit still in our chair, it affects learning in many different ways. To better develop your child’s motor planning when they are in their early development stages, you can hide toys under the crash pad for your child to find or have them push or pull the bag. All of these activities are great for strengthening the mind and body.
How to Make Your Own Crash Pad
Instead of rushing out to buy an expensive crash pad, try making your own. It’s very easy and doesn’t require a lot of work, money or time.
Here is what you will need:
- 2 pieces of square fabric (5×5 ft.) or larger if you choose (you can also use old sheets)
- Foam Scraps (you can find foam scraps from packaging stores that will most likely give them to you for free)
Where to Begin
1. Take your two pieces of fabric and match the wrong sides together.
2. Pin three sides together, leaving the fourth side open for now.
3. Sew three sides together. Remember, you don’t have to do any fancy sewing. It’s very basic. Or, if you do not have a sewing machine, try gluing Velcro to all three sides of your fabric
4. When you have sewn three sides together, turn your fabric inside out so the right sides are now showing.
5. Stuff your bag full of foam scraps.
6. Sew the fourth side of the pad and you are ready to go!
Simple as that! Have a great time!
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs