Make a Sensory Cube
Encourage your child’s sense of touch with this fun toy you can make yourself
One of the ways your child learns is through touch. It is how they gain information about the world around them, either through their hands, feet, or even mouth. How do you encourage this sense in your child, even if they are sensitive to tactile stimulation?
Sensory cubes are a fun, tactile toy you can make yourself and play with your child. They are decorated in different colors and textures, and playing with them is an easy way to build tolerance for touch because they’re small, lightweight, and portable.
If your child can play with the cube independently, allow them to explore it with their hands and/or feet.
If your child is not yet exploring independently, use the hand-under-hand or hand-under-foot strategy if your child needs help touching the cube. Allow for wait time to allow your child to make a move or indicate a choice with sound, gesture, or movement.
Talk to your child about how the cube feels when you touch it. Is the grass scratchy? The pom pom is shiny! You can even squish the cube like an accordion.
Now roll the cube like dice and build language skills as you talk with your child about the color or texture of each side of the cube. You can introduce number skills as you count the number of pom poms or straws on one side.
The cubes can even introduce early orientation and mobility skills as you touch the cube to your child’s body parts and identify each one. “The cube is on top of your head. Now, it’s on your shoulders. Oh, the cube fell on the floor. Can you touch it with your toes?”
We made our cubes with soft, four-by-four-inch foam cubes because they are very lightweight. You could also use wood or Styrofoam cubes, but they’ll be heavier, with sharper edges. You can find the decorating supplies in your home, the dollar store, or your crafts store. Use your imagination!
Prepare the decorating supplies so they’ll fit on the cube. Glue a different item to each side of the cube and let the cube dry before you play with it.
Supervise your child while they touch or play with the cube since some of the decorations can be chokeable if your child puts them in their mouth.