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Snakes

This post is about a sensory project I found, making weighed snakes from recycled tights.  I first discovered this project on Pinterest, and while most of the ideas I find there remain pinned to virtual idea boards, I couldn’t stop sharing this one, until someone challenged me to make it happen.  This post is all about that process.

 

First though, a little about me.  As a Children’s Occupational Therapist and mother of four children aged 12 to 6 years, there are many of times when 2 worlds collide.  I often resist the urge to over-examine my own kids and develop hacks to make them more independent.  And it’s hard to escape my husband’s protests that if the kids are struggling with anything, I must have “brought it in from work” and should fix it.  This is especially true of the sensory issues… especially my daughter who hates certain clothes and hair brushing and who has literally turned her need to spin into gymnastic prowess.

This takes me back to Pinterest and the weighted tight snake, whose sheer genius seemed undeniable.  I had assessed children for years and at times had recommended weighed products for those children.  The extra deep pressure provided by weight isn’t for everyone but the kids I met who liked to sleep under all the stuffed toys on their bed or who would climb into the dog’s bed with the family dog for cuddles had already discovered for themselves that it made them feel better: more calm, more alert.  Some teen girls who struggled with the unbearable feeling of tights had told me that when they used something weighed as well as other strategies, they could wear certain tights that they usually couldn’t tolerate.  At our house, my daughter’s main struggle with dressing was how to get dressed for school when the weather grew cold and it was time for tights.  So I collected my daughter’s rejected tights and ordered some weighed beads and planned my project, which I will share with you so that you might have a go at creating some of your own.

You need / I used:

Maggie

  • A pair of rejected tights
  • Something to fill them with (weighed beads, rice, lentils etc)*
  • Needle
  • Pins (not 100% crucial but they will help to hold things in place, especially if you don’t sew often)
  • Thread
  • Matching buttons 2 or 4 (if you want eyes)
  • Felt/fabric (if you want a tongue)
  • Velcro (one leg will be the inner layer, the second will protect it and can be sealed with Velcro)

*a note on filling- if you choose dried food, like uncooked rice or lentils, they might sprout or worse if the snake gets wet UNLESS you commit to a strategy like using the bags banks give you to sort coins into to place the filling in (you will definitely need a strategy like this if you have a kid who likes to chew things, like my son)

Here we go!

  • Cut the legs off the tights as high as you can for a long snake
  • Decide if you want your snake to be
    • straight (you will need to then cut off the feet at the heel and sew the ends together)
    • or if you don’t mind a slightly foot shaped snake, you are ready to fill!
  • Fill the snake with the material of your choice (see * above if you need help to decide)
    • How much to fill
    • Remember to leave space to bring the ends together (preferably
    • To add channels or no (stripes)
  • Use the other leg to pull over the first as a protective layer
    • Fold and pin a small hem and then stitch one end shut
      • If you want a tongue, remember to stitch it in now
    • Add button eyes (if wanted) -I am partial to using 2 buttons each eye so that you have a white part with a black center
    • At the other end, you will create a small hem and sew down and then attach Velcro to.
      • I learned the hard way that using one long Velcro strip makes it harder to get the weighed snake inside its cover, use two or more smaller Velcro pieces
  • Pull your cover over your snake / weighted tight leg.

Your weighted snake is now ready to regulate- enjoy!

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