Sensory Pockets

Oh the evolution of crafting – it’s fascinating, isn’t it? Today I’m finally documenting the most recent project/idea that has evolved here in my craft room. I’m calling these little things Sensory Pockets. When I was so thrilled at my first few and showed my husband, he asked, “they’re cute babe – what are the kids supposed to do with them?” My first thought was – fight over them, like they do with everything new. So I had to make a bunch.

It all started with this post I saw on Pinterest –

I loved them and thought they would be fun, especially for our littler preschoolers who are still in the exploratory phase of play. So I bought a clear shower curtain and some intense glue because I didn’t want to hand sew the edges.

sensory pocket 1.jpg

That was some CRAZY glue – it sort of dissolved the edges of the vinyl and I didn’t like the way it looked at all – very sloppy. So then I thought, why not try to sew the edges with my sewing machine? That was a disaster because my needle couldn’t go all the way through. I did some reading and decided a leather needle was what I needed for my machine. That worked nicely although I had to help the vinyl move under the feeder because sometimes it would get stuck sewing in one spot. Here’s what the sewed pockets looked like –

sensory 2.jpg

Oh dear – please try to overlook how dry and awful my thumb looks – it’s winter in Upstate NY – in fact – it’s a huge snow storm, which is the only reason I have time to write this post!

ANYWAY….I decided I wanted to add something besides just rice or sequins or whatever. So I picked up a bag of buttons – Grandma’s Grab Bag I believe it was called. They have them at Hobby Lobby and JoAnns where you can pick up a bag with your handy 40% coupon. And Amazon if you don’t mind paying full price ($6 or $7). Oh readers – these buttons! I literally wanted to tear open the bag and spread them out when I got in the car because I could see so many wonderful treasures. Most of them are buttons but some are embellishments. Looky! Go ahead, zoom in if you can 🙂

sensory button collage.jpgThe right top picture were some of my favorites from my first grab bag. The right bottom pictures some goodies from my (ah hem) other grab bags. I use coupons, OK???? And back to the appropriate use of the word evolve – my sensory pocket project has now evolved into a bit of a button obsession. Have you ever seen a button tree or button art on canvas? Look on Pinterest! That’s my next project.

OK, back to business. After I got bored of colored rice, I thought – why not dye some other small pasta and use that to fill the pockets? So I tried some little alphabet pasta and some Acini De Pepe. Ever hear of it? Looks like Cous Cous. I threw a little glitter in with the pasta, dye, and alcohol (which I don’t measure – just toss a splash in a plastic baggie and shake, then lay out to dry on wax paper. The neon food color is my fav. Sometimes the fine glitter just makes the vinyl look dusty so I didn’t put glitter in all of them.

sensory 6.jpg

So, I’ve got the mostly sewed pocket filled with some kind of filler, buttons, puffy stickers in a couple and some glitter in some. I sew up the pocket the rest of the way. But the edges still looked unfinished to me so I tried a bunch of different riboons and trims. Probably the best were the gathered lace trim and the Paper Studio brand of pom pom ribbon (in the paper crafting section of the craft store – .99 cents for a yard.). Here are some of the finished projects. They each have a theme – birds and flowers, the beach, dogs, Christmas, pearl trim/ribbon/beads, dragonflies, etc.

sensory 7.jpg

Most of them are about 4 inches in diameter but at the end I tried making a larger one, which is pictured below next to the Sharpie so you can see how big it is. And there you go – my sensory pockets!

sensory pocket collage

 

 

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One thought on “Sensory Pockets

  1. Please explain how the sensory pockets address the needs/skills/etc. of the children. They’re beautiful and fun, but how do you use them?

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