We have been having lots of fun with our little hairdressing prop box here lately. I introduced it as a way of getting the toddler twosome a little more comfortable with hairbrushing and all things hairdressing as this is a huge area of stress for my sensory twin Ruby!
After rolling in a little water paint the girls then used them in various ways on the paper…..they scrubbed which caused the paper to shred a little and form balls which caused much excitement!
It took Ruby a while before she would paint with them…she was not keen on the prickly texture and having to hold them for long periods of time…she can be quite sensitive to a prickly touch although she had been using them regularly to roll in my hair so i was surprised by how hesitant she was.
Encouraging her gently she did form her own little system of painting by holding near the ends and mainly just stamping. The rollers would make a fantastic activity for those children who are sensory seekers though as there is constant stimulation.
She did a lot of touching the rollers to her face which is what she tends to do when unsure about a texture and if it is ‘safe' for her to interact with. I found it interesting that by placing the rollers into a different activity(other than the hairdressing box) she became cautious of them again.
In all honesty she preferred to go and collect rocks but she did stick with it for a while and it was a nice little sensory challenge for her. Best to offer these challenges in short sessions so they don't get too stressed. Tara absolutely loved it though and enjoyed finding different ways to paint with them.
Because I used water paint they just rinsed clean easily and dried quickly ready for use in our prop box again another day. You could also use a thicker acrylic type craft paint but it would be harder to wash out of the rollers.
You can pick bags of these sort of velcro rollers up from the budget shops for a few dollars. I like to have a mix of sizes and colours so we can use them for colour recognition and sorting activities too! I really encourage you to give this a go if you have kids with sensory difficulties…whether sensory sensitive or sensory seeking there are many ways to incorporate rollers into some play activities and challenge those senses!
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.