For tumbling, squashing, jumping or just lounging around, Crash mats are the ultimate sensory play tool when it comes to OT. Crash mats don't come cheap so here is a quick step-by-step guide to how we made our crash mat.
Step one: What you need - a bag of foam offcuts (can be purchased from Clark Rubber for $30) You can also cut up an old foam mattress etc. 2 single bed quilt covers, scissors, a chair to hold it open.
Step two: Cut up the foam into cube pieces, its not as easy as it sounds so to save time I would cut half the piece then continue to rip them apart - it doesn't have to look pretty.
Step three: Hold the first quilt cover open by hanging it on the back of a chair and begin to fill with the super pretty cubes of foam.
Step four: once its full, close it up and then stuff it backwards into the second quilt cover so no foam will be exposed or fall out. Its a bit tricky stuffing the full quilt into the empty one so may require a second person to help or to keep you calm while you do it haha
Having the two layers of quilts keeps all the foam in and it also makes cleaning it much easier.
I was able to be given some hand-me-down quilt covers so they didn't cost me anything but I did check at the local op shops and single quilt covers are usually no more than $5 each. Therefore this whole crash mat cost $40 or less which means a saving of roughly $80 compared to a bought sensory crash mat.
|Maddy's OT has several crash mats made from this same technique!|
There isn't a day that goes by where the crash mat isn't used at home. The activities that it can be used for are endless. A quick one to start the day is if you have a trampoline, pop the crash mat on there and get your sensory kiddo to 'splat' on it like a star fish a few times. Its fun for them but it also the 'splat' restarts their senses when they are having sensory overload by jolting deep pressure into the muscles and joints. Another way to use it is to squash them by folding the crash mat around them (like making a Maddy burrito!) I think my personal favorite is to lay on it and watch a good movie! :)