Monday, April 4, 2011

Punching Bag Alternative

Not all kids with SPD are as aggressive as mine. Sometimes I long to meet a parent that is used to being attacked as their kid goes into a melt down just to know I am not alone. Due to his aggressiveness we try to give him appropriate things to do when he is upset. We have tried allowing him to punch the bed, pillow, or bean bag and it has yet to work. I thought it would be as easy as getting him a bopping bag but with my son he loves popping things when he's upset which is why I have yet to make some posts about things you can do with balls... ours keep getting popped. :(
I went through Sports Authority the other day looking for things that vibrate like hand held massagers. I had no luck with that but I did find some punching bags. I thought this was a wonderful idea and I had my son hit one of them that was hanging. It was too hard. We finally came across one that stood up from a tire on a pole which was much softer. The prices at our store ranged from $70-$100 easy. I also knew a friend of ours had an older son who had one that put it on their sensory swing hook. My husband and I thought about the qualities of these bags when I told him what I had found. Our biggest concern was if we got the one that stood up that my kids would move it or roll it down our stairs. The problem with the hanging ones happened to be they were too heavy and hard for my son who is around kindergarten age.
Off I went to think about this. Of course in my mind I was thinking... 'cheap cheap' so I came up with a much cheaper althernative. Find an old pillow case or maybe two if you don't have one for a king. It really depends on the size length wise that you'll need it to be. In my son's case he needs full body contact so a larger pillowcase or more than one is required. If you have two you will have to undo the bottom of the pillowcase and sew the two together to make it as long as you need it. Make sure it is sewn securely. If you don't happen to have extra pillowcases you could use fabric sewn up the long way.
If you are using a pillowcase cut a slit in the top opening where you put the pillow in and string a rope through it. If you are using a piece of fabric you will need to sew the edge down to allow you to thread a rope through. You might want to reinforce this depending on how much impact this bag may take.
The next choice happens to be the filling. What are you going to stuff it with?
I will name a few things that you can stuff it with just to give you some ideas but the possibilities are endless.
  • blankets
  • pillows
  • outgrown clothes (make sure anything with buttons or zippers are turned inside out or not used)
  • thick coats or winter clothes (watch out for zippers or buttons)
  • bubble wrap
  • packing peanuts
  • play balls of various sizes
  • towels
  • sleeping bags
Anyhow hang this up and your child can hit it or tackle it to their hearts content and get some agression out.

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