One thing I am noticing more and more is sometimes depending on the product you need, how much you will use it compared to the price of the product you can be short changing yourself price wise. Many things you can do 'in a pinch' with a bit of creativity but depending on how well it works for your child and their needs will determine if it's better to make a purchase or not from a retailer.
There are some things that I have made or purchased that are incredibly wonderful and I wouldn't go back to a store brand such as the pacifier clip which I can use for toys or other objects to keep within a baby's reach. It happens to be something I get the most requests for and they're so easy to make. However, there are other things that I think buying through a retailer is a far better option. It really depends on the product and how much time I have and of course the cost.
I had a friend who recently talked to be about a product simular to the product on the right side of hte screen. They're the bowl looking things on a pole which are laid out on the bottom of this picture. (Two yellow and two red) She asked me what I could come up with without spending money to help her son balance. Here are my thoughts off the top of my head.
My first thought without seeing what she was talking about was making your own out of plaster of paris or cement. However, I told her I would look and come up with some ideas on how she could do this without making a purchase... or at least I would make the attempt. Anyhow, here are my ideas that I came up with.
- She could make rounded mounds using a bowl and plaster of paris or cement. This is heavy and very hard.
- She could find mixing bowls out of metal or thick plastic to turn upside down for him to walk on. Sometimes these can be found at dollar stores or thrift stores. Seeing her child doesn't weigh all that much I don't think in her case it would be a lot of denting or breaking.
- She could do one outside in her yard using rocks. If she found say 5 or 6 rocks with different surfacing (rounded, bumpy, flat) and dug some small holes to stabilize the rocks in the ground she could make her own rock balancing path. If she wanted more color she could paint the rocks or have her children paint the rocks to make them more appealing. She has a chain link fence so if she's worried about her son falling she might consider putting it near the fence where he can hold onto the fence if he loses his balance.
Seriously, I wish thinking about this topic we had a bigger backyard so I could make a therapy type yard or at least a portion of it to fill the needs our children have just through nature. However, as for now it is just a dream... maybe one day. :)