So, yeah, we pretty much have the best PT office on the face of the planet. They're just MADE to do what they do. The whole place rocks. Need a reference? Let me know. I'll point you in their direction. Anyway, we've been on a "crash pad wait-list" for months. MONTHS. Which is fine. We're not the only family that needs a crash pad. And our turn came up!
What's a crash pad? Oh, honey, a crash pad is God's perfect gift to sensory seeking kiddos. It's basically a giant pillowcase filled with foam chunks. Nothing fancy there. Just all kinds of foam chunks in all kinds of sizes. Their office has one that HAS to be 8'x5' big. Huge. The little one has to earn her crash-pad time because she loves it so much and would do nothing else for the whole half hour if we let her. All that beautiful sensory input crashing all over her little body. Mmmm-mmmmm good!
Apparently our PT has connections with local furniture shops that send their leftover foam over to the PT office instead of trashing it. They called me this morning with the good news and the conversation went a little something like this:
"Hey, just wanted to let you know the foam is in for your crash pad. Are you still interested?"
"Can you pick it up today?"
"Would you be coming by this morning?"
Want one of your very own? Well, here's what you need for your very own Crash Pad:
Foam (Cost- Free. Well, not FREE. PT ain't cheap, people, and we have just about a year under our belt. Ohhh.... THAT'S where all our vacation money went. -sigh-)
I can only tell you how we got the foam, all 5 trashbags full. I've seen the stuff at JoAnn's but never priced it before. Ideally you'd have chunks of all different densities and sizes. You're gonna be cutting up chunks of foam into smaller, more manageable chunks. Be sure they're all different sizes; no smaller than your hand, no bigger than your head. (if you're me you'll be chucking them into a big ol' box that a tub came home in....Long story). Lots of therapeutic ripping and cutting for you Mommies.
(Then you child might woke up and see the box-o-foam and be in heaven.)
Fabric (Cost- Free.)
I went into her linen stash and took out a flat sheet. See, she doesn't use flat sheets. I've tried to get her to use them but after tucking her in she'll sneak out of bed, rip the bed apart and then cries that she's not tucked in again. She sleeps on a fitted sheet and then a blanket on top. A thick one for cool nights, a thin one for warm nights.... So I have this pile-o-flats that I can use for whatever. Like Crash Pads. You could run out and buy a flat sheet. That can't cost more than $10, right?
You simply sew it up. I took the sheet and folded the top to the bottom and sewed two sides leaving one whole end open, like a pillowcase. Then stuff ALL THE FOAM into the "pillowcase". Be sure to mix up the sizes at this point. Little pieces, big pieces, squishy pieces, dense pieces. All mixed up. Shake it up. A lot. Get the foam in it however you can.
Then sew. it. shut.
You're gonna need a lot of space to place this giant mound of foam. Clear off the dining room table. The WHOLE table. Clear it off.
I can also suggest that an extra pair of strong hands might have been worth the wait. Just someone holding it closed while you run the machine. Not required... just the peace of mind knowing you're not going to break a needle and send the sharp tip into a hunk of foam for your sweet child to impale themselves on........or something.
Then you just let them go buck-nutty. Because they will.
So there you go. Therapy tools can be as cheap as free instead of hundreds of dollars. Don't spend hundreds of dollars. Please. We'll make it together. Promise. Just bring over the supplies and a cup of coffee.