Squigz by Fat BrainToys are a fun multi-sensory toy that can help support many developmental skills. As a TVI, part of the job is to be creative in our activities, to help promote improvement of skills and independence, and have fun. Squigz have become one of my favorite toys to use in sessions with my kiddos. This toy can be used in a variety of ways targeting different skills. These toys are made of silicone and have a suction cup that can be used to connect to other Squigz or different surfaces such as tables, windows, mirrors, dry erase boards, etc. When you pull them off, the toy makes a satisfying popping sound. These toys can be used to target fine motor strengthening, visual motor coordination, crossing midline and also provides proprioceptive input, in terms of sensory processing, they target a variety of areas: tactile (feel of them), visual (bright colors), auditory (pop noise. These “fun little suckers” can be implemented in so many ways.
Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI’s) are using Squigz to help build hand and finger strength and dexterity along with spatial concepts (top, bottom, middle, left, right) which are foundational skills needed for pressing keys on a Perkins Braille writer and making simple gestures on an iPad.
During a recent Professional Development Cohort on the ABCs of iOS: A VoiceOver Manual for Toddlers and Beyond, preschool TVI’s with the Early Learning Sensory Support Program- VI discussed toys and activities that they used with their toddler and preschool kiddos to build foundational skills needed to be able to interact with apps on the iPad. Squigz have been used by some TVI’s to pre-teach and practice spatial concepts using these as a tactual cue before opening an app and having a child interact with it. Squigz are placed in different locations on the iPad for the child to find them when given a directional cue on the iPad screen (i.e., right, left, top, bottom, middle, north, south, east, west). Squigz can also be used if a child is having a difficult time using a one-finger gesture instead of whole hand on the iPad by having them hold a Squigz piece with their other fingers so that the pointer finger can do its job.
Preschool child, Karson using finding Squigz at “the top” of the iPad.
See video of a TVI featured in the ABC’s of iOS Manual who is using Squigz with a student.
Here are some other activities you as a TVI can try to incorporate Squigz into your student’s daily routine:
Squigz on Amazon (Note: There are different Squigz kits available.)
By Lori’s Stories