What is a Sensory Kit?
Referred to by a variety of names (safety kit, tool kit, motivation kit, sobriety kit, relaxation kit, serenity kit, spirituality kit, self-soothe kit, comfort box, etc.) a sensory kit is a personalized kit created by the individual who intends to use it. Therefore, the theme of each kit must be chosen by the individual and should be related to what he or she wants and needs it for.
A sensory kit is a self-created box, bag, or bin, that is a special and designated place to keep meaningful items that each person finds specifically important and helpful – both for preventative purposes and during times of crisis. It is a place to keep things that help the individual self-organize. It is important to help each person think about what things to keep in their kits, where the kits will be kept, how they will use them, and what to do in situations where they may not have access to the kit.
Creativity A Must!
Allow for and support creativity! This is a great opportunity for people to express themselves. Creating meaningful and purposeful projects is not only fun but also facilitates self-expression and enhances self-awareness. Some ideas of what people have used to begin creating a sensory kit:
- Card board boxes
- A back pack or a small bag that fastens around the waist
- A small wooden chest
- A plastic bin
Provide a variety of art media for kit decorating each kit (markers, paints, assorted colors of tissue paper, glitter, collage’ materials, nature items, etc.).
Sensory Kit Theme & Contents:
It is important to initially help each person brainstorm about the type of kit that would be the most meaningful and helpful. People should be allowed plenty of time to decorate the kit using the chosen theme as a guide and to think about what things to keep in it.
A “Grounding” Example
The picture below shows an example of a “grounding kit” created by an individual who wanted to keep items that were helpful in a meaningful place for grounding purposes. She created her own beanbag for self-tapping and found other tactile manipulatives to be helpful. Additionally aromatherapy, colored sunglasses and a specific relaxation tape were some of her initial choices for her kit.
Common Kit Themes
The following are some common kit theme ideas and some examples of things people may want to keep in them:
Sobriety kit: important phone numbers, 12 step meeting lists, daily reflections book, AA Big Book, pictures of people who are motivating, sensory items to help distract from cravings (hot balls, stress balls/fidgets, rubber bands for wrist snapping, etc.), humor tapes/books, journal, etc.
Safety kit: phone numbers of primary supports, the person’s list of self-created treatment goals, top five reasons why it is important for them to stay safe, stress balls/fidgets, aromatherapy oils, hot balls or sour candies, pictures of people who are motivating, humor tapes/books, brushes or bean bags used for brushing or tapping, mindfulness items, journal, etc.
Relaxation kit: relaxation CDs, aromatherapy oils, pictures of soothing scenes, stress balls/fidgets, nature items, journal, humor tapes or comics
Spirituality kit: meditation CDs, daily reflections book, journal, mindfulness items, rubbing stones, positive affirmations, nature clippings, aromatherapy oils, crystals, etc.
Self-care or ADL Kit: a variety of scrub brushes and cloths, assorted lotions, soaps, bath foams/salts and scrubs, and other assorted skin, hair and nail care items (include options for both men and women).