Manipulating things with our hands is common to everyone and therefore is typically a part of each individual’s sensory diet. Do you ever play with your hair, use a rubbing stone, fiddle with your keys in your pocket, or use a stress ball? These are some of the ways we distract ourselves, help to stay alert or try to soothe ourselves. Having a variety of tactile manipulative’s available for use has been helpful for both consumers and staff! This picture shows some examples of just a few of the many tactile objects offered on the unit at Cooley-Dickinson Hospital. Putty, tactile books, lotions, powders, clay, assorted art materials, cooking and baking activities are other examples.
It is helpful to keep occupational therapy supplies, equipment and any surplus of supplies in a locked cabinet. This way items can be stored, rationed out as needed and more easily accounted for. Items considered unsafe in certain settings may also be locked safely away into a cabinet, such as thera-band. It also may serve as a place to keep OT modalities such as sound therapy equipment, vibrating and brushing tools. Having a magnetic dry erase board on the outside of the locked cabinet affords the ability to sign out items and keep track of them.