When we were asked to review a Sensory Bean Bag from Eden Learning Spaces, I was beyond excited. I could choose between blue or purple – obviously I went with purple!
I have been looking at getting Sam a beanbag to help with his sensory needs for a while. One of Sam’s Autism “quirks” is that he likes to be cuddled. I hoped that a beanbag would recreate the sensory input that cuddling him provides.
The Floor Cushion arrived in a huge cardboard box. It was very well wrapped and clearly labelled with a warning not to open it with a knife. Once it was removed from the box, I let Sam explore. This was his immediate reaction to the sensory beanbag…
He loved it from the outset! The beanbag is made from really thick, wipe clean material. It easily holds me (I’m 5 foot 8 and weigh about 12 stone). It supports two toddlers when in a lay down position, too. I have no concerns letting the kids play freely on it. The back has a zip, but it’s really stiff and the kids can’t open it themselves.
We have had the beanbag for over 2 weeks now, and it is Sam’s seat of choice. (It is also my seat of choice too)! Sam loves to sit on it and watch CBeebies, and play on his iPad.
As well as using the beanbag as a seat, it has become our “safe place” during meltdowns. Sam will usually calm down if I give him lots of hugs and stroke him. If I am at home and can do this while he is sat on the beanbag, it seems to happen quicker. (I’m not sure if that’s because he has the feeling of being cocooned, or whether he feels safe on the beanbag). Either way, it has made like a little less stressful for us both.
We’ve been using the beanbag as a tool to help when engaging with Sam. I have found that when he is sat on it like in the image above, he gives more eye contact and engages with me more than when he is sat on a normal seat. It could just be that the beanbag is encouraging him to sit looking directly forwards, not reclined. It might be that he is exactly at my eye level when I kneel down. Either way, the beanbag is definitely helping us to work on his eye contact and social skills.
The wipe clean surfaces were put to the test yesterday, when Sam sat on
some banana and mushed it onto the cover. It wiped off easily with a
warm, damp cloth.
One day last week, I spent time putting Sam onto the Sensory Beanbag (as above) and saying “On”, then tickling Sam’s feet until he slid down. I would then say, “Off”. Sam was making an “O” shape with his mouth as we played – a sound he never makes. The Sensory Touch Floor Cushion is definitely a tool we can use in various ways to “learn through play”.
Sam doesn’t really bother with the tabs on the Bean Bag yet. Sydney, on the other hand loves to touch them. Each colour tab is a different fabric, so the texture feels different. I used the tabs to try and teach Syd colours last week. She mastered “Lellow” before she decided it was time for a lie down, and said “na night”!
I have found it to be a brilliant support for me as well. I suffer from
back and hip pain, so playing on the floor isn’t something I can do very
much of. I have found that if I lie on the beanbag, I am supported
enough to play for ages! If I lie on my back, I can happily let the kids
sit on my tummy while I do peekaboo or such like. I have also used it
to lie on my front and join in when Syd has been playing with her
Sam will happily drag the beanbag to wherever he wants it to go. He
seems to prefer it in an upright position for playing on his iPad,
If your child loves the feel of different textures, then this bean bag is definitely worth buying! The tabs are very secure, and it is large enough to be suitable for any age child. It measures 125cm x 100cm, so make sure it’ll fit before you buy it! The beanbag does stand up though, so it won’t take up that much floor space unless you lie it down!
On a scale of 1 to 5, I definitely give the sensory touch tags bean bag 5/5. It has an RRP of £79.95 + Vat, and delivery is £9.99. I have never seen this particular type of sensory beanbag anywhere else, but feel the price is about right. I saw a similar product at the Autism Show last year, for almost £150!
Eden Learning Spaces sell a large range of SEN and Sensory products. They also sell products for Early Years, Primary and Secondaty aged children. We love the sensory beanbag so much, I’m seriously considering buying an XXL
Beanbag to replace the uncomfortable Ikea chair we have in the playroom.
This is not a sponsored post. We were sent the beanbag to review, but all words and opinions are my own.