And by "Manipulative," we do not mean your child trying to get later sleep schedules – although that is normal childhood development! Instead, think of manipulative as something to feel and explore, something to calm and focus on. BC Playthings has a large selection of specific “Manipulatives” for all ages! Some children and adults need something to focus on when they are feeling anxious and a small item placed in the hand to manipulate makes the brain focus on the sensory feeling and not the negative. It is a means of distracting circuitous thoughts and rechanneling them to a small object. Once that sensory moment is reached, the brain is given a different option of response; instead of a negative self-talk thought (eg. “No one likes me. I need to get out of here”) to one of “Hey, I can stay here. I am strong. I do not need to listen to the negative! I have tools!” By coaching your child to “Upload” positive words and thoughts on their fidget, they can begin to reprogram their brain away from those angry and destructive negative thoughts!
Another approach to the “Manipulative” is for those wiggly, jiggly people in our lives! Remember those people in meetings who are constantly jiggling their crossed foot? Or maybe that person who is clicking their pen incessantly, or chewing on their pen or pencil until it looks like a stalagmite? Some people need to move to learn or concentrate. According to Wikipedia:
Kinesthetic learning (American English), kinesthetic learning (British English), or tactile Learning is a learning style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations.
These “Kinesthetic Learners” need something that helps them move or manipulate while they take in information! We have Wiggle Cushions, Chew Stixxs, and Sensory Balls that fit into many different environments. Classrooms and homes alike benefit from a sensory approach and we at BC Playthings can help you find the perfect Manipulative for your family!