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One of the questions we get asked the most here at Sensory Smart Store is “How do I make clothes more comfortable for my child?!”
School uniform, specific outfits, costumes and uniforms for clubs, classes and groups can cause real problems for sensitive and sensory kids who just want to fit in and wear the same as everybody else.
Seams, labels, uncomfortable folds and bumps in fabric can all be a nightmare for anyone struggling with a sensory processing disorder.
As a parent you want to help make your child’s clothes at least tolerable, but how?
Well, one of our favourite go-to products for a quick fix is Undercover Tape.
Each pack contains either 15 plaster-sized sticky back strips or three 14cm x 8cm uncut pages that you can cut to the size and shape you need.
How does it work?
Undercover Tape does just what it’s name suggests – it’s a self adhesive product literally covers up the problematic part of the garment and creates a soft and comfy barrier so skin doesn’t get chafed, itched or rubbed.
Here are some great examples of how to use this clever product:
Scratchy label that you can’t cut out? No problem! Stick a piece of undercover tape over the top and cover it up!
Itchy seams under the armpits? Pop some undercover tape over the nasty bits and breathe a sigh of relief!
You can use this clever and soft sticky tape to cover up any part of any garment that rubs or causes discomfort.
It’ll even survive up to 5 washes so you won’t have to replace it each time the garment is worn!
Who is it for?
The short answer is EVERYONE! We’ve all experienced clothing with nasty labels or seams that rub or chafe.
We recommend Undercover Tape in particular for kids who struggle with sensitivity to clothing especially seams, labels, lumps and bumps. It’s a real life-saver product that will save tears and tantrums in kids of all ages.
It’s available in plain white or with a variety of fun patterns that kids will love.
But don’t just take our word for it…
You can find Undercover Tape at the Sensory Smart Store – sighs of relief all round!
Worry Eaters are much more than just adorable cartoon characters. They might just be the best toys ever invented!
Kids love the bright colours and cool personalities of these fun and cuddly toys, but there is a more serious use for them as well.
Lots of parents have been asking us how to use Worry Eaters to help kids with stress and worry, so here are the basics.
We’re fond of saying that Worry Eaters are a bit like the Tooth Fairy for worries – they make them disappear overnight!
Now, of course we don’t mean that Worry Eaters magically make everything alright (we’re still looking for a magic wand…), but they can help kids to feel a whole lot better about their problems, and give parents the tools to deal with them too.
What you need to do
- Get your child to spend a few minutes writing down some words, or drawing a picture of what has been worrying or stressing them out, on a piece of paper. You could make this a daily or weekly bedtime ritual.
- Pop the paper into the Worry Eater’s mouth and zip it up.
- Tell you child that the Worry Eater has eaten it all up for them.
- When your child goes to bed, they can take their Worry Eater to bed with them for cuddles or he can sit on a chair or in the toy box.
- In tooth-fairy stye, empty out the Worry Eater’s tummy while your child sleeps
Note: This works best with the plush toys, but can be done with the keyrings too. Worry Eater Keyrings do have a velcro opening at the mouth and a small piece of paper can be put inside.
How it helps your child
– They have been able to “get the worry out” i.e. but writing or drawing it down. It can be very therapeutic just to write or talk about your problems and get it off your chest.
– The worry has “symbolically gone” in the morning which can help them to feel better about it, and start to move on from whatever was upsetting them.
– You get an insight into what is upsetting your child so you can take steps to help remedy the issue, or prevent it in the future. Knowledge is power!
This is just the recommended way to use Worry Eaters. You can come up with your own way of doing it!
We’ve heard of some children who don’t like to write or draw and prefer to whisper their problems into the worry eater’s mouth (while Mum listens of course!) Other kids just like to cuddle them to feel safe from the monsters under the bed.
Please do share your stories and tips with us. How do you use yours?
We’d love to hear about how you use your Worry Eaters with your children, and share your tips with our tribe.
Going to school is such fun! You get to learn lots of new exciting things, play with other children and discover your talents. It’s such a wonderful time – isn’t it?
Well the sad fact is that for many children, going to school isn’t as much fun as you might think. In fact it can be downright terrifying.
Sensitive kids in particular can find their anxiety levels rising when it’s time to go back to school after the holidays. The shift in routines alone can really just be too much to cope with.
For other kids, it may be a social anxiety or a fear of being judged and not liked by other children or teachers, that in more extreme cases can sometimes be diagnised as school phobia.
The good news is that anxiety isn’t as uncommon as you might think, and there are some highly effective ways to deal with it.
So we’ve compiled our top 5 simple DIY tips for beating anxiety and helping your child to have a relaxed and happy back-to-school September…
It may sound obvious, but when the anxiety starts to mount, out breathing becomes shallow or we hold our breath. Reminding your child to breathe deeply, from their stomach can really help when anxiety starts to take hold.
This simple breathing exercise recommended by the NHS, is very easy to do and recommends that you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, and gently pause between breaths to help the body’s fight or flight system calm down and prevent a full blown panic attack.
2. Drink some Cold Water
This deceptively simple technique can really help somebody suffering with a panic attack. The simple act of taking a few sips of cold water (preferably refrigerated) can make your body start to calm down from anxiety. We’re not exactly sure why, but this is a simple and tried and tested technique taught by a local counsellor.
Splashing some cold water on your face can help too – but don’t forcibly do this to your child, let them do it themselves if they want to.
3. Use Lavender Essential Oil blends to calm
Lavender is probably everyone’s favourite essential oil and with very good reason! Inhaling lavender can be very calming and helps with anxiety, stress in the daytime as well as not being able to get to sleep at night.
We really like the Chill essential oil pulse point roller and the Calming Lavender Cream by Pure Peace. Or you could just pop some lavender in your oil burner in the morning before school, or if you’re a bit hippy dippy like us and have a car essential oil diffuser, a few drops in there will make the drive to school fly by!
Lavender is suitable for most people, but please do be careful when using essential oils, and if in doubt get some advice from a qualified aromatherapist.
4. Massage your Head
This is a very easy one to do, and handy (if you’ll pardon the pun) because you don’t need anything but your hands!
Gently massaging the scalp for a few moments can help relieve anxiety and help put your child into a more relaxed and positive mood ready for ther day. This is a great one because kids can learn to do it for themselves and on each other (and on Mum too…ahhh!)
According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, massage can decrease cortisol levels by as much as 31 percent and increase serotonin by 28 percent, and dopamine by 31 percent.
5. Help your child offload at the end of the day
Talking about your problems and worries can be challenging, especially for kids who may struggle to put their feelings and thoughts into words at the best of times.
Not being able to talk about your feelings doesn’t mean you have nothing to say!
A Worry Eater toy is a really clever way to help your child offload their worries by writing, drawing or making something to represent what is making them anxious.
At bedtime, your child simply puts what they have written, drawn or created into the Worry Eater‘s mouth, zips it up and as if by magic – it’s gone!
Mum and Dad can then empty the Worry Eater‘s tummy out at night so it’s empty in the morning – a bit like the tooth fairy but taking away worries instead of teeth!
This is really handy too, because it will give you an insight into what is worrying your child if they haven’t been able to tell you. And once you know what the problem is, you’ll have a better chance of helping your little one overcome it. A great help for non-verbal children!
This is far from an exhaustive list, and there are lots of other things that can help kids with anxiety including exercise, yoga and CBT or Cognitive Bahavioural Therapy.
CBT is easy to learn and gives your child skills that last a lifetime. Have a quick look through the Book section of the Sensory Smart Store for more information and ideas!
So here’s to a worry-free September for you and your little ones, wishing you happy back-to-school times and lots of fun – without the anxiety!
Something we get asked a lot about our Absolutely Seamless Socks is how to pick the correct size.
It might sound obvious – but these seamless socks are a little bit special…
These clever socks made by SmartKnit don’t have a defined heel or “heel pocket” that you normally see on a pair of socks. Instead, they’re shaped like a tube.
Why, you might ask? Well that’s one less seam for starters!
It also allows the socks to be worn at different lenths by different sized children, making them super-versatile and long lasting!
Here are the lovely kid presenters Blake & Eva to explain how it works:
Here is the size chart you’ll need for UK and European sizings – the one shown in the video is US sizes.
Remember that sizes are approximate, and can vary a little depending on your child’s leg size, but as a general rule this is a pretty good guide!
|Ankle||Crew (Mid Calf)||Knee-High|
|Toddler to UK Infant Shoe 3/Euro 20||Small||Medium|
|UK Child Shoe 3 to 7/Euro 19-24||Small||Medium||Large|
|UK Child Shoe 7 to 11/Euro 24-30||Medium||Large||XLarge|
|UK Shoe 12 to 3/Euro 31-36||Large||XLarge||XXLarge|
|UK Shoe 4 to 7/Euro 37-40||XLarge||XLarge||XXLarge|
|UK Shoe 8 Plus/Euro 41+||XXLarge||XXLarge|
Here’s to comfy tootsies!
Any parent of a sensitive child, or a child with Sensory Processing issues or Autism will tell you that winter is the worst time for dressing and clothes!
Dressing can be a battleground for many parents, but when it’s compounded by a little one who finds seams unbearable and normal clothes itchy and uncomfortable, it reaches a whole new level of challenging.
Woolly jumpers can be itchy and winter school uniforms can scratch and chafe!
As parents, the need to keep kids warm means we want to bundle them up and put as many clothes on them as we can (and ideally shoes too, but that’s a whole other subject.)
So we’ve put together our 5 Top Tips for keeping your sensitive kids snug in the chilly weather…
When school uniforms are itchy and scratchy, kids can’t concentrate and tears and tantrums ensue.
Negotiating with schools over acceptable clothing can be tricky, and more to the point, kids may not want to look different to their friends.
Soft baselayers, seamless leggings, shorts or tee shirts worn underneath school uniform or sports kits can provide the ideal solution, for girls and boys, by forming a discreet and comfortable barrier between sensitive skin and clothing.
2. Go Undercover
We’ve all tried to cut out labels or seams that annoy us – but how many times did you just end up making a hole in the garment? Sometimes it’s just easier to stick something over the offending label to make it nice and flat and smooth.
A little while ago, we discovered the magic of Undercover Tape.
It’s a special tape that goes directly over those itchy labels or seams and keeps your kids calm and comfy!
The great news is we’ve had glowing reports back from mums and dads about this so we know it works. So when all else fails, cover that label up!
3. Sock it to Sensitivity!
We get asked for help with socks and tights more than almost anything else, especially in the winter months.
More and more kids complain about their socks, and it’s easy to think they’re just making a fuss, but the struggle with seams is real!
Seamless socks and tights can be a God-send for parents and kids alike.
To put that in perspective, we’ve had customers tell us that thanks to seamless socks they have knocked 45 minutes off their kids’ time getting ready for school!
A decent pair of seamless socks or tights can be well worth the investment. Of course, this may not work for every child, but it’s a great place to start!
4. Tame those Tootsies
Starting from the inside out, one of our best tips is actually to desensitise the skin before putting on socks or clothing.
There are lots of ways to do this from jumping up and down on the spot to desensitise feet, using textured balance pods or rollers to massage and also body brushing techniques like the Wilbarger Protocol. (We have more tips on this in our Resources section on our website).
This can be enough to calm the senses down enough to make clothing tolerable to put on and keep on all day.
5. Soft & flat seamed sensitivity clothing
The Holy Grail!
We understand how hard it can be to find soft, seamless or flat seamed clothing but it is out there. I’m sure that like us, many of you have spent hours trawling the internet for clothes your sensitive kids can tolerate, with mixed results.
Sadly, our fave manufacturer Soft Clothing is no longer in business, although we do still have a few bits left in our Clearance sale if you fancy a rummage. We are clearing the shelves ready for some new items coming through in Springtime.
The good news is that we are working hard on bringing you a whole new range of seamless clothing in the very near future so watch this space!
Do get in touch if you have a specific sensitivity issue that you’re looking for solutions to and we’ll see what we can find in our magic box of tricks!
We’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment with your hints and tips for sensitive kids (and big kids!) in the space below…