autism

Let’s Bounce: My Favorite Sensory Product for Under $20

My daughter made a friend in her pre-kindergarten class last year, and his energy matches hers. That is to say: the two of them chase each other around like they’ve each had a double shot of espresso. When I say they never stop moving, that is no exaggeration. They never. stop. moving. At their playdate last weekend, I made a futile attempt to subdue them once the late evening hours rolled around with a movie and popcorn, but to no avail. They couldn’t resist the trampoline…or the gym mats… or the crash pad… or the obstacle course that is my living room.

When my daughter’s friend left our house last weekend, he went home begging his mom for a “peanut.” She assumed it was some Trader Joe’s snack I had on hand because my pantry is full of kid-approved snacks from my favorite grocer. It was not. When she text me to ask what type of “peanuts” I buy at Trader Joe’s and that her son wouldn’t stop asking for one, I explained to her what he was referring to. A bouncing peanut.

He’s not the first kid to come to my house and beg for one of his very own. My nephew now spends his evenings bouncing at his house — turns out, my daughter isn’t the only one who loves to bounce while she watches television. I keep a second bouncy peanut at my house now for when we have kids over because the peanut is not only a source of fun – it’s a source of jealousy when there aren’t enough to go around.  Sure, my house has a trampoline, a pool, a bounce house, and enough toys to fill a preschool, but it’s the “peanut” that gets the kids’ attention.

This $20 peanut (that comes with both an inflator & a spare plug) by Gaiam has stood the test of time – my daughter has been bouncing eagerly and frequently on hers for two years now. I can’t attest for lesser-priced brands other than to say they didn’t survive in a classroom. The investment of $20 has bought me some peace and quiet when my daughter bounces, and it’s bought her endless joy.  Mom-recommended. Kid-approved.

What are your fave sensory products for under $20?

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