My First Love…I Mean Trampoline; My First Trampoline

Ever been in love with an inanimate object? No? Me neither. Just kidding. I have. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes when I look at this trampoline, I get little hearts in my eyes. This is by far the best addition to my daughter’s sensory playroom and I have never regretted the purchase, even when I have been forced to jump with her at 5:00 AM.

When your child requires a room full of sensory equipment, you have to make the most out of the space you live in. I transformed our one-car garage into an indoor playspace, open year round, rain or shine. The addition of this perfectly sized My First Trampoline was the ideal finishing touch.

Despite my extensive assembly experience, I still cringe when I read the words “assembly required.” I hired a local handyman to put this thing together and he still needed an extra set of hands to hold some things in place and get the protective netting on in the end.  Otherwise, assembly was mostly a one-person job and took about an hour and half to complete. My daughter has spent countless hours jumping on this trampoline. She loves it and it ranks right up there with coffee on my list of “must haves” now as far as parenting survival tools go – I cannot imagine life without it.

The trampoline is durable – there have been 3 kids bouncing in ours at once. It’s possible 4 could fit, but when they all start jumping around like maniacs, arms swinging, and bodies flailing, someone will get inevitably bumped into, possibly hurt, and the dramatics that follow are often worse than the injury itself. I would say it’s great for 2 and ideal for a solo sensory seeker who needs room to toss her limbs about. Add music and a few balloons and you have an afternoon of sitting on a nearby chair and watching your child with boundless energy smile and laugh while you sip your coffee and enjoy the sweet life. A happy kid equals a happy parent, right?

My First Trampoline is great for small spaces. Ours has been kept indoors and has not endured any elements of weather, but it is made for outdoor use too. We just happened to get lucky with high ceilings that eliminated the risk for head injuries. My daughter loves to jump, dance,and bounce and My First Trampoline has provided her the perfect space to enjoy doing all three safely.

Check it out:

Check out the full garage transformation on YouTube!

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First There Was Electricity, Then Rody the Inflatable Horse

There have been lots of great inventions over time that have made life better, from electricity to the automobile, but I’m not sure any rival with the amazing Rody Inflatable Horse. Any parent of a sensory seeker can appreciate the need for things to bounce on. When I found this little gem while scanning the internet for some sort of safe bouncy thing to save my sanity I clicked “add to cart” faster than my kid can lose her s*#t over not getting her way.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my little toddler was on the move and bouncing off of mattresses, couches, and anything that had a little give to it so I was desperate for something to save my furniture. Why not just get her a yoga ball? Oh, because that is a “ball” and those are meant to be thrown. Anyone else held their breath when a large inflatable ball goes sailing towards their flat screen? And of course, a ball doesn’t have feet and requires more balance than my daughter had time for when she was in the throes of the terrible twos. Rody just made more sense because it provided stability, including ears to hold onto, and because it doesn’t look like a ball so it’s not as enticing to pick up and launch at expensive things that break too easily.

When our little red Rody arrived I opened it up, pleased to find it came with a manual pump. I aired it up and checked off my arm exercise for the day as I put it in front of my daughter as quickly as I could. Needing no explanation, she saddled up and galloped all over the house. Our Rody is a seasoned traveler, having been schlepped from house to house, bounced on for miles. He has endured make-up, unnecessary bandage applications and the occasional WWF style wrestling match. Through it all, the Rody has survived my daughter’s heavy hands and hardcore playing.

Would I recommend this product? Am I drinking coffee? The answer is yes. Yes, I would. It’s recommended for ages 3 yrs and up but I totally cheated and got my daughter riding at a year and half. She is almost 4.5 now and getting a little too big for her Rody. But after over two years of bouncing, our Rody is still smiling with those same big doughy eyes.

Was I paid for this review? I wish.

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Sensory Awareness

If you would have asked me four years ago what I knew about our senses I would have answered with what I learned in elementary school: there’s five, right? Fast forward to present day as the mom of a child with sensory processing disorder and autism, and you’ll need to clear your schedule if you ask me that.

When I first started a mom blog several years ago, I didn’t intend to start raising awareness about sensory processing disorder, and I certainly had no idea that there was a designated month to raise awareness. When I started blogging, I thought my niche would fall somewhere along lines of “lesbian mom who adopted a sweet little girl.” And then, my journey took a turn. I found myself on a road I hadn’t anticipated being on, and I was clueless.

 

What’s a sensory diet? What does proprioceptive input mean? There’s fine and gross motor skills? Wait, did she say vest-i-bu-lar input? How do I even spell that? Auditory processing what?

My phone was full of notes I was taking in therapy sessions and through endless Google searches. I began writing about what was happening in our world and the things I’d learned about SPD. Suddenly, I found myself inadvertently raising awareness. Readers of my former blog would often comment that they had never heard of a sensory diet. Me neither. Some blog readers have thanked me for sharing our experiences, because something I’d written gives them pause for thought. One reader told me she wouldn’t have previously considered how the screaming kid in a store might be having a meltdown because she can hear the fluorescent lights buzzing like a freight train. I wouldn’t have either. In fact, I still struggle to wrap my mind around the complexities of the brain and our senses.

Just a few months shy of turning 4, my daughter was officially diagnosed with autism. I believe that sensory dysfunction can exist without the presence of autism, but for many – like my daughter – the two go hand-in-hand. I advocate for my daughter every day of my life. I coordinate therapies, talk to teachers, educate parents, work with doctors, coaches, and anyone else in my daughter’s life to give her the support she needs to reach her full potential. Not a day goes by that I don’t read an article or ten about autism and/or sensory processing disorder. My days are immersed in sensory awareness. Whether I am picking out clothes for my daughter to wear, cooking her dinner, or planning our weekend adventures, I am constantly thinking about how everything will affect her senses.

There is not a part of our lives that this doesn’t touch and because of that, sensory processing awareness is an everyday practice for me. So naturally, it spills out into my social media posts, my conversations with family and with random strangers who stop to chat or offer advice. I talk and write about this subject openly, because I don’t want my daughter to feel like she is bad or wrong because she isn’t neurotypical. As my daughter gets older, her differences become more apparent. Her quirks that were once easily dismissed as typical “weird toddler quirks” are starting to stand out. I now find myself pivoting between defending her and educating others with more frequency. ‘Sensory awareness’ is more of a day-to-day thing rather than a designated month in my life. Through my experiences with my daughter, I have learned that awareness brings knowledge which brings compassion and understanding. When I started Sensory Share a little under a year ago, I wanted to reach those of us who live with SPD in our day-to-day lives as well as those who knew little to nothing about this subject.

Please help me spread awareness by sharing Sensory Share with your networks this month.