An Occupational Therapist has created Ireland's first subscription box for kids with special needs which focuses on developing and improving children's functional skills including fine and gross motor skills.
Available monthly, the subscription box is ideal for parents interested in the development and promotion of everyday skills and for kids with developmental delays or sensory issues. The box caters for children of all abilities - even those without particular needs but keen to engage in functional activities.
The OT Box is the brainchild of Aoife Costello, a practising paediatric Occupational Therapist located in Westport who was inspired to create the sensory box from meeting with parents and teachers who were reaching out to her for help and guidance on activities they could do at home or in class while children waited for both public and private therapy.
From working with children of abilities as young as three, Aoife found herself constantly writing recommendations to parents with a list of products and activities that she believed would help their children. So she developed the sensory subscription boxes to give families and teachers the right tools they need to engage children in fun motor and sensory play.
"Resources are scarce and advice or guidance is next to none. I particularly found this to be the case when I set up an online social media platform for OT sharing some tips and tricks on how to engage kids in everyday functional activities."
The boxes, costing just €50 a month, contain a variation of products that positively influence children's behaviour by expanding their attention, promoting sensory regulation and improving fine motor skills.
Each month, new tools are handpicked and come with informative instructions on the functional benefits of each of the products and a guide on how they might be used at home or in the classroom to aid a child's development.
The October box has been shipped across the country and includes a large peanut therapy ball, a sensory egg light, scooper scissors with a variation of colourful pom-poms, bouncing putty, a fidget ring, threading beads, a ring and toss game, a stretchy fidget toy and a first and then visual chart.
To date, the hands-on Occupational Therapist has sold hundreds of sensory subscription boxes and the feedback from parents has been phenomenal.
One mother who is loving the new subscription service said: "It doesn't just enhance my child's life but it also enhances mine. I love the time my child and I spend together using all of the tools, his favourite is the fidget toys. I have also seen a significant improvement in his fine motor skills. Finally, a product that really makes a difference."
While another said: "After years of searching for guidance, thank you Aoife!! Finally, some clear instructions I can follow with some great outcomes I would often spend hours researching on Dr Google to try and find ways to engage my child and to make their environment a better place, finally I have found the answer!! The OT box has improved my child's life and also my family, thank you."
The October box is out of stock but you can sign up for the November box which will is currently in production to be shipped early next month.