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sensory play tray blog

Lollipop Jungle and Trabasack

Our son Joe is now 7!  He got lots of new sensory toys for his birthday including a ‘Lollipop Jungle’ from TFH Special Needs Toys.

It has always been hard to find Joe toys that he can enjoy. Joe has Dravet Syndrome and although he had an ordinary development as a baby, suddenly severe epilepsy began at about 9 months old. He lost lots of skills, and is now trying to re- learn and develop new skills in feeling and grasping  objects.

Joe started to have have a portage teacher at around 2 years old and we were thrilled to see that she was able to start simple exercises with him to help him explore his surroundings again. One of the things that his portage teacher discovered was that Joe liked rough and prickly textures but didn’t like smooth toys anymore! We found that rough textures like ‘hook’ velcro tape, or ridged surfaces seemed to help him connect with things and he would hold his hands against them and explore them for much longer. With smooth untextured surfaces Joe would quickly pull his hands away.

Joe does like smooth surfaces now but he also still likes to explore prickly and textured surfaces. We are always looking for new sensory play toys  for him to explore on his trabasack. We were pleased to find a great new toy for him called a Lollipop Jungle

Joe with Lollipop Jungle sensory toy on a Trabasack

Joe with Lollipop Jungle sensory toy on a Trabasack

The Lollipop Jungle is a yellow hardwood tray base with plastic ‘lollipops’ that you can attach things to. The tray base can itself be attached to a Trabasack using velcro tape or hook tape. This allows it to be within reach of your child and the soft bean bag cushion under the Trabasack means it can rest comfortably there.

The plastic straw lollipops are various colours that add to the sensory appeal of the toy. You can use them to add other items such as cotton reels, toys, sponges, or anything that your child might like to explore.

The Lollipop Jungle can be attached to the Trabasack play tray

The Lollipop Jungle can be attached to the Trabasack play tray

Joe really enjoyed moving his fingers between the straws and finding new objects to play with. The straws have have plastic beads on top of them so that they are safe. Each bead has a safety stopper to prevent it coming off. This gives it the appearance of a lollipop!

The toy came flat packed but was very easy to assemble, and once the stalks are in place and the lollipops slotted into the board they are very difficult to remove, an important safety feature.

It comes with variety of small ‘trinkets’ to use but like us, I expect many parents with a child with special needs will have many of their own!
The toy is tough and robust and will cope with vigorous play. Any child brushing thier hands through the stalks will be rewarded by finding new objects. This will encourage expansive brushing movements and improve curious exploratory play and fine motor skills using the fingers to grasp the smaller objects.
Lollipop Jungle
Lollipop Jungle
The Lollipop Jungle has been a great sensory toy for Joe. It is available from TFH Sensory Toys. A Trabasack Curve Connect makes a very useful mount for it, a further benefit is that it can attach to any buggy with straps, meaning that the lollipop jungle can be played with in a variety of locations, not just at home.
Trabasack and Lollipop Jungle

Trabasack and Lollipop Jungle