After last month’s allergic episode with Dora and the aquarium gravel, I was a bit nervous about putting together a sensory tub for her. I originally had planned an orangey, Halloweeny tub, but as the time to put it out approached, I realized I was too uncomfortable with many things that I had planned to put in the tub.
Additionally, Dora has recently expressed an interest in “scary” things. It may sound weird, but I have actually encouraged this in my children. As a child, I grew up being fearful of so many things, it was ridiculous. Take for instance, after watching a “That’s Incredible” episode about people spontaneously combusting, I went around for weeks, stopping whatever I was doing and standing perfectly still whenever I felt like I was getting hot! I not only was fearful, I would become physically ill with fear. To this day, I cannot watch horror movies and don’t even like to watch trailers for such movies. I really hate the idea of my children being so fearful, partly because it effects one’s social life, but also because the fears later turned into a full-blown, generalized anxiety disorder for me.
So, while I am extremely careful about what my younger children watch (it’s not like they’re going to actually be allowed to watch anything too scary as I personally don’t want to get too scared!), it actually makes me very happy if they express in interest in “scary things” such as ghosts stories. Children like my younger self never express such an interest. It’s not something we were/are interested in at one time, which suddenly wanes when we reach some sort of developmental milestone. We’re born fearful and stay fearful and only learn to work through our fears as we get older and learn to rationalize things (i.e. it sounds silly, but one thing that I remind my children of if they do ever become scared from something, “just because you just saw a ghost/vampire/zombie/monster movie does not mean that ghosts/vampires/zombies/monsters will suddenly show up in your room the minute you turn out the light. If you’ve lived so many years without ever seeing a ghost/vampire/zombie/monster why would one suddenly show up just because you saw a movie about it?” )
Since Dora has suddenly become more bold (even becoming outgoing with other people) and is clearly interested in the concept of “scary things” I decided to go with a black, silver, white, “slightly scary” sensory tub this month. The primary “ingredient” in the tub is ghost, bat, white, clear, and silver gem mix from Michael’s. I had bought one bag at normal price previously and then, before October even started, Christmas stuff was out and the Halloween stuff was 40% off, so I didn’t mind buying more. I also added several cute, spikey-ball monsters, a few large “jeweled” rings, a silver pumpkin, a disassembled skeleton (this was pushing things for me, but Dora went with it) and some plastic “witch’s cauldrons” to use for pouring and transferring of the gems.
The tub has been well-received and has not caused an allergic reaction! Dora has spent hours pouring, scooping, tonging, and chopsticking (hey – it should be a word!) the gems. She pours them into her toy kitchen dishes and serves them as waffles and lemonade (I have no idea where this combination came from, but Mr. Mo finally convinced her to make it waffles, friend chicken, and lemonade, which he insists is his favorite meal, though I’m dubious as to whether or not he has ever eaten such a combination!)
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