Sauron: [a polished High Dark aesthetic, black leather and scaled armour, metal everywhere, furs, rich embroidery, gold, rubies, and/or the bones of enemies for accent if feeling decorative, not not a hair out of place] Sauron: …my Lord? Morgoth, butt-naked: *grabs bathrobe and adjusts crown* im good lets go
New viking hood ! With a vegvisir embroidery, the dragon head woven trim and rabbit fur ^^ I’m aware that the vegvisir is not a “viking” symbol, but i’ve made this hood also for every day (and i realy love the vegvisir .. )
i know that its good for the kinds of stim toys you have to be varied, do you have any recommendations for toys you think all stimmers should have? i tend to have a very particular idea of what i like and i only get those kinds of things [i have almost exclusively fidget toys, honestly], but i dont want to neglect whole types of toys i might really enjoy just because i didnt think i would like it looking at it online.
I’m going to answer this in two parts, because it’s an awesome question. Today, I’m going to give a general breakdown of stim toy categories and possible toys one might choose from those categories to build a varied kit. Tomorrow, I’ll take a photo of what I consider the core essentials of my own stim toy kit and talk more in depth about why I’d recommend those toys for others, especially with regards to offering different types of stims.
A great deal of this, though, will depend on one’s personal preferences with regards scent, texture, appearance and sensation. I’d start by working out what cannot work for you. For me, strong artificial or chemical scents and flashing lights are permanently on the No Stim list as both trigger headaches and flashing lights trigger partial seizures. Tackiness is a Bad Texture (as in I just won’t touch something that’s tacky) so I steer clear from that as well. You may not know yet what your dislikes or triggers are, and that’s okay, too.
Once you know what to avoid (or know you don’t know), you can then approach categories of toys. It’s worth trying a thing or two from each category to build up a collection that allows for swapping/variation, and then going deeper into each category, or not, depending on how it clicks with you.
None of these categories contain complete listings, just a few examples. These categories also don’t include the variety of larger therapeutic items used by OTs and the like but focus on more-portable stim toys. All the different types of toys featured so far on this blog can be found on the toys tag page, grouped by type. Keep in mind that many toys belong in two or more categories as well: scented slime, for example, is both a mouldable stim and a scent stim!
Mouldable: kinetic sand, slime, floam, playdough, Thinking Putty. The issues with this category are those of texture and scent: slime and floam can be sticky or oozy; everything often has a synthetic fragrance or a chemical odour. I’ll be honest: as much as I despise Autism Speaks, Spinmaster-branded Kinetic Sand is the only kinetic sand I’ve found in Australia that has a non-chemical odour. Handmade playdoughs might be best for those scent-sensitive.
Tossable:stress balls, prickle balls, bouncy balls, bean bags. These range in shape, size and firmness. Many also have plastic odours. I adore prickle balls because they give texture as well as bounce and squish.
(My rec: prickle balls, but only for people who like hard textures.)
Squishable: squishies, puffer creatures/balls, playdough, thicker slimes, balloon stress balls, grape mesh stress balls. Again, ranging in shape, size, scent and firmness. Puffer creatures often smell very strongly, but they have soft fronds great for pulling and they’re very squishable.
(My rec: squishies. Available in fast and slow rising, many with scents but some without, inexpensive if one purchases from a free-shipping listing.)
Fidgets: Tangles, chain fidgets, bead rings, bead lanyards, Klixx, snake puzzles, wooden block puzzles, fidget cubes, marble mazes. These are all basically “things you hold in your hands and manipulate”. Note that one uses some of these differently - a chain fidget is a one-hand fidget for me, but I use a Tangle Jr in both hands. I use a snake puzzle and a Tangle Jr pretty similarly, though. Fidget jewellery also fits in this category, like bead-filled tube bracelets and snake necklaces.
Plush and/or weighted: any soft toy/plushie, weighted plush, Disney Tsum Tsums, Teeny Tys, @caseydickdanger‘s Hedgehugs, my own mop-head creatures, weighted blankets and lap pads. I look for things that usually offer multiple textures, like embroidery, fur, chenille or multiple fabrics used on the one toy. It’s pretty easy to DIY weighted versions of these things.
Visual: glitter balls, flashing/light up balls, flashing puffer creatures/balls, liquid motion bubblers, glitter batons, liquid paperweights, glitter jars. Most of these require some hand movements to use, but nothing as intensive as a fidget. Note that glitter balls without lights do exist but can be tough to find.
(My rec: Glitter jars. Easy to make and fun to watch.)
Scent: plushies, bean bags, slimes and doughs, Stimtastic’s scented vial necklaces. This can be as simple as a few drops of essential oil on a handkerchief, blanket, pillow or soft toy. (Just don’t scent anything you plan to chew.) I recommend pure essential oils, but for those who like non-oil fragrances and don’t have chemical sensitivities, fragrance oils can work, too.
(My rec: any of these. I can do a post about essential oils if anyone’s interested in exploring this further.)
Sound: bean bags, rattles, pop tubes, the spinning wheels on toy cars, cronch slime, fishbowl slime, cracking squishies, crocheted stress balls, toys with noisemakers or crinkle paper. A lot of things, surprisingly!
(My rec: I really like rattling bean bags. I use soup mix to make mine, because the different-sized beans and lentils make a pleasing sound.)
Touch/texture: crocheted stress balls, Hairy Tangle, Tangle Jr Fuzzy, prickle balls, prickle fidgets, swatches of fleece, fabric stress balls, wooden toys, bead rings. This is category is for anything that is primarily about touch for the sake of touching - I quite often hold my coiled Tangle Jr Fuzzy in my hands and just run over it with my fingers. It’s not even a fidget toy for me!
Chewable/oral: necklaces, pendants, bracelets, chewables, teethers. Can be made from fabric, silicone or wood. It may take some experimentation to find out what kind of chewer you are and where you prefer to chew. You may not chew at all but prefer to suck on toys or rub them over your lips, so this category may still be useful for non-chewers.
Tomorrow, I’ll post what I consider to be the essentials for my own kit and the roles they serve within it. I think, however, looking at the kinds of toys in each category and picking a couple from any category that isn’t covered by your current kit/collection is a good place to start.
The tubeteika is a cap worn in Central Asians that varies by design in design and shape; they may be round, square, have fur, different embroidery, and so forth.
Pictured above are Uzbek tubeteikas, though in Uzbek it is also called duppi. The art of making such duppi caps is very important in Uzbekistan, going so far as to being considered an applied art. It is with these such hats that you see the characteristic square shape most. The base color is traditionally black with white embroidery with four arches that symbolize impenetrable gates that keep out enemies. The paisley/burning pepper shapes ward off the evil eye, and the almond designs represent fertility and life. We see other such forms of protection from the evil eye in talismans and ceramics, but in terms of clothing, you would be hard pressed to go to Uzbekistan and never see anyone wearing a duppi cap.