Monday, March 30, 2015

T-Shirt Bracelet as Fidget Tool

One of my middle schoolers with autism loves to wind and pull on strings.  Since she doesn't put non-food items in her mouth I'm going to share this recycled fidget tool idea with her teacher and see how it works.

Keep in mind that t-shirt material stretches quite a bit over time when it is pulled on, washed, dried, pulled on, washed, dried...  For this reason I didn't plan a static closure on the bracelet; the length will change daily.

Cut 2-3" wide strips from an old t-shirt.

Tie a firm knot at one end.

Attach the knotted end to a stable object and begin braiding.

Finish braiding and tie a knot at the terminal end, then clip off the extra fabric.

Wind band around the wrist and slip the ends under the band to secure.

The knotted ends will get smaller after washing and drying.

Students will require supervision when using this fidget tool.  If they wind it too tightly around their wrist, put it around their necks or chew on the fabric then it's not the right thing for them.  Keep it at school.

Some students will be able to follow directions for making their own bracelets and there are tutorials available via Internet searching for making very attractive bracelets, adding beads...  Think fund raiser.

Be sure to monitor your student's increase in attention to educational activities, decreased anxiety or other benefits from using the bracelet as a fidget tool.  If they choose to slide it in circles around their wrist, take it off to pull apart like therapy band or just run the braid through their fingers that's appropriate use and may help them feel more alert and ready to learn.

Please send me photos of the recycled fidget tools you use with students!

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