A group of us ladies found out from our friend, Sunet about a great need for tactile quilts to be used in early intervention programs for babies and toddlers with disabilities.
The research shows that stimulating the brain is good for little ones. That makes sense for all children, but for these special little ones, the stimulation has to involve as many senses as possible and be both comfortable and uncomfortable. We like to give babies lovely soft things, but for short bursts of time, it has been found to be beneficial to lie little ones with disabilities on surfaces of varying textures. The more the better... rough, smooth, scratchy, bumpy, crinkly, bright, sparkly etc etc.
We all decided to make a few 10 1/2 inch squares and then bring them together to make a square floor quilt of 16 squares total.
This was textile craft at its best. No rules. No need to buy anything. Just create. We could use things like buttons, if we sewed them on extremely well because it is a quilt that will be used with supervision, not as a regular floor or bed rug.
Here are some of the results from the group.
|Soft and fluffy contrasting with cool and smooth by Lizette|
|Some fabrics these days are SO soft. This one with bumps is great.|
|Raised tapestry fabric hiding coloured ropes.|
|Bumpy, rough and visually challenging.|
|Bright and tickly for little hands.|
|A good variety of tactile fun I think.|
|You can see the massive crocheted flower. Very 3D!|
|A crocheted square stitched onto one block.|
|Lizette's pretty crocheted flowers.|
In my area alone, there are 3 special playgroups specialising in early intervention for little ones with special needs. They have one tactile quilt that they rotate between the groups. We are hoping to add to that number! Contact your local services and see if there is a need for this type of thing in your area and then go to town with your creativity using what you can find in that craft cupboard of yours!
Ladies who come to "The Craft Group"... feel free to make a ten and a half inch square and pass it on to me and we can try and make another whole quilt to give to the special playgroups.