Using Putty to Help Gifted / Twice-Exceptional Kids Calm Down and Focus
There are a few hands-on educational helps which stand out strongly as huge favorites among twice-exceptional kids — putty is definitely one of those resources! My wiggly kinesthetic learner really needs things like this to keep her hands extra busy, so her brain can calm down from overdrive and actually focus.
[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary Mixed by Me - Hide Inside! Thinking Putty kit from Timberdoodle in exchange for writing and publishing this post. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is our very favorite sensory putty (and it makes a great Christmas or birthday gift)!
Timberdoodle, our favorite hands-on homeschool supplier, carries several different kinds. In addition to the standard large tins you may have seen before (check out Super Illusions Oil Slick!), Timberdoodle also stocks fun make-your-own Thinking Putty sets, including
- the holographic kit (5 mini tins),
- the glow-in-the-dark kit (5 mini tins), and
- the mix-in / hide inside kit (3 medium tins).
These sets contain all the supplies to customize your own creative putty.
Our review of Mixed by Me -Hide Inside! Thinking Putty from Timberdoodle
Today, Aveline is super excited because we’re reviewing the Mixed by Me – Hide-Inside! Thinking Putty kit. It’s full of teeny-tiny — and utterly adorable — kawaii fruit and animal mix-ins. Seriously, super cute.
And it’s not just a dump-and-done sort of project. (Hurray!) This kit contains instructions to create a different I Spy / Where’s Waldo-esque game for each custom putty. How fun — a seek-and-find activity which can be played again and again every time your learner gets out the tin.
Timberdoodle does a great job choosing resources which can be enjoyed for a long time after your child first opens the box. Mixed by Me – Hide Inside! Thinking Putty is included in both the third grade curriculum and fourth grade curriculum kits this year, but as you can see — there’s really no age cap on putty. It’s deeply satisfying, even for adults.
Wait…how is Thinking Putty educational? Why should I let kids play with Thinking Putty while they do their school work?
Some kids do better when allowed to fidget! Aveline is a sensory-seeker, so she’s drawn to every texture…and noise…and scent. Rather than acting as a distraction, input which stimulates her senses calms and relaxes her. She concentrates more readily when she’s
- wrapped in a thick fuzzy hoodie,
- breathing in a strong version of her favorite scent,
- wearing headphones,
- digging her bare toes into a sheepskin,
- sitting outside in the wind,
- or yes, even rolling back and forth on the floor while reading.
She needs sensory input.
This might seem counterintuitive, but for some kids, so much energy is going toward seeking sensory input — or trying to control the wiggles — they have almost no energy left over for actually listening, calculating, memorizing, or learning.
If you have a child who struggles to focus, you might be surprised how much better that same child will do when allowed to keep their hands busy. Fidgeting with Thinking Putty gives Aveline’s body something to do, so her mind can calm down and learn.
Let’s take a look and see what’s included in the Mixed by Me -Hide Inside! Thinking Putty kit!
When you open the colorful box, you’ll see
- three medium-sized tins of clear putty,
- mini fruit pieces,
- mini candy pieces,
- mini vegetable pieces (beyond adorable!),
- mini stars,
- mini animals,
- three blank customizable labels, and
- a 6-color set of mini colored pencils.
Aveline was utterly delighted with the little mix-ins, especially the panda and kiwi pieces.
Don’t worry! Thinking Putty is not slime.
If you’re over the slime trend, don’t worry. Thinking Putty isn’t slime. It’s a silicone-based material which stretches, snaps, twists, and bounces. You can pull it thin, or squeeze it flat. You can even mold it briefly before it sinks back down into its tin.
And mothers everywhere, rejoice: each swirl of putty has its own designated metal tin for safekeeping. No ziplocs needed! To use this kit, you don’t need glue or liquid starch, either. Everything you need is included.
Let’s create a fun seek-and-find game with the Mixed by Me Hide-Inside Thinking Putty set
To start creating, kids will open a tin of clear putty, then choose from the supplied fruit, veggie, star, candy, and animal mix-ins to create a customized themed putty. Here’s the twist — they’ll also add 6 pieces from a different category.
For example, your learner might choose to create an animal-themed putty by incorporating all the animal pieces, but hide 6 star mix-ins, too. This way every time she plays with the animal-themed putty, she’ll be kneading, twisting, pulling, and stretching to find all six hidden stars.
For her first of three custom putties, Aveline chose to create a fruit and veg putty — but then she hid 6 different sweets inside. It made me laugh to watch her digging through the cucumbers, carrots, corn, and cabbages to search for a cupcake. Super clever!
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is always within reach in our house, especially during our daily Chinese or Greek flashcard review. The specialized Mixed by Me – Hide-Inside! kit made our favorite putty even more fun.
And get this. Did you know squeezing substances like Thinking Putty can actually help your memory? “A recent study suggests that we can better form and retain memories by simply clenching our hands into fists.”1 The brain is wild!
Calm your fidgety child and increase focus with these fantastic Thinking Putty gift ideas from Timberdoodle
P.S. Did you know Thinking Putty is #10 on Timberdoodle’s Top Ten Gifts for 2022? Also on the list are
- Djeco Art Kits (see my review)
- Fischertechnik (see my review),
- Smart Games (see my review), and
- GraviTrax (see my review)!