Sensory Bean Bags
CRi (Choice. Respect. independence.)
CRi, Choice. Respect. independence. (formerly known as Community Residences, Inc.), is a community-based organization with a focused effort on providing people with developmental disabilities and/or mental health needs the resources, supports and services they need to live their lives with purpose, actively engaged in communities of their choosing. CRi’s mission fully supports a person’s ability to exercise control of their life’s choices, and to live in and contribute to communities of their choosing, as young adults through aging in place. We believe in serving individuals within the communities in which they live & supporting the individual’s choices and independence.
With COVID changing the way we all interact with the world, we’ve had to adjust our routines, implement coping mechanisms, and find new strategies to connect with our loved ones. CRi residents have had to do the same, but many don’t understand why. They can no longer go to their day-programs, see friends from other homes, or venture into the community for a fun outing. Staff have been working with residents to find ways to keep them learning and growing through games and projects that can be done at home - recreation therapy. The goal of recreation therapy is to use "recreation or other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions"  to improve quality of life.
Bean bags are a versatile sensory tool that can be used by staff to help engage residents who have been homebound during COVID. Bean bags can be a tool to help individuals work on their coping skills, communication, and understanding, all while getting active.
A great reference website - http://mamaot.com/diy-no-sew-bean-bags-plus-lots-of-fun-bean-bag-activities/
Help provide developmental tools to residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities during COVID. Bean bags can be sewn or glued depending on your skill level. The goal is to make sure the insides don’t spill out when thrown. For each game, you will make two square bean bags, two triangle bean bags, and two circle bean bags.
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Fabric - choose a fabric with solid colors or clear patterns like checkered or polka dots. You can have one side of the bean bags be a solid color and the other side a color matching pattern. Whatever cloth you pick, make sure it doesn’t have anything that would prevent the bag from sliding on a corn hole board.
- Quick drying fabric glue - like Aleene’s. Fabric glue is waterproof. Don’t use super glue which will break down with water.
- Sandwich size ziplock bag
- Duct tape
- Filler - Use a different textured filler for each shaped bean bag.
- Dried beans
- Dried lentils
- Plastic/resin pellets
- Dried corn kernels
- **Added bonus, add jingle bells to your stuffing to make noise to engage the auditory senses!**
How To Get Started
- Choose your fabric and your filler. When choosing your filler, you want something with a bit of weight to it, but not too heavy that it would hurt someone if they got hit with it. You also want a filler that’s fun to squish to give residents a tactile sensory experience.
- Add 1 ¾ cup of filler to the ziplock bag.
- Seal the ziplock bag and duct tape the top lip down and the edges. Keep the square shape, but you don’t want to the bag to be overstuffed. Squishy is the goal! The ziplock will help protect the insides from spilling out and from getting wet. The duct tape will secure the edges from breaking. The final size of the bag should measure 5"x5".
- Using chalk to mark out, and then cut, two squares of fabric 6"x6".
- The bag of filling should fit in the center of the square such that there is half an inch of fabric on each side.
- Add the fabric glue to the half inch of edge. Make sure not to add too much so it seeps out, but make sure to add enough to seal the whole edge of the fabric.
- Leave the bags to dry for a couple hours. Some glue will dry faster than that.
- Test it out! Squeeze and toss your bean bag to make sure the glue holds and nothing spills out.
- Make sure to label your drop off bag with what type of filler you used.
- Start from the beginning and make more! CRi supports over 300 individuals in our residences and over 600 in the community so make as many as you would like!
**Bonus - Try making different shapes and sizes of bean bags! Triangles, circles, or even animal shapes! If you do, don’t forget to change the amount of filler you need. **
Bean bags can be dropped off to the following addresses:
14160 Newbrook Dr, Chantilly, VA 20151
Donation boxes are located in the lobby beyond the double glass doors
Accepting donations Monday - Sunday from 10am to 2pm
Arlington/Falls Church Maintenance Office
7297A Lee Hwy, Falls Church, VA 22042
Donation boxes are located in the lobby just inside the front door
Accepting donations Monday - Sunday from 10am to 2pm
808 Moorefield Park Dr., Ste. 120, Richmond, VA 23235
Accepting donations Monday - Friday from 10am to 1pm
About CRi (Choice. Respect. independence.)
14160 Newbrook Dr, 1st Floor, Chantilly, VA 20151, US
CRi is dedicated to providing personalized resources to youth and adults with mental health needs and developmental disabilities.
CRi, Choice. Respect. independence. (formally Community Residences), is a community-based organization with a focused effort on providing people with developmental disabilities and/or mental health needs the resources, supports and services they need to live their lives with purpose, actively engaged in communities of their choosing. We believe in serving individuals within the communities in which they live & supporting the individual's choices and independence.
CRi - Choice. Respect. independence. offers individuals with disabilities supportive housing and the physical, mental and emotional services needed to facilitate independent and dignified living within the community.
We are one of the largest providers of supports to individuals with disabilities in Virginia, with services in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and in the Richmond area. In Maryland, CRi serves individuals in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and in Baltimore City.
CRi provides medical, therapeutic, educational, vocational, residential and integrative recreational services to the formation of vital relational communities through which each individual may experience greater independence, dignity, fulfillment and happiness.