• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Back to Firefly Blog

DIY Weighted Sensory Fidget Lap Pad

DIY Weighted Sensory Fidget Lap Pad

As a mom to children with sensory processing disorders, I am always looking for new tools to equip my children to help them cope with the world around them.

I have children who are sensory seekers and children who are sensory avoiders.

Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to find affordable products that meet their needs.

Thankfully, I am learning to be creative, and I am finding that many tools can be created from everyday products around us.

Recently, my little girl has been having trouble sitting in church.

She squirms all over the place and takes off running laps when she gets the chance.

She enjoys being held and squeezed tight, but my husband and I aren’t always available to provide her with this input for the entire length of time she needs to sit still.

She enjoys playing with small toys and uses them to stim, but sometimes she throws them without warning.

As I was brainstorming all these issues, I decided she needs something weighted that we can attach to some of her toys with the option of switching them out.

A pillow animal seemed like the perfect thing to make into a weighted lap mat.

It is an ideal size, can be filled with quite a bit of weight, and is still compact enough to not be obnoxious.

Then, I searched for a way to attach her toys to the pillow’s back so she couldn’t throw them; for this, I found coiled keychains that worked perfectly.

Here is how to create your own weighted lap pad to which you can attach small toys/sensory fidgets:

You will need:

  • Pillow Animal
  • Scissors
  • 3-6 coil keychains with a clip on one end
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Dry beans (or other weighted filler)

What to do:

  1. Cut a small slit along a seam in a discreet location on the pillow animal’s main body and remove all the stuffing. Set the stuffing aside.
  2. Remove the rings from the coil keychains
  3. Choose how many keychains you would like to attach. Choose what locations on the top of the pillow animal you would like to attach the coils. Hand sew each keychain onto each chosen location through the last loop (on the opposite end of the clip). Use LOTS of stitches and check frequently to make sure the keychain is being firmly attached.
  4. After you have attached all the keychains you desire, pour dry beans into the hole in the pillow animal until a desired weight (not fullness) is reached. You do not have to use beans—you could also use rice, gravel, beads, etc. Once the pillow animal has reached the weight you desire (our pillow animal is around 9 pounds), place as much of the stuffing back into the pillow animal as you wish. Less stuffing will make for a floppier lap pad that molds to the child’s legs more and may fold easier. More stuffing will offer a stiffer, more cushioned lap pad.
  5. Sew the hole in the pillow animal tightly closed with stitches that are close together. You can do this by hand or with a sewing machine.
  6. Attach desired toys to the keychains on the pillow animal’s back and place the finished lap pad on child’s lap for grounding weight and comfort.

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Micah Pederson

Meet Our Blogger

I am a mom to two children biologically and many children through foster care. My husband and I have been married three years. Our foster home is a specialized home for children with medical or special needs. I taught one year of special education before deciding to stay home with our many children. One of my greatest passions and desires is to be surrounded by individuals with special needs, loving them, learning from them, and advocating for them in world that often does not understand. I want to be a window and a light to show the world how amazing people with unique abilities are and I want to be a radiator of hope, joy, and unconditional love.

View Micah’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on

Purchases on £99+

UK Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of £99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on purchases of £99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 4-month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 4 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • Any remaining balance due after the 4-month promotional period or any transactions under £99 will be charged interest at 19.9% p.a. (variable).

Purchases of £98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend £98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • In order to maintain the 0% offer, you need to keep up monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. UK residents only.

Please wait...