Starfish Therapies

February 1, 2012

DIY Weighted Lap Bag


I have a feeling I’ll be posting more things from now on that the OT’s I work with come up with because they get to do make all the fun things!  Also they like to tell me about the things they make and/or do so that I can write about them.  This is a project that was started a year ago, got lost in piles along the way, and rediscovered and completed this past weekend.

Many kids do better when they get the sensory input provided by a weighted object.  Often this can look like a weighted vest or a weighted blanket.  An easy way to make your own is to buy a stuffingless toy for a dog and take the squeaker out (or a stuffed one and take the stuffing and squeaker out).  Then fill it with aquarium rocks, beans, rice, etc to provide the weight.  Sew up the end and voila you have your own sensory tool.

Weighted lap bags can provide isolated proprioceptive input for kiddos who have trouble sitting still.  You can use it on their laps when they are sitting at their desk, at the table for eating or even when they are sitting on the floor for circle time.  It can also provide input in other areas such as draped over the shoulders.  However if you have a kiddo that has challenges with posture, this is not a good recommendation for them as it can enhance their postural difficulties.  Another use is it can be used  as a transitional item for kids. It gives them some weight to hold onto when going from place to place and can help to ground them during transitions which can be challenging for some kiddos.

Since it was newly completed it was exciting to use it with some of the kiddos during therapy that benefit from the input this tool can provide.  One of the cool side benefits was that it provides great tactile input as well.  One of the kiddos sat petting the stuffed animal while it sat on his lap and he did his work.  He was able to access both the weighted/proprioceptive input as well as the tactile input he needed in order to organize himself so that he could effectively work.

It make take a little playing with to get the correct weight and flexibility for your kiddo.  The more beans, rice or rocks you add to the body, the heavier and less flexible it becomes.

I hope you have as much fun as we did creating your weighted, furry friends!



  1. I love any DIY therapy projects because I am such a cheap skate! Of course I have to chime in…every family has stuffed animals (usually too many), just grab one and undo the stitching on a seam line, remove some fluff and add in the weight you choose. Sew your critter back up and you are good to go. I like your dog toy idea because of the length but we have stuffed snakes, monkeys, etc around the house that would work. I guess my cheap tip is check your house before you buy the dog toy.

    Find a nice round stuffed animal, open up the seam, throw in a bag of beans, close it up – makes a cheap, lightweight medicine ball.

    I think I was really cut out to be an OT – I too am jealous of all their fun projects, crafts and apps.

    Comment by Your Therapy Source — February 1, 2012 @ 4:13 pm | Reply

  2. The dog toy is a great idea. I was just thinking the other day about creating something like this for my sensory seeking child and having a long stuffed toy that I can rip open and stuff full of weight will be so much easier then making one. Thanks!

    Comment by Michelle Schmidt — February 2, 2012 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  3. Love this! What a great idea! I’ve done this with socks, but a toy makes it so much more fun!

    Comment by Abby — February 2, 2012 @ 3:38 am | Reply

  4. If you use polybeads, the weight might be washable (not so if you use rice or beans!) – I have made several lap weights using fabric specific to a child’s interests such as John Deer fabric, etc…

    Comment by Rhonda — February 2, 2012 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  5. […] DIY Weighted Lap Bag […]

    Pingback by Friday share with math paper, a DIY weight lap pet, tummy time, and ipad info | Therapy Fun Zone — February 3, 2012 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

  6. Love the idea and can’t wait to try it with my students. Would love to get your comments on my collaborative (OT, SLP, ESE teacher) blog. Would like to see what fellow professionals think of what we are doing.

    Comment by jd785 — February 4, 2012 @ 3:45 am | Reply

  7. […] other teachers and educational professionals are willing to share. I was thrilled to stumble upon this post about weighted lap bags, and thought it sounded easy enough to try […]

    Pingback by hunker down | yesterday's to do list — February 6, 2012 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  8. […] 9.  DIY Weighted Lap Bag […]

    Pingback by Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012 « Starfish Therapies — December 31, 2012 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  9. I’d love to share this post on our blog over at We blog about raising special needs kids in the military and your post is awesome! I love to up cycle and be creative.

    Comment by motherofchaos3 — August 30, 2013 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

    • That would be great! Thanks so much! Just let me know if you need anything from me!

      Comment by Starfish Therapies — September 17, 2013 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  10. […] the web for a little more information on how to make these, I ran across Stacy’s at post at Starfish Therapies. Great minds think alike. She has some additional ideas on how to create one, materials to use, and […]

    Pingback by Tricare/Therapy Thursdays- DIY Weighted Lap Bag | — September 17, 2013 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  11. […] Starfish therapies tells how to make your very own (super easy and cheap).  Visit their site here. My last suggestion would be to allow them to stand as they work with you.  Think of life […]

    Pingback by Little Issues That Come Up — March 2, 2014 @ 1:09 am | Reply

  12. […] the web for a little more information on how to make these, I ran across Stacy’s at post at Starfish Therapies. Great minds think alike. She has some additional ideas on how to create one, materials to use, and […]

    Pingback by DIY Weighted Lap Bag - Chaos Organized25 — October 1, 2014 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

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