The Sensory Kids Store at Bellybum is the first retail and online store of its kind in the country. While a handful of stores have opened catering specifically to the needs of Autistic Children, The Sensory Kids Store supports the developmental needs of all kids. Every child can benefit from a healthy “sensory diet”, some just need more than others. At Bellybum, Items specific to children with “developmental differences” are not limited to children on the spectrum. The store provides for the needs of kids struggling with any type of disability, disease or delay-physical or neurological-that affects his/her ability to function in everyday life. With ease of navigation in mind, Sternweiler has simplified categories in The Sensory Kids Store to avoid clinical descriptions and terminology whenever possible, and has limited her inventory to only the best products for any given need. “Parents don’t want to wade through a warehouse of 15,000 products looking for what they need. They only need one or two. We’ve done the legwork for them.”
The store houses dozens of products organized simply and in lay-terms by sense/skill. For example, as opposed to the using the clinical term “Vestibular” the sub-category is just called “Balance.” Product categories include:
• using my senses
• learning resources
Experts say that sensory-focused toys and products like these can be great tools to help parents and kids reinforce at home and in their everyday lives what they learn in formal therapy setting. Although the items in the store were selected specifically because they can assist children with a variety of special needs, kids without sensory challenges will also enjoy the selection.
“All kids benefit from a sensory diet. Kids with developmental disabilities just need more,” Sternweiler said. “Having easy access to these items in a warm, comfortable, fun environment is a great resource for any parent, and potentially profound for kids and parents facing developmental challenges.”
The Sensory Kid™ Store has been featured on 190North Chicago, ABC News Chicago, Chicago Special Parent, Westchester Family Magazine, OnTheGo Chicago, DailyCandy, Chicago Magazine, WGN-TV, Time Out Chicago Kids and Chicago Parent.
For more information, visit www.sensorykidstore.com.