Tuesday, September 18, 2012


There are many reasons people choose to get into blogging.  A lot of people find "the process" cathartic; getting your thoughts, your hopes, your fears, down on "paper" is almost like free therapy.  Many people thrive on the attention, collecting comments like esteem currency.  Some people use it hone their 'craft', writing daily to make themselves better writers.  But I think the blogging majority knows what's most important.  Free. Stuff.

I am offering you people free stuff, because I love you most of all.

First, a little background:

My daughter, Lily, is a sensory seeker.  She's hyposensitive, which essentially means that she doesn't feel things as strongly as other kids might.  She rubs her feet, she fidgets with her fingers, she grinds her teeth.  These are all ways that Lily can feel the world around her more strongly and locate "herself" within it.

Lately Lily has been putting her treasured items in a big Princess bag that we have.  It's a school-size bag that we used last year to pack changes of clothes in, and Lily has been taking pictures and toys and stuffing them in the bag, then carrying the bag around the house and unstuffing it. . . then starting over.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  But the bag is huge and slumps over itself and sometimes she has a tough time getting the things out of it that she puts into it, and other times she can't get things into it because she can't find the top, or carries it upside down and her toys dump out because it doesn't have a closure.

I wondered what she might do with a bag that was a little smaller, more hand-size than shoulder bag-size.  And that's when a friend approached me about reviewing Tactile Tote (TM) touchable bags.  I hesitated, because with Lily, you really never know what she'll latch onto and what she won't.  You might THINK it's a great fit for her, but her reaction to it is often a crapshoot.

I'm all for getting free stuff and giving it to Lily to try, but in return I promised to review the product, and you can't really review a product that your kid won't give the time of day.  And there's no rhyme nor reason to it that *I* can tell.  And although this seemed like a pretty good fit, I was worried about whether or not Lily would take a shine to it.  So when I agreed to review it, I requested purple (the purse-style girls' bags come in five different colors), because Lily likes purple stuff.

Alright. . . the suspense is probably killing you.  Did Lily like it?

She did.  Did she get a little TOO stimulated and have to be separated forcibly from it at bedtime that night?  She did.  In the future would I wait until the following morning to introduce something this?  I would.
*contemplating the fuzziness-factor*  Survey says, "IT'S SO FLUFFY!"
She liked the bag.  In her words, "It's soft!"  She carted it all over the house, stuffing pictures and miniature McDonald's Happy Meal toys into it and then pulling them back out.  The bag has a soft fluffy textured piece, a warm flannel piece, and a back that's a cool, smooth leather.  Attached to it are some material fidgets or "tots" with different textures.  The interior is lined.

Lots of choices
The "durability" test
From a parent's perspective there were several things I liked about the bags, and only a few comments or suggestions, that aren't necessarily criticisms, they just might work better for MY particular kiddo.  The bags are well constructed, Lily is pretty rough on her belongings, but there were no rips or tears, neither did I have to trail around behind her picking up stray bits of fuzz.

The top closure is an elastic band that loops around a soft button.  This is either good or bad depending on how you look at it.  Lily's fine motor skills are a little lacking, so she wasn't really able to make the top closure work.  The plus side is that once it was closed, it stayed closed, and her toys weren't constantly falling out all over the place.  The minus side was that she required a little help opening it when she wanted her treasures removed, and closing it when she wanted them replaced.

backsies (see the tots?)
The side sipper allows zipping and unzipping, listening to that sound, or feeling the sensation through your fingers. . . but there's nothing under it, i.e.,  it doesn't open into the bag. The positive of this is that Lily isn't constantly unzipping it and having all her toys spill out the side.

The color choices are vibrant and many and offered in enough patterns and shades that boys or girls can find something that will appeal to them.  For example one of the giveaway bags sent to me has brown fur on one side and basketball/baseball/football patterns on the other side, whereas the other has yellow fur on one side and flower print on the other.  You can purchase them with over the shoulder straps, or around-the-waist straps.

The tots are also available for purchase.  Two come on each bag, but you can buy as many as you like, particularly if your son/daughter fixates on them (Lily didn't).  The bags are 6" x 9", so you can fit school supplies in them. . . pencils, crayons, etc, if you had a mind to, and could certainly act as a first purse.

So where could you use the Tactile Tote?

Getting Ready for the bus
Bedtime (results may vary)
"break" time
Lily tried lots of different options. (see above)

But you don't care about that. . . what you care about is free stuff. And I'm here for you.  Take your mind off sporn flushing for a few minutes and just think about free stuff.

The thing that typically scares me away from contest or giveaways is I'm super lazy and hate having to go all over creation trying to fulfill the requirements of the giveaway.  So I'm making it very very easy.  If you feel like your sensory deprived kiddo would benefit from this, or you're looking for a great Christmas present or maybe you like fuzzy bags yourself. . . all you have to do is click this here fancy widget-ma-thingy:

Tactile Tote Giveaway!

When you win. . . and I know it's going to be YOU. . . I'll follow up with you to get name and address to ship out your Tactile Tote.


  1. What a great idea! Thank you Jim for doing a giveaway like this. I can"t wait to share it.

    1. YAY! I'm excited to give out fabulous prizes!

  2. My son, Kaiser, has some odd sensory issues. He grinds his teeth, too but I never thought of that as a sensory issue. I am going to mention this to my wife. Thanks.

    1. Sure! Lily has gone through lots of phases in her young life. . . spitting, grinding, heavy breathing, foot rubbing, finger picking, hand clapping. She benefits from a nice sensory "diet".

  3. I'm not going to enter, but I'm going to TELL people to enter, because it is awesome.

    Also, Lily photos! My favorite!

    1. I think you would benefit from a snazzy bag.

  4. My daughter is not autistic (I still wonder sometimes even though the neuropsychologist says she does not have it), she does have moderate ADHD, and she loves soft, furry items )stuffed animals, blankets, some clothing) and she has always loved bags and or boxes to put stuff in:) She is like me, she loves purple too:)

    1. Well, kids with sensory integrations issues are certainly not limited to those with an autism diagnosis! And who doesn't love furry stuff! Enter to win!

  5. Which one did you pick for yourself?

  6. Oh, I just love this blog and your candid coverage of the daily stuff! I have all boys, but if I had a girl, I'd enter!

  7. Glad to have just found your blog. My son is hypo, too (mostly). Weighted vest and all!

    1. We had mixed results with the vest. We did the huggy compression vest thing. . .

  8. These bags are super cute! Nice giveaway, Jim!

  9. Uh, yeah, not sure my kid who thinks of himself as Rocky would go around sporting one of these bags. Unless of coarse, they came in a "non-girly" print. ; ) He is a self soother via making strange noises, his blue blanket where the corners are fading away via his constant rubbing them.

    1. Hi Karen
      This is Cari from www.tactiletote.com. Just wanted to let you know that the Tactile Tote is available in an around-the-waist (fanny pack) style for boys. The designs are footballs, baseballs, camoflage, planets, frogs/turtles, and helmets. I think your son might find a "non-girly" print he likes!
      All the best,

  10. I know Kaden would love one of these. He is sooooo picky! I have bought things and he rubs them and says that it's not coarse enough or too fuzzy. Once he asked if the zippers came in silent. I was like what!!! A zipper is a zipper.....needles to say we haven't found that one special thing.