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Key Club is kind to kids

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On March 10th, Key Clubbers took advantage of Kindness Day and took part in an activity to benefit children with special needs. They decided to give back with crafts by getting their hands dirty and digging into large tubs of colored sand and bags of rice to create sensory toys for Galena special needs classrooms.

The idea came up when it was brought to the Key Club’s attention how expensive it is to purchase sensory toys for special needs classrooms. Sensory toys can be difficult to locate, usually only found at special education stores or online. The Galena classrooms are in need of more materials, but a limited budget prevents specially for Galena classrooms.

Normal sensory toys feature elements that stimulate a child’s senses. Unique textures and visual effects are common to sensory toys. These toys are specially designed for kids with autism, developmental delays, or other challenges. In the classroom, they are used to calm children down and help treat anxiety and hyperactivity so they can continue on learning. “Sensory toys can also be used with students having bad days and help them return to a positive state of mind,” Key Club sponsor Ms. Zink said. The Key Club elected to create focus jars, I-spy bottles, and kinetic sand.

The Key Club members had a decent turnout, with 23 members showing up to spend the afternoon making sensory toys. Focus jars were made by mixing glitter glue into bottles of water. The I-spy bottles are filled with rice and small objects to locate. The kinetic sand was colored, moldable sand that Key Club members enjoyed playing with just as much as they did making.

The Key Club members will see their actions have a direct impact as toys are being sent to different places around the district, including classes preschool to 8th grade. “It was a really cool way to get volunteer hours, and I never thought something this easy could help out kids,” Key Club Secretary Lisi Ludwig said.

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