Weighted instruments can provide therapeutic relief to individuals who are stressed, anxious, or need to calm down. Weighted instruments such as blankets help individuals feel safe and secure in the same way that a firm hug does. Due to the sensory processing issues associated with FASD, the extra weight and pressure can soothe and realign the senses. There are many items around the home that can be turned into a weighted instrument. The instructions and examples below are for a weighted toy and a weighted blanket.

Weighted Toy

Items needed:  
Stuffed animal
Scissors/seam ripper
Essential oils (Optional)
Thread and needle


  1. Find a stuffed animal that is the right shape/size for you. This can be something you already have around home that is not used anymore, or a new inexpensive toy. 


 2. Cut a small hole in the toy and pull stuffing out. You may choose to cut where the tag is, as this place will be easier to sew up. You can remove all the stuffing or leave some remaining in the arms and legs.

3. Add rice to the stuffed animal, in lieu of the stuffing. You may need a funnel to do this. Add to your desired weight, remembering not to make it too heavy, but not too light that it won’t have an effect. Leave some extra space to help shift the animal around.


4. OPTIONAL:  add a scent to the rice after adding. For example, a few drops of essential oil. Lavender helps with sleep, citrus helps with alertness. 

5. After the toy is filled sew up the hole. This can be done with a hand-stitch, so no machine is required. 

Option: the stuffed animal can be kept at room temperature, or can even be frozen or microwaved (using caution). ***IF MICROWAVING make sure there is no metal in stuffed animal (eyes, zippers, buttons, etc.)

Repeat these instructions to create your own weighted blanket. 

No-sew Weighted Lap Pad

Items needed:  

1. Fill four small ziploc bags with rice. 


2. Use tape to connect the four bags. 

3. Cover the entire surface with tape.