Meet Sunny! This local mom is raising her two children in her hometown of Norwalk. She started creating sensory boxes for her son during the pandemic, and they became so popular that she’s now selling them on her Etsy shop. Find out more about Sunny, the benefits of sensory boxes and all her favorite places around town.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
We have two children—our older one will be three in April and our younger one is 7 months.
What brought you to Norwalk?
I was born in India and grew up here. My dad’s work brought us to Norwalk, decades ago. When my husband and I got married, we decided to raise our family here because we love the diversity in this area and the vicinity to NYC.
What’s your favorite local family activity?
We love the Stepping Stones museum. It’s by far one of favorite places. We also love Silverman’s Farm. Joven, my older son, loves to feed the goats.What led you to start Sensory Box and how long have you been creating them?
My son has a speech delay as well as sensory processing disorder. I was doing a lot of work with him since he was diagnosed, with the direction of his therapists. However things really got interesting when Covid hit. I didn’t want him to fall behind on his progress so I started creating activities/boxes to keep him stimulated. I started an Instagram as a visual diary and next you know an Etsy page. One thing just led to another. I really just wanted children to benefit from the simple play as my son was.Of all the ones that you make, what are your children’s favorite Sensory Boxes?
The unicorn box! So many fun colorful pieces and different textures are great for children.
What kind of benefits do they offer and what ages do you target?
Sensory boxes provide multiple benefits to children (all ages) including:
• Provides children a chance to explore and play
• Aids in fine motor skills
• Aids in speech development by labeling items in the box
• Can be used to expand learning by pairing it with a book or lessonSensory activities provide tactile learning experiences, allowing little ones to practice life skills while working on their fine motor skills and creativity. Watch your little one dig, scoop, pour, and transfer from one container to the next, squish and smash Playdough into different shapes, and explore mathematical concepts like measurements and capacity—all through PLAY.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten is you know your child best, let them lead the way and just listen.
How do you unwind when you need some “me time?”
I read! I set a goal for a year and try and read as much as I can. It helps me relax and unwind especially before bed.
Any words to live by?
This is a hard one. I would say, “It is what it is” and don’t overthink—try and simplify. Take the situation for what it’s worth and do what’s necessary. For example: there is no point in crying over “spilled milk” (this happens very often in our house, we have paint everywhere). Just clean it up and tackle the next challenge!
We spend too much time on social media, which portrays the perfect house/ family/children. Put your phone down and make real memories. Make the changes you want to see. Be the the version of yourself your children see, to them you are a super hero. Covid has taught us so much: things can change in a blink, when all the modern luxuries are taken away from us, we still have our families.
Favorite places in town to…
Have dinner: Barcelona Wine Bar—we love the tapas there!
Hidden favorite: Ambler Farm. It’s perfect for the children to run around. They have a vegetable garden and a small animal farm … and it’s free!