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Making Sense: The Unique Hands-On Educational Toy Created By A South Coast Mom During Lockdown

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(Stories In Sensory)
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A Ventura County mom has used the time in lockdown to create unique hands-on sensory book kits for kids.

Mom of two Taylor Coggins is reading aloud children’s book Chika Chika Boom Boom at her home in Newbury Park.

It’s one of four kids books that inspired her to create a themed hands-on experience for children – called a “sensory play book”, during the pandemic lockdown last year.

"In quarantine, when I was in the depths of staying home with two little ones and not going anywhere and not seeing anyone...I was doing a little home school co-op once a week. That's how stories in sensory was birthed," Coggins says.

With a background in education, and a passion for reading, Taylor set about designing the sensory sets around four of their favourite books.

"Anytime I can incorporate a book into learning, it builds connections and it just makes learning come alive," she says.

The first one she made was based A Very Hungry Caterpillar. The others are themed around kids favorites Chika Chika Boom Boom, Barnyard Dance and Counting On Community.

Coggins explains that the kits contain noodles, or sand, or other sensory equipment, themed to the book.

She launched her business from home last month. She hopes they’ll become an educational tool in places of learning across the region.

The youngsters playing with the unique kits are getting an opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination, and stimulate their senses.

Mom Collette Noblitt says her children Kennedy and Landon aged 6 and 2 have both found the boxes stimulating to play with.

"It's fun to have an educational toy that they both play with at the same time," enthuses Noblitt.

Jordan Richardson, Mom of son Nolan, 7 and daughter Charleigh aged 4, agrees that it's a great way to let her children explore with their imaginations.

"They are able to use their own minds to build, I don't have to direct them," says Richardson

And creator Taylor says that since Stories In Sensory launched this month, she's already working with Ventura County to help others home-schooling.

And the kids give the boxes a thumbs up, if they can take their hands out of them for long enough!

Caroline won an LA Press Club Award in 2021 for Use Of Sound. However, she started her broadcasting career in the UK, working on both radio and television for the BBC, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism. She moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and is both an American and British citizen. Caroline lives in Agoura Hills with her daughter, and joined the KCLU team in 2020.