SAN ANTONIO – Parents, are your kids getting too much screen time and not enough play time? It could be hurting their imagination.
A box full of fuzzy, colorful, mushy and even scented materials is a good way to capture your child’s attention and launch them into a world of imagination and exploration.
Sofía Garza, mom of two boys and owner of Narwhal Sensory Boxes, started the business in November 2019. Garza curates each toy box to encourage children ages 3 and up to feel, play and learn.
“It’s filled with objects that will make the children’s senses to be stimulated,” Garza said. “So, it has different textures, different sizes, (and) different colors.”
Garza said sensory play also helps with the development of motor skills, supports language development, encourages problem-solving and helps build nerve connections in the brain.
“Our little ones learn through play,” Garza said. “Play is important for healthy brains, bodies and social connections.”
The sensory boxes also encourage independent and open-ended play.
“Everything in the box is basically just an offer to the kids to create whatever they want. You don’t have to give them instructions. You just put the box on the table, they open it and they start doing whatever their imagination, creativity or exploration tells them to do,” she said.
Customers have a variety of themed boxes to choose from, including dinosaurs, space, reef, scientists, insects, baking, ponies and more.
“Each box includes homemade Play-Doh scented with essential oils to provide the benefits of the oils into your little one’s play,” Garza said. “Play-Doh provide many benefits, such as if the child is anxious, they could get a little bit of relaxation through playing with the Play-Doh.”
Although it smells delicious and it’s nontoxic, the Play-Doh is not edible.
Networking is also a big part of Garza’s mission.
She has collaborated with moms who also run businesses, including Annie Vu, owner of Annie’s Petites Treats and with the social worker and local author, Tedi Mcvea, who published a book about germs to help her son better understand COVID-19.
“It’s important to get connected to mom-bosses in San Antonio so we can grow together as business owners, but also where we can provide some type of cool object or product to our community,” Garza said. “(It’s also an opportunity for) people to get to know all (our) businesses.”
Narwhal Sensory Boxes is making it easy for customers like parents, cool aunts and uncles and grandparents that like to spoil their little ones, to purchase online. Prices range from about $15 to $40 with shipping available to San Antonio and surrounding areas. Orders can be placed on the local business’ Facebook page or via direct message on Instagram.