Much like a weighted blanket, the weighted lap pad is a sensory tool that offers Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) to a person’s legs as it rests on the lap when in a seated position. The weighted lap pad is often used in classrooms to provide some sensory input and help students stay seated. The weighted lap pad can also be used anywhere when adults or children need to stay sitting for an extended period. It’s wonderful for activities like:
- Car rides
- Plane rides
- While doing homework
- Sitting in the grocery cart
Our minky dot design makes this a perfect sensory blanket, as the soft minky fabric, combined with the dots and added weight makes a sensory input trifecta! This sensory combo gives your child an easy way to fulfill their fidget needs while calming them with the weight. Our goal at Harkla is to help your child live a happier, healthier life, and we both know getting them to relax and focus in class is one of the highest priorities.
We think children with special needs should have every opportunity to live happy and healthy lives. That's why Harkla is dedicated to providing families with the best products and resources for raising a special needs child. Read more of our story here.
Does This Work As A Fidget Toy In The Classroom?
Yes! As you can see in the reviews below, it's been shown to stop fidgeting for some children instantly:
"Immediately upon using the lap pad our son stopped his stimming behavior in the classroom!!! What a miracle!!!" - Loving Mother
Is This Lap Pad Washable?
Yes, it is! It is machine washable with cold water and then low heat tumble dry or hang dry. Do not use fabric softener, as the minky fabric stays soft on its own.
How Much Does The Lap Pad Weigh?
The Harkla weighted lap pad weights 5 pounds.
Can I Return The Lap Pad If It Doesn’t Work Out?
Absolutely. Harkla has a lifetime guarantee on all of their products. If you aren’t satisfied, we aren’t either! Click here to read about our return policy.
Where Do We Ship This Product?
From the Harkla Website, we only ship this product to the United States.
However, if you are looking for us in another country, we have options for purchasing!
Canada: Shop our store on Amazon Canada
United Kingdom: Shop for the Harkla Store on Amazon UK
Australia: Shop for us with our Australian Partner Starfish
If you're looking for another country, please check out our partner page to see if our products are available in your country through another retailer!
If you’d like to be informed of when we will be shipping to your country, please contact our customer service: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a weighted lap pad?
The weighted lap pad from Harkla is a smaller version of the weighted blanket. It’s a sensory tool that offers deep touch pressure (DTP) to a person’s legs as it rests on the lap when in a seated position. With its soft, minky dotted fabric, the lap pad is the perfect addition to help regulate the nervous system.
Who can benefit from the lap pad?
While everyone can benefit from a lap pad, the weighted lap pad was designed with sensory in mind - specifically children with sensory processing challenges, including those with or without a diagnosis (i.e., autism, ADHD, etc.) who struggle with self-regulation, anxiety, attention, and more.
Let’s break it down!
Let’s consider a child who struggles to remain seated and provide attention to sit-down tasks. This child fidgets constantly, may leave their seat too soon, and is easily distracted. This can occur in the classroom, during car rides, or even during mealtime. This child may benefit from using the weighted lap pad during these situations. It provides calming DTP that can help regulate the nervous system to help improve sustained attention.
Now let’s look at a child who struggles with anxiety - anxiety with car rides, anxiety during new situations, anxiety with transitions. This child may refuse to leave the house or attend social events, cry or meltdown while transitioning from one activity to the next, or attempt to run away from situations. This child may benefit from using the weighted lap pad before challenging situations, during car rides, and as a way to decompress after social events.
The weighted lap pad can also be beneficial during playtime to provide proprioceptive input, providing heavy work to the joints and muscles and thus providing a sense of calm. It can even be used during nap time or at bedtime to provide DTP, which helps facilitate sleep. Additionally, the lap pad is easy to transport to different environments such as school or a relative’s house.
Sensory Inputs Provided by The Weighted Lap Pad
The weighted lap pad specifically provides proprioceptive input - deep pressure as well as tactile input, which is also known as Deep Touch Pressure (DTP). This type of sensory input has been shown to provide a calming effect for various individuals and situations.
Proprioception is the awareness of the position and movement of the body. Sensory receptors are located on your skin, joints, and muscles. When we move, these sensory receptors send signals to our brain, telling it about the movement's effort, force, and heaviness. Then our body is able to provide an appropriate response.
When we think about proprioceptive movement, we can also include heavy work - any movement that works the muscles and deep pressure - any input that provides pressure to our body, and vibration. Proprioceptive input is typically calming to the nervous system.
Individuals are usually not over-responsive to proprioception, meaning they don't have over-reactions to this type of sensory input. We do, however, see individuals who are under-responsive or sensory craving, meaning they want more heavy work, crashing, hugs, etc. These individuals typically respond well to the input that a weighted blanket provides.
The weighted lap pad provides proprioceptive input as it lays on your legs or upper body. You can lay it over just your feet or legs, up across your torso, or over your chest and arms - whatever feels good! You can also fold it to provide more weight, or roll it up and lay in next to your body. There are a lot of ways to fold and manipulate the weighted lap pad to fit your needs.
Tips For Introducing The Weighted Lap Pad
The first thing we need to do when introducing something new is have empathy for the child who is resistant. Empathy allows us to look deeper, use our sensory goggles, and try to understand WHY the child is resisting.
If your child is resistant to using the weighted lap pad, try these tips to engage them:
- Talk about what the lap pad is used for. Use positive verbiage. For example, “This can help your body feel calm.”
- Start small. Allow your child to explore the lap pad before using it. Take your time. Talk about how the material feels. Talk about how heavy it is (or isn’t).
- Try using it when your child is happy and calm during the day. “Hey, let’s try your lap pad/blanket for 5 minutes while you’re playing!” This provides a positive association. Let them control when they want to stop using it for the moment.
- Use the lap pad during play activities. Use it as a sled. Roll up like a burrito. Make it fun!
Tips for Incorporating the Weighted Lap Pad into Your Child’s Routine
Once your child is comfortable playing with and using the lap pad, you can begin to incorporate it into their day and evening as needed - to help with anxiety, focus and attention, sleep, and overstimulation.
Using the lap pad at home:
- During the bedtime routine
- During the first 30-60 minutes in bed
- Intermittently throughout the night
- During a quiet break during the day
- While reading/watching TV
- During sit-down focus tasks at the table or laying on the floor
- While riding in the car
- During a break after school
Using the lap pad at school:
- While seated during class time
- During a break, while reading or studying
- On the bus
The goal is to provide just the right amount of calming input from the weighted lap pad to help your child’s body feel cool, calm, and collected.
As your child experiences success using the lap pad, you can begin trialing shorter periods of using it. Keep an eye on your child, talk with them to see how they feel. If they don’t communicate with words, observe their body language and document everything!
Final Thoughts On the Harkla Weighted Lap Blanket
The weighted lap pad can be a great addition to your child’s routine. There are so many ways to utilize the lap pad to provide your child with a calm, organized sensory system in all environments.
Just remember, it’s not a magic fix or a quick fix to solving behavior and sensory challenges! It is a tool that can be used in coordination with other tools to help your child experience a happy life!
For more strategies and information, listen to All Things Sensory by Harkla podcast episode #68: Tips and Tricks for Using Weighted Products Efficiently.
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