Monster Cheese – Most Popular OT Toy I've found :)
*Video transcript at bottom.
My cheap “Monster cheese” is my number one most consistently popular toy, hands-down, among kids under the age of 10 or so. This has been true for over three years, since I discovered it. Even my former OT kids with poor memories who run into me months later will ask about him. He’s most requested as a reward, which I love since he is also a great “work out” for our occupational therapy sessions.
He works on bilateral coordination (using both the hands), motor planning (figuring out how to maneuver the hands/fingers to get items into it and then back out), imagination/creativity, silliness (some kids are scared of monsters, but monster cheese isn’t scary!), fine motor skills, etc.
Sometimes I use it in my evaluation specifically because it is a novelty where I know the child has never encountered anything like it, for a motor planning/attention/direction-following/imagination assessment as I show them technique. It also takes a little strength which is challenging for some of our younger children with weakness.
At the end of his meal, monster cheese gets so full he has to throw up. That’s their favorite part. And he can hold a LOT inside of it, with his “hyperflex” material. So we get all our friends back!
The cheese is made by PlayVisions and it is called “Stretchy Mice and Cheese”. I originally found it on officeplayground.com as a fidget. It comes with two big mice. It’s also at TherapyShoppe.com now as a great texture/sensory fidget. But I quickly discovered it was way more fun when the cheese ate tiny objects, and somehow “monster cheese” was born. You can buy the cheese on multiple sites, and Amazon is definitely not the cheapest, but it is the most convenient. It eventually gets dirty because it picks up flotsam. Try to be kind to it. You can wash it with soap and water, and then talcum powder it after to help it not be so sticky . Mine lasted a few years before they got super dirty looking, although are still useable. I just got some nice fresh ones. I use all my tiniest toys (Safari Good Luck Minis, Zinkies, Squinkies, etc) with him. The picture shows Good Luck Minis.
or buy at TherapyShoppe to support a smaller store! https://www.therapyshoppe.com/category/P559-stretchy-mice-cheese-special-needs-calming-sensory-fidget-toy
In this video, I’m working with four year old Michael, who has now met Monster Cheese several times. He really struggled to feed it the first few times but now he has it down.
K: Okay. These people probably haven’t seen monster cheese before.
M: Hey, ninja’s going to be eaten.
K: Nooo not the ninja.
M: He got eaten. The car’s going to be eaten.
M: The car is trying to go in this spot.. the car got eaten. Now more’s stuff going to be ate. This balls are going to be ate. Hey the balls got ate.
K: Poor balls.
M: Nader [cars character] is going to be ate…soon…he going to eat all the sticks.
K: I feel like this is a not good day for most of our friends.
M:. Look at these guys….he just ate the ninja….because monster cheese is a bully.
K: Monster cheese is a bully.
M: He’s kind of eating stuff that doesn’t taste good for him, and he tries to eat stuff that’s not good for him.
K: You know monster cheese, we have to have a talk with you about nutrition.
M: No he doesn’t want to.
K: I don’t doubt that.
M: He’s trying to go right through the holes. But he eats sticks all up. He ate a stick.
K: Oh that could be painful.
M: He’s very interesting.
K: I found some cookies. Do you think he would like some cookies?
M: He will. But he can eat this cookie.
K: Can he?
K: Be careful with that stick
M: He has a stick right in his mouth.
K: Yeah. That probably hurts.
M: That doesn’t hurt for monster cheese. Because he eats every stick he likes…he pokes his whole body up.
K: That’s true, I guess that’s how he had to get holes, huh.
M: He’s trying to get more holes. Oh he’s going to eat this turtle.
K: Not my turtle. Anything but the turtle.
M: He ate his turtle.
M: He’s a rude guy.
K: He is rude.
M: He eats ….he’s going to eat the dinosaur.
K: Don’t eat my robot friend.
M: He’s going to eat his robot friend.
M: Yeah he can.
K: Well luckily I have another one, he can’t eat them both right?
M: Yes he can. He’s eating the robot.
K: Oh no. Maybe we’ll save him later. You think we’ll be able to save them later?
M: He’ll eat all the eyeballs.
K: But I need them to see.
K: How are we going to make our eyeballs if we don’t have eyeballs?
M: He’s eating all the eyeballs.
K: This is a very sad day for us, isn’t it.
M: He’s trying to eat all the guys, and now he’s just a ninja pokey.
K: A ninja pokey?
M: He’s a monster cheese pokey.
K: I wonder if the ninja will be able to help everyone else get out.
M:But the ninja’s stuck in the belly.
K: But maybe he can like kick his way out.
M: But he has to tell all the people to get out.
K: That’s true. He has to help them.
M: But he’s eating all the eyeballs so all the persons will get smooshed by eyeballs.
M: That would be funny?
K: That would be very funny. I like that idea. Although it’s a little sad too.
M: But he’s going to eat all your friends.
K: (gasps)This is going to be a rough day, I can tell.
M: He’s getting stuffed. Monster cheese is going to throw up.
K: I hope he does, because I want my friends back.
M: But he won’t throw up, forever.
K: Oh I think I have a trick we can play on him in a minute. Maybe that will help.
M: He will….(indecipherable)….this thing.
K: He looks like he has a toothpick in his mouth, like he’s just cleaning his teeth.
M: He’s just cleaning his teeth with a stick.
M: That’s funny?
*Parents gave verbal/written permission for this video to be shared.
*Youtube gave the suggestion of “Munster Cheese” as a tag AHAHAHAHAA love it.