hap is a series of tactile toys designed to help develop the sensitivity of children with extreme sensory issues, step by step.


Summer 2013 | 14 weeks 


Step-by-step Progression

Visual + Tactile


Each toy has different textures and shapes to give visual clues about the hardness of materials for children with extreme sensory issues.


Play meets therapy 

Push and Pull = Receive Tactile Feedback


Children can playfully and naturally get used to new textures by pushing and pulling hap. The central tactile belt is directly connected to the movement.




I conducted field observation and interviews with experts. Insights discovered during the process, shifted the concept from general push/pull toys to specific learning tools for autistic children with extreme sensory issues.


Field Observation


Expert Interview



Key Insights

Changing Tactility and Initiative

  • Changing tactility
    Children tend to change the tactility of what they are playing with

  • Initiative
    They take the initiative to change tactile stimulations of the things they are playing with

  • Step-by-step effort 
    Gradual progression of tactile stimulation is important to familiarize themselves to new textures

  • Visual clue 
    Visual clues are a powerful tool to help them understand the situation

  • No sound preferred
    Sudden sounds can be shocking for autistic children because of their sensitivity 



Design Criteria

 Touch, Progress, See, Play



Children tend to change the tactility of what they are playing with


Allow children to familiarize themselves to new textures step-by-step over time as a whole system


Have visual clues to indicate hardness so that children can be informed before touching


Give children clear links between their action and the toy’s movement


Concept Development

Creating "therapy meets play"

The concept was developed through sketches and mock-ups to develop the size, function, and form. It evolved from a simple tactile object to a series of interactive toys.


Finding Materials 


I conducted material and texture research for the belt part to find the appropriate combinations by using an existing therapy brush as a reference point.


Model Making 


The final models were done by hand. Carving smooth shapes by hand sanding required strong attention to details and surface transition. 


Benefits of hap

for children with extreme sensory issues

  • Playful therapy experience

  • Step-by-step progression over time

  • Clear visual indication to avoid surprise

  • Developmental support as a system