Everyone is headed back to school, but summer colors are still out in the forest.
Here is a short mindfulness activity that can be done during any transition. The goal of this activity is to observe and notice things around you that are the colors of the rainbow, in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). When I do this on my own walks, I repeat as many times as the walk allows. With children three times through the rainbow without repeating objects is a good start, and can be expanded or shortened depending on age and diagnosis/attention span.
These pictures are from a rainbow walk in the woods, but this can be done in hallways, the car, or walking to school.
Today with 4 middle school students and 30 minutes we were able to successfully complete a second round of a handwriting heavy escape room- this time with a Zombie theme. If you are interested in a free detailed tutorial to create your own OT escape room, please see our resources page.
Easy activity to develop fine motor dexterity and use up your piles of silly bands. Put some silly bands in a clean plastic jar. Sit in a circle with the children you want to participate. Have the first child unscrew the lid of the jar, reach in and get a band, loop it around the outside of the jar, screw the lid back on, and then pass it to the next person in the circle.
Make an Ocean Bottle (blue) or a Lava Bottle (red)! Pick an empty bottle (we used the baby oil bottle because it has a kid resistant lid, but any bottle will do) and fill it halfway with baby oil. Next, you will fill it close to the top with water. We made the kids do this part with an eye dropper to work on their pincer grasp. When they started to complain we gave them a “boost” with a turkey baster. When they got enough water in their bottle, they were allowed to pick red/yellow food coloring for a “lava” bottle or blue/green food coloring for an “ocean” bottle. The adults put the food coloring in or heavily supervised the kiddos putting it in. Then you put the lid on, or hot glue it on if it is not a child resistant lid, shake it up, and enjoy!
Important note: Baby oil is VERY DANGEROUS and OFTEN DEADLY when inhaled or ingested. Please supervise children when working around baby oil. The adults handled all of the baby oil and insured that the lids were closed and sealed, and that the kids understood that they were not to open their bottles.
Brain Break List
Spin x 3
20 Jumping Jacks
Follow the Leader
Repeat after me song
10 Ball explosions
Sign Language ABC’s
Shake your Blues Away
Hop on one foot
Over, Under, around and Through
Jumps x 10
Shake your body Song
Jog in place
Stop Drop and Roll
Play air guitar
Knee Lifts x 10
March in Place
Yoga Do Nothing Doll
A homemade chart for helping children self-regulate, based off of the excellent Zones of Regulation and Alert Program.
* The child this chart was done for a young child who mainly has problems with a “high engine”. You could include a ’ ___ makes my engine higher’ section for a child with different needs, or "tools to change my zone" with older children.
Cross posted from www.joeys.foundation/blog
When starting to work with any child, I want to build rapport, trust, and create a working relationship. The Greenspan Floortime Approach™, based on the work of Dr Stanley Greenspan, encourages parents and therapists to meets a child where he or she is at and build on innate strengths and abilities. We do this by creating a warm relationship and engaging in back and forth interactions. The adult expands on the interactions to include as many senses, motor skills, and emotions as makes sense in the play context. The Greenspan website states “As you do all this, while staying within his focus, you are helping him practice basic thinking skills: engagement, interaction, symbolic thinking and logical thinking. To master these skills requires using all these senses, emotions, and motor skills”
Joey and I built the foundations of our relationship around a modern remake of a vintage floppy eared “Little Snoopy” dog toy. When you pull on his rope, he comes rolling fast to your side on his wheels. Joey showed some initial interest in the toy and using high affect, interesting sounds, and funny songs we built further interest and motivation with the toy. With this back and forth engagement I was able to observe how Joey was mobile (mostly by rolling to his desired place and/or object). After observing his base level of mobility, I felt a combination of NDT (Neurodevelopmental Treatment) and Floortime would be the appropriate approach for the strongest gains. We will address more of what NDT entails next week.
If you are looking to use a Floortime approach some engagement game ideas provided by our friend Lindsey Schucker, M.A., CCC-SLP include:
Remember that the purpose of these games is to increase your child’s ability to sustain pleasurable interactions with you. If the game is no longer pleasurable for your child, decrease the challenge, take a break, or transition into a new game. Be aware of your child’s preferences regarding touch. Do not engage in games that require you to tickle or grab them if they don’t like it. Finally, remember that you are acting as a play partner – avoid being directive (unless necessary to maintain safety).
Ms Amy has 10 years of experience as an OT and believes in educating the community to empower parents and teachers to recognize the difference between typical and atypical development and sharing creative ideas to facilitate age appropriate skills. She wants to be a resource for children and families of all abilities.