Posts tagged ‘Home Strategies’

10 Ways to Play With. . . Part 4 of 4

Many of the children we see at our clinics have difficulty with motor planning.  Motor planning is a complex skill which allows a person to generate an idea for a motor action, efficiently time and sequence the movements necessary, grade the force required, and execute the action.  Children who have a hard time with the ideation phase of motor planning may tend to play the same activities over and over or struggle to come up with multiple solutions to a problem.  Open-ended free play is a great way to stretch this ability; however, a child who truly has a motor planning deficit will likely need some guidance and encouragement along the way.   Here are some suggestions to help you look at novel ways to play with toys or items you may already have in your home.   As you’re playing, ask your child questions like “What else could this be?” and praise their efforts to think outside the box.­­­

10 Ways to Play with a Beach Ball

  1. Set up a goal to kick the ball into, or for something new, challenge your child to use a different body part, like an elbow, to knock the ball into the goal.
  2. Grab a laundry basket and play a target game.
  3. Take on a multi-step challenge. The first person picks an action, such as bouncing the ball one time.  The next person bounces the ball one time, and then adds a step, like turning around holding the ball. The game continues, adding on more and more steps.  How many can you remember?
  4. Set up an obstacle course to maneuver the ball through.
  5. Kangaroo kicks: Have your child lie down on his back and prop up his body on his elbows.  Stand a few feet away (more if you have a child who tends to use too much force) and toss the ball for him to kick with the soles of his feet back to you.
  6. Write sensory diet activities recommended by your therapist on different areas of the ball. Toss the ball back and forth a few times, then do the action written on the area facing upward.
  7. Stand up some blocks and go bowling.
  8. Play the game ”keep it up”. How many times can you tap the ball up before it falls to the ground?
  9. Team work relay. Can your child and a friend work together to get the ball across the room by holding the ball between their hips?  Behind their backs?
  10. Pool noodle hockey. Have any pool noodles that survived the summer?  Repurpose them into hockey sticks for the beach ball.beach ball
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10 Ways to Play With. . . Part 3 of 4

Many of the children we see at our clinics have difficulty with motor planning.  Motor planning is a complex skill which allows a person to generate an idea for a motor action, efficiently time and sequence the movements necessary, grade the force required, and execute the action.  Children who have a hard time with the ideation phase of motor planning may tend to play the same activities over and over or struggle to come up with multiple solutions to a problem.  Open-ended free play is a great way to stretch this ability; however, a child who truly has a motor planning deficit will likely need some guidance and encouragement along the way.   Here are some suggestions to help you look at novel ways to play with toys or items you may already have in your home.   As you’re playing, ask your child questions like “What else could this be?” and praise their efforts to think outside the box.­­­

10 Ways to Play with a Jump Rope

  1. Remember any jump rope rhymes from your childhood? If not, here’s a list .
  2. Wiggle the rope along the ground like a snake. Don’t let it bite you!
  3. Tie the rope between two chairs and play limbo.
  4. Have one person stand and slowly spin holding the rope so that it drags along the ground in a circle. The other players need to jump over the rope as it comes by.
  5. Pretend to be pirates and use the rope to tie up your captives.
  6. Pretend to be a cowboy. Learn to tie a lasso here.  Wrangle up some stuffed animals before they escape the ranch.
  7. Lay the rope on the ground in a circle and play a target game.
  8. Arrange the rope on the floor in different shapes and have the other players guess what the figure is.
  9. Stretch the rope out on the ground. Can you walk across the tightrope without falling into the canyon?
  10. Have a three legged race.2895685127_d257ab23e6_z

10 Ways to Play With. . . Part 2 of 4

Many of the children we see at our clinics have difficulty with motor planning.  Motor planning is a complex skill which allows a person to generate an idea for a motor action, efficiently time and sequence the movements necessary, grade the force required, and execute the action.  Children who have a hard time with the ideation phase of motor planning may tend to play the same activities over and over or struggle to come up with multiple solutions to a problem.  Open-ended free play is a great way to stretch this ability; however, a child who truly has a motor planning deficit will likely need some guidance and encouragement along the way.   Here are some suggestions to help you look at novel ways to play with toys or items you may already have in your home.   As you’re playing, ask your child questions like “What else could this be?” and praise their efforts to think outside the box.­­­

10 Ways to Play with Pillows

  1. Pretend to be frogs and jump lily pad to lily pad.
  2. Arrange the pillows as targets and toss crumpled up paper or balled up socks.
  3. Make a pillow path on the ground and walk on top of them, making sure you don’t fall off and step in the lava.
  4. Have a red light, green light pillow fight. Everyone has to stop when “red light” is called and swing the pillows in slow motion during a “yellow light”.
  5. Grab some couch cushions and build a pillow fort.
  6. Substitute pillows for chairs and play musical pillows.
  7. Make an obstacle course with pillows to jump over, skip around, roll across, etc.
  8. Use the pillow case for a potato sack race.
  9. Sing the “Wonder Ball” song and substitute a pillow.
  10. Have a snowball fight with crumpled newspaper. Defend yourself with a pillow shield.pillow stack

10 Ways to Play With. . . Part 1 of 4

Many of the children we see at our clinics have difficulty with motor planning.  Motor planning is a complex skill which allows a person to generate an idea for a motor action, efficiently time and sequence the movements necessary, grade the force required, and execute the action.  Children who have a hard time with the ideation phase of motor planning may tend to play the same activities over and over or struggle to come up with multiple solutions to a problem.  Open-ended free play is a great way to stretch this ability; however, a child who truly has a motor planning deficit will likely need some guidance and encouragement along the way.   Here are some suggestions to help you look at novel ways to play with toys or items you may already have in your home.   As you’re playing, ask your child questions like “What else could this be?” and praise their efforts to think outside the box.­­­

10 Ways to Play with a Blanket

  1. Make a fort by draping the blanket over a group of chairs.
  2. Create a quiet reading tent by draping a large blanket over a table.
  3. Use it like a parachute. Place small stuffed animals in the middle and have each person hold a corner and bounce the animals around.
  4. Pretend to be the king or queen with a long royal robe.
  5. Pretend to be a super hero with a cape.
  6. Play a memory game. Spread 3-5 objects on the floor and see how many your child can remember when the blanket covers them up.
  7. Go on a magic carpet ride. What do you see as you fly along?
  8. Have a tug-of-war battle.
  9. Guess the mystery object. Have your child put his hand under the blanket and without him seeing the object, place something small in his hand and ask him to guess what it is.  Cotton balls, coins, buttons, lego pieces, and paper clips are great for this activity.
  10. Go for a sled ride. Have your child sit on a blanket and gently drag him through the house.

blanket

Visual Schedules

Helpful Hints for Using Visual Schedules

Imagine you have to give a two hour presentation in front of your collegues and boss. Now imagine you’re given notice of this presentation with only 30 minutes to prepare.

How would you feel? Unprepared? Flustered? Angry? Panicked? For many children with sensory processing difficulties, changes in routine or a novel activity can be just as difficult to handle. These children often benefit from a clear visual schedule of the day’s events so they can prepare themselves for the sensory demands of the activities they are expected to complete.

Visual schedules are a great way to help your child understand the daily tasks, challenges and fun activities that the day will bring. Using picture schedules may help reinforce routines, such as getting ready for school, or assist with transitions during the day. Even children who can read can benefit from the use of pictures, as it may be faster for them to comprehend the schedule visually.

Decide how much detail your child requires. Is “Get Dressed” sufficient? Or does your child need a picture for each article of clothing to help with sequencing? Does your child have difficulty with changes in routine? You may want to add a symbol such as a star to represent a change in typical routines. Talk to your therapist for tips to best support your child.

visual schedule

Helpful Hints for When a Parent is Traveling

Helpful Hints

for

When a Parent is Traveling

Many parents today must travel as a part of their job. For children on the Autism spectrum, or for those with sensory processing difficulties this change in routine can be hard. Here are some tips to help the next time a parent is away.

  • Think about the everyday routines that this parent participates in with your child. Before the trip, be mindful of what roles that parent fills during the morning routine, after-school activities, dinner and bedtime routines.
  • Use a calendar to clearly mark the day the parent is leaving, the days they will be away and the day they will return. Or, use a “count down” activity (search online for Christmas or other holiday countdown crafts), such as moving marbles from one jar to another.
  • Hang up a map of the place(s) the parent is traveling to.
  • Use technology to your benefit. If possible, use Skype, an email or a phone call. Have the traveling parent take a picture of themselves each day on their phone and send it.
  • Prepare your child for potential travel delays. Talk about the return time (or even day) as a flexible target.
  • Help your child write down funny things that happened, or save school work they are proud of to show the parent when they get back.
  • Let your child sleep with a shirt or pillow that belongs to the parent. Familiar objects can be comforting.

Helpful Hints for Winning and Losing

Helpful Hints

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Winning and Losing Games

Did your family get any new games during the holiday season? We all like to win games but for children with regulation difficulties, losing can be especially difficult.  Here are some tips to help your child learn to lose a game more gracefully.

  • Talk about the potential of losing ahead of time. Discuss it in a matter of fact way, “Sometimes we win, sometimes the other person wins. Everyone likes to win, but we’ll be OK if we lose. Games are for fun.”
  • Be a good model. Clearly discuss how you reacted when your turn was skipped or your piece was sent back to Start. Identify how you felt disappointed or frustrated, but you took a deep breath to stay calm. Also talk about what you did not do, such as stomp your feet, hide your face or yell at the other player.
  • Praise your child for what is going well. “Thanks for telling me I made a good move. That made me feel happy. That was a friendly thing to say.”
  • Practice what to say at the end of a game, regardless of who won. For example, “Good game.” or “Thanks for playing, that was fun.”
  • Use sports statistics to talk about winning and losing. Talk about how your favorite sports teams lose some of their games, or how specific athletes handle making mistakes or disappointments during a game
  • Take a step back if you can see your child beginning to escalate during the game or as an impending loss draws near. Have your child take a deep breath or do some wall push-ups. Remind your child of the winning/losing concepts you discussed before the game. Taking a quick break may help your child gain perspective and avoid becoming dysregulated.
  • Try a “Lose to Win” sticker chart. Make a chart with 4-8 boxes. If your child appropriately handles losing a game without escalation, they can place a sticker in one of the boxes. When the chart is full, they can choose a small prize for learning to lose with grace.

playing sorry