Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vibrating pillow activities and games

My vibrating pillow has been a lot of fun today. Kids use it to exercise and while bearing weight on withers while in half seat, facing sideways and backwards.

The combination of a fast walk, feeling the vibration and my singing seem to be enough to motivate a nonverbal little girl to sign "more" after I stopped all three of these. She seldom signs without hand over hand assist, but did sign to get these going again with just a verbal cue.

This girl is very coordinated but has leg weakness. She was able to and motivated to stand on top of the horse, squat to squeeze a squeaky ball that I held in front of the handle and then stand again. My side walker and I held onto the belt loops and she did this sequence 10 times.
Other fun games with smart kids who get bored with the same old is taking turns naming animals, places and famous people while holding positions such as kneeling, quadruped or even half flag if they are really high functioning. I usually try to get them to hold less favorite positions such as long leg sitting while we count to ten or sing the alphabet song. By counting or singing this familiar song they know that the activity will end soon.

I realized today that the toy pony on a stick (the kind kids pretend to be riding) fits inside the opening on top of this large cone. One girl held super girl position (head, arms and legs extended) while prone over horse barrel and placed all the rings over the pony/cone.

In addition, I managed to get several kids to make "ice cream cones with their reins. That's very challenging to achieve.

Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L author of, The Recycling Occupational Therapist

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