Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pretend Play on the Horse

I saw my Wednesday kids today after being away for 3 weeks. Three kids were brand new, all cute and little. One has CP and was so tight I spent all my time with him facing sideways, prone and supine over the horse's barrel and sitting on the withers facing backwards. He was able to grasp the circingle handle. I couldn't find a hippity hop ball, but that would have helped him to open up his arms and support his trunk.
A three year old I have been working with for over a year stood on top of the horse and turned himself around. I guess we can call that a "standing around the world". It took great balance although we held his hands. He also tried the half flag (grasping handle while on knees, then extending one leg back) which was very difficult for him to coordinate. That will be great for strengthening his legs.
My last client was an adorable girl who was tired and not happy. she LOVED feeding toy bugs inside the sock I sewed inside the horse puppet. First we played off the horse, then my puppet told her he wanted to go ride- she cooperated. She also loved the pretend play of reaching in 2 point stand for the mommy animal picture, then reaching for the baby animal picture I stuck on the croup. She attached the baby to the back of the mommy picture with velcro. They are shown here. She was also able to independently pull the reins to stop in front of the next animal picture she wanted and do this sequence again.

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

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