Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Good Tactile Day

 It was a very good day for weight bearing and touching the tactile toy shown in the photo below (he usually does not like this texture). I can usually get the most resistant child to weight bear on hands while facing backwards as the horse walks uphill. The glitter wand was also a big hit since it is so visually stimulating. One little girl was willing to let go of the handle in order to play with it. Another child held it while he was kneeling and the horse was stationary. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reaching for pins on mane and color matching

I like activities that involve reaching and balance and also work on cognitive skills such as matching colors as shown in this hippotherapy video.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Removing Toys from Sand

 I always have a few planned activities up my sleeve but it was nice to do something spontaneously. A 2 year old  has been saying "leaf" and trees" and getting all excited about the vegetation. So I made an activity that involved reaching for a leaf and inserting into a basket attached to the tack. He loved it and imitated some numbers as I counted them. As planned I asked clients to remove small toys inside the shown container filled with sand. Nobody was willing to feel around inside to remove them but tolerated (with exressions that said "this is yucky") placing them in the basket. I can certainly tell who is tactile defensive while doing this activity. I recall my son (who is now 23 years) spending many happy hours with his hands shifting sand. He was the opposite extreme and loved feeling different textures. He found it relaxing and he still does, but now he whittles wood and other repetitive crafts :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Squeeze Pins into Bottle

Last week I hung these bottles on the trees and fence and asked the children to take out toy animals. This week  I attached clips and asked them to pull them off and insert inside-working on counting and speech. Most of them seemed to enjoy this...Next time I may work on color matching putting red clips in a red bottle and blue clips in a blue bottle. My 2-3 year olds are a bit two young to expect them to squeeze and attach the clips but I work with one almost 3 year old who just might be able to do that :)    

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Feeding the Puppy

This activity was a hit with the 2-3 year olds. One of the moms gave me a bag of play doh can lids figuring I would find something useful to use them for. Then I came across a packaging box with a picture of a dog on it. I adapted the box to make it a bit smaller and cut a slit where the dog's mouth was so that the play dough lids fit through.
I realize now that it would be more fun to cut plastic pieces in the shape of dog bones. This will be easy to cut out of the food container lids that come in all different colors, You will see in the video that I attached some cord for storing the "dog bones". The kids loved this so much- some did it while kneeling, standing on top of the horse and while prone over the horse's barrel-all while stationary.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Great Visual Attention

I love seeing children on the autism spectrum visually attend as they look for toys or objects. This child is looking for the bottle that he knows has a toy turtle inside. I several of different colors around the arena. 

I tried to engage him in the game of take the toy and put it in a different bottle- but he wasn't going to give up the turtle.....We still had fun and worked on following directions.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Putting toy Animals in and out of bottles on the Trail

I attached bottles to branches along the trail and had children either remove the animal from the bottle to hold and then put in the bag or put the animal back inside the bottle. This worked on eye-hand coordination and spatial relationships since they had to position the animal to fit inside the bottle. This activity was fun and distracted some of the 2 year olds who were crying a bit today. A few of them were naming the animals and several said bye bye to the toy. My long term goal is to have them pull the reins and stop when they see the bottles. A couple of kids touched the reins when I asked them to stop. The bottles are easier to see than when I placed the animals to find on the ground and I love seeing them use their hands together to insert and remove toys.