Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Squeezing Ball between Feet

 One of my cutie pies turns three this week and is leaving hippotherapy. She demonstrated some very nice motor planning, coordination and strength to squeeze a ball between her feet and lift her legs while I counted.  When we let go of the belt, she realized that she needed to  grasp the handle for added stability and she did great. She also enjoyed touching the ball with her feet as I moved it around. When her foot touched it I made the ball squeak.  Many of my 2 year olds do not have the motor planning skills to do this, so I was impressed !
Another client demonstrates in the video how he can pull the rings while stabilizing the bottle with the other hand. This is a great way to teach young children to use hands together and experience working with both the right and left hands to do the skilled part of the task.
The pulling gives sensory feedback and strengthens the arms and hands. He also problem-solved to switch hands before starting again and worked on counting 1,2,3 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vibrating Cone Stack

Here is a pile of today's toys!

 I mostly used the vibrating cone stack, but I decided to turn this into a 2 part activity. First the children needed to remove the rings that I cut from the top of detergent bottles. They are pretty  flexible and sometimes break but if they do break, that's OK, its easy to get more.

I asked the children to place the rings in a basket attached to the tack behind them.

The child in the photo and video is facing backwards on the horse.

 After removing the rings she reaches for a cone to stack on top of the cone that is attached to the tan door snake (these are sold to place under doors to keep out cold air).

 There is a green massager hidden inside the cone attached to the snake, so when they press downward it vibrates. This seemed like a good way to not only motivate but to build strength because they really needed to push.

I wish that I had a photo of the client  who stood on top of the horse to reach for the cones and then squatted to stack them up. She did this about 20 times which amazed me because she often refuses to stand on the horse at all. The secret is in providing exciting activities :-)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rolling Ball to make squeaks while Kneeling and more.....

I love bringing in different activities to try out. I set up a pole with a bottle attached on the trail. I filled it with a variety of textured balls and asked each child to reach for them while facing backwards on the horse. They needed to insert the balls into the pink bag hooked onto the tack behind them. The video shows my client opening and closing the pin bag's zipper as I set up the activity.

This was a fairly easy activity which all of my 2-4 year old clients could do with very little help. I designed the ring stack made out the blue swimming noodle to provide a bit more challenge than the usual ring stack - since they have to make the rings fit over the noodle's curves in order for it to go down. You can see the client working on this, although the computer won't let me rotate the photo. She loved the feel of the vibrator that I pushed into the noodle opening. Its the motor from the Squiggly Wiggly pen.  I also attached some fabric through the handle with a blue noodle doughnut shape tied to each end.  I asked them to help me tie a knot to get it out of the way- which they all did very nicely.. ..

The last activity was rolling the ball in the hands to make it squeak. I counted as the children rolled. The girl in the video is kneeling while doing this and I just turned the camera on as she reached 23 or 24. She really enjoyed doing this !!!