Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bringing Hands Together to Clap

This was a fun way to teach hand clapping. I placed the Senseez vibrating cushion between a 3 year old's hands. He squeezed it hard enough to make it vibrate and could do this independently.

When I took the cushion away he signed more. But when I tried to bring his hands together to clap first, his hands fisted.

His mom says that when he gets more used to me he will clap. We have only worked together 3-4 times, so I look forward to bonding more and seeing some clapping!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Removing Shapes from Weavable Toys

Removing shapes from weaving strips is a great way to introduce children to weaving.
Many typically developing 2-3 year old children can do this. This activity also helps older children with  challenges to:
  • use hands together
  • strengthen fingers and develop dexterity
  • motor planning to move shapes in correct direction to remove them. 
  • count the shapes as they are removed
  • name colors of shapes removed
  • eye-hand coordination to insert shapes into slot
  • Shape identification 
My patent pending Weavable Toys: Basic Shapes provides boards with shapes: square, triangle, rectangle and circle. The strips woven through the boards reinforce concepts of shapes:
  • circle
  • L
  • V
  • straight line 
The mushroom shape at the ends of the circles and straight lines prevent the shapes from falling off while adding new ones.

This little girl was particularly ready to focus on this fine-motor activity after 20 minutes of trail riding sensory stimulation !!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Weight Bearing on Senseez cushion

 The Senseez company  recently provided this cushion for a give away on my Facebook page:
They kindly sent one to me as well , yeah!

I discovered that it is extremely sturdy and well made. One needs to press or squeeze with a lot of force to activate the vibrator.
This is good because it won't accidentally vibrate and wear out the battery unless being used and won't break easily. It is designed to be used as a seating cushion to motivate children to remain seated for short amounts of time as they attend to a table top activity. I think that it is very well made to do exactly that.

However, the 2-4 year old kiddos that I work with during hippotherapy were a bit too small to sit on it comfortably while on a horse. But they enjoyed, pressing down on it. This was a great way to promote weight bearing on hands. 

I helped the little guy in the green shirt to push hard enough to make it vibrate and this helped him to strengthen his shoulders, arms and hands and increase touch toleration to his palms.

The little girl in yellow was able to count the buzz sounds it made 10 times so I integrated it into a counting/sequencing task.   


After dismounting from the horse, I placed the cushion between our chests while she gave me a big hug. We both got a kick out of that sensation !

Other possible ways to use the cushion besides sitting is to :
  • push it against the wall while doing "wall pushups". The child can count or spell words while doing this
  • Put it on a chair and do donkey kicks while pressing hands down onto it.  This is great for heavy pressure stimulation to muscles and joints and bilateral coordination
  • Place it inside a tight shirt while rolling down a ramp
  • Place it behind the back while  doing sit-ups
  • The child holds it between both hands or knees, pressing together- try doing that while the child sits on a therapy ball or swing and it will work even more on postural control and core strength.
  • Use in a partner game where 2 children push an elbow or other body part against it to make a buzz. 
Note that I attached small pieces of Velcro to the heart. These can be used in fine-motor activities that involve pulling pictures or toys off that are attached with Velcro.....

I'm sure that there are many other fun ways to use this cushion, so play around and see what you come up with and share....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Cold Ring Stack

During this hot weather, I peak into the freezer at work to see what I can use. I found these frozen treats bought for the campers and borrowed them to use as ring stacks. They lasted just long enough , about 5 minutes in an activity before my volunteer returned them to the freezer.

This little girl loved it. she stood on top of the horse, squatting to pick up each ring. I held the bottom of the "stack" while she pushed the rings down. I think that she just enjoyed the novelty. I was not able to control the camera and work with her while standing at the same time, so just filmed her sitting to stack the rings.

 I saw a little boy smile for the first time when I gave him this to hold. I have only worked with him 4 times, so I am sure there will be plenty more smiles to come.