Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Therapy Activities and Tricks

 Therapy Activities and Tricks

Water beads
Water beads are a great toy that can be used in therapy. Water beads can be used for sensory play as well as fine motor activities. Below are some different ways that I utilized water beads in therapy.
          -Putting water beads into a marble board game.
          -Putting water beads into a bowl using their hands/fingers.  
          -Playing and exploring in the water beads 
          -Putting pegs in a peg board to place the water beads on. 
          -Putting water beads onto the pegs.

Whiteboard trick
Many people are under the assumption that permanent markers and whiteboards do not mix. However, using permanent markers on the whiteboard can be a useful trick for tracing on the whiteboard. When working on UE function and handwriting on a whiteboard I would write the child’s name on the whiteboard with a permanent marker then have him/her trace over top of it with a dry erase marker. Once the dry erase marker goes over the top of the permanent marker it works to erase the permanent marker off the whiteboard. Below is a video demonstrating how this works.

Or if you need to leave something on the whiteboard and you are worried about it being erased then you can use a permanent marker to ensure it stays up for as long as you need.

Here is a youtube link showing you how it works:

When working on correct letter formation I used sandpaper letters. The idea of using sand paper letters and sensory feedback as a way to teach correct letter formation was derived from the handwriting without tears curriculum. When the kids were tracing letters I would have them either use the eraser side of a pencil, their finger or cinnamon sticks (targeting another sensory system and working on pencil grip). When making the sand paper letters I used a die cut machine replacing paper with sand paper.

Sand paper is also a great way to provide kids with feedback when they are coloring a picture. The sand paper can be placed underneath the picture providing the child with resistance and sensory feedback.

Reinforcing boundaries while coloring
Teaching kids with cognitive disabilities the concept of staying in the lines is difficult to do. A couple of methods that I found to work are putting glue on the picture boundaries then sprinkling glitter on top and gluing wiki sticks to the boundaries. Both of these methods provide the child with sensory feedback helping them to understand that they are supposed to stay within those lines. The raised line made from wiki sticks also provides a better visual line for the child.

Tennis ball woman
Feeding the tennis ball women is a fun interactive way for the children to work on bilateral integration. It also can target weak finger/hand strength, three jaw chuck, pincer grasp, problem solving skills (figuring out how to get the chips back out of the tennis ball women) and finger isolation (when getting the chips back out of the tennis ball women).

Ping Pong Ball activity
This is a simple DIY activity that works on visual discrimination tasks, and left to right sequencing. The object of the activity is to have the kids move and rotate the pinball balls so that they are matched up with the picture above it. 


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