I work with a pretty great lady, we call her Miss Liz.  She teaches adapted physical education at our school and she works with Elizabeth one on one as well.

She also has Gymster classes that she teaches at different preschools.  She is amazing!!

I help out by assisting/teaching some of these classes and it is through these classes that I first came across these colored circles, called Color Dots or Spot Markers

  • These Color Dots are circles that come in the colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
  • They are about 8 inches in diameter, they are flexible and they have a some grip to them so they resist sliding if you use them on a tile or wooden floor.

First off you have got to see these Dots as more than just colored circles. 

  • I know that learning colors, for a child, is a process, but the Color Dots add an element of fun helping to eliminate the stress of learning something new. Try laying the Dots down in random order and asking the child to stand on a certain color or pick up a certain color, can help them with color identification in an exciting way.
  • This learning tool can be used for counting as you step on a certain color dot. Add some music and it is quite fun.
  • Something fun for sensory seekers and others is a follow-the-leader type game, where you lay the dots down in any random pattern, with a bit of space between them.  Then you march to a color, do a stretch, turn or twist, on the color and then march to the next color.  The person then follows the leader matching his or her actions.  As leader you can encourage fine motor and/or gross skills that the child needs to work on but in a fun way. For example, try the cross body type skill of using your Right hand to touch your Left knee as you lift it.   You can plan out what you want to do on each Dot making it into a game and a new learning tool. 

 A structured therapy session is a good thing for sure but to make great gains at home, the “therapy” or “work” needs to be done often and making it exciting and enjoyable is the best way to make sure that your child wants to participate. And that is something I have learned from my 19 years in with Elizabeth who has sensory processing disorder. 

The child can learn to step with one foot only, then two and so on.  And you can use them the same way  when you are teaching jumping skills, so that eventually they can play hopscotch!

  • Something to think about is getting two sets of the Dots, so that you will have enough to use to set up patterns or the hopscotch.  Since the set has six in it and all are different colors, having a second set will allow you the number needed to be really creative.

Something that Elizabeth likes is to place a blue dot in front of her and another blue one a few feet away.  She then jumps from blue to blue.  This helped her gain gross motor skills in gym classes.  

She also likes when we place a red dot and a green dot in front of her.  She steps on the dots.  Then we put a green dot and red, opposite from the ones she is standing on. And she can tap her foot from “red dot to red dot” and “green dot to green dot.” She is doing a cross body exercise this way, and we add music which makes her super happy!

  • Once you start working with these dots, you will find many ideas for more uses.  You can even make an obstacle course with them, each dot can be a spot where your child does the gross motor skill you are working on.  Start with the simple skills and move on.  I must say that Emily and Michael loved playing with the dots with Elizabeth as she did the course. Or they were the leaders when we played “Follow the Leader”.  Once you make it fun, then the memory of it is in our children’s minds and they will be way more willing and happy to do it again.

There are a couple of uses for the dots that do not have anything to do with therapy but I wanted to share them as well.  

  • These fun Dots can be used if you have a birthday party at say a bouncy place for example. You can use the dots, placed in a straight line as their “space” to sit on, or return to throughout the party.  Also, the dots work well in a preschool setting for circle time. Each child has a spot to sit on while maintaining focus on the lesson. 
  • Last one!  I used the Dots as a marker for where Elizabeth was allowed to sit while she watched T.V. as she had a phase where she would sit THIS close to the screen.  The “Dot” was her parking space for her.  It worked beautifully.

So if you think that these ideas sound good or that you could use an addition for some Summertime fun, please take a look at the “Dots” on our website.

If you have other therapy ideas for these fun circles, please share!  We love to hear you thoughts.

I wish everyone a good week.

Michele

 

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