We have a beautiful person in our lives who has worked with Elizabeth since she was in elementary school.  She was Elizabeth’s adapted PE teacher but is now our dear friend.

Her name is Liz O’Hara.

She is a beautiful heart-ed person who works so hard to benefit those children with

special needs.

She has a company called Gymsters whose focus is to bring fitness, motor skill development and a lot of fun to preschools both with typical children and those with special needs. Liz understands Dyspraxia and SPD so very well.

She has helped Elizabeth learn many gross motor skills that are challenging to her due to her Dyspraxia, such as jumping rope and riding her bike.

I am fortunate to work for her company and help teach some preschool classes. And there is one item that never fails to illicit screams of delight from the children…and it is the Elastablast.

What looks like a big rubber band, is so much more.

It is a thick rubber band, covered in a soft, fleece like material of many colors.

And the options for its uses are really endless.

I have used the Elastablast to teach the concepts of “together and apart”  as she instructs the children to step backwards to make the band bigger and forward to make it smaller.

We work on color recognition as she asks children to hold onto the band on certain colors as we walk in one direction and then the other.

I love how the children need to work together to make the band bigger or smaller.  This is such a good way to teach group play and basic concepts like direction all while expanding the imagination.

Due to her Dyspraxia, Elizabeth needed help learning how to differentiate between her left and her right hand, turning left or right when moving and raising her right or left hand.  Using the Elastablast is so helpful for this because when used in a group setting, each child can be instructed to hold the band with their right or left hand, to turn in either direction and to raise their right or left hand depending on which one is holding the band.

I love this FUNctional developmental tool because it is simply fun for the kids to use while strengthening motor skills. I can remember many classes where the kids are seated on the floor with the band near their feet and we work on reaching for the band, holding it with two hands and then raising it up, over their heads then down to their feet. This works on them following multiple step commands but makes it into a game.

I know I am talking about Elastablast’s use in a preschool setting but the one on our site can be used by as few as 3 people.  So this makes it perfect for use at home or maybe during the next OT session.

And by home, I am thinking in the yard or driveway during some pretty summer days.

I am thinking at home, in the house on a rainy day.  Maybe used with some fun music.

I hope you will take a peek at our site to read more about the band.

But take it from me, this is one exciting motor tool!

Miss Liz,  as we call Liz O’Hara,  would not steer you wrong.  She is actually one who brainstormed the idea for a special needs playground in our area called The Walnut Grove ( https://www.facebook.com/TheWalnutGroveCanfield/  ),  it is an amazing playground that benefits so many, so she is so committed to her goal of helping those with special needs.

But the whole point is that this item on our site is one that may be more fun and multi-purposeful than you can imagine.

I hope you will take a look.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti

Author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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