Elizabeth is now done with her college program until it resumes in the fall so she and I were having a nice day off together last week.  We went to lunch, did some errands and she wanted to get an ice cream which we did.  She wanted to go and sit outside with it at the small park across the street.

We were enjoying the nice spring day and talking together when an errant bubble flew by our heads, then another and another so Elizabeth turns around to find the source of the bubbles and we see a mom blowing bubbles to the delight of her baby who is sitting up in his stroller.

We watched this for a bit and Elizabeth says ” I really do love bubbles!”

This brought back some nice memories of times on the driveway when she and Michael chased down bubbles they made.

Let’s face it, bubbles are fun and when you are having fun, you can sneak in some nice work for your child.  At least that is what we tried to do for Elizabeth because any and all work for her special needs helped keep the follow-up work we needed to do for our focus.  For those who don’t know, Elizabeth has the global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder (SPD), that is affecting her life day to day.

So here are some of the ideas we did for bubble fun with a “work” benefits.

TAKE THE LID OFF-

You may not realize it but this skill can be quite challenging especially for those who have fine motor challenges.  So getting your child to practice this skill on an item you do NOT mind them opening gets them to feel the success of getting to the bubbles all the while working on a important life skill.

POUR THEM INTO A CONTAINER- 

Again, you may not think about it, but if your child has issues with eye-hand coordination or depth perception, this activity can help them practice and the most mess you will get is outside on the driveway or sidewalk anyway.  Your child will be happy to help pour and they will get some “work” in too.

USE A LONG WAND-

There are those bubble wands available that are about the length of a tennis racket.  By using these you can do some nice big motor movements….all in the name of fun.   Your child can practice reaching up and down, side to side( crossing midline!) and having arms go in circles.  Either by themselves or by playing follow the leader.  Switch hands and work the other side as well.   So much good work, but so much fun!

USE A SHORT ONE-

This one will make them use fine motor skills to get it out of the bottle, allowing them to touch the bubble mix and then they blow the bubbles themselves.  This helps them learn to deep breath, purse their lips and practice blowing.  For those with oral-motor challenges, as Elizabeth does, this was a great, fun way to work on this!

USE A REALLY LITTLE ONE-

By this I mean there are bubble blowers that help with the skill of learning to purse your lips correctly.  We used to use these and I have to say please go to our site for options there!

MAKE HAND PRINTS-

Going back to the whole touching-the-bubble-mix thing, we used to encourage Elizabeth to dip her hand into the bubble mix and press it down to make hand prints and then foot prints.  For those with sensory challenges, this can be such good work to accomplish.

USE A HOSE-

After all the bubble pouring, blowing and dipping, I would get the hose out to “wash” the driveway to make foam and more big bubbles.  Then we would “work” on jumping the big bubbles, stepping into the foam and just playing with the foam.  All good sensory and motor work but FUN!   ( always being careful about slipping)

I hope some of these sound like ones you can use.  Maybe they will just give you a new take on them even if you have been doing them all along.  In any event, summer is a great time to have fun, make memories and still work on what needs worked on!

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