Archives for posts with tag: Massager

These favorite OT tools are fun and affordable! Plus, their endless use possibilities make them the perfect gift for kids of all ages and abilities.

10 ways to use sensory balls

  1. Use them as stress balls3219_2

Squish and squeeze them to feel a unique hand massage. Some of them even have additional features such as spikes or strands that multiply sensory possibilities.

> Promotes: Fine motor skills, Tactile input, Stress relief

 

  1. Play “Basketball”slomo balls

Toss them into the air to reach a target. Make it a competition and count points if you wish or let your child go their own path!

> Promotes: Gross motor skills, Concentration, Hand eye coordination

 

  1. Carnival Game

__1004527_previewBuild a simple board using cardboard or plastic cups, making openings of various sizes and scores. Ask your child to reach certain openings and make them count their own scores for an added math practice!

> Promotes: Hand eye coordination, Logic skills

 

  1. Group Playendushape balls 2

Throw a ball into the air and have playmates catch it for hours of fun.

> Promotes: Socialization, Gross motor skills, Hand eye coordination

 

  1. Group Play, Upside down

Same as above except you all lie down and pass it along with your feet!

> Promotes: Socialization, Balance

 

  1. Paint!

Use sensory balls as brushes to create an original painting activity with your child.56437_2

> Promotes: Fine motor skills, Creativity

 

  1. Decorate them

Give your child WASHABLE markers and ask them to decorate a ball as they wish, then wash it off and repeat indefinitely.

> Promotes: Fine motor skills, Creativity

 

  1. Use them as massagers

oddballsRoll sensory balls under your feet or on your back for a calming sensation!

> Promotes: Tactile input, Stress relief

 

  1. Play the equilibrist

Simply try to let a ball hold on your head, back or knee as long as possible or do this while walking along a path.

> Promotes: Balance

 

  1. Cup Crash

7809_1Build a pyramid with plastic cups and try to crash as many as possible at once!

> Promotes: Gross motor skills, Stress relief

Advertisements

SusanToday we are honored to share the very valuable advice of Susan N. Schriber Orloff, OTR/L, FAOTA! She is the author of the book Learning Re-Enabled, a guide for parents, teachers and therapists (featured by the National Education Association), as well as the CEO/Exec. Director of Children’s Special Services, LLC an occupational therapy service for children with developmental and learning delays in Atlanta, GA. She can be reached through her website or at susanorloff@childrens-services.com, on TwitterFacebook or on her blog.

When thinking of playful engaging activities for “special needs” children it is important to know that everything can be adapted to meet the needs of any child within a play environment.KnobbyQ1-edited

It is more important to think how than what. A simple game of checkers can be made easier by putting strings in the directions the player is allowed to move, pick up sticks can be arranged to follow a pattern on an underlying mat so that the game includes color and positional matching, not to mention pincer grasp. Dominoes can be color coded on their dots so that the game turns into multiple matching tasks, not just one; and so forth.__1482976_preview

Parents do not have to spend a lot of money in special needs catalogues looking for just the “right” toy or game when all games can be “right” if used creatively and with necessary adaptations.

When selecting special toys or equipment think about versatility and how many ways you can use the item. Special Needs Essentials is just that, the “essentials” so think about the BEST pieces to buy that cover a range of opportunities for multiple functions.

For example a “chewy tube” can also be an in-hand manipulation toy; neon bracelets can hanheld dogbe adapted pick-up sticks; hand held massagers can be part of a relay race game; and puppets designed for increasing hand skills can be used for imaginative play to increase social skills.

There is also the Old Fashioned concept of making a game or craft together. Before all the left over Christmas wrapping paper is gone, make a sculpture with the paper, watered down with school glue and some ModgePodge. Think about making toy storage boxes that the child will be invested in using by covering them 099with the left over wrapping paper and making it shiny with the ModgePodge. Parent and child will get a lot more out of this activity than the end product—they will be talking to each other and this is an excellent time to use and build vocabulary and social skills.

The most important thing to think about is ‘how can this activity enhance my child’s total developmental abilities’: physical (hand skills and/or gross motor), neurological (thinking, reasoning and sensory) and perceptual (seeing and processing) skills.

Your options are endless and they are most likely to be already in your home rather than a fancy (and expensive) catalogue, or in a store near-by.”

Susan N. Schriber Orloff, OTR/L, FAOTA

%d bloggers like this: