Sooo many decisions to make for OT playtime :)
I bought a Staples “Easy” button this weekend so kids could hit the “That was easy!” button after completing a task. 🙂 I also bought stuff in Staples dollar section, like foam alphabet and a foam elephant puzzle. And a bizarre, long twisted eraser. And some gum since some of the kids attend better with it. And some creepy bugs. And then I'm going through old stuff, I found an old magic kit that I am pondering, plus an old road trip book for kids that I might steal some ideas from (like doing the cats cradle or whatever its called, in your hands)….and I have Animalia, and an adult coloring book for some of the more advanced kids….and some poms to use with Zoo sticks….etc etc. And a $1 Pilates ring I got at Target years ago that I use to have the kids put their entire body into and then out, somewhat like putting on/off clothes. (IE put over head, wiggle over body and down to feet, step out of it, then step back in and go bottom-top.) You can also use a tied in a circle theraband to do the same thing.
I need to take pictures of my OT stash which is accumulating daily and share more of it. Or maybe make another video – my last one about my pediatric toolbox is like…3 years old. Unfortunately I think I've spent more on OT toys lately than I've actually made in salary, haha. Most of it is from the dollar store or dollar sections, but it adds up quickly. 🙂 And then I have a lot in my old craft bins I'm grabbing. It's a little overwhelming actually. Too much of a good thing, in a way. I need to figure out just what I want for tommorrow's kids and not go crazy figuring out the rest! 🙂 One day at a time.
I also printed out a bunch of Tonya's TherapyFunZone stuff, like animal shapes and cootie catchers!! (I totally wrote cootchie by accident….that would be inappropriate).
One thing I'd love some feedback on is BEHAVIOR strategies. Like if I have a elementary school aged child who avoids cutting, drawing, writing, etc, how do I encourage them to do it? I am guessing people will say to avoid it for the most part as well and focus on underlying skills that are deficient and causing the difficulties. Or say use rewards. I just read an article on kidsatthought.com about how using reward systems is ultimately not helpful long-term. I think for a while, as the kids get used to me, since I'm new to this job, I will try to focus a little more on fun stuff so they grow to like me…then once they like me and think they're gonna have fun, I bring out the hard stuff and show them how wrong they were. 🙂 KIDDING – I'm very big on making OT fun for them. Magical. But that takes a lot of hard work. So. I'm working on it. And I can't work on it if I am blogging. So. Off to go print stuff and go through my big ol' toolbox to figure out tommorow's games!
One wise OT (Orli I think?) once told me I could use the same activity in a given day with each kid, but modify it accordingly. IE a day where the children make spiders – it could be made easy or hard depending on how much cutting, gluing, coloring, writing about it, etc….and obviously based on what the child is working on in OT. So a kindergardener and 5th grader could do it at varying levels of difficulty and be working on completely different things. (IE one child is doing it for sequencing, another for fine motor). I liked that idea. I wouldn't do it all the time, but I could see how occasionally it would work well. Especially on theme days, like near Halloween.
Notice how I said I was off to do something then wrote another whole paragraph. Not cool, Karen. Okay this time I mean it. 🙂