16 school-based therapy learning.3 It’s also been proposed that physical activity could be used not only as a break between lessons, but during the lesson itself.4 School-based therapists have an opportunity to use their knowledge of kinesthetic learning to help formulate a movement-based academic environment. This would increase physical activity, improve gross-motor skills and meet academic needs. Children must move, and children who move can learn while they are moving. Examples of Active Games One example of an active learning group game is playing catch with large dice. In a large circle, children take turns tossing a die to one another while calling out their name and color of clothing. For example, “I am tossing the dice to Jamison in the blue shirt.” This stresses eye-hand coordination, throwing, language, color recognition and turn-taking. Next, children take turns tossing the die in the center of the circle and counting the dots to determine the correct number as the instructor calls out the movement activity. For example, five jumps forward, hop six times on each foot or balance for four seconds on each foot. Another active learning group activity is alphabet movements using activity cards. Children identify the alphabet letters and then march like alligators for the letter A, crawl like bears for the letter B and crab walk for the letter C. You can purchase or make your own activity cards based on the needs of the children on your caseload. Either way, this fun activity facilitates the development of gross-motor skills while children practice bilateral coordination, strength and crossing midline. If you’re a DIY therapist, you can turn many favorite childhood games into active learning opportunities — for example, Lucky Ducks® reinforces academic skills such as matching and memory, but can easily encourage many more developmental skills. You can create an obstacle course and place the duck pond at the end of the course. Each child is given a duck, asked to identify the color or shape on the bottom of the duck and then instructed to crawl, hop, gallop, etc. as they carry their duck through the obstacle course to the pond. You can also play hide and seek with the ducks to work on visual tracking and mobility. Instruct the children to hide their eyes and place the ducks in plain sight around the room (on the floor, on a shelf, on a chair). Once the ducks are “hidden,” invite the children to open their eyes and take turns finding a duck. For additional ways to play with this game ,visit http://theinspiredtreehouse.com/lucky-ducks-game. Ideas for Older Children An idea for older children is to have them sit on the floor in a circle during a teacher-led question-and-answer session. They begin by sitting with knees bent and hands supporting them behind their body. Next, encourage them to hold a crab position, bridge or yoga boat pose while the teacher asks a question. They return to the resting position once the question is asked and in order to answer the question, they raise their foot. Some classes with older children have purchased therapy balls or ball chairs to be used instead of chairs to engage students’ core muscles. Strengthening and engaging the core increases students’ level of alertness and attention to task.5 Another idea for those a bit older is to arrange all desk chairs in the center of the room with backs of chairs to each other and seats facing out. Place the desks along the wall of the room. JANUARY 2017 | REHAB INSIDER CLIPWELL The Stepping Wolf As low as $17.95*/each THERAPY BAND CLIP Get the most from your band. Try it now! No need to tie bands! Durable This versatile Clipwell Therapy air stepper Band Clip eliminates provides the need many to tie uses! bands into loops. Works great with all brands of non-latex and latex therapy bands and even better with Stretchwell’s line of Fit-Lastic therapy bands. • Improves balance • Great for core stability exercises • Helps build ankle and calf muscle strength • Can be used for foot massage To order or receive our full catalog, Call Toll Free: 1-888-396-2430 or fax: 215-675-8042 or mail: Stretchwell, Inc. PO Box 3081 Warminster, PA 18974 To Order: CALL TOLL-FREE 1-888-396-2430 FAX: 215-675-8042 Write: Stretchwell, Inc., PO Box 3081 Warminster, PA 18974 www.stretchwell.com * When you buy 6 or more (individual pricing is $19.95 each), Shipping and handling additional, offer subject to withdrawal without notice.
REHAB INSIDER • January 2017 Vol.1 No.1
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