Join in with the kids and have fun!
- We commonly use beach balls in our clinic. They are “slower moving” since they are filled with air. They also leave room for error as they don’t cause injury when kids are accidentally hit with them. Children learn to catch a ball using both hands together (bilateral integration, a skill that is necessary for future tasks such as cutting, buttoning, and tying shoes). Beach balls are easier targets. The cool thing is that you can make the task easier by putting less air in the beach ball. This allows kids to grasp the plastic surface more easily. So play a game of beach volleyball or see how many times you can throw the ball up into the air and then catch it. This is fabulous for learning to rote count (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) for younger kids.
- Fill balloons 1/4 full with rice, beans, water, and sand (experiment with anything you’d like). Finish blowing up the balloon with air and you’ve got fun-filled balloons! Toss and catch back and forth to determine which is heaviest, moves fastest, etc. Finding new ways to use old objects, like balloons, can be fun.
- Pool noodles are commonly found at dollar stores. Their possibilities are endless and purchasing a few of them can add to the fun. Children can jump over them as part of an obstacle course. They can be cut in half lengthwise then cut into smaller, one-foot pieces, and taped or Velcroed to the wall. Kids can create a water maze by arranging the position of the noodles. Another use for noodles is to simulate limbo poles. Involve older siblings and friends to hold up the limbo noodles at different heights. Kids can either play limbo with them OR crawl under them in the quadruped (crawling) position. This helps to build core muscle strength which will later be used for completing school tasks seated at the desk. Try cutting them in half lengthwise to simulate balance beams for young kids. Work in bare feet to make this task easier. Any task that uses the body’s muscles for stability helps to build core muscle strength.
Hoops are super cool tools for kids of all ages. Line several hoops up and encourage kids to hop with both feet into the middle of each hoop. For older children, encourage them to hop into the first hoop with the right foot, then the second hoop with the left foot, and so on. Gross motor coordination is necessary for sports and jumping leads to hopping, then skipping, then bike riding. Take turns pretending to be the “coach” of a sports team and rearranging the hoops into different patterns.
Hula hoops also make AWESOME basketball hoops. We use them over hampers to toss bean bags and other items into the hoop to score.
- Use sidewalk chalk to write numbers and/or letters in different colors and ask kids to jump on the number, letter, etc. that’s called out. Kids can do this with colors too! To grade up (make it more difficult) ask kids to hop onto the target with one foot. Working on a vertical surface with sidewalk chalk or water-based paint with brushes is awesome for building arm and wrist muscles that help with handwriting.
- Parachute play is fun for groups of kids. Kids can go under the chute as their name is called, and they can work as a team to keep the ball on the chute as it’s raised and lowered. Encourage kids to blow bubbles on top of the parachute and gently shake the parachute to see how long it takes for the bubbles to pop. Use rhythm or songs as the parachute is raised and lowered.
Any of the tasks above can be performed alone or combined into an obstacle course.Anytime kids play together they are building social and interactive skills.
What cool spring break activities have you tried? We would love to hear from you!
Don’t forget that IEP season is coming up……for information to help YOUR child in school check out The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide book.
and now your FREEBIE………awesome upper and lowercase letters, numbers, faces, and some blank bunnies for your clinic. Enjoy and help spread the word. Sharing is caring. HAPPY EASTER! Click the words below to download.