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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shapes Sewn to gloves

The seed for this idea was planted when I read about the button gloves on Your Therapy Source. These were designed to promote finger opposition motor planning skills since children can wear these and follow directions or imitate someone else touching one finger to another according to  colors.
I had an old pair of gloves around, so I cut up plastic bottles to create the 5 shown shapes ( white snowball, green triangle, blue star, yellow square and red heart and sewed them to the fingertips.
The eyes of my 2-4 year old hippotherapy clients lit up upon seeing me wear these and the first thing the gloves did was create a fun learning environment. Children reached in all different directions challenging their balance and gravitational insecurities to touch the named shapes. Some were willing to lie  supine with the head hanging down the side of the horse in order to reach the glove and others were tolerated prone on their bellies so that they looked like superman. Clients who typically avoid using both hands together followed directions to use both hands to touch 2 named shapes on the glove.  Since I didn't have to hold materials, my job was easier when wearing the gloves.
Another child stood on top of the horse as I named shapes for her to touch. She did this while squatting low, standing tall and turning around to face different directions. The gloves can be used in the same way while a child stands on a platform swing or other challenging surface.
Yesterday was our first real cold November day, so I asked the children to pull the gloves off my hands and gave them a turn wearing them. Some kids had no gloves, others placed my gloves over their mittens and followed directions to touch named body parts on themselves and the horse. High fives were extra fun.
Of course I will need to adapt some child size gloves to work on some different skills, but so fall adapted gloves are a hit. I am thinking of also turning my fingers into ring stacks.....

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