Friday, December 12, 2014

Coil Stringing

This activity provides visual stimulation while individuals watch the rings spiral downward. They are encouraged to reach above their eye level to develop better postural control while also using both hands together to attach the rings. The coil is half of a hose that I came across, its a really nice tube that stays  coiled up up after it is pulled upward. Pulling it provides wonderful proprioceptive stimulation to muscles and joins and is just fun to feel the springiness as it moves up and down. I attached a bag of sand to the bottom of one of these to help keep the bottom of it on the floor. Then I realized that if I attached a sock to the bottom of another one, the individual could stand on it and work on balancing while reaching to take more rings. It was quite the challenge for some of them to sequence these steps and it certainly worked on body awareness and motor planning !!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vibrating Candy Cane Shaped ring Stack

I have been using candy cane ring stacks for many years with young children to develop hand skills and give sensory input. You can attach it to a motor such as the massager shown in the photo. It helps children and adults to visually attend and be more aware of their hands. Children with autism have especially loved it, although adults with developmental disabilities have also been motivated to use their hands to place rings and feel the vibration. 
 If you use pieces of swimming noodle to push down a candy cane so that it requires force, the child receives sensory stimulation to muscles and joints.
The candy cane is bright and seasonal!  Its easy to find or purchase many different types of candy canes.....
I found this one at a hippotherapy farm around the holidays. It was thrown out after holding pony edible treats. I punched holes in the bottom and wrapped string in and out of the holes and legs on the blue massager until it felt pretty secure. these massagers are commonly sold in department stores and pharmacies.  The child shown in the photo is sitting on top of a horse. When finished placing the rings she will be rewarded with a trot- a very nice example of sensory reinforcement....
 I cut the rings out of plastic bottles and lids. This activity is very difficult to use with only one hand since it is shaking so it really encourages using both hands. The first person shown in the video has very good manipulation skills but he tends to do everything with his fingertips avoiding touch to his palms. I think that he found this fun and it gave good sensory input to his palms.
The second person shown in the video is really enjoying the sensory aspects of the vibration and pushing the rings downward. He is legally blind and seemed to especially respond well to the tactile aspects. The last person shown very briefly because i had a difficult time avoiding his face while filming shows how he has difficulty motor planning how to position the ring to fit over the hook of the candy cane shape. He also has motor control challenges so this activity works on developing many skills- eye hand coordination, bilateral hand use, motor planning and attention.