Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Continual therapy

We try to incorporate a lot of therapy into the kids play in non-obtrusive ways. In fact, with pretty much everything they do I look for opportunities to tack on some therapy--my definition of therapy being structured activities to help bridge gaps or repair deficits in their knowledge or skills.

Here are some of our current "therapies":

Emily struggles with going up and down stairs and jumping. Her legs are not strong enough yet although they are amazingly stronger than when she came home. To work on her leg muscles and her jumping, we have been playing a game where she climbs onto a phone book and "jumps" off. It's not usually a jump (she usually steps off one foot at a time) but she has jumped a couple of times and I make a big deal out of it. I sit in front of her to encourage her and to catch her if she loses her balance. We also work on stepping up and down on the phone book alternating legs. I've also worked some on this with Danielle, but I usually try to keep it to one child at a time. The benefit to doing two or three at a time is we also work on taking turns. :)

All of the kids LOVE to cut. If you want to keep them busy for an hour, give them paper and scissors. :) Danielle does a great job using the scissors but struggles with being able to cut productively, so we've made a game out of me drawing lines on the paper for her to cut. First we started with straight lines which she can cut really well. Then we did zigzags which I stapled into crowns for the kids. Now we are working on circles (these are really hard for her--even big circles). Part of the problem is that she thought she was trying to save the paper on the outside of the circles so she would cut her circles apart in the process of trying to "cut out" the outside edges. Now I've given her incentive to cut out the circles. When she finishes her circles, I put a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. Then we talk about "happy" and "sad" and the corresponding faces. This is great for language and emotional development, too. :)

We drink raw milk that we get from a local farmer. Recently, I've started skimming the cream off of the top and we've started making butter. On Saturday the kids helped me with this. We all looked at the cream as it started, then passed the container (a clear plastic container) around and took turns shaking it (which was really good for some of my coordination-challenged kids!). We practiced listening for the sound of the liquid and looking inside the container to see what was happening. They loved that we had butter at the end so we had fun and a good "lesson" at the same time.


Tami said...

What great ideas! I love it. Unfortunately, I've slipped quite a bit with this. I did a better job with the older ones than I've done with Maddie. I need to get back with the program.

Bethany said...

Brilliant! What great ideas for therapy, and so much fun at the same time.

Marsha said...

If you are incorporating cutting into their therapy...what about buying brightly colored construction paper, have them cut it into strips and glue the ends together to make paper chains for your Christmas tree? Or get some plastic crafting needles and have them string popcorn and/or cranberries onto brightly colored yarn. My kids still talk about doing these types of things this time of year, and they are all teenagers now! Have a great holiday!!

Winnie said...

I clicked on your raw milk link as I've read about it and was curious about it (thought I might go get some) however at that price there is no way, is that your only source of milk or do you just buy some of that and some regular grocery store milk? We go through about 2 1/2 gallons a week and that's just cooking, two kids, and a husband - I rarely drink milk. Just wondering as that's a lot of money on milk and I can't imagine how much 4 kids and 2 adults go through.

Debbie said...

Fantastic! I want therapy, too! :-) We also drink raw milk and save a little bit of the cream to make butter. I wrote two posts about our milk and making butter before we brought our kids home...so thankful that we have local farmers who treat their cows the right way.