Thursday 22 February 2018

Why are you so creative?

I am often told "Gee, you are so creative with your children's therapy," or I am asked "Why? Just do worksheets with them, they're much easier!"

To put it simply, children learn through play. Children learn when the play or therapy experience is fun.

Play is fun. If play wasn't fun, then chances are that children would not want to actively participate in the experience.

When we do therapy at home, my mindset is the same as it is when I am creating play experiences in the early learning centre that I work at. If play experiences are not fun, then my charges will not want to participate in them.

The same goes for therapy activities. If they are not fun, I would have buckleys to none at all chances of getting my little superheroes to actively participate.

L would simply dig his heels in and flat out refuse to participate.

O would begrudgingly participate but the session would end in lots of noise and lots of tears on her end.

If therapy at home is fun, then both O and L are going to want to participate over and over again.

To keep therapy activities at home fun, I have three very simple rules.

Number One .... Think outside of the box. Like way, way outside of the box! Sit on the edge of the precipice and ponder just what you could do. Can you incorporate an element of therapy into a household chore? L loves to help to dry dishes so we use the opportunity to practice crossing his mid-line. O loves to help with the vacuuming, so that is the opportunity for her to do some heavy work activities to further develop her sense of proprioception.

Number Two .... Look at the toys and games that your children currently play with, can you incorporate them into a therapy experience? L has more toy cars than he knows what to do with, so we've turned quite a number of them into a literacy game for him. And you know what, it works. He loves "playing" with his letter cars and yet he's learning at the same time without actually realising it!

Number Three .... Whatever you do, don't tell your child that they're actually, shock horror, learning! We've made this error several times with both O and L and the result is groans of "Do I have to? Don't want to! No!" Whereas if you ask your child if they want to play a game, you may very well get a different reaction!

I could easily just use worksheets or force my little superheroes to do therapy but I honestly doubt I'd get very far! Having fun makes therapy a much more pleasant experience for everyone!

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