WHAT follows are a few ideas to incorporate some active learning activities into trips to the park, your backyard or even your living room!! The idea is for several family members/INDIVIDUALS to get involved in actively playing, teaching and learning along with your special needs child, and to provide you the families with a few ideas that are easy to implement, fun to do, fun to teach while also serving a real practical purpose for strengthening neural connections, exercising midline, muscle conditioning, motor planning and organization. FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS INFO WITH YOUR FRIENDS, TEACHERS, AIDES, ANYONE WHO CAN USE IT!
*** Note that I recommend using natural language when you are doing these with your child - you’re not a therapist, your a parent or sibling, so have fun with it and use these ideas as a chance to spend quality bonding time while having fun and TEACHING your child! Don’t get frustrated, laugh and enjoy the process, I promise your kids CAN DO all of these things if you show the patience necessary for them to grasp the ideas! Try incorporating other learning into the games, spelling etc.. simultaneously while executing the motor plan of the event.
It’s amazing what you can do with a couple pair of heavy-duty furniture sliders (Amazon.com under $10 don’t get strap on ones, defeats the purpose)! Plus you can use them on a carpet, a floor, or a field of grass!! I’ll provide a few ideas, but once you get started be creative and make up your own games!
Simply stand up on the sliders, one per foot, and skate away!! Have family races, go backwards and sideways, help the child(ren) learn to maintain downward pressure to stay on the slider while also ambulating their legs and arms in order to move!! Mark out a course, incorporate items to skate around, etc..
Similar to skating, except now you’re using only one slider while the other foot is used to push - a lot safer than a real skateboard!! Slider bear walk/slides : a significantly more difficult task, one foot and the opposite hand are on a slider while the other foot and hand aren’t, try to race around, navigate obstacles, etc.. then switch sliders to opposite side - this is an amazing midline game!
Requires two people, each on a set of sliders, to carry various objects as a team, working together to transport the item from place to place without dropping it or losing their sliders!!
Use any bat, stick etc.., place forehead on one end and the other on the ground, then twist in circles 10-15 times, stop and race 10-20 yards without falling! Try doing the runs backwards too!!
See who can twiddle their thumbs the longest!! This is also a great replacement behavior for kids with active hands btw