Going on week three for the ‘themed activities.’ Here’s a quick recap, followed by some video of Claire herself in the midst of the action.
We went with a St. Patrick’s Day theme for week one. It started off a bit shaky. I wasn’t sure if she was really into this… especially when I told her ‘no electronics’ and we were going to do some other work. Slowly though, she warmed up to this idea. And just as she was warming up to everything, I ended up getting sick, which put things on hold for a little bit. Claire’s physical therapist, Amanda, helped remind me though that it was okay if the “theme” lingered on for more than one week. Thank you, Amanda!! You are very right — life gets in the way (but hearing this also made me relax a bit when we approached the second week and I did not have anything new planned.) Setting the expectations of having a new theme each week is great in perfect land. But we don’t live in perfect land, and as I type this, there’s a sink full of dirty dishes, and my goodness, the laundry is overflowing, along with emails and phone calls unanswered, piles of stuff to put away in each room, etc. But today, Claire and I had a great day, I made a great dinner (why great? Everyone loved it… I’m considering this a win, as it’s not often this happens) and I had some wonderful quality time with the boys when they got home from school. In perfect land, I can wear all of the necessary hats in a given day and wear them well. In Reilly reality land, if it takes me a couple weeks (instead of one week) to accomplish a “themed activity” or any activity or project for that matter, I’ve learned to be okay with this, as there is only so much time in a day.
So back to the themes…. we stuck with the St. Patrick’s Day theme for two weeks. This week, we are focusing on Easter. Here’s a video (and some pictures) of what we’ve done so far. It may be tough to see as you look in from the outside, but below are some examples of what (and why) I chose these activities.
The Easter Egg hunt, and the other activities accomplished the following:
1. Physical Therapy – Claire worked on her motor planning and walking skills. She often knows where she wants to go, but telling her brain how to get there and actually doing it is challenging for her.
2. Each Easter Egg was filled with cheerios because I wanted to incorporate part of her breakfast. We filled up six eggs, and we got that number from a “Spot Easter Egg Hunt” book we decided to model. I added an extra egg filled with jelly beans though. Jelly beans for breakfast too? Why not. Added silliness is a bonus.
3. Occupational therapy – She used her ‘fanny pack’ to help gather the eggs since she cannot hold a basket. We then practiced hand over hand so she could put each egg in her pack. Later in the video, you’ll see her practicing her OT by attempting to feed herself cheerios. This is often times hit or miss… but practice is important so she doesn’t lose this skill moreso than she already has. Finally – we put Easter/Spring objects into her sensory bin, and we played with that.
4. Music – We incorporated a funny bunny song, and she loved this.
5. Math – We counted the eggs, and sorted the cheerios from the jelly beans.
6. Colors – We described each color… followed by her watching a Baby Einstein video on colors.
7. Pretend play – She dressed up as a bunny. We also pretended she was Spot, gathering his eggs.
8. Art – She colored an Easter Egg, and additional Spring coloring book pages, and decorated each one with Spring stickers. I helped her by doing this activity hand over hand (OT), and we listened to a few more Easter songs at the same time. We “puuuushed” the stickers onto the pages, using her left hand, since she’s lost ALL movement in her left hand – any attempt to try and get this back is worth the practice.
9. Speech – I’ve recently learned the Boardmaker software program (I love it!), and therefore was able to customize and print out a “play page” for her. (see picture) I also used the iPad to customize other activity boards, where she chose the next activity, and we would go from there…
I am liking these themed activities. They help me organize my days, activities, therapy homework and thoughts. There’s a little bit of preparation that goes into each theme, for sure…. but it’s fun. The boys are really enjoying this as well. They get excited to join in and that makes everyone, especially me, happy because they are all enjoying an activity together. Win win, for all. Happy Easter!!