Wednesday, February 28, 2007

air hockey

This is an activity that I picked up from Jacob's OT. I wanted to share it, as it's both a great sensory integration game, and has a lot of potential for RDI as well. Here, Jacob plays with Zoo Boy, our RDI work is on co-regulation (stage 6), making adjustments based on where the other child sends the ball.

Here's how it works -- each child has a straw. They lie a distance apart from each other and use the straw to blow a ping-pong ball back and forth between them. I set up "lanes" for them as scaffolding so that they don't have to worry about the ball going wildly off-course -- as they get better at this, the "lane" will get wider and wider, so they'll have to work harder at co-regulation.

While Jacob's working on co-regulation, Zoo Boy is working on pursing his lips (an oral-motor exercise) and determining how far in his mouth the straw has to be to get the best blowing power. Both boys are working on the lung capacity needed to blow the ball all the way across to the other child. I guess that works on appraisal too -- they have to decide if the ball is going too fast or too slow (if they've blown too hard or too soft), and whether or not they need to blow again to get it all the way to the other child. And of course it works on self-regulation (being able to change how hard they are blowing). Depending on what stage of RDI you're working at, you could spotlight any number of things: emotion sharing, referencing (to see if the other child is ready), the back-and-forth coordination, variations galore, opposite-world trying not to get the ball to the other person, etc etc etc.

A lot of value in one simple game!


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