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#STEAMMSUNDAY And breathe…

proprioceptive system play tools

Slightly off topic from the colours theme last week. On this journey of child led learning it’s been incredible to see how children respond to activities and this one didn’t disappoint. 

Let’s set the scene… a little child’s table, colourful bowls around the edge and building blocks stacked in the middle of the table. The aim is to create a pathway with the blocks to take a ping pong ball to the right coloured bowl. The way to move the ball is by using your breath. The activity is quite a simple one, behind the scenes though there’s so much more. 

I love a good list so here goes;

– The child must use their planning and visualise the pathway they want to create. Does the path have two sides, will the ball fit through the middle and where is it going to start and finish. 
– Getting the correct colour (remember, first comes matching, then identifying then naming) 
*An understanding of how to control their breath* I’ll come back to this one
– Getting their body in the right place to begin
– And finally seeing the final result; a success or something to learn by? 

*Let’s get back to the breath control and delve a little deeper. Think about how much breath controls our adult bodies; when we’re angry, nervous, excited, calm and at rest. For children still learning to control their emotions it takes a while for their breathing to fall in line. 
Occupational therapists use breath exercises to help regulate the proprioceptive system (one of the 7 senses) when a child feels overwhelmed or unable to calm themselves. 

If you have a rainy Sunday and the energy in the house is getting a little much, try activities like these to (try) and help restore a sense of calm (for a little while at least!)

– Blowing bubbles into dishwashing liquid through a straw
– Blowing toy cars to make them roll down a ramp
– Blowing bubbles! 
– In a bathtub blowing swimming flips
– Blow a ping pong ball around a play dough maze
– Playing with a snorkel! 
– Blowing away feathers
– Blowing paper windmills
– Blowing paint with a straw

If you have any other similar ideas, I’d love to know! How great to have a bag of tricks like this for when we need them most. 

Keep in touch, I love to chat!

Have a great #steammsunday

 
 
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