Tuesday, 27 December 2016
This activity has been originally taken from one of the most popular and user-friendly guide, the Out of Sync Child Has Fun. I have done a couple of modifications according to own working experience. You may follow the book link to know more about Sensory Activities where there are a great number of fun and learning activities.
This is a fantastic activity especially for little ones however teens will also enjoy it. It improves motor planning, fine motor skills as well as bilateral coordination (ability to synchronise both right and left sides of the body, for example, making a sandwich or playing throwball). It improves tactile discrimination and proprioception skills. Moreover, it improves attention span and concentration on the given task, along with hand and intrinsic fingers strength. Feeling, recognising and understanding about physical characteristics of objects (size, shape, density, texture, and weight) is an integral part of tactile discrimination which can be difficult for our kids with sensory issues.
Our aim is to make their fingers ‘feel’ of different textures in a fun way and improve their learning about various objects even when they are not seeing them!
So let’s start!
Plastic or rubber toys (such as Lego, plastic apple, small sized ball)
Large and small buttons
Safety pin or hair pin
Different size coins
Rice or Lentil Box
Container for sorting- Cup or jewellery box
Pack the Play-Doh around the toy to make and sure that is not completely packed or covered. The child should be able to see the colour and shape of a toy which will work as the clue for him to recognise it easily. Once a toy is covered you may ask the child, “Do you know which toy is it?” or Can you find where the toy has gone?”
Once the child is a master in above-mentioned activity we can switch to next level of effort. This time to increase the level of difficulty slightly, pack the toy thicker and leave a small portion unpacked to grade the activity to a next level. Once the toy is packed you may ask the child, to recognise the toy using his fingertips and visual sense.
Time Framed: The activity can be more challenged by grading it according to time. You may ask the child to recognise the toy within a set time limit such as 60 seconds or two minutes. Time should be allotted depending on child’s abilities and needs. It is important to understand that activity should enhance his level of motivation to peruse and complete the given task successfully.
Target should be achievable. He might lose interest in activity if he is unable to complete the task within the time frame. So make sure in his first attempt he is given enough time to keep up his self-esteem and self-confidence.
Gradually, time can be reduced, say, from 3 minutes to 30 seconds.
Once the toy is packed, leaving small portion as a clue, ask the child whether he would like to do this activity being blindfolded. If both child and parent think, it will be achievable, to recognise the toy, then go further and blindfold him. A child might take longer than usual time to recognise since his visual sense has been occluded. Parents should encourage him to use his fingertips sliding them around the edges and corners of the toy, so as to learn about shape and size of it. Help him to feel the toy where it is unpacked. This will help in improving tactile recognition and discrimination of object. On repeated practice of feeling different shapes, sizes, textures, density and weight (physical characteristics of objects) child’s touch discriminating abilities will improve to a maximal possible extent.
At this level, pack the toy completely and thicker to increase the level of challenge.
Once the child has mastered, skill on different medium-sized toys, switch to fine motor objects. These objects can be:
Different sized buttons
Safety or hair pins (make sure it does not injure him)
Different sized coins
Small Lego pieces
Pack these objects fully. Now we can play treasure hunt. Hide the packed things in the box of rice or lentils. Initially, he can recognise and discriminate them without being time farmed or blindfolded. Later, on mastery of task gradation of activity will be great fun and challenge too!
Tactile Discrimination: Playing with different textures which have varying viscosities increase tactile perception, exploration and discriminatory sense as well as visualisation skill along with In-Hand-Manipulations skills which involve translation. Vast Tactile experience = Improvement in Tactile perception + discrimination
2. Visualisation Skills:
3. Attention skills:
4. Body Scheme:
5. Speed, Accuracy and Precision:
6. Fine Motor Skills: