To go with our three new Christmas games this holiday season our in-house OT team has put together three session plans, one based around each game, that we’ll post here each week leading up to the holiday. We hope you enjoy them!
Xmas Album – Game #1
The Xmas Album game aims to improve upper body strength, range of motion, bilateral coordination, movement efficiency, attention and perception skills. We suggest starting off your session (of around 45 minutes) with about 10-15 minutes of gameplay – it’s a great way to get kids motivated and having fun right at the beginning of a session. The Xmas Album game requires kids to move virtual spray cans around to reveal the holiday-themed icons hidden on the screen… can they find the dinosaur? The Christmas tree?
After the gameplay’s over another fun activity we recommend is cleaning shaving cream from a big mirror with a small squeegee and a bucket. That’s an activity that focuses on improving upper body strength, coordination and practicing sequencing of steps. Using the squeegee offers an added therapeutic benefit, but even just playing with the shaving cream, drawing shapes and enjoying the tactile and sensory experience is worthwhile by itself.
After you’ve cleaned up the shaving cream (or put the mess aside for later) try making some Magic Color Scratch Paper (store-bought is fine if you want to conserve time). Once the paper’s ready and making sure to adapt expectations to each child’s level we’d suggest they try their hand at drawing stars, Christmas trees, snowmen or any other suitable holiday icon. The activity improves graphomotor skills – hand strength, endurance, functional grasp, control and accuracy, and encourages meaningful and intentional markings on the page.
As a last exercise for the session we suggest a ‘Guess the Picture’ exercise: Take images of shapes, objects, animals or similar, and partially cover them with blocks so only portions, like half, or a quarter, of the image are displayed. The exercise improves visual perception, perception of whole images and their parts.
While the exercises are designed with therapeutic benefits in mind, we’ve listed these activities because just like playing Timocco’s games, they’re not only constructive in helping develop, build and improve core skills, they’re also fun! So remember to take it easy, relax and enjoy the lead-up to the holidays as much as possible.
Have something to say about these activities?
Please let us know in the comments below!