This week’s Christmas activity plan is built around our new Christmas Treasure Game. Our in-house OT team has packed a bunch of fun ideas into it to keep everyone entertained over the holiday break! You can do this session as a private therapy or a group treatment with 2 kids if you’d like to work on improving communication skills as well.
Christmas Treasure – Game #2:
Timocco’s Xmas Treasure game aims to improve bilateral coordination and upper body strength, and develop teamwork if played in pairs. It’s a fun way to start off a session and we recommend starting off with about 10-15 minutes of play. There’s some fun stuff hiding under Santa’s hat – keep an eye out for gingerbread men, robots and we think that cheeky dinosaur snuck his way in also!
Once the virtual environment play is finished, you can hide ‘treasures’ around the room: We suggest placing different objects around the room, either as part of an obstacle course or next to a table, depending on what’s more appropriate. Objects can be hidden under containers of different sizes, or within closed jars or containers that need to be opened. Exercises for quite a few core skills can be incorporated into the activity, depending on how you set it up; gross motor skills – balance, movement planning and organization, body awareness, bilateral coordination, separation of movements, in-hand manipulation, visual scanning, attention and sequencing.
Next: Guess The Objects Hidden In The Bag! Ask the child to find a specific item in a bag – without looking! For example – find a cube in a bag of circular blocks, or a specific shape or item amongst others. This is a great way to work on stereognosis – the way we perceive objects from touching them.
Our last suggestion is to make a ‘Who is hiding here?’ book. Cut square shapes from similar or varying materials to match the sizes of printed pictures you’ve pasted into a scrapbook (picture outlines are great for coloring-in, also). Glue or stick one side of the squares over the pictures and fold back a narrow panel so that a portion of the picture is visible – for instance, if it’s a picture of an animal you could leave the tail exposed. Read the book from the beginning, opening each flap to check who or what’s hiding beneath. The activity improves graphomotor skills – cutting, hand and finger strength, bilateral coordination, motor accuracy and control, sequencing and visual perception.
And remember, just like when kids play Timocco’s games, the aim isn’t just to develop core motor, cognitive and communication skills… it’s to have fun while they’re doing it! As always, we’re happy to hear your comments, so if you’ve tried these at home, or have something to add, let us know below!