Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life is Therapy--Rainy Days

New to the Life is Therapy series? Here's a quick blurb to tell you what it's about:

Sometimes we parents can get bogged down in the notion that the teaching of our children must be done by professionals. Parents of children with special needs are particularly vulnerable to this idea since children with special needs often have to learn and develop quite differently than children with typical needs. This series centers around the idea that learning can and does occur most effectively through everyday life experiences at home and out in the community--for children with both typical and special needs.

Have I ever mentioned that Jack is an outdoors kind of kid? So as long as there's no thunder or lightning, guess what we do when it rains?

You got it! We get our rain coat, our rain boots, and umbrella and head outside.

"But, what does that have to do with therapy?" you ask.

First, there's fine motor therapy involved in pulling on the rain boots, buckling the rain coat, and holding the umbrella. For those of you with children with typical needs, you probably just call this practicing getting dressed. :)
As you get dressed, it's a perfect time to expand your little one's vocabulary as you discuss all the different clothing items and accessories.

Don't forget the visual therapy of concentrating on looking at the cute umbrella Mama bought!

Once you've got all your garb in place, there's the gross motor therapy of walking around in all of it.

Sometimes it takes a minute or two to get your balance (physical therapy, anyone?)
But once you get your forward balance going, you might find yourself doing a few little tricks....

Like walking backwords down the inclined and wet driveway!

And of course, the sensory therapy of feeling your wet weather gear against your skin, feeling the rain on your hands, feeling the rain as it hits your best friend, and don't forget to stick out your tongue to catch some rain!

Stepping in and out from under an umbrella or building overhang is also a great time to learn the words wet and dry. If your child is visually impaired, the wet and dry and slippery surfaces provide an excellent oppurtunity for orientation and mobility practice.
So next time, it rains (and there's no thunder or lightning), get your kiddo all garbed up and head outside for some therapy.

If there is thunder and lightning, you can get in a little math while you stay safely indoors. Count the number of seconds between each crash of thunder and each flash of lightning.

Whether you're indoors or out, rainy days also provide a great oppurtuity to talk about clouds and how rain becomes rain. At school they call it science, if you're having fun with your kiddos at home, it's just called fun!

If you'd rather not get out in the rain, don't let it spoil your day, click here for some last minute rainy day activities or here for some last minute and some planned activities.

Other Life is Therapy Posts can be found at:
Introductory Post
Prepositions at the Park

***After last week's Life is Therapy Prepositions at the Park, one of Jack's former physical therapist's sent me the following tip:
Jack may enjoy a parachute (bed sheet, table cloth) to learn up and down. I'm sure kids at the park may enjoy it too and Jack will love the socialization. I've put balls with bells or balloons with bells on the parachute to make fun noises. Does this make sense? You hold the edges of the sheet and make parachute go up and then bring it down. The wind feels great!

Now it's your turn to participate. This is where we share our ideas and stories with one another. We're all in this together. Let's laugh together, motivate one another, and stimulate each others ideas. If you have a blog, create your own "life is therapy" post and link to the specific post in the Mr. Linky below. If you don't have a blog just leave a comment with your life is therapy story.


mommytoalot said...

Great ideas. My guys love the rain too, but because I have to get four kids ready, I just don't do it. I really should. Thanks for the tips. Love the parachute idea as well. My kids play with one at school and at play group.

Momisodes said...

I just love this idea for a series.

What a great reason for getting out and getting fun gear on.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving this series! I was thinking of you and Jack while Mariska and I played at the playground. She was so chatty today and lots of two word combinations too! I think I may have to buy her a raincoat and umbrella for the holidays. We have a parachute and and we love playing with it, sometimes with other kids and sometimes just together. We love to do ring around the rosy with the kids sitting in the middle. Lots of shaking, running under, in and out and jumping on the colors. I think you have your next holiday gift! Best, Karena

Rachel said...

Great idea! I need to get out in the rain more often with Ali - she loves it!

I linked up my final breakthrough (for now - I'm not so optimistic that I don't fear a regression)of the Poo Battle.