April is Occupational Therapy Month! And Jorge Ochoa, OTR, has listed 11 FUNctional ways to use Boomwhackers in his sessions:
1) Social participation (sharing, taking turns, following rules/directions, group cohesion/teamwork) Pass a small ball or marble between kids using the tubes Each child plays a rhythm on their tube and then passes the tube to the next person when the leader says "switch".
2) Eye-hand coordination: Working on grasping and using both hands while holding the tubes.
3) Memory / attention / sequencing: play a rhythm / pattern and child plays rhythm / pattern back to you.
4) Body awareness / parts (proprioception): play against parts of the body with eyes opened and then closed (ankle, elbow, shoulders, hips, arms, knee).
5) Crossing mid-line: Tap opposite side of body with the tube. Or sit on floor, hold tube with the right hand and play on the ground on the left side (then switch hands).
6) Education: syllables, numbers, have child speak and play at the same time. "My-name-is-John."
7) Play / creative self-expression: Allow the child to play anything they wish to create.
8) Arm range of motion: play tube high above the head, low towards the ground, towards and away from the body.
9) Impulse Control: During group playing, leader verbally cues the group to "start" and "stop".
10) Self-confidence / self-esteem: Child gets to play a solo during group playing.
11) Leadership: When a child raises the tube, kids play. When tube goes down, kids stop playing or play softer.
References: American Occupational Therapy Association (2014).Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd ed). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68 (Suppl 1), S1– S48 http://dx doi org/10 5014/ajot 2014 682006
Skill Builders Pediatric Occupational Therapy. (2002). Body awareness activities [PDF file]. Retrieved April 2, 2017, from http://www.skillbuildersonline.com/SBA/PDF/Body_Awareness_Activities.pdf