Monday, October 7, 2013

the wishbone and brain development

when we were young my brother and i loved breaking the wishbone. it was an annual tradition, typically occurring a few days after our thanksgiving feast. my mom left the bone out on the counter to dry which gave me a few days to contemplate what my wish would be.

i'm learning more and more about brain development as we've been walking through different therapies over the past year. graham happens to be in the magical stage of thinking. i've been so discouraged lately because i've noticed him getting so angry and blame-oriented when he gets hurt. he'll accidentally trip over a shoe that's lying in the middle of the hallway (yes, the very shoe i told him to put away) and he will pick up that shoe and throw it across the room, just furious that the shoe tripped him. i thought my son was crazy. turns out he's normal. he's just in the stage where he truly believes that shoe reached out, grabbed his foot and caused him to stumble. this fairytale stage of thinking, now that i know what it is, sure is fun!

harrison is entering a different stage of brain development - logical thinking. he reasons now in a more sequential, rules-based way. he's less magical and more matter-of-fact. i like this stage, too, because if i make a rule, he will follow it. rules are my new best friend!

last week i cooked up a whole chicken and saved the wishbone so my boys could experience the fun of breaking it. i left the bone out on the counter for a few days to dry. the boys had time to think long and hard about their wishes.

logical harrison wished that they could get bunk beds.

magical graham wished that a knight would come to our house.

doesn't that just make you smile?

harrison ended up with the larger half, making him the winner, but really i'm the one who lucked out! i love these kiddos!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

sensory bin - halloween monster themed

take a bin

add some large black pom poms

 add some small gold fuzzy pom poms

the black and gold is for my brother and sister-in-law who are the biggest iowa hawkeye fans ever. 
go hawks!
 add some purple and green rubber porcupine balls

sorry i ruined the hawkeye concept.
 add some large silver dish scrubbers

 add some smaller rainbow dish scrubbers

add some foam circles

pop em into a bucket

add some googly eyes

pop em into a bucket too

now we have a bin full of circles and spheres of all different textures, sizes and colors. 

let's get crazy and add some pipe cleaners and straws

toss em into the bin

lastly add in some silly monster poppers

don't they look lonely in that big old bin?

let's create some friends for them!

oh, they're so much happier now!

it's a build-a-monster sensory bin.

build-a-monster play ideas:
use senses of sight, touch and hearing to see, feel and listen to differences in each object within the bin. discuss those differences.
use proprioceptive sense to push down the monster poppers.
make predictions as to how far they'll pop into the air.
use proprioceptive sense to try jumping as high/far as the popper did.
after designing your monsters discuss one thing you like about your own monster and one thing you like about another person's monster.
make up a story about your monsters.
use straws to blow over the poppers or to blow apart the monsters you build.

i hope you have lots of fun imagining more ways to play with your new monster friends!