My latest post discusses the subject of sensory task activity analysis, I hope you find it interesting.
When working with children and/or young adults in a school or play environment as a teacher, support assistant or therapist, we are presented with many things that we have to address to help them learn. We of course want our teaching activities to be fun, interactive, beneficial, and therapeutic. How can we make an activity all of these things at the same time and how do we know what we are addressing? This can be challenging. I know it is for me at times. Therefore, I remember a project that I was given when I was studying to be an Occupational Therapist. My professor at the time gave us the challenge of listing all the therapeutic skills we could address with a toy, game or anything that looked fun to us from a toy store that we picked out. We had to do a task analysis. It was a great activity to do and made me realise that everything that we do has a therapeutic value to it. We just need to stop and think about it, we can have fun using all the equipment, games and toys that we want to use. We can inspire the children that we work with to have fun and learn and at the same time address the skills that we need to. Make it fun, therapeutic and beneficial for all! Do a task analysis!
Think about your work in a sensory room with your users. You may get bored with the things that you do every day in there however if you stop and really think about all the skills you are addressing when using the room it can inspire you to do so much more!
Here are a few examples of a task analysis:
A simple matching game: With this you are addressing fine motor skills (i.e. grasp patterns, in-hand manipulation), visual skills, memory, and recognition. Not limited to just these skills.
A simple throwing and catching game with a ball: With this you are addressing gross motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Not limited to just these skills.
If you are using a bubble tube in a sensory room that is controlled by remote control such as an IRiS Colour Selector Deluxe you are addressing fine motor skills to use the remote, cause and effect to turn the bubble tube on and off, colour recognition if you are changing the colour of the water and asking the user to name the colour.
Let’s become re-inspired to find ways to use the equipment we use on a daily basis whether in a sensory room, classroom or at home by thinking of all the skills you are addressing and working on while doing the fun activities that helps us teach the children we work with. Do a task analysis and have fun!
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Jessica Brown - Occupational Therapist