The team at Achievement Products asked our consultant, Occupational Therapist Scott Russo, to provide some activity suggestions for incorporating some of our favorite items into daily classroom activities or curriculum. Scott has provided some really great and creative ways to use items (that may have been originally designed for typically developing children), in special needs environments.
Today we will look at the Button Bear Weighted Lap Pad.
Providing both a weighted lap pad and a bear with several different options for developing dressing skills, the Button Bear Weighted Lap Pad is perfect for developing the fine motor skills needed for buttoning, zipping, tying, and additional dressing skills while providing the option of a weighted lap pad for improved sensory regulation. The detachable bear allows the pad and the bear to be used separately or in conjunction with each other. The colorful and charming nature of the bear provides a naturally engaging dressing toy that will entertain children for extended periods. The fabric was also designed to assist with tactile processing skills, providing several different textures that should be pleasing, even to the tactile defensive child.
• Add the weights into the pad and place the pad on the child’s lap during classroom or community activities that require a child to maintain a seated position or long periods of focus such as circle time, church, car rides or dining out. The weighted nature of the pad will provide proprioceptive input and the bear will provide fidget toys, both of which should assist the child with self-regulation and attentional focus.
• The bear is attached to the pad with hook and loop. Have the child pull the bear off the pad and reattach. This exercise will help develop strength in the hands and arms and also improves motor planning.
• Place the pad (with or without weights) on the child’s lap with the bear’s feet facing the child’s belly. Experiment with the different dressing items.
• Switch the orientation of the bear so that the head is against the child’s belly and experiment with dressing from this direction. The change in orientation will provide a different challenge for the child but is also closer to the perspective of dressing themselves.
• Have the child remove the bear from the pad. Using just the bear, the child can engage in pretend play with the bear as if it were a typical doll.
• With the bear removed, the pad can be used as a regular weighted lap pad for proprioceptive input.
• The bear itself can also be used as a portable and socially appropriate fidget toy for holding attention and self-regulation.
For more information about the Button Bear Weighted Lap Pad and other great items please visit http://www.achievement-products.com/Default.aspx?src=logo.