backyard therapy - because sometimes the best therapy happens at home!

I've had this idea swirling around my crazy head for awhile now.

I happened to be enjoying the outdoors one day not so long ago. You know...before it was Africa Hot. Africa Hot means you enjoy being indoors more than out! But that day I happened to be out and was watching the kids romping around the yard. One of Trevy's IEP goals is learning appropriate social skills. Because...well...most of the time Trevy is just bumbling around by himself doing his own thing. That or getting nose to nose with a peer and pointing out every single body part. And when he gets to "teeth" his fingers must actually touch their teeth even if it means forcing their lips open. This has a tendency to make the peers less than comfy!


But that day...I noticed that my kiddos seemed to be playing together. Actually...they were squirting each other with spray bottles.

It's one of my home grown therapy ideas. Although I'm sure it's not new with me. As Solomon says...there's nothing new under the sun...

But I like to fill a squirty bottle

spray bottle Pictures, Images and Photos

with water...and let him go to town with it in the yard. It's great for keeping cool in warm weather and enhancing fine motor skills and sometimes even building social development too! Because anything that promotes squirting your big sister right in her toothless grins which makes her chase you around the house in return - counts as a social victory at our place!


Anyway...as I was watching them romp around the yard it occurred to me that I'd like to start posting therapy ideas and tricks I'm learning along the way on a regular, easy to find, basis. Kinda like my Randomnings - which are so popular!

Thank you...thank you...I do have cute kids don't I?!


So this is the first in a developing series of posts that I shall dub...

Backyard Therapy - because sometimes the best therapy happens at home!

Inspired by watching Trevy's sibs promoting a multi-layered therapy approach for him...right in our backyard! Although, because I'm the honest type...I must confess that we were really in the front yard. Our backyard is essentially non-existent. But Backyard Therapy is much more adorable sounding than FrontYard Therapy. Don't you agree?

I welcome tricks and idea swappage. If you have a great idea and/or post and would like to share it here...please email me: tanzie213@yahoo.com.


Debbie said...

I am amazed at T's progress...
so cool to see, can't imagine what it does for your spirit!

on a side note...
i crack up every time i click on your blog and see your daughter's face and the popsicle...what an expression!!!!

stay cool...

Melanie said...

Great minds must think alike...I just did a post of getting all the therapies in that I'm suppose to be doing at home. Now I get to watch for good ideas from you (you're always good for some cool things to do!)

Can't wait to see what you come up with!


Mama Skates said...

great idea! can't wait to hear more!

happy's mommy said...

Debbie...Bristel is a HOOT! I promise if you met her in person she'd keep ya laughing!

Melanie...TOO funny that we're posting the same thoughts! :) And btw...if only we could come up with a way to build a water swing with attached water proof headphones - I think we could totally start our own business!

Sharon...thanks, hon!


Anonymous said...

Yes! Not surprised you came to this - being the natural teacher you are. (I agree - 'Backyard' works better.) So, do I need to close-shop and just put-up a referral link to here?

I've been thinking of all my NE friends, now living the 'Africa heat' I hear about on the news. At least you have experience on surviving the climate (change). Love the squirt bottle idea!


blogzilly said...

Man...I wish our backyard did not suck. The kids rarely play in the yard because it just doesn't have anything going on and in the back it's got an easement issue.

Playgrounds work sometimes though.

happy's mommy said...

Barbara...you'd better now close up shop! I fully intend on referring parents in your direction often! And btw...it's been a year of extremes for us in NE. Floods...record snow and cold...and now record heat. Hm.

Ken...our thera-play in the yard is not for extended amounts of time. In fact, most times Trevy is at the door saying "heeep" (help...which is used for EVERYTHING lately) to go back inside within 5 mins. Jonathan's mom did buy the kids a playset as a house warming gift and that helps. I also snagged a mini slide and a sand table off freecycle which is a great resource if you're of the broke persuasion like us...Trevor enjoys those for short times too. I'm not the professional here (Barbara is) but I think even if you got Bennett to enjoy 5 minutes of outdoor play at a time it will benefit him...even if the how isn't always obvious now.


Anonymous said...

Great idea D :)

I am loving the squirter idea, putting them on my list for next time i see some in the cheapie shop!

Recently I have set up a sensory corner for Henry:
- an acrylic mirror from a local manufacturer (found through ebay) stuck on one wall
- a 'tactile wall'; cheap Ikea picture frames with different texture stuff in them, faves so far are bubble wrap & corrugated cardboard, but lots of other things in there, free flock wallpaper samples from diy shop, astroturf samples (cheap off ebay), etc.

Looking for a lighting idea, something like fibre optics, but cheaper than the SN catalogue ones...

H loves water in the garden play, we were given a water table, not got sand yet as our cats would use it in a different way i feel....;)

kt x

Anonymous said...

(ignore testing message!)

Great idea D :)

love the squirter idea, on m shopping list!

We have our tactile corner:
cheap acrylic mirror
cheap (Ikea) picture frames with different surfaces in them, current faves are bubble wrap & corrugated cardboard, also free flock wallpaper samples from diy store, cheap astroturf samples (ebay), etc.

kt x

MJStump said...

As far as cool things to do outside, here are a couple things we do:

I fill a bowl with water and we use the foam paint brushes to paint the driveway.

Kylie loves the watering can, so I put enough water in it for her to still lift it. Then she tries to water things with it. She often waters her feet.

We have one of those little plastic pools and she will play in that sometimes too. It was only $5 at babiesrus. I'm thinking of getting another one to use for sensory and fill it with beans or rice, and then maybe a bit of shaving cream one time.

We have some packing paper in the garage, and if it is too hot outside, we just lay a piece down in the garage and try to write with pudding. Often doesn't work out...its still too much for Kylie, but a good try :)

I think that is about it for at home stuff.

Our little community has stuff going on in the summer, so I try to put it on my calendar and take Kylie to as many free and fun things as I can. Story times, puppet shows, whatever there is we are there :)

Anonymous said...

hehe - I'm going to think that 'now' is a typo and not a Freudian slip!

Good suggestion to Ken that even small time periods can be beneficial.


Mrs. M said...

All of us readers will love your therapy tips!
Love the squirter idea and will install it here too.
One thing we've been doing is "experiments".I gave the boys medicine syringes and two bowls of water (outside) and they are happy to fill the needle and then squirt it into the other bowl. Not sure if Trevy's here yet....Bup almost always just picks up the bowl and just dumps it.
They also like to chase each other around the yard squirting each other with the syringe.

happy's mommy said...

See...I knew we were a creative bunch and could definitely swap great ideas!


Carolyn said...

Our fav "backyard therapy"...

Does he like to swing? Abby still loves the sit in the baby swings at the park, which more or less keeps her captive, plus we can swing really, really high without worrying she's going to fall off!

Swing a bit, and then stop. Get down to their eye level. Make them sign/say/communicate "more" or "all done". Abby, of course, always wants more. So now we've added signing "more", then "please", then "swing" (sometimes we're there awhile). Swing a minute more, then stop again, and repeat. To start, allow any kind of response to get the swing restarted, then gradually be more demanding looking for the "right" response with good eye contact.

Variation: sing while swinging. We've increased our reporatoire to row row row (our version to follow), the ABC song, and Old MacDonald. Get them to fill in the blanks (for example, sing E-i-E-I, and wait for them to say 'O', or sing a-b-c-d-e-f, and wait for "g"). Same as other game, any response is allowed at the beginning, and work on shaping into the "correct" response.

Carolyn said...

OOps, forgot the words to row row row

row row row your boat
gently down the stream
if you see a crocodile
don't forget to scream
(then scream! that's the best part)

Abby likes to say "croc" at crocodile, then scream at the end. Sing in time to the swings, or get them to sit in your open legs (on the floor), facing you, and hold hands. Then rock back and forth together like you're rowing a boat.