Motor Groups for January
This month during Motor Group we have resumed our weekly warm-up stretches including standing on tiptoes with arms overhead while keeping our balance and jumping in place and jumping forward with a two footed takeoff and landing. We also resumed our walking “warm up”, running, and walking “cool down” laps in the gym. The children are always encouraged to pump their arms and run “just right” while traveling all around the gym. We see that the children have improved in their overall physical endurance for these laps since the start of the school year.
The children then played some new games. They listened very carefully and followed specific directions to run from one spot (a certain colored star) to another spot (a circle or cone of the same color). Children were assigned to different color teams for their stars/circles/cones. They listened very carefully for their “color” team before taking their turns. After running to their new spot, the children followed a multistep sequence for a motor activity, “RUN, STOP, DROP, and ROLL”. This was tricky and the children listened carefully, watched a model and then completed the motor plan for the activity. Another game we played included having the children start at their colored star, run to their colored circle/cone, pick up a bean bag, and run back to their star. We added several directions to the game including placing the bean bag “under” the cone or standing “next” to the cone. The children worked very hard listening closely to the multistep directions to complete each task.
We hope you are taking advantage of the many opportunities for outdoor snowman-building and playing in the snow during this month’s snowstorms. Snow shoveling with a child-size snow shovel is a wonderful functional, resistive, “heavy work” activity. Be careful on the ice but please keep your children active!
This is just the motor group. I reprinted it here because these are great strategies for PDD, dyspraxia and SPD (sensory processing disorder). So great that it's hard for me to imagine a richer, better suited educational environment for Brad, with his "ho hum" profile. (As an aside, it's a shame that some people feel the need to scare parents into homeschooling, lest some one use the word "autism" and their child's name in the same sentence.)
The preschool also engages the class in a range of cognitive activities. Not to mention the freeplay and the fun. (Also important!) His peers (hopefully, soon-to-be-friends) are a mix of special education kids and typicals. The special education kids seem like PDD kids (one older than Brad and nonverbal) and aspies. The only thing I'm certain of is that there are no Downs kids or physically disabled children in his class.
Yes, people. I have stumbled across some sort of Early Childhood Development nirvana.