Archives For March 2013

What’s in a Bucket?

March 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

Everyone thinks you have to buy the most expensive, elaborate toys out there to provide well for your children.  I disagree.

What's in a bucket?

What’s in a bucket?

I think having a few strategic classics will provide endless opportunities for imagination, learning, creativity, and fun!  Today’s pick: a bucket!  Buckets come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, with handles, without handles, there are so many to choose from.  And what house doesn’t have a bucket?  If you don’t think you have one, look closer.  Mom’s Tupperware drawer is a good place to start.  The cabinet of pots have many sized “buckets”.  And dad’s garage must have a can or bucket of some sort that could be shared.  Here are the activities I have used with buckets, baskets, barrels, pots, and containers.

  • Throw a ball or bean bags into a bucket.  Or even better, play basketball!  To incorporate your child’s therapy goals into her play, have her stand on a “mountain” (aka: pillow, piles of blankets, sofa cushions, etc.) to challenge her balance while playing ball.  This can also be used to practice her catching.  You can stand by the bucket and toss her back the ball or bean bag.
  • Make “soup” in your bucket with play food or animals placed on other side of room.  I frequently have kids walk through an obstacle course for my bean bag frogs to make “froggy soup” and then we “stir” it up with a stick or dowel (or a pretend spoon if there is nothing else available).
  • What young child doesn’t love the anticipation of dropping a marble down a spiraled pop tube or even a paper towel tube?  It’s a great cause and effect learning tool waiting for the marble to hit the bottom of the bucket.  To slip in his therapy goals, have him reach way up high to grasp the marble or to put in the pop tube to encourage extending his back.  Or if he is working on strengthening his legs, have him reach up high onto his tippy toes for each marble.Buckets 021
  • If you have multiple buckets, you could stack them up, have action figures hiding inside and launch the flying monkey or roll a ball at it to knock them all over.  I have some kiddos I treat who will do anything to make something crash!
  • Play dress up!  Use a bucket as a top hat, or a purse, or a construction bucket of tools.  Your child’s imagination will take him on all kinds of adventures!
  • Go outside and play!  Take that bucket outside with a shovel or wooden spoon and dig, dig, dig!  Take it to the beach and make a sand castle, or collect sea shells!  Use the bucket to sneak up on someone and pour water on them on a hot summer day!
  • Help dad in the garage!  I know as a kid, my brother and I loved to hang out in the garage with Dad.  He would give us little projects, like sorting his nails, screws, and bolts.  Doesn’t sound like too much fun to us adults, but to kids, they love to explore the grown up world.  Have your kiddo sort anything into buckets or cans, whether it is nuts and bolts, beads, macaroni, beans, etc.

That’s just with a bucket!  Imagine what your kids can come up with.

What activities have you used with a bucket?  What are your kids’ favorites?  Comment to share!  And as always, have a great day!

“You are going to do this in my home?” Why yes, yes I am! I am now providing physical therapy services to children in their homes and communities! I am so excited about this adventure! There are so many benefits to having home-based therapy services and here are the top 10 benefits of having therapy at home:Kyler03

  1. Convenience! Your therapist comes to you, so you don’t have to round-up all the kids, pack them in the car, drive across town (or the vast desert in our case), and sit in a waiting room. He or she comes right to your door in the convenience of your home.
  2. What we do in therapy can be done at home! So many times in the clinic, parents think, “Well that’s wonderful you can get him to do {enter gross motor skill or task} here in the clinic, but how can I get him to do that at home?” The “clinic” now is your home, so your therapist can help you help your child succeed at doing {enter gross motor skill or task} inside your home. Your therapist will utilize what you have around the house to make you and your child succeed!
  3. Privacy! You won’t have to worry about running into that nosey co-worker in the parking lot wondering what you are here for. In the privacy of your home, only those you are closest to will be present for your child’s treatment.
  4. Motivating! You and your family can all be cheerleaders for success. Even the family dog can be used as a motivator during therapy sessions.
  5. Functional! If there is a particular task your child is having problems with at home, you can show your therapist exactly what that task is. Maybe she has trouble climbing into her bed . . . well, she can work on it in the real-life environment of her bedroom!
  6. Comfort! Many children may become nervous about going into a medical clinic because they associate it with getting shots at the doctor. Not so when the therapist comes to the home. Your therapist will be on your child’s turf instead of the other way around.
  7. Everyone can be involved! The entire family is welcome and encouraged to join in during therapy sessions. It makes it more motivating and natural when siblings are there to play with, or grandma can help with an activity.
  8. Community! Not only can you have therapy sessions at home, but in the community as well. Maybe the stairs going up into church are cumbersome . . . well let’s meet at church so your kiddo can work on that goal. Or your kiddo has trouble going down the slide on the playground . . . let’s meet at the park. There are endless opportunities: bowling alley, hiking trails, beach, school, grandpa’s house, etc.
  9. Collaboration! Does your child need new orthotics (braces)? Or a new wheelchair? Your therapist can meet you at the orthotist’s office, or help the wheelchair supplier with measurements and customization of your kiddo’s new wheelchair. It is very beneficial to have your health care providers work hand-in-hand!
  10. Safety and Health! Being in the comfort and safety of your home is vital for children who are chronically ill and fragile. When your therapist meets at your home, your child is not exposed to the germs of everyone who has been in the clinic waiting room. He or she is also not exposed to the extreme temperatures outside or the wind and allergens in the air during transport.

What benefits do you see with having therapy in your home? What locations in the community would be the most fun to meet for therapy? Comment your ideas! I would love to hear them!