Wednesday, July 17, 2013

7 Day Work Task Challenge - Day 3: Developing the Non-Dominant Hand

Today's inspiration comes from page 52 in the Visual Support for Children withAutism Spectrum Disorders: Materials for Visual Learners book by Vera Bernard-Opitz and Anne Haubler, "Pulling scarves through the holes in a ball and stuffing them into a container". 

While replicating this task, I developed a more advanced version of the same skill. I cut 1½ by 8 inch felt strips and added a wiffle ball.  The goal is to have the students stuff the wiffle ball with the felt strips. It may be a difficult task because the student has to push the felt into the holes using his/her fingertips.  However, it's a great activity for students who neglect to use their less dominant hand as the guiding hand (i.e. the students who you have to remind to hold their paper down with the left hand as they write with the right hand).

I tried this task with my 5-year-old and he loved the challenge so much that it made me think...let's add an academic piece to it.  I took a white wiffle ball and outlined several of the holes with various colors. Then, I got strips of felt in those colors and had him match the felt to corresponding wiffle ball holes.  

Worried about getting the felt out of the ball once it's stuffed?  Actually, the strips come out quite easily.  The trick is not having too many pieces of felt shoved into the ball.  I went with five felt strips. However if you want to increase the number of strips to make the task longer, a good friend of mine, Angela Moxter, suggested that you could use a crochet hook to get the felt out.  I haven’t tried it but it sounds like a great idea!  It could even lead to another task in problem solving and fine motor as a student works to get the felt out.  

Thanks Angela, love your restructuring idea!  See how fun and easy it is to restructure, think outside the box, and come up with new ways to make and create this task.  

Until tomorrow, Happy Task Building!

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