January 15, 2014
A Few Of My Favourite Things
Over the holidays, Julie Wiebe and I were honoured to spend 4 incredible days teaching “Dynamic Core Across the Life Span” in Oman. On the final afternoon the pediatric therapists were gathering to discuss videos of clients when someone asked about my favourite therapy equipment. Now, HeartSpace PT is primarily a community-based service – I have always enjoyed seeing children in their natural environment. I do occasionally see children in my clinic space when they come for intensives or from out of town but whenever possible I see them in their homes, schools and recreational programs. So because I carry equipment with me, I like items that multi-task. Here are a few of my favourite things………….
A piece of spandex lycra (1 ½ metres): To be used for swinging, deep pressure, creating resistance, “nesting” a baby or for the most fun game of tug-of-war ever.
Yoga block: The block can be 2” high, 4” high or 6” high. It can be used as a precursor to unilateral stance (progressing the challenge by progressing the height) or as an obstacle on the path to the treasure, under a mat to make uneven ground or as a small booster step.
Yoga wedge: This 2-inch wedge, made out of the same material as a yoga block, can promote pelvic alignment in sitting, facilitate calf stretches or be used as a small table top prop for an iPad or book. One yoga wedge can be cut in half so you get 2 for the price of 1!
Bolster: Stuffed with kapok so it is very firm, with a removable twill cover and rectangular in shape, my bolster has lasted over 15 years. It can support knees, be an obstacle to crawl over, help a child to learn to go backwards in space or upside-down, and whoever grabs it in a pillow fight is the automatic winner.
Magnetic wand: On my first continuing ed. course, the instructor used this and I’ve had one ever since. Magnetic wands are sold at most toy stores. A collection of juice can lids serves as the background for all manner of stickers or flash cards that the child can pick up with the wand (I have build up the handle slightly for easier grasp). I have a set of lids for every holiday and season of the year, for the latest kid’s movie and of course, all the Disney princesses. You can place the lids anywhere to promote any component of movement and integrate multiple systems with matching games, memory games, “Go Fish” or anything else a child wants to play. (NB: if you want to collect a lot of juice can lids in a hurry, ask a grandparent. They have amazing networks that can work miracles when in service of a grandchild!)
6. My iPhone/iPad: There really is an app for everything. I have blowing apps for Dynamic Core, apps that sing or read books, apps that function as cause-effect toys, apps for balance games (always in alignment, naturally :), apps to measure range, posture and analyze videos individually or side-by-side. And more become available every day.
These are my top 6 favourites, do you have any to share?