7 WAYS TO BEAT POST-HOLIDAY BOREDOM
Now that the fun and fanfare of the holidays is over, you may notice that “merry and bright” has been replaced with boredom and cabin fever. Add the fact that winter is still in full force, weary kids and families may begin to feel the onset of the post-holiday blues. Here are some fun games and activities you can do to keep your child’s mind active, their body moving and their sensory system regulated:
Scavenger Hunt: Have your child find items around the house and talk about them along the way; you can even make it holiday themed! Having your child describe each item they find works on using sentences and promotes vocabulary development by using new and fun adjectives!
Animal “Walks”: Have your child walk like many different animals (I,e, bear, dog, snake, kangaroo, frog, crab walks). These positions help strengthen their legs, arms, and core, while your child has fun pretending to be various animals.
Simon Says: Simon Says is a great way to work on language comprehension and following direction; it incorporates as much movement as you want! It also helps develop hand-eye coordination and body awareness. Take turns letting the child give the directions so they can work on forming phrases or sentences. You can give the game a holiday twist by referring to it as “Santa Says” or “Turkey Says”!
Ball/Balloon Play: Keep the ball small and stick to the holiday theme! Encourage your child to throw underhand into an opened gift-wrapped box or have him/her pretend throwing a “tree ornament” into a basket. To make it more difficult for older children, have them stand on one foot or on a pillow as they throw. With balloons, play volleyball by encouraging one and two-hand taps at various distances to work on agility and hand-eye coordination.
Laundry Train: Have your child push a laundry basket through the house to pick up designated items (such as all the puzzle pieces in a puzzle, or all the rings of a stacker). You can weigh the basket down with some heavy books to help your child get some energy out as he or she pushes it along the ground. Child Yoga: Child yoga positions can be fun yet calming to your child! Getting into each position by imitating a parent/therapist and/or a picture requires body awareness and visual understanding. Changing from one position to another can help your child learn how to sequence activities. While your child maintains the position, the sensory input to their body can be calming as well as strengthening. For child yoga positions, look online for Child Yoga downloads.
Red Light, Green Light: Stand with your child at one end of the room or hallway. Explain to your child what each sign means: Green means GO! Red means STOP! Yellow means SLOW! Progress from walking to other motor skills such as crawling on hands and knees, belly crawling, jumping on two feet, skipping, walking backwards, sideways, etc. You can print out pictures of a traffic light or make your own with construction paper or to get your child in the holiday spirit, pretend you are walking/running/driving to Thanksgiving dinner, to see Santa, being in the snow, or to pick up a Christmas tree etc.
Snow Day: If there’s snow outside, bundle up and go jump in! Grab a sled or toboggan and pull them for a ride around the block. Make snow angels, snow balls and a snowman! They’ll be having so much fun, they won’t realize they’re incorporating strength-building movement and using sensory tactile exploration and fine motor skills!
NEW YEAR... NEW SPACE!
“Happy 2019! If you’ve been in to see us recently, you may have noticed that we’re running out of space; we’ve noticed it, too. So, we will be growing to meet your needs. We are thrilled to announce that Lumiere Children’s Therapy will be moving in the spring! Our new space will be located in nearby New City. In addition to over 5,000 sq.-ft. of space to work with, we will also be offering curbside drop-off and pick-up as well as ample parking options. We are excited to provide this gorgeous new facility to our families. Here’s to a new space in the new year!”
Sometimes, suggesting something as simple as a fingerplay activity can help curb boredom and make scheduled routines fun! Fingerplay, used by speech therapists to build skills and maintain interest, is a combination of hand and/or finger movements along with verbal accompaniment in the form of words or songs. It may seem rather unimpressive, but according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, can be very beneficial.
An On-The-Go Option. Fingerplays can be incorporated by parents or therapists anywhere at any time – during therapy, as part of a bedtime or bath time routine, in the car or in a store. They don’t require technology, a special setting or particular equipment. This technique is always at your “fingertips”!
Supports Motor Development. Fingerplays help build hand-eye coordination, visual-spatial tracking, body awareness, self-regulation and hones in on executive-functioning skills.
Incorporates Story Structures. Popular fingerplay songs like “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “Where is Thumbkin?” contain all the elements of a story – who, what where, when and how. This supports narrative understanding and creative expression for kids in developing their oral narrative skills.
Promotes key developmental skills. Kids are encouraged to pay attention in how they will use their bodies to act out fingerplays. This promotes self-regulation and physical movement like clapping and other arm movements as well as literary and speech-language skills like singing, rhyming and repeating.
Encourage personal bonding. Creating a child-adult connection is important in therapy at any age – especially at younger ages. Kids observe adult facial reactions, voice inflections and hand movements to learn and mimic. Fingerplays like “Pat-a-Cake” encourage touching, tickling and laughing which contributes to the overall building of trust.
When we started out 10 years ago, our VISION was to create, capture and celebrate 100,000 Magic Moments(SM) by the year 2020. What are Magic Moments(SM)? They are every small step, every little success and tiny milestone met that makes a big impact on the lives of children and families in meeting their family goals.
See some of our Magic Moments(SM) here
We’re thrilled to announce that we celebrated 12,500 magic moments in 2018! This brings our 10-year total to 68,750! As we get closer to our goal, we want to share it with you – and you can share yours as well!
Upload a picture or video to your page and tag us @LumiereChild for your chance to be featured on our social media! We are always looking to identify success stories and positive experiences around therapy!
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