Happy Monday to all! Summer is coming upon us soon, but we are still in the middle of Spring and enjoying those May flowers! With all this beautiful sunshine,I hate being cooped up inside, and I know my residents do too. One of my individual residents has been talking nonstop about going outside to play. This particular resident is extremely full of energy, and sometimes she is unsure of how to handle that energy. Some goals I have been working on with her are on-task behavior and abstract thinking. She has trouble doing any one thing for longer than about 5 minutes, so the fact that she stays all 30 minutes of her music therapy session is big progress for her. With those target goals in mind, I had to create an activity for her that reinforces task endurance, cognitively engages her, and facilitates abstract thinking. The result came out looking something like this:
- Outdoor area with concrete
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Song of choice
- 4-8 abstract-thinking questions pertaining to the song
- Hula hoop (optional)
- Begin by setting up your outdoor area. For each question, draw a box with a number for each corresponding question and a starting place. (I chose a hula hoop to set up the starting area because the resident was later rewarded by getting to hula hoop, which I made a “music activity” by instructing her to start/stop hula hooping when the music stopped and started.)
- Begin by singing and playing your song. Invite the client to sing along if you wish.
- Instruct your client to begin at the starting point. When the music starts, your client is to hop from square to square in no particular order. When the music stops, whichever square he/she lands on is the question he/she gets.
- Each time your client lands on a new number, have them mark it out so they can avoid hopping on that number and getting the same question.
- For groups, have them take turns.
- On a rainy day, use cardboard to put on the floor with the number on one side and the question on the other. That way the client can just flip it over and answer!
- For a client who is unable to hop or stand, this can be made into a beanbag-toss game.
There are a number of ways this can be changed or adapted to fit your clients’ needs. Get creative and have fun with it!