Piper has a little bit of an attitude.
Okay, so she’s somewhat of a stinker when it comes to “playing the therapy game”. If she doesn’t feel like it, by golly, it’s NOT easy to get her to cooperate. On more than one occasion, she’s “accidentally” showed us what she’s capable of doing, realizing she’s goofed, and won’t do it again. We’re working on “compliance”, but, just like with any other almost-two-year-old, that task is far easier said than done.
So, in order to, ahem, “encourage her cooperation”, Piper now has to do her fine motor activities while sitting on top of a yoga ball.
It makes her focus on something other than the task at hand, keeps her confined, and helps her hold her attention a little better. She doesn’t always need this much help keeping her attention (as evidenced by, among other things, her ability to sit and read books for hours. on. end.), but for some reason, she just really does NOT enjoy fine motor ANYTHING (except for coloring, finger painting, and, in general, anything messy…)
We really have the best luck when I’m holding her from behind and Becky, her therapist, does the activities from the front. That’s right- somewhere along the line, my kid has decided that she’s a big kid now and doesn’t need Mom’s help all the time. She does significantly better when she forgets that I’m around. Part of me is a little sad that she’s growing up and gaining her independence, but the rest of me is excited that she’s, well, growing up and gaining her independence.
Not all activities are easily done while balancing on a ball, unfortunately. Her piggy bank and beads work really well. We love her stringing beads, by the way (thanks, Nana!!!)- they have a really big “needle” and the beads are easy to hold, too. Besides, who doesn’t like Hungry Hungry Caterpillar???
However, things like stacking do NOT work on the ball. Neither she nor I have the ability to keep her still enough to accomplish any amount of building. So, we work with the Little People building blocks because they stick together and don’t require the same amount of control. Unfortunately, placement has to be more exact and fine-tuned in order to get the lego-like blocks to stick together, so it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword.
Tonight I thought I’d see what she did with real stacking blocks.
Lo and behold, despite her exhaustion and ready-to-go-to-bed-ness, she stacked. By herself. Without the ball. Go figure.