Digging for Gems!

We all (yes, including me) had a blast in our sessions today! I told the kids that we were miners digging for gems (not gold). Oh, well. One child was convinced that we were all going to Hollywood with the gems we found. 🙂

Yesterday, I found myself browsing the aisles of a popular discount store (I happen to get many of my therapy products from those places, FYI), and came across a gem mining kit for $1.99. Well, I bought a couple of those, saving 3 for my kiddos at home and bring the rest to work.

What an amazing OT-based activity this turned out to be!

Kids had to use both hands to stabilize the mallet and pick in order to chip away at the ‘rock’. Kids worked in groups, taking 3-minute turns on a rotating basis (social skills-check!) Other skill components addressed focused on bilateral coordination, hand stability, and fine motor strength. It was hard to chip away the layers-kids got tired!

The rock was made out of a chalky substance that , while very firm, emitted a powder that felt very noxious to my tactile-hypersensitive hands. (I dealt with it though, no worries .)Sensory processing and integration (most notably the tactile system)-check. Not one kid asked to go wash their hands during this activity-their sensory systems must be more mature than mine, at least in some respects 🙂

Finally, when kids found a gem, they had to use extreme hand control and dexterity with the pick to carefully chisel it away from the rest of the rock.

Of course, kids were motivated and engaged, as some part of this activity appealed to each and every one of the children I saw.

Tell me truly: after reading this, are you not going to buy a kit for a kid that you know, work with (or possibly yourself?) Have an amazing week!


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