I used to firmly believe in purchasing standard games as therapy products. (Not that there is anything wrong with standard games! But I do believe that they have their time and place.) My initial use of board games as a primary intervention may have partially stemmed from having three children under three in diapers, while being limited in my time relating to creating tools!
Fast-forward. My children grew a bit more independent. I grew a little more as a therapist. I began to understand the importance of functionally integrating sensory input while utilizing therapeutic interventions to gain successful outcomes in my clients.
That notion is what brings me to this simple, DIY activity that I would like to share with you. There are so many books and games for sale with similar goals and skills that are addressed, but I have found that the version I am about to share tends to be-
B. More engaging, as it encompasses more of the senses.
So, To Create a DIY I-SPY Game- You Will Need-
A Pencil Case
Filler (We used beads)
Laminated checklist of objects (visual or written)- optional
1. Visual Perceptual Focus-To make the visual perceptual component more complex, I recommend utilizing different colored beads/filler. To simplify this skill component, utilize a uniform color. Add this ingredient until around 1/2 full.
2. Academic/Cognitive Focus- Utilize different small objects in variety of shapes and sizes. To work on letter and/ or number recognition, incorporate these objects into the bag. You can create math problems, as well as sight words!
3. Self Regulation Focus- If you find that the child is motivated by a specific theme or character, you may want to include these, as a way to incentivize them to engage in the use of this bag, which may then act as a visual and tactile sensory tool/manipulative.
4. Visual Motor/Graphomotor Focus (optional)- If you choose to create a visual or written checklist of objects to find within the bag, consider having the child color their own version of the object found next to the visual or word once they locate it, as a means of checking it off. This will work on visual motor, graphomotor, and drawing skills.
5. Fine Motor/Bilateral Integration-When manipulating the bag to find different objects, the child will utilize different grasp patterns, while stabilizing the bag with their non-dominant hand at the midline point of the body. These are important developmental skill components for many academic and school-based tasks.
6. Make sure to super-glue the top!
Pretty simple activity to set up, but loads of skill development! Have a great rest of your week! 😀