5 fun ice breakers for therapy sessions

5 Incredible Ice Breakers for Therapy Sessions

Rapport between therapist and client can be built by finding common ground and engaging in a positive joint experience. Rapport reduces tension and helps foster trust and communication within the therapeutic environment. Ice breakers are an excellent way to lay a strong foundation for rapport, as they provide an early opportunity for joint participation in an activity, communication, and bonding. The following is a list of ice breakers that will help you start out on the right foot with your clients during therapy sessions.

5 Incredible Ice Breakers for Therapy Sessions:5 Fun Ice Breakers for Therapy Sessions

  1. Get-To-Know-You Jenga: Tape different topics of conversation on Jenga pieces (e.g., food, game, birthday, sports, superheroes, etc.) on different Jenga blocks. While playing the game, each player takes a block from the Jenga tower and has to ask another person a question related to the topic written on the block before adding it to the top of the tower. For example, if the block says, “sports,” the player can ask, “What is your favorite sport?”
  2. Family Picture: The therapist and the child draw pictures of their families and then take turns describing each family member.
  3. All About Me Charades: Therapist and child secretly draw pictures of favorite activities or items (e.g., favorite sport, food, subject in school, animal, etc.). Once the pictures are complete, they take turns acting out each drawing without any words while the other guesses.
  4. Fact or Fib: Tell the child that you are going to share three pieces of information about you: two things you say will be facts and one will be a fib. The child has to guess which two are facts and which one is the fib. Once the student understands the game, he or she can take a turn.
  5. Talent Show: Therapist and child draw pictures of three things that they are good at. Once the pictures are complete, they take turns demonstrating or acting out each of their talents.

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NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Developing Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination is the synchronization of eye and hand movements. It involves proprioception (knowing where your body is in space) combined with processing visual input. Any task that requires the coordination of vision and hand movements involves hand-eye coordination. Examples of hand-eye coordination include grasping objects, catching and throwing a ball, playing an instrument while reading music, reading and writing, or playing a video game.

Hand-Eye Coordination in Infants

There are many ways to encourage development of hand-eye coordination in a child. Just like any other skill, the more time spent doing activities that involve hand-eye coordination, the easier the skill will become. In infants, reaching and playing with objects and toys are great ways to foster development of hand-eye coordination. As they get older and are able to sit independently, you can play with balls, encouraging the baby to roll and corral them. Playing with blocks and other toys that involve putting something in or taking something out are also great ways for an infant to develop this skill.

Hand-Eye Coordination in Toddlers

With toddlers, continue to play with various sized and textured balls to develop hand-eye coordination. By the age of three, a toddler should be able to “fling” a ball forwards and catch a ball against their chest. To help develop his aim, you can practice tossing balls into hula-hoops or targets on a wall (start with big targets and get smaller as the child progresses and gets older). To practice catching with only the hands, start with bigger and softer balls (like koosh balls or bean bags). Progress to smaller and harder balls (like a tennis ball) as the child gets older.

Hand-Eye Coordination in 4 Year Olds and Older

Coloring and creating crafts is another fun and great way to develop hand-eye coordination. Some fun crafts to do include stringing beads or macaroni, finger painting, or playing with play-dough. When a child is four years or older, games that involve slight hand movements can also further facilitate growth in this area. Examples of these games are Jenga, Honey-Bee Tree, or Topple (all available at any toy store). Complex puzzles, Legos, or building blocks are other great hand-eye coordination activities.

Children who have poor hand-eye coordination often refuse or choose not to participate in activities that involve this skill. The activities mentioned above can be very beneficial in assisting these children in improving their hand-eye coordination. Some children struggle immensely with every-day activities due to poor coordination skills. These children may require extra assistance from an occupational therapist or a physical therapist.

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