As we have seen on the page about using an Active Learning approach at home, expensive equipment is not a prerequisite to getting started!  The video below shows how a simple bath mat and water beads can be an interesting and developmentally appropriate activity, without need for any specialized equipment. 

bathmat

Voozeki with Bathmat & Beads

Description: A boy with cerebral palsy is seated outside in his wheelchair. On his lap tray is a spiky, gel bathmat with water beads.  Please note that this activity is not recommended for someone who puts things in his mouth.

voozeki2

Downloads: Transcript (txt) Audio (mp3)

Voozeki with Red Garland

Description: Voozeki with Red Garland. Video courtesy of the Gardea family, 2018.

red garland2

Note: The tinsel garland is not very strong and if eaten could be a hazard.  While this child just rubs it on his face and touches it,  it could be dangerous for children who might put it in their mouths or try to eat it.  For those children you could string buttons on elastic (very long) or attach items to tubing, or use fringe from a material store that is more sturdy, etc.

Voozeki with red garland

Downloads: Transcript (txt) Audio (mp3)

Voozeki with Beach Chair

Description: A boy with cortical visual impairment and cerebral palsy lies prone on a lounge chair in the family yard.

beach chair2

Note:   The beach chair is not very sturdy and someone must hold him in the position, but it is better than not doing it at all.  Note that the hip joint cannot bend because the chair is too long.  Finding a chair that is shorter in width would produce a better result by allowing the legs to move as well and this would be a good idea to try.

Voozeki with beach chair

Downloads: Transcript (txt) Audio (mp3)

Comparing Similar Items

A typically developing infant or toddler is constantly moving, touching, mouthing, smelling, looking, and listening.  A child spends a great amount of time in the first two years of life playing, experiencing and exploring with toys and objects.  It is the method by which all humans develop foundational concepts.  Through play, a child learns about size, shape, temperature, texture, flexibility, and density.  A child gains cognitive skills such as spatial relations, object concept, object permanence, and begins to develop problem solving skills.  A child will learn about the function of an object, compare qualities, understand quantity and begin to develop language skills.  The individual with special needs must also have opportunities to master these skills, an Active Learning environment will provide this opportunity. 

A young boy compares balls of different sizes  comparables rollers

In the images above, a young boy examines sets of objects:  a variety of different types of small balls on the left and a group of different hair rollers on the right. Exploring them and playing with them allows him to compare them and learn about their various properties.  (Watch the video to see him playing with these.) Courtesy of SKI-HI Institute.

Video of Child Comparing Items While Sitting in His High Chair

Description: In Active Learning, foundational concepts are developed through exploration of similar objects. This video, produced by SKI-HI Institute, demonstrates how a young boy with a visual impairment explores the properties of similar objects.

Downloads: Transcript (txt) Audio (mp3)

 gel beads collage