April is traditionally a rainy month in much of the United States. Those showers may mean cloudy skies and a hard time going outside. This can be hard for students who are so excited to welcome a new season.
Think outside of the box and work on ways to incorporate the rain into sessions which work on goals, skills, and actively engage students. Perhaps you may want to ask families to send in rain gear so you may head outside. If that will not work, simply gather a bunch of old umbrellas to use with the kids.
Talk About Feelings in the Rain
Listening to the sounds of rain can be calming to many. Make a plan to bring students outside during a rainy day to talk about feelings. Take time to look around in silence. Therapists can ask everyone to spend a moment simply use their senses to experience the rain and weather.
- How does the rain make them feel?
- What sounds do they hear?
- Which things do they see out and about, what may be missing?
- Do they smell, taste, or feel anything different during the rain?
Remind your students that there are no right or wrong answers. It’s about what they sense and feel in the moment. Share all observations. Discuss what they would do to help cheer up a friend who is upset during extended bad weather. Would they take someone outside to listen to the rain to help and calm them down?
Clinicians can send information home to families about an extension activity to do together. Be sure to include translations for those who are multilingual and would like to participate.
Younger children may find the first activity a little too abstract. They will benefit from a more direct rain game using some umbrellas. This may be done outside or in a large space. Umbrellas make a fun top when turned upside down. Put numbers, letters, or anything else which you may be working on in sessions in each umbrella segment. Make up a set of rules to follow on each turn. Perhaps a four means rhyming that many words to one that you provide. It may also mean hopping on one foot that many times. The possibilities are endless for your therapy needs with individual students and groups. Focus on speech, fine motor, gross motor, social skills, or more.
On their turn, each child will carefully spin their umbrella. The portion which stops in front of their feet is what they must complete. This could be done with multiple umbrellas in a group. Each could be set up for the exact needs of the individual child rather than switching them out. By using Velcro, you will be able to switch things out for different children.
Encourage kids to talk to adults at home about making their own umbrella game for practice. Send home instructions with a photo so everyone is able to clearly see the concept. Include multilingual instructions for those who may need them.
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