I have to admit, I’ve been waiting to try this idea, that I saw in not one but two places on pinterest, out for a while and I had the perfect kiddo that I wanted to be the one to test it. This kiddo has developmental coordination disorder and so I really wanted to see how she was able to navigate the through the tape blocking the hallway. I made it simple because I wanted her to have some success with the task, allowing her to have fun while doing it, and ultimately working to improve her mobility skills. I only had two levels of tape, one a few inches off the ground and one about 2 feet above that. I kept them at varying distances from each other (and a few going diagonally) as they made their way down the short 3-5 feet of hall that we were going to traverse.
It was a great activity for her to practice and for me to observe and assist. It also helped that we were getting through it to get to the Wii at the end of the hallway. I let her get through the first time on her own. Then of course I had to go through it as well. She knew exactly what she needed to do although being able to do it was a different story. I will say, we never once made it through without getting tangled up in the tape somehow. I think I would try to figure out a different tool to use to create the maze as the tape falls down quickly and all of a sudden you are caught in a cocoon of tape rather than working your way through the spiderweb!
The problem was that as long as she could see where she was placing her hand or foot she was able to clear the tape successfully. However, as soon as she moved an extremity that she wasn’t watching she couldn’t judge where to place her foot or hand, or how high to lift it to clear the obstacle. And when she was focusing on her extremities she forgot about the rest of her body causing her head or shoulder or back to bump into the tape. This was true even as I provided verbal cues and then added in assist at a leg or a hand.
This activity has great potential for helping kids with body awareness, motor planning, coordination, and problem solving. I think if I could use a heavier barrier such as poles it would help to provide limits for body placement and provide more cues as to body awareness. (I’m not sure how I would rig this up but I will give it some thought). Pool noodles would also be a great way to create the maze. If you make it into a game and make a buzzer sound whenever they hit the barriers it could provide an auditory cue as well. As they improve you can make it more challenging or change the maze materials and eventually bring it back to tape. It’s a 3-D way of playing a version of limbo!
Who else has tried this activity and what have you learned from it?