One of our OT’s found this great game called From Head to Toe: Learn to Move. The pictures are all done in Eric Carle format which are pretty cool. I of course had to borrow it to use with some of my kids and as usual I did not read the directions but rather used it in my own way. We turned all the cards over and we each took turns picking a card (first we rolled a dice to see how many cards we each got to turn over). Once the kiddo picked the card they turned it over to see what the activity was and then they got to imitate it. We had fun trying out the different moves and seeing what would come up next. I actually thought some of the activities would be too easy however, they worked out great.
I was using them with a child who has coordination and motor planning challenges so it was really interesting to watch them look at the picture, hear the words for the action and then try to complete the task. Simple things that I’ve seen them do needed cuing to perform them correctly. For instance, when the card read ‘turn your head side to side’ the initial action that came out was the entire body turning side to side. Once I gave more directions such as ‘just the head’ and demonstrated the action as well, it was a quick transition to the correct action. I think its so interesting to see how a child who can easily shake their head ‘no’ without moving their whole body when they generate the action on their own, then has motor planning challenges when the task is asked of them. It just goes to show how there are different processes that occur for spontaneous movement as opposed to movement to a command. We see this a lot with kids with apraxia that they can easily perform a task such as picking up a block but when asked to perform the same task there are challenges with the movement.
I think this deck of cards was a great way to work on imitation, following directions, looking at pictures and interpreting a direction, and motor planning/coordination. It was nice because they were fairly simple movements but for kids that have these challenges it gave them an easy way to work on a bigger movement issue. How to motor plan a task when it is asked, versus being able to do the task spontaneously.
And, don’t forget, there may be more to the game that is even more fun and can draw out more skills however I didn’t actually read the directions so I can try that adventure another day!