I know we took a brief break from blogging but we’re back! We are going to start adding blogs about some of our favorite toys to use in therapy and how and why we use them. The first one is The Vet (here is another smaller version).
This toy has a lot of uses for occupational therapy since it has keys that you have to match up by color to open the individual doors. Since we do mostly physical therapy, we use it as a motivator, and the extra fine motor work they get to do is an added bonus!
We have used this toy for all ages. Currently I have a 12 month old using it (yes, the skills are higher than where he is but he is really interested in it so it works great as a motivator) and we kids up into double digits using the toy.
In this video we are working on hip stability and balance. Once she is finished her toe taps she gets to squat down (working on staying in the middle, and not shifting too far to one side) to open or close the doors. We would increase the number of taps between her opening or closing the doors and she was only allowed to open or close with each squat (anything to get more repetitions in!).
We have also used this toy to increase repetitions on the stairs as well as walking back and forth between support surfaces to improve ambulation. Anything with lots of pieces and parts is great for repetitions.
You can also use it to work on squatting. You saw some squatting in the video, but you can also ‘drop’ the keys repeatedly or have all the animals on the ground and the vet up on a higher surface to practice going down and up. If you want to work on balance with squatting and playing in squatting, just change the positions and have the vet on the floor and the keys and animals on an elevated surface. It takes longer to put the animals in and out and open and close the doors!
How have you used this toy?