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Some Therapeutic Learning Activities

Magic Water

*(distraction)

 When?

When a child is hurt or upset, this distraction helps to calm him down.

Why?

Focusing on the water helps
children regain self-composure.
They might also believe in its
benefits!
  

What?

paper cup
drinking water
special pitcher (optional)

     

How?

* If a child has a little tumble or if he is
   frustrated or upset, hold him and give
   him some Magic Water.
  

*
Fill a cup with water and hand it to him.

*
After he drinks it, ask him if he feels
    better and wants to talk about it.

            

Adaptation

* Keep a small, special pitcher on your
   desk, perhaps a beautiful pottery one,
   to hold the Magic Water. This is much
   more than pouring water from the tap!
  

 

 

                                                                           

 

I'm so Glad I Came to school

*(sense of belonging)

When?

Start circle time with a smile and this song.

Why?

Children will learn the name of their school and develop a sense of belonging to the school group.

What?

bell

 

How?

 *Ring a little bell, then begin this chant.

   
I'm so glad I came to school today,
     I came to school today,
     I came to school today,
     I'm so glad I came to school today,
     I came to be with all my friends.
  I'm so glad I came to school (name school) today,
     I came to school (name school) today,
     I came to school (name school) today,
  I'm so glad I came to school (name school) today,
     I came to be with all my friends.

*
Ask the children why they're happy to be at
    school and what they're looking forward to
   doing that day
.

Adaptation

* Here's a song to build school identity.
   Sing it to the tune of
  "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush."

    The name of my school is (name school),
     (name school), (name school).
     The name of my school is (name school),
     That's the name of my school.
     The name of my teacher is (name teacher),
     (name teacher), (name teacher).
     The name of my teacher is (name teacher),
     That's the name of my teacher.

 

 

 

Tidy Up

*(clean up time)

When?

Sing this tune to the children when it's
time to clean up
.

Why?

Children respond more readily to a pleasant song than to demanding statements.

What?

No materials needed.

How?

*  While putting away toys, begin
     singing this song to the tune of
    "Jingle Bells."

    Tidy-up, tidy-up, put the toys away.
    Tidy-up, tidy-up, we're finished for today.
    Oh, tidy-up, tidy-up, put the toys away.
    For we'll get them out again
    The next time that we play.

 

Adaptations
*  Let one child be the "singer" and  skip
    around   the   room   as   he   sings
    clean-up song and reminds his friends
    what to do
*  Here are other helper songs to sing.
 
              
  "A Helper I Will Be"
            (Tune: "Farmer in the Dell")

                   
   A helper I will be.
                      A helper I will be.
                      There's work to do,
                      A helper I will be.

                     A picker-up I'll be, etc.

              
   
"Jolly Good Helper"
   (Tune: For He's a Jolly Good Fellow")

           (Child's name) is a jolly good helper.
    (insert  the names of children who are helping)
           (Child's name) is a jolly good helper.
           (Child's name) is a jolly good helper.
        And (another child's name) is a helper, too.

 

 

 

Make a Lap

When?

This little poem helps children sit down or
stand up.

Why?

When children repeat the words and make
the motions, they settle down.

What?

No materials are needed.

 How?

  Ask the children to repeat each line.
  Model the motions for the children.
              I tap my head.
              I push my nose.
               I pull my ear.
               I touch my toes.
               I clap, clap, clap.
              Then I sit down
              And make my lap.

 

Adaptations

  If children are sitting, say this verse to
       get them to stand up.

                I tap my head.
                I push my nose.
                I pull my ear.
                I touch my toes.
                I clap, clap, clap.
               Then I stand up.
               Uh, oh, where's my tap?

     Sing this song to the tune of
      "If you're Happy and You Know It,'
      to encourage children to sit down.

          Put your bottom on the rug,
             on the rug,
          Put your bottom on the rug,
            on the rug,
         Put your bottom on the rug,
            then give yourself a hug,
         Put your bottom on the rug,
            on the rug.

 

 

The Snap Rap

When?

This snappy rap focuses children's attention on the playground or in the classroom.

Why?

As children join in with the steady beat,
they are encouraged to listen and follow
directions.


What?

No materials are needed.

 How?

  Simply start snapping your fingers.
   When the children are looking and
       snapping along, say the following chant


if you want to hear a story, (snap to the beat)
This is what you do.
You've got to sit down on the rug
Like the soldiers do.
You've got to listen to your teacher,
Raise your hand.
You've got to let her know
That you understand.
That's right, (snap and point to children
following directions)
That's right.
That's right.
That's right.

Adaptations

  For children who can't snap, simply clap
       to the beat.

  Change the words to what the children
        are expected to do. For example, "If you
        want to go outside, this is what you do.
        You've got to line up at the door like the
        soldiers do."

    Do the Magic Clap. Tell the children
       that whenever you clap a pattern, they
       should stop, repeat it and look at you.
       Practice a few times, then give it a try
       on the playground or in the classroom
       when you need their attention.

 

Tighten-Relax

When?

Use this activity to calm children before
nap time.

Why?

Tighten-Relax helps children recognize parts of the body as well as release stress.

What?

tape or record of classical music
 (Baroque works best.)


How?

 Have the children lie on their backs with
   their eyes closed.

 Turn off the lights and play the classical
   music.
 With the children, work through the
    following exercise.

Wiggle your toes. Tighten them up very tight
         Tighter. Now let them relax.
Wiggle your feet. Tighten them up very tight.
        Tighter. Now let them relax.

   Wiggle your legs ....
   Wiggle your hands ...
   Wiggle your arms...
   Wiggle your neck ...
   Wiggle your head...
   Wiggle your whole body ...
Your body feels warm and good all over.
It is now ready to rest.
Adaptations

   Have the children squeeze different
    parts of their bodies like lemons, then
    relax them.


   Tell the children to stretch various parts
  of the body.

   Try this breathing exercise with children.

                Pretend you are a balloon.
                Blow yourself way up.
                Bigger, bigger!
               Now slowly let out all of the air.
               Put your hands on your tummy.
               Now blow it up with air.
         Do you feel it getting bigger and bigger?
             Now slowly let out all of the air.

 


Ten in the Bed

When?

Grab children's attention with the prop for this song. Start the song and challenge children to finish cleaning up and join circle time (or anytime) before the last bear
falls off the bed!

Why?

While children are singing along they learn
numerals and about subtraction.


What?

file folder
construction paper
markers
scissors
brad fastener
tape
piece of fabric 1 4" x 1 0"

Preparation

  Color the bears and cut out the pillow.

  Draw the head post of a bed on the top
   half of the file folder. Tape the piece of  
   fabric  to the bottom half to resemble a  
   quilt on the bed.


  Attach the bears and pillow with a brad
  to the center bottom of the top half.     

How?

  Ask the children to hold up ten fingers.

  Open the file folder and count the ten
    bears in the bed.

  Begin the song, turning the wheel to
   make a bear disappear after each verse.

There were ten in the bed (hold up ten fingers)
    And the little one said,
'Roll over, roll over. ' (roll hands)
     So they all rolled over
And one fell out. (hold up nine fingers)
  There were nine in the bed (hold up nine fingers)
  And the little one said... (continue until there is one bear left)
   There was one in the bed
And the little one said,
   I've got the whole bed to myself.-
(Clap hands and sing the following to the tune of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.")
      "I've got the whole bed to myself.
      I've got the whole bed to myself.
      I've got the whole bed to myself."

 

 

 

                                                     

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