Today, it was beautiful and sunny when I woke up. I couldn’t wait to start the day! I brewed some coffee and by the time I turned back to the window, IT WAS SNOWING. What just happened? The best part was that it snowed for an hour and then the sun came out for the rest of the day. It’s official. We are in the crazy bouts of spring!
All of this crazy weather has driven me to pull out my weather themed interventions for this time of year. When I was in my internship in New York, spring was full of rain, thunder, sunshine, and snow. At that time in my internship, creating interventions, session planning, and songwriting were overwhelming experiences!
But I had an idea one day for a fun sensory-movement experience revolving around thunder. The most important part of this intervention is the therapist’s presence and animated facial expressions, so get silly and get those kids to buy-in! Download a copy of the sheet music and intervention here!
***INTERVENTIONS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED TO USE AS “PRESCRIPTIONS” TO APPLY TO ALL CLIENTS. READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC HERE. ***
POPULATION: Children under the age of 7 with gross motor needs, autism, sensory integration difficulties, limited speech production, or typically developing children.
GOAL: To demonstrate sensory regulation, to increase gross motor movements, to increase speech production, to improve coping skills
- I usually jump right into this one!
- Use ALOT of exaggerated affect and “attention-getters” such as big gasps of air when you want to gain attention throughout the intervention.
- Exaggerate all of the repetitive sounds and point to your mouth– this helps clients with speech production and allows for you to model those speech sounds.
- After the “shh” section, I bring the tempo and dynamics way down incrementally which results in a lot of quiet kiddos ready to move onto the next intervention.
KEY ELEMENT: The key element in this intervention is the tempo and dynamic changes and building up to the “clapping” section. Another big key element is the therapists’ use of facial expressions, exaggerated speech production, and overall presence.
- Make this more difficult by talking with children after the song about what makes them scared. This is a great song to facilitate bravery, as the “shh” gives children confidence to “scare” the thunder away. What coping skills can they use to scare other frightening things away?
- Make this easier be giving hand-over-hand assistance and encouraging single gross motor movements, vocal approximations, or engagement for short bursts of time.
What songs do you find yourself using this time of year? If you end up trying this one, let me know how it goes!