Whatzit
Primary Market
Health, Seniors Therapy
Character Focus
Cognitive Skills
Items Needed
1 Toobeez set, table, space chairs
The Activity Time
30 minutes

Outcomes

  • Promote cognitive functioning
  • Promote problem-solving skills
  • Work cooperatively with others
  • Promote memory skills
  • Promote communication skills
  • Gain recognition from others in the community
  • Improve fine-motor skills
Activity Focus
Cognitive
The Challenge

Participants will build two triangles, two rectangles, and two squares and link them together.

Preparation
Time 5 minutes

Materials

  • 1 Toobeez set
  • table space
  • chairs

Setup

  • Set up the table or other work space and surroundwith chairs.
  • Have the Toobeez ready.
Activity Plan

Group Size: Small group to individual.

Time: 30 minutes

Space: Medium

Activity Instructions

1.Seat the participants around the table or workspace.
Orient the participants to each other and open with a brief discussion on facing difficult challenges.

2. When the participants are ready, read the following storyline:
Your group is on a cruise in the Panama Canal, and the ship engine has just blown a “whatzit.” It happens to look like a triangle, a rectangle and a square, made from Toobeez. The whole cruise ship is depending on you! Help build two of each of these parts and link them together in order to repair the engine so everyone can continue the trip. It is up to you to save the cruise!

3. Read the Activity Challenge Box to the group.
Activity Challenge: Participants will build two triangles, two rectangles, and two squares and link them together.

4. Provide easy access to the Toobeez for the group.

5. The participants should now problem solve to build a triangle, a square and a rectangle from the Toobeez available to them. Therapist Note: You may want to only provide the pieces they will need.

6. Encourage the group with verbal prompts (if necessary) to get the group started.

7. As participants assemble these shapes, instruct them to link the shapes together like a chain.

8. Hand-over-hand intervention may be necessary from the therapist or activity professional, depending on the ability level of the group.

9. Praise the group often, and assist the participants when needed.

10. If your group is struggling, or if you feel your group would benefit from an additional challenge, present a variation provided below.

11. After the activity, move to the “Activity Discussion and Processing” section.

Whatzit1

Here are the available Teambuilding Training Options.

Activity Variations

1. Allow no verbal or written communication.
To make it a bit more challenging, do not allow team members to talk or use any written communication during the activity.

2. One communicator.
Have one participant tell the group how to build the “Whatzits.”

3. Build only one set.
To make the activity less difficult, build only one set of Whatzits.”

4. Make only squares
Depending on the ability level of the group or individual, a “Whatzit” can be built by squares only.

Safety Reminders!

Appropriate caution is important to conduct activities in a safe manner. Be sure to review these reminders prior to beginning the activity, and share reminders with the group if necessary.

  • Apply the “no discount” rule; all suggestions in the group are valued and are not put down, reduced or “discounted” in any way, as all group members’ comments are important
  • Be mindful of where your neighbor is sitting

Helpful Hints

  • The shapes do not have to be identical sizes

Activity Discussion and Processing

The effectiveness of the group process will often determine the outcome for the participant. These are only suggested questions to begin the discussion. Select the ones you feel will best benefit your group. Make sure to let everyone share their ideas, and remind participants that everyone’s feelings are important!

  • How did you feel when you heard about the task?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What was difficult about the task?
  • Was it hard to ask for help if you needed it?
  • Did you want to give up?
  • Did someone say something to help you today?
  • How does this activity relate to your life?

Closing the Activity
Review the challenge of the group and summarize how the challenge was (or was not) achieved. Highlight the main contributions and resolve unfinished issues. Affirm their efforts for support and acceptance of each other’s feelings. End with the following quote:

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller

Vicky Pitner is the author of the Toobeez Senior Therapy Activity Workbook and the upcoming Toobeez Recreational Activity Workbook. Recreation Services provides therapeutic recreation consulting, program development, staff and respite training, inclusion training, and workshops.
All Activities of Vicky Pitner, CTRS

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