Listen to the music that is playing. When the music stops, move your body into one of the squares. You must find a different square each time the music stops.
Time: 10 – 15 minutes
1. With four tubes and four spheres, build a square and place it on the floor.
2. Repeat this step to make additional squares so there is one square for each child.
3. Place all the Toobeez squares in a line or in a circle on the floor.
Time: 30 minutes
Instruction: Small group (up to six individuals)
Space: Medium – Lots (Therapy Gym, gymnasium or outside)
1. Have the children seat themselves around the squares in a circle. There should be an equal number of squares to children.
2. Review the guidelines of the game as listed in the box below.
1. Keep your hands and body parts to yourself.
2. Say, “It is okay to share squares today. We will be moving into and out of all of these squares today.”
3. Always be listening since the instructions may change.
4. If you feel tired or would like to stop playing, please tell the therapist.
Therapist Tip: The therapist can continue to involve the student by having him start and stop the music.
4. Begin the music and have the children walk slowly around the squares on the floor.
5. When the music stops, the children should move quickly to an open square and jump into it.
6. Once they have jumped into the square, ask them to “freeze” like another student, an animal, or move their body in a different position.
7. Begin again and remind the students to choose a different square.
8. Observe the children’s behavior, and look for signs of fatigue or distractibility.
9. When you observe the activity coming to an end, move on to the Discussion and Processing questions.
1. Decrease the difficulty.
Use music that has a slower rhythm. By moving around the squares at a slower pace, changing momentum and grading of the movement may be less challenging.
2. Increase the difficulty.
Remove one square after each time the music stops, ending with one child and one square.
3. Increase the difficulty.
To further challenge gross-motor skills, change the movement around the circle to crawling, hopping, jumping, skipping, galloping, walking backward tip toeing. If a student or group of students have not yet mastered the skill of jumping, step into the square instead. Be sure to choose movement skills that are developmentally appropriate and that match current physical abilities of the children.
4. Change the shape
Make it musical triangles or musical trapezoids! For increased difficulty and to challenge memory skills, when changing the shape, change the instruction of movement for each of the different shapes. For example, say “When the music stops, jump into the triangles and stand on one foot or jump into a trapezoid and place one hand on the floor.”
5. Change the game.
When the music stops, everyone puts their right or left hand or their right or left foot in the square. They could also put in an elbow or they could sit in the square. These variations reinforce skills such as sequencing and following instructions, and they also reinforce body-awareness skills
6. For children who use wheelchairs.
Have the children propel themselves in the circular pattern around the squares along with the other children (combine children with all different abilities in the same group). If the child is unable to propel his/her own wheelchair, another staff member can push the child around the squares. Before beginning the music, instruct the children on the movement they are to do when the music stops. For example, “When the music stops, everyone put your hands on your knees and call out a color of a Toobeez square lying on the floor.”
7. For children using switches.
For a child that is cognitively and physically involved, switches are often used for communication and to control electronics (for example, lights, radio TV, etc) in their environment. Using a Powerlink™ by Ablenet, hook up a switch to the radio and allow the child to control the starting and the stopping of the music.
8. For children using switches.
Program the instructions of the game onto a Big Mac switch or a Step-by-Step, and allow the child using switches to instruct the group.
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