Stress Busters

July 29, 2014 at 6:30 AM Leave a comment

The pressures of school can be tough on kids, especially those with special needs. Play can help children relax, recharge their batteries and take on new challenges.

It’s hard to remember a time when kids had more stress in their lives. Schools are forced to pressure children more and more to pass tests to keep their stream of funding. Our educational system is also under mounting pressure as the global ranking for America’s schools continues to trend downward. Homework has trended upward with little impact.

What research has proven again and again is that kids learn best through play. Guided play advances cognitive skills like language, as well as social skills such as emotional regulation. Group play experiences also greatly impact a child’s
coping abilities, empathy, mood and resiliency. Despite evidence linking play to development, parents, educators and policy makers have allowed children’s play time to drastically erode in the last two decades.

Play functions as an antidote to the pressures of life, including school anxiety. Here are some product ideas to help kids defuse stress and refresh their bodies. These suggestions are especially beneficial for children with special needs who have their share of school struggles

Sing, dance and play music
Music therapists know the power of listening to and making music. Rhythms are a way to cut up time just like learning fractions. Music is a mood enhancer, and making music empowers and engenders the creative spirit. It also positively affects attention and focus. Here are some products that strike the right chords with kids.

1

Beamz is an interactive music system that lets kids use
their hands to interrupt four laser beams, thus creating
their own original music and melodies. It’s a great way
to encourage young bodies to move rhythmically.
thebeamz.com
Schoenhut’s Band in a Box inspires movement as well as music with a set that combines maracas, a triangle, bells and a tambourine. Kids can knock the kinks out of their day as they shake away on the instruments.
toypiano.com

 

2
The Rhythm Tree Music Therapy set is an interactive music set that introduces music and all its benefits to children with special needs, promoting developmental milestones through engaging tunes. The set includes a DVD, instructions and instruments.
therhythymtree.com

 

Write their feelings out
Journaling, drawing and exploring emotions through writing are good ways to channel concerns and clear them out.
Carolina Pad combines the function of school supplies and the fun of fashion-making with notebooks, folders and more that come alive with color and patterns. They are great for journaling the day and putting it away. The Fundanoodle series of writing tablets and multi-activity kits also inspires kids to develop school skills while having a whole lot of fun.
carolinapad.com
Weight can feel great
Weighted pads can help kids with sensory processing issues find some calm and comfort.
Covered in Comfort makes a series of weighted items ranging from lap pads to pencil pals that provide proprioceptive input, pacifies some kids’ nervous systems, promotes focus, and diffuses tension by providing weight and pressure.
coveredincomfort.com

 

Move, just move
Encourage movement in children any way y ou can. It is the best defense against depression.

Pedz is a pedometer that looks like a frog, and can inspire little ones to leap into action.
mypedz.com
Fidget, squeeze and cuddle
Sometimes a child just needs to cuddle and teU her woes to a secret pal. Other kids need their hands kept busy to free up their brains to focus.

3

WishPuppies are soft plush and the perfect size for a canine hug or two. The secret pocket in their soft underbelly is a place for a child to bury worries or
shelter secrets.
wishpuppies.com

 

4
Squigz by Fat Brain Toys are aptly described as “fun little suckers,” and they are just that. These sensory, rubbery connectors can entertain tiny hands, promote focus, provide sensory stimulations and pop
when pulled apart. Great for kids whose hands need to be kept busy.
fatbraintoys.com
Sqwishland Bracelets are fun, flexible bracelets that can be customized with different squishable animal characters. They’re soft, pliable and fidget-friendly.
sqwishland.com

 

This article was written by Ellen Metrick, Director of Industry Relations & Partnerships for the National Lekotek Center. Lekotek is a not-for-profit and leading authority on toys and play for children with disabilities. Lekotek is dedicated to providing children of all abilities access to the benefits of play experiences. Visit AblePlay.org for a complete listing of toys for children with special needs and follow us on Facebook!

Source: Educational Dealer Magazine, June/July, 2013

http://issuu.com/nationallekotek/docs/june_july_2013/28

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Sense-ational ASTRA Marketplace! The AblePlay Blog Has Moved!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Feeds

July 2014
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Categories

ableplay AblePlay YouTube Add new tag art products for children with special needs art therapy autism ban on lead benefits of art bullying and self-esteem Bush bans lead children children overweight children with disabilities health children with special needs and Christmas Children with Special Needs and Parties communicative skills Daniel Goleman disabilities discrimination and people with disabilities dissabilities doorbusters sales economic downturn economic lessons holiday season education and people with disabilities emotional I.Q emotional intelligence employment and people with disabilities friendship children with disabilities grateful heart gratitude half-full glass handicapped access handicapped public transportation health impllications overweight health obesity independence and people with disabilities inspiring Mom kids language development lead bans lead children toys Lekotek little tikes magic of Christmas Michael Savage mobility people with disabilities National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week new lead legislation No. 1 health concern Obama policy people with disabilties obesity and health obesity health concern obesity in children overweight children play Play therapy Power of Play President Bush lead right side of the brain Savage Nation social skills special needs speech development summer Talk Radio Host Autism Temple Grandin Thanksgiving there is a Santa Claus toughest lead standards in world toys toys for children with special needs understanding bullying values World Wide Day of Play Yes Virginia

%d bloggers like this: