Happy Christmas friends! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday week. I found this idea (in yes, again Family Fun magazine, smile from me) and forgot about it until this evening when it finally snowed here in New England. This original idea is for amping up a snow angel but I am sharing it because the idea is actually a nice little vision modification for our kids! Snow play is fun but it can be really frustrating, visually fatiguing and an orientation and mobility nightmare for our kids. The harsh glare of the snow on our kids is like kryptonite! Plus, it's all white!! No contrast at all. Have no fear this winter my friends! Let's use these three simple ideas to make snow play fun for our kids!
Idea #1--using the spray bottle and food coloring: genius! You
can use this a few ways but here's my first idea: you can create borders (aka a defined work space) to help our kids know where to play or what's happened. Remember to be generous with food coloring as we want the strongest color possible (are you thinking red, too?). Let your kiddo use the spray bottle too! (a great OT activity). You could also create a target for our kids to aim (tracking skills) or tic-tac-toe (which is just plain fun). Hey, you could even write in Braille!
Idea #2--Sprinkle bird seed on for a design. Bird seed is still a bit small for most of our kiddos to see but that's just your tip off idea. You can also find some pine needles, pine cones, etc. that could also help. This idea really does help with dressing up a snow angel.
Idea #3--See above comments.
Another idea that could be helpful is using some of those plow marker-stick-type things and paint them in an easy to see color and put them special places that can be hard to detect when playing out in the snow. This way, even though you can't see that tree stump, you've marked the yard with "hazard sticks" to alert our kids of potential blunders.
Lastly, while we are discussing the fun of snow, I hope you parents aren't afraid to let your little ones go out in the snow. Yes, there are the above mentioned setbacks but there are also some fun pros. In a nice back yard, our kids can go set out on a backyard trek and explore! Snow is quite forgiving to jump, run, walk into, etc. with. All you need is the right snow gear and winter sports are fun and is a nice fit for our kids. Remember that skiing is an excellent and quite popular sport for kiddos with vision impairments. I started taking my Student Advisory Council students on an annual ski trip. There are lots of places that will be guides, instructors, etc. for our kids to ski. I spent some time tonight and just did a plain old Google search on adaptive skiing for blind children. I found lots of great resources! One tip that stuck out to me came from disabled-world.com which pointed out that guides for blind people are usually regarded as "equipment" and are generally no extra charge. If you are in the New England area, check out STRIDE adaptive sports, http://www.stride.org. We used their adaptive ski instructors at Ski Sundown last year and it was amazing! They were excellent instructors. You will just have to check on costs. I am sure there are other resources since this is a Paralympic sport and quite popular. It would be a great family fun adventure and a life long sport.So grab your ski pants and hit the slopes!
|My student Chris, Braille reader, coming down with his guides from STRIDE.|