The team at Achievement Products asked our consultant, Occupational Therapist Scott Russo, to provide some activity suggestions for incorporating some of our favorite items into daily classroom activities or curriculum.
Scott has provided some really great and creative ways to use items (that may have been originally designed for typically developing children), in special needs environments.
Today we will look at the Joey Jump.
The Joey Jump is an intoxicating tool designed for the development of whole body integration. The Joey Jump can be used with an individual child to teach body awareness and motor planning, eye-hand coordination skills, visual tracking, and bilateral integration skills. When used in a group, teamwork and social skills can also be integrated into the activity. The Joey Jump includes two spots for beanbag placement providing for natural gradation of the activity from easy to harder. Most importantly, children are drawn instinctively to this product.
· Count the catches. See how many consecutive catches the child can achieve. If you have more than one child, you can have individual competitions to see who can catch the most, since not much room is required for use. Multiple Joey Jumps can be set up in a small area for competitions.
· Monitor the height. In order to teach body awareness, instruct the child to hit the Joey Jump with the same amount of force each time to see if the beanbag can fly at the same height each time.
· Challenge the child to stomp with his/her right foot and catch with his/her left hand and vice versa to teach skills such as bilateral integration and crossing the midline.
· Have a therapist or teacher stomp on the Joey Jump to change the height of the beanbag flight and challenge the eye-hand and visual tracking skills of the child.
· Work in groups. With two children, one can stomp and one can catch. With more than two children, take turns on who catches, or challenge them by calling out a name while the beanbag is in the air to challenge their listening skills as well as their motor reactions.
· Do team relay races. Put separate Joey Jumps opposite each other. One child stomps and catches and then has to run the beanbag to his teammate. That child stomps and catches and runs it back to the other side. The child must continue the stomp and catch until he/she catches the beanbag in the air before delivering it to his teammate.
· Challenge with two beanbags. Place both beanbags on the Joey Jump and see if the child can catch both with one stomp.