Through teamwork and creativity these Great Kids brought Pokémon Go to life placing stuffed animals around the room and using ball pit balls to “capture” them by throwing the balls and knocking them over. They further challenged themselves by attempting to do this from their swings.
The vestibular system facilitates balance and coordination and is the foundation for all visual motor skills. The boys really activated this system being in constant motion on the swings moving in many different directions at different speeds. Movement on the swings paired with looking around for the animals and balls gave their visual systems a boost as well. The proprioceptive system provides us with a general sense of body awareness and also aides in coordination and planning. Crawling, pulling themselves on the swings, reaching and throwing awakened the boys’ proprioceptive systems.
The proprioceptive and vestibular systems play a big part in how our body moves through space and adjusts to the quality of experiences in order for us to move in the most efficient way possible. By activating these systems the boys worked on their planning of timing, pacing and grading force of movement as they experimented with many ways in which to throw the balls to capture the “pokémon”.
The added bonus of having two Great Kids (Great Brothers in fact) play this game together is that we also had the opportunity to work on emotional regulation and flexible thinking, such as accepting each other’s ideas, team work versus competition, and being a little frustrated versus very mad. When our sensational kids play they are working so hard to best understand the sensory and motor components of the game that many emotions arise. To deal with these emotions it is common for our kids to become inflexible in an attempt to control the information they receive and the movements they produce. As important as the sensory work is for our sensory kids, the emotion-based work is equally important.
The best way to reach goals for sensory and emotional needs and the functional impact they have on daily life is through play.