By Darlette Navortski, M.A.,CCC-SLP
When I’m looking for inspiration, I look to nature. Taking a walk through the woods, sitting by a stream, climbing a mountain has helped me through difficult times and have reminded me of the value of being in the moment…….the moment in front of me at this very second.
As I think about the individuals with whom we work, I think about the opportunities we have to help capture moments and to develop a child’s natural skills of seeing beyond labels, and functions. Children learn through play. They love to be silly and to find ways to joke and to surprise people in their lives. How can we facilitate their creative, out-of-the-box thinking?
For example, in school, we learn about clouds: the definition, the different names, and how they are formed. What else do we know about clouds? They wonderfully demonstrate fleeting moments in our lives. You look up and it’s there. You might see a shape, and the next minute it has morphed into just a regular cloud. It’s gone.
So what do clouds and fleeting moments and creative thinking have to do with a therapeutic activity? How can you help your child to look beyond and see more than just sky, clouds, sun, maybe birds and if you’re really lucky, a rainbow.
Try using clouds to teach the meaning of the words LOOK and SEE.
You can LOOK out the window. You can LOOK at the sky. Tell me what you SEE.
A happy hippo?
T. Rex chasing a prey or a snake chasing a frog?
2 birds sitting on a branch?
There are a lot of fun things you can do just to reinforce these 2 words: You can write a poem about LOOK and SEE:
I LOOK at the sky. I SEE blue. I SEE white. I SEE a hippo! Can hippos fly?
You can help the child write a story about the 2 birds on a branch.
A little bird was tired. He wanted to sit. He LOOKED for a nice branch. He SAW another bird sitting there. He found a friend. Both birds were happy.
Let the clouds remind you how fleeting your precious moments are. Can you see unplanned opportunities to teach a new word? Look beyond what you may have planned and see what your student/child is interested in. Inspire them by seeing beyond what you’ve done before. You will share fleeting moments of joy.
Stories and Strategies fo...