Fun Stuff to do During Therapy?
Hey guys! I was wondering what you guys do with the riders for fun during therapy? Do you play games? Take the sensory trail? I would love to hear what everyone else does. Thanks! :D
There are lots of games that we will play with them while they're on their horses to keep things fun and for communication/coordination, ect. There is a mailbox they take toys in and out of, or they'll thrown a beach ball back and forth on the horses, or they play regular games like follow the leader, take turns picking something to do, ect. A lot of them will get "quizzed" on parts of the horse, too. Example: mane, tail, withers, ears, neck, eyes--you know; easy stuff; harder stuff for the more advanced people. There are a whole lot more games and things that I'm sure I haven't seen or been there for yet as well.
NHR also has a "trail" that has a little bridge, bells, gravel, small logs to step over, ect, on it. All of the kids are always so excited when they get to go on the trail! For the more challenged ones the instructor will stop by the different things and ask the children what each thing is, or ask them to ask him/her (the instructor), politely to ring the bells, or ask the children to tell the horses to step on the bridge. It encourages communication as well as just changing things and getting away from the arena.
Great idea to invent this thread!
At my center, we have a few places we can go besides the rings, such as small trails through the woods, the driveway, our track and the sensory trail. The trails through the woods have toy animals on either side, so we have our riders try to see and name them all. Down the driveway passes by the paddocks, so they can say hi to the other horses and the donkey. The track has long, straight lines, which is great for balance. The sensory trail has a triangle for ringing (the instrument), a couple of games with balls, a basketball hoop, hanging balls, a bridge and rocks spray painted with different animals/colors to identify.
Inside, we also have a basketball hoop. We also have a mailbox with toys and cards that say things like "ride backwards", "do hands and knees", "go down the driveway", etc. Another popular thing is the magnetic dartboard- great for fine motor! We have hairclips that they can put in their horse's mane- also great for fine motor skills. During therapeutic riding sessions, we often play red light green light or "the question game". In the question game, we'll ask the riders a variety of horse related questions and if they get it right, they get to take a certain number of steps. At the end of the game, we count up the steps. We'll also have kids who are riding in a group together play catch and toss a ball back and forth between the two of them. We challenge them to see if they can do it while walking... it's really hard!
On hot days in the summer, we give each kid a small cup filled halfway with water and challenge them to not spill it while walking and trotting... just check with parents first!
I'm looking forward to seeing what other people do... it's definitely harder to keep everyone occupied when we're stuck inside due to weather!
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