USING CREATIVE GAMES TO DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING AND GROSS MOTOR SKILLS

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CREATIVE GAMES

It’s a universal truth that the sun has to set and rise every day. For thousands of years human beings have been observing this and acknowledging this. According to whatever your age is you should have watched a rough estimate of these sunrises and sunsets, but how many have you actually seen?

How is it possible that something so beautiful, so picturesque is right in front of our eyes every day for us to feel the essence of beauty and aesthetics and yet we choose to miss it?

A child was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and immediately the child went from being called as “aww so cute” to “autistic special child” and loses the right to normalcy. The parents of such kids have to continually try to make them fit into what the society seems normal. When they feel that their kid is progressing, there is something that is still lacking. This disorder is like a competition where these kids are fighting against nothing in general. They are constantly reminded that they are not good enough and these thoughts follow them all the time everywhere. If a day comes where you want to get out of this vicious cycle, you realize how many sunrises and sunsets you’ve missed and that life has never provided you with an education program individualized for you.

You need to pause, take a break and ask what the plans are and how to proceed. It is of prime importance that you realize the power of focus. It is not easy to develop focus, but with time and practice, it will come along.

It is the duty of parents, educators and teachers that we let the child discover his/her own potential and to reach to the highest possible peaks of success, but this can be done only if we allow them a little amount of freedom. Everything is taken for granted these days. The counselor will guide you about your child’s education process, but might not even know what your child’s preferences are. How come in such a case we ignore this basic thing and move forward like those who are blind to sunrise and sunsets. Parents need to treat their kids like living beings and not things.

BOOST CRITICAL THINKING AND CREATIVITY:-

This is a fun way to plan a lesson that increases your child’s creativity and critical thinking abilities. It will also strengthen the gross motor skills and deals with what is that the child needs the most.

LESSON OF SPIDER WEB:

Follow the steps listed below:

  1. Make a spider web on the floor with the help of tape. Draw the lines thicker or thinner depending on your child’s gross motor skills. Thicker if the problem is more, but gradually the thickness can be reduced.
  2. Put bean bags randomly all over the web wherever there is a perpendicular intersection of vertical and horizontal lines.

The rules to be kept in mind:

You choose any vertical line as the initial point of the game and stand with your child at this point. You need to point to the nearest bean bag to your child and in the first few games you can direct, point or prompt your kid but eventually he/she will master these skills. What happens is that there are multiple paths that lead to the bean bag and this allows the kid freedom to choose whatever way he/she would like to follow. This enhances the kid’s critical thinking ability. To maintain balance, the kid has to put one foot after another. This develops the kid’s motor skills. After reaching a bean bag the kid has to throw it to the center, which also helps with motor skills.  Initially, your child may require a lot of guidance, but time will heal it all. You need to have faith and patience for this to work.

After all bean bags are collected, you have to REWARD your child. This is one of the most crucial stages of this game. For us this game might be simple, but for those dealing with autism, it is a lot of work.  The reward might be allowing them to do whatever they want or anything they desire. The aim is to achieve the advantages of the game.

ADVANCEMENTS:

The best lesson plan is the one that gives you the space to grow and work on yourself. This game provides you the liberty to make it as creative as you want. If you are making your child numbers or letters, place alphabets or numbers on these bean bags. As the child collects these bags ask him/her to pronounce it.

ADVANCEMENT IN VOCABULARY: When teaching words, place letters in the order of the word and ask the child to collect it in that order. Ask your child to verbalize it. As the child throws the letter in the right sequence, he/she learns how to spell a word.

ADVANCEMENT IN MATHEMATICS: You can show your child a math question and organize numbers on bean bags in a way that your child finds the solution after playing the game.

ADVANCEMENT IN DAILY LIVING ACTIVITIES:  A house which has an autistic kid usually has pictures all around the house symbolizing brushing teeth, getting dressed, going to the washroom, or going to school. For older children/students you can still use the spider web lesson plan. You can organize the pictures in a chronological order and later ask your kid questions like what is the thing they should do immediately after getting up? What is the right way to brush teeth? This will allow you to judge how much your child is learning.

ADVANCEMENTS IN TEACHING WAITING AND COMPETING: You can develop a healthy competitive spirit in your child by using bean bags of two different colors and let 2-3 children play together. This will inculcate a feeling of competition in the kid.

Autistic kids generally have a connection with lines and this game attracts these kids. Art and games like these allow such kids to express their mind. This game allows acquiring, learning and expressing knowledge with or without the use of words. This allows the kid to do mind-to-hand thought processing.

Thus, this develops your kid’s overall creative and critical thinking as well as gross motor skills.

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