It’s Toy Talk Thursday! This week we are talking poppers. Poppers are wonderful toys that can be used to strengthen hands, develop hand-eye coordination and support cause and effect play (the Sock Monkey and Penguin Poppers may be seen in the pictures below). Children love squeezing the stomachs of the various characters and watching the balls shoot across the room. If I am honest – it is fun for all. As a small tip for play, if you are playing with a younger child or with a child or youth with weaker hands, encourage them to squeeze around the head, they will have more success. As their strength progresses, transition to placing one’s hands and squeezing the character’s tummy.
At OuTcomes Therapy, we love to combine poppers with activities that foster social thinking. For example, when we are learning about SuperFlex and the Unthinkables (Destroyer of Fun, Rock Brain, or Glassman), we often spread the characters around the room (see homemade pictures of the Unthinkable characters). We then read a short story that describes how one of the Unthinkables characters has taken over someone’s brain, the child or youth is then encouraged is aim the popper at the correct character and knock him down with a popper ball. This activity enhances social thinking and develops hand eye coordination and hand strength. It is true OT in action.
If you have any questions about how to use poppers or about how we support the development of social thinking, please do not hesitate to contact us.