Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Toy-FULL Tuesday


The wonderful light box, basically exactly what it sounds like: a box, with a light in it, that is used for vision therapies and general play at our house... since Brayden's older sisters like it too! Since it is a therapy tool, with the label of "special  needs" on it, it carries a hefty price tag as well. We were fortunate enough to have one given to us that was old and out of use in a local school district. It works great for us here at home... our great friend Heidi, Junior's mom, actually made one and you can see more about that at her Adaptions 4 Kidz blog (be sure to browse around for some other pretty incredible adaptions for your little ones as well... especially crafty ideas!) Here is Junior's light box and the blog post has many more pics as well!


Here are some ideas for utilizing your light box, once you've managed to get your hands on one or created one yourself...

Mini Light Box:Fred's Head (APH)

By Michelle Clyne, M.S. Ed.
Project Coordinator
Project Reach: Illinois Deaf-Blind Services

Use a Light Box as a Table for Eating:
• Pour juice in a clear cup or bottle which will glow and encourage reaching 
• Scatter M&M’s on the surface 
• Scatter Cheerios on the surface 
• Scatter small or large crackers on the surface 
• Set a table by having the student match plate, cup and spoon with a transparent outline of these objects on the light box 
• Set a plate with bread and put a container of light colored jelly on a light box (suggest apricot), help the student shift gaze from jelly jar to bread as he or you take the jelly to 
spread on the bread 
• Place Jello in clear container (it will glow) 
• Help the student mix colored soft drink mix into a clear glass of water and watch the color develop

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Use a Light Box for Arts & Crafts (cover in clear plastic): 
• Finger paint on parchment paper with foam paint 
• Paint with dark colored pudding 
• Paint with whipped topping on red or blue transparency 
• Use watercolors on parchment paper 
• Sprinkle powdered tempera paint on parchment paper; help student spray on water and watch color spread and swirl 
• Roll clay into strings and lay out in interesting shapes on light box 
• Use Wikki Sticks to make raised outlines 
• Use “smelly” markers on tissue paper 
• Make a necklace using beads and string

Use a Light Box to Encourage Reaching: 
• Place APH spinner on light box which will motivate student to reach to start and stop spinner 
• Attach on end of a Slinky to the handle and hang over lighted surface; wrap other end onto student’s wrist to encourage arm movement 
• Stack up blocks so that simple arm or leg movement knocks them down 
• Leave a Koosh ball on the light box 
• On large light box, put a capability switch attached to an adapted plush toy. Position the student so that slight pressure on the switch makes the plush toy move. Help the student 
shift gaze between the switch, the toy and the light box. 

Use a Light Box with Students who have Movement difficulties: 
• Adult helps student with any of the activities suggested here if the student signals for the adult to continue 
• Have student use a capability switch to turn on the light box 
• Small infants can be positioned prone on the light box for tummy time 
• In supported 90 degree sitting, a small child can crinkle mylar paper under their foot or feet while they rest on a light box 
• Have the student eye point to choose one of two items lined up on a light box 

Use a Light Box during Class: 
• Make transparencies of circle/calendar time pictures and show them on the light box 
• Make transparent digital pictures of classmates and familiar adults, show them using the light box, asking the student to identify “so and so” 
• Have the student construct a daily schedule on the light box using pictures made into transparencies 
• Count manipulatives lined up on a light box 
• Use a bold marker to write letters on lightweight paper and tape it to the light box. Have student trace the letters. 
• “Sense of Science” (APH) overlays can encourage gaze shift, recognition, etc. 
• Do sorting activities on the light box 
• Have the student choose rhythm instruments by the outline they make on the light box 
• Use the light box to highlight dark lines that need to be cut for scissor projects

Use the Light Box for Daily Living Routines:
• When getting dressed, put the sock and shoe on the light box and have the child eye point to the next item needed 
• Put wash cloth and tooth brush on the light box and ask the child to choose which they want to do first. Choose with eye pointing, finger pointing, naming…
• Before going to the store, doctor, etc., show the child transparencies of those activities on the light box 

Use the Light Box for Make Believe Play:
• Put dress up items on light box. Have child identify items and choose how they want to dress up: e.g. baseball cap vs. construction hat 
• Put play hammer or similar object next to play area so that the child can choose to play house or play construction 
• Trace outlines of make believe characters/action figures to make pictures of them, then use picture to write a story 
• Tell stories with pictures by using real objects on light box to create a “shadow puppet” type of performance. E.g. twigs make trees and a Barbie type doll becomes Goldilocks 

Others Ways to Use a Light Box:
• Look at a “Discovery Light Book” on the light box 
• Play “Break the Ice” on a large light box 
• Play hands only “Twister” with a transparent color circle overlay on a large light box 
• Play table top hockey using quarters and fingers on large light box 
• Make a woven pot holder putting the loom and loops on a light box 
• Thumb wrestle with a friend on the light box 

Enabling Devices ■ 50 Broadway Hawthorne NY 10532 ■ 800-832-8697

THIS is awesome!! From GUS Modern 

Here are some more pretty great ideas which I stumbled upon on the web site for American Printing House for the Blind, Inc:

  • Reflective tissue boxes with a different color Mylar® sheet stuffed inside
  • Foil metallic or Mylar® pompoms or party blowers Mylar® cat balls
  • Wide silver mixing bowl with rubber ball - swirl the ball inside the bowl creating a reflective motion
  • Food dye and hair gel in a double zip lock plastic bag placed on a light table or light box
  • Roll cat bell toys on light table or light box
  • Plastic needlepoint screens on a light table or light box
  • Mesh place mats and coasters on a light table or light box
  • Bathroom appliqués on a light table or light box
  • Roll a plastic egg on a light table or light box. When applicable, place something inside the egg for noise
  • Arm band bicycle light attached to bottle
  • Identifier disks - attachable by band or adjustable slit for helping to identify items such as spoon, toothbrush, etc. Disks may be reflective to start.
  • White box with silver CDs strategically placed on it so the child can see him/herself- can also double as a lap desk
  • Dog toy-rolling, flashing light bone CAUTION FOR SEIZURES
  • Rope Lights
  • Iridescent light chaser
  • Lead light wand
  • Silver dryer duct tube
  • Artificial or real flowers, e.g., sunflowers, daisies, orchids, etc.
  • Multi-sensory object(s) with individual controls for sensory stimulators
  • Solid color or two color ball with sound
  • Wind-up penguin, first flaps wings and then walks
  • Cat toy-plastic rat that moves upon being lightly tapped-rat says "na na na na na," available from cat catalogs and discount stores
  • Lift-off spinning toy-stays in the air for a while
  • Neon tubing strung with cat bell toys
  • Bubble blowers
  • Spinning top that changes light color as it spins
  • Vibrating pen made of translucent colored plastic
  • Slow moving wind-up toys
  • Florescent bingo daubers
  • Giant florescent puff balls
  • Florescent foam sun visor
  • Three plastic plates (2 one color-1 another color-use child's favorite color or florescent) on a contrasting color tablecloth
  • Bright, one color Slinky® (on light table in the beginning, then without light)
  • Sheet over mom and baby with red light
  • White noise machines w/tapes and/or headphones
  • Books and materials with simple faces
  • Photo book equipped with recording device, available at Radio Shack
  • Books with emphasis on internal details-same character in different poses but with a certain distinguishing characteristics such as a hair bow or baseball cap
  • Books that are age appropriate
  • Books about body language
  • Books that build from one item pictures with add-ons as you go
  • Book with tactile clues that fade out as book progresses
  • Round vinyl tablecloths in yellow, red, or black to provide an uncluttered background creating visual contrast
  • Black tri-fold display board to provide an uncluttered background creating visual contrast
  • Floam - good for some tactually defensive children
  • Toys featuring soft noises for preemies
  • Various color combinations can be achieved with the Lauri® Fit-a-Shape Puzzles, starting with one color and building to four colors. One side is textured and the other side is smooth.

Prism Blocks by Alex® work especially well when dimming the light box a bit. I usually offer several of the same color and then add one of a different color and watch to see if the child reaches for or looks at the 'different' one. It usually works best at a light table where I am able to position the child in an upright supported position with arms on the table, it seems to get that head upright for the four children I have worked with using these. I have also used them on the small light box with a child in side-lying position with good response. —Terri Connolly, Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Many metallic, neon, and brightly colored items can be purchased commercially. Most mail order or online companies require a "unit" purchase in assorted colors. A unit can be any amount from ½ dozen to six dozen. Getting six or twelve different colors of pom poms, glitter plastic twist spinners, or glass mirror ball ornaments may be a great way to check for color preferences. 


Check out the following link and type in search words such as "glitter" or "metallic" and see what you can find: www.orientaltrading.com Any dollar store is a treasure trove of great ideas as well!!

If you're on Facebook, find our friends at Thinking Outside the Lightbox for more great ideas to aid with vision therapy... and, of course, be sure to like our foundation page for Global Hydranencephaly Foundation.

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