As in most social groups, flexibility is the challenge. In one of our recent groups, we decided to use some Rory’s Story Cubes – dice with adorable illustrations on them, to create a “teamwork story” that required a lot of flexibility, and also allowed us to work on narrative language skills which is always a plus
I started the story (which always helps to establish a character, setting and initiating event…another great activity to tie to Mindwingconcepts) by rolling the die. I created a beginning of the story, and then said “beep” and passed a die to the child on my right (this allows the child to be in charge of their own contribution. If they are struggling they can keep it short). He then added on to my story, with the rules being that he had to “connect” the two ideas. This alone is a challenge in flexibility. He then added his part, and said “beep” when he was ready, and I handed another die to the next child, who added on. Jill as my OT co-leader and MUCH better drawer, kept track of the story using a white board, which provided visuals for the kids to help connect the story.
The story went on like this until everyone had a turn to add. Jill ended the story to provide a clear resolution. Throughout the story making process lots of skills were addressed.
- Keeping it “short and exciting” versus going on and on and on. This encouraged them to read their friends’ body language. Are they bored? Excited? Should I wrap it up or keep going?
- Listening to their friends. They had to stay “part of the group” in order to add on to the story and have it make sense
- Being flexible. The story may not be going the way YOU would have it go
- Commenting on their friends ideas
We then decided to illustrate the story- but we added a twist. You didn’t get to illustrate your own addition to the story, but the part that happened after you. The kids had to then check in with their friend, and have them describe what THEY were picturing. This lead to great discussion, question asking, description and again, you guessed it….flexible thinking. We always find drawing helps our kids stay regulated as it is inherently therapeutic. An added bonus as we ended our group, and sent them off to their classrooms.
Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP