#bloginstead Day One, Episode One: Morning Putter

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On therapy days like this one, I eat breakfast and evaluate the kids based on how they interact with me and each other, how loud they are (today, VERY), how able to follow instructions (today, not very), and whether they’re overwhelmed. Then I come up with a base activity to help them focus and interact in speech therapy. Today, I emptied the shoe box from my orthopedic clunkers (fashionable footwear for the over-forties) and added polished wood slices, a big tub of gluten-free playdough, strips of yellow paper that match the clay, and three marbles.

Kids love marbles. I think it’s because they’re like angels when I see them, holding the glass spheres in their innocent hands, like the archangels in our icons looking over the world or Christ holding all that is as though it were a hazelnut (thank you, Julian of Norwich).

Super fancy mouse house building kit in my shoebox: polished wood slices, GF playdough, yellow cardstock strips, marbles.

We polished those wood slices some other morning when they needed to use their little  hands in order to speak. Somewhere in a box waiting to be sorted onto shelves waiting to be built, there is a pile of sweetly scented rags and a half-empty tin of lavender orange beeswax polish. If I were a Pinterest Maker rather than an author, I would probably print colorful labels for all of the activities we do. But we do so many. Every week, three or four crafts or projects to teach. I’m a production therapist/teacher for my kids, not a salesperson. Duct tape and a piece of scrap paper and simple, Sharpied words suffice for labels here.

Today’s occupational therapy support for speech therapy: Mouse House Building Kit.

This morning is also day two of some of the children’s fascination with gum. I bought them some natural gum at the health food store yesterday, and they love/hate it enough to holler in the manner of birds at sunrise when I came downstairs, “Mommy! We want some gum!”

I’m chewing some now, and it’s not bad. It gives me something to do as I scroll to order a few party supplies for my neice’s birthday this weekend. I pop a bubble when I find affordable giant PJ Masks balloons. Balloons are like magic to kids, like marbles.

I still have an hour until therapy starts. It will be for cleaning and trying to figure out where they/I put my hand towels. There’s always the last-minute check before someone comes over. Has anyone left britches on the bathroom floor? Is there toothpaste on the faucet handles?

Alas, someone spilled bubbles on his pants, and I am the keeper of the laundry. Must run. Tally ho!

Don’t forget! We’re only interacting on blogs for the next three days. Follow along by visiting the other authors in the #bloginstead challenge, {listed at this post}.

8 thoughts on “#bloginstead Day One, Episode One: Morning Putter”

    1. One of the components of my accessible church school is a “Pretty Box,” filled with lavender. There are always a few marbles in it because of this comparison. When the kids find the marbles, I show them the angels. You’ll like my Accessible Church School curricula when I get them up and out the door. They’re filled with these sorts of concrete connections. I think I mentioned this in my book as well (Of Such is the Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability).

  1. My little ones love marbles. I have a vivid memory as a child (about 6?) visiting with my family and being shown a BUCKET of marbles. I buried my hands in them, let them trickle through my fingers, selected ones to hold up to the light. I rolled them around on the rug and gloried in the magical, high clicking noise when they connected. I think I spent the entire visit with those marbles, and I remember it so clearly, nearly 40 years later. (Thank you for the memory jog! And I’m always amazed at how in-self-control you are. I fight anxiety when overstimulated which is all the time in a house with a big family.)

  2. Your activities and the reasons for them are fascinating to me. I often wonder now about the gradation between brains, for lack of a better word. So much of what you describe would be/is deeply appealing to people who would be sure they don’t need it.

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