Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Woozles Galore: Romping into Speech-Language & Kids Yoga with the Feed the Woozle Game by Peaceable Kingdom

Woozles blog post

Ready to have some fun with a Woozle? What’s a Woozle?! Glad you asked. He’s my new BFF. Met him on my annual shopping trek to the Lakeshore back-to-school sale. As a SLP who has been practicing for almost 24 years, I am pretty picky about the stuff I buy. Pediatric SLP’s are pretty notorious for having lots of “stuff” and I think I probably would have a guaranteed appearance if they ever have a “SLP Hoarders” show. So now I set pickier criteria for anything I buy. It must be: creative, unique, fun, reasonably priced and be adaptable (have a use towards several different goals). So envision me on my typical hour long browsing adventure in Lakeshore….. ruling out tons of stuff (“Already have one”, “That’s very similar to _____”, “They want HOW MUCH for a _____?!”, “Too flimsy”, etc….). I was about to leave empty-handed until I spotted him. A Woozle!  Smart move on Lakeshore’s part to have a sample of most products open to examine. I used the 20% off any regular priced item coupon to buy the game at Lakeshore (after first scanning it with the Amazon app & searching Google to make sure I was getting a good deal). Retail price: $19.99

The Feed the Woozle game is a cooperative game by Peaceable Kingdom. They have several other cooperative games, including Hoot Owl Hoot! which I have and love.

What is a “cooperative game”? Glad you asked….. It’s a game where everyone plays together, no one is left out, and everyone has fun! Traditional games tend to have one winner and one (or many) losers! In a cooperative game, the players work as a team against a common obstacle, not against each other. Cooperative games emphasize play, not competition. Kids learn to work and play together in respectful and compassionate ways. They learn to share, make decisions together, and trust one another. Cooperative games encourage inclusion and build confidence. Cooperative games are great for kids of all ages (as well as the adults in their life). Kids don’t beat a cooperative game every time, so even if kids lose to the game, they lose as a team. There’s always a reason to keep working, thinking and playing together to win as a team! These type of games are awesome to use in social skills groups, in speech-language therapy, kids yoga groups, on family game night & more!

 

The Feed the Woozle game includes:

  • A stand-up Woozle (made of thick cardboard with a shiny finish. While not water or saliva-proof, the slightly laminated feel to it should help it’s durability. It folds nicely to fit in the box)
  • 24 silly snack tokens (made of thick cardboard with slightly laminated finish)
  • 12 “Mmmm! Yummy!” cards (made of a little thinner cardboard with slightly laminated finish)
  • A large die (with the numbers 1, 2, 3)
  • A durable plastic spoon
  • A spinner (very easy to spin & made of thick cardboard with slightly laminated finish)
  • Instructions for 3 different levels of play based on developmental level

While they have marketed this game for kids ages 3-6, I think older kids will enjoy it as well.

What I love about the game:

  • Carrying the snack tokens on the spoon promotes mindful focused attention. Tasks like this are especially great for kids with ADHD.
  • The silly snack tokens are hilarious & full of great descriptive language. Using humor & creative thinking is especially great when working with kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (who tend to be very literal thinkers).
  • It promotes creative movement especially when using the spinner. It adds movements that you do while carrying the spoon with the snack token [ex: Hula Dance, Spin, March (could modify into a Brain Gym Cross Crawl March), Bunny Hop, Walk Backwards & Go Crazy (make up your own movement or could do a yoga pose of their choice)].
  • The cooperative nature of the game promotes the concept of working together as a team.
  • The rules are easy to follow & easy to modify further to meet individual kids needs.
  • The game is colorful & well constructed.

Ways to adapt the game to meet special needs:

  • Use the Woozle symbols (in the PDF below) for kids to comment or request during the game.
  • Create a 12-space token board for kids to collect the “Mmm! Yummy!” cards on to provide a concrete visual support for kids to see how close they are to winning the game. Of course the game could be modified with a rule of collecting a lesser amount of cards to win (for kids with shorter attention spans or to fit the game within a short therapy session).
  • Use a BigMack or other single message output communication aide for kids who are nonverbal or minimally verbal to comment during the game (ex: Ewwww! Feed me! Yeah! We won! My turn, etc.).
  • Put the die into a High Roller (adapted dice roller) to allow kids with physical limitations to be able to “roll” the die.

In addition to the game directions, I have already come up with lots of other ideas for my new BFF the Woozle! I’m one of those folks who can’t just use an item for the advertised purpose. I go to DollarTree or Target and see a cutting board and think “ooh that would be great to make PECS boards out of” or a neoprene iPad case and think “ooh I could cut holes in it to make a keyguard for the GoTalk Now app on the iPad”. I kid you not! Ever since attending a Linda J. Burkhart make-and-take low-tech AAC workshop in 1992, I have lost the ability to think “inside the box” and my venture into kids yoga has just magnified the creative side of my brain. (For those of you who are not familiar with Linda Burkhart, she’s the “MacGyver” of no/low-tech AAC)

So far I’ve come up with the following Woozle-themed activities & printables:

  • Kids yoga activities to go with each of the 24 silly snack tokens
  • Draw or do an open-ended craft to create more snacks to feed the Woozle
  • A fun fruit mindfulness activity (Woozles need mindfulness too! If he was practicing mindful eating, I’m pretty sure he would not consume “toenail toast”)
  • Cards & coloring to show the Woozle how to “Eat the Rainbow” to encourage healthier food choices
  • Color Woozle (could also be decorated in a craft activity)
  • 30 language attribute/category activity cards (ex: Name 2 things that are crunchy)
  • 6 Woozle size cards (2 each of small, medium & big. Plan on using them to order & match by size)
  • A Woozle size sorting board (small, bigger, biggest ~ use with the cards above or with any other manipilatives of snack items)
  • 40 communication symbols (can be used as a communication board, cut apart as PECS symbols and used in aided language stimulation)

Here is a free 16-page PDF with all the printables: Feed the Woozle ~ free printables to use in speech-language therapy or kids yoga

I’m sharing it to encourage others to think “outside the box” when selecting materials. All I ask in return is that you “like” my  OMazing Kids Facebook page and leave a FB and/or blog comment about how your kids enjoyed it or how you plan on using it with your kids. I also ask that you follow the “Printables Terms of Use”.

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Craft Idea: Make a Woozle with these Easy Monsters Finger Puppets. Wouldn’t it be fun to make these & then do “Woozle Mudras” in kids yoga or work on requesting and descriptive language in speech therapy?!

Check out this fun free Monster Pack printable from 3 Dinosaurs! I bet these are the Woozle’s other BFF’s 😉

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Check out more Feed the Woozle activity ideas for SLPs in this post on Activity Tailor: http://www.activitytailor.com/feed-the-woozle/

Feed the Woozle

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I’d love to hear your ideas for games to use in kids yoga or speech-language therapy! Feel free to leave a comment below or on the OMazing Kids Facebook page :)

BrightIdeas

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities (http://www.jdmc.org/)

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

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Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

 

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Review: YoDaGaMo: Activities for Focused and Playful Motion!

YoDaGaMo: Activities for Focused and Playful Motion!

Product Description

This 10 card set of 4×6  cards plus 2 “helpful hint” cards is perfect for the classroom teacher, dance teacher, kids yoga teacher, parent, camp  counselor…anyone who spends time with moving children!!  These activities are ideal for the 3-10 year old set and can be easily adapted and customized for your group.  They even include recommended music. The cards were developed by Alexandra “Zan” Langstaff at the Hullabaloo Danceshop in Vermont.

Pose cards include:

  • boat
  • cobra
  • dog
  • eagle
  • magic carpet (savasana)
  • mountain
  • resting rock (child’s pose)
  • star
  • tree
  • warrior

The front of each card has a colorful illustration & the back contains ideas for yoga (including the Sanskrit name, a rhyme & creative names for the pose), dance (including music suggestions), games (including prop suggestions) & more (ways to connect the poses with each other). There are also “Helpful Hints” cards with additional ideas and tips for yoga, dance & games.

What I LOVE about this card set:

  • the 4″ x 6″ size is large enough for kids to see in a group setting
  • colorful & fun illustrations
  • printed on sturdy cardstock that will hold up well
  • organized in alphabetical order on a binder ring makes it easy to find and turn to the card you want. The binder ring can be opened if you want to remove a specific card (this makes it easier to hold up the front of the card towards the kids & then the teacher can see the back of the card)
  • full of fun, creative & unique ideas!

I have already used these cards for inspiration to try some new games in the Therapeutic Yoga Group for our inpatients at the JD McCarty Center. Many of the kids we have in that group right now are more difficult to engage and have some challenging behaviors so adding a new splash of “YoDaGaMo” has definitely helped 🙂 The cards have also given me ideas to build upon for class themes for our Inclusive OMazing Kids Yoga Classes.

Available for purchase on their website (w/PayPal):  http://www.hullabaloodanceshop.com/yodagamo-cards.html

Price at the time of this post: $16.00

I found out about these fun cards via a post on the Maria’s Movers  blog: http://mariasmovers.com/2012/08/06/yodagamo-cards-yoga-dance-games-and-more/

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed are my own.

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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Review & Giveaway: Yoga-Yingo Games

Looking for fun games to use in your kids yoga classes, therapy sessions or on family game night? Then check out the Yoga-Yingo games……. yoga+bingo = Yoga-Yingo!

Yoga-Yingo games are a fun way to introduce yoga poses and “play” yoga with the children in your life. Designed for play at home, children’s yoga classes, schools, daycares, and therapy sessions. They’re played like bingo except everyone’s “a winner” at the same time!

Game Contents: 12 game cards, 8 pose cards, 120 colored square markers, game instructions and a yoga pose instruction sheet. Games are packaged in Ziploc plastic bags.

How to Play: All players start by covering the center square “Breathe” with a colored square marker. Breathe in Mountain Pose to start the game. The pose cards can either be shuffled and done in a random sequence or arranged in a specific sequence (ex: easier to harder, a yoga flow of poses, etc…). All players do the poses together at their own pace and ability level. The game ends when all the poses have been completed & covered by markers on the game board. End the game by coming back to the center square and breathing in Child Pose.

There are three different Yoga-Yingo game sets available:

  • Classic Set: Consists of traditional yoga poses: bridge, cat-cow, cobra, downward facing dog, forward fold, tree, spinal twist & warrior II. Has the “breathe” – mountain/child poses in the center. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
  • Farm Set: Consists of farm-themed poses: cat-cow, downward facing dog, egg-to-chicken, duck, horse, pig, plow & rabbit. Has the “breathe” – mountain/child poses in the center. Recommended for ages 3 and up.
  • Nature Set: Consists of nature-themed poses: butterfly, crooked branch, frog, half moon, rainbow, star, sunflower & tree. Has the “breathe” – mountain/child poses in the center. Recommended for ages 6 and up since some poses are a little more challenging.

Here’s what I love about the Yoga-Yingo games:

  • Most children & adults have played “bingo” before so this is a fun way to infuse yoga into an activity they are familiar with.
  • Love the cooperative, non-competitive nature of the game.
  • Love that the game starts & ends by “centering” in the center of the board with breathing! Mountain pose is a great pose to begin the game and it would be easy to add a “sun stretch & breath” as a warm-up from this position. Child Pose is a wonderful calming pose that almost every child can easily do and is a great way to relax at the end of the game.
  • Love the use of real photos of the poses on the game board & pose cards. Photos tend to be more concrete & easier to understand than line drawings or illustrations so this should help younger kids and those with special needs.
  • Love that each set includes a sheet with step-by-step simple instructions & modifications for each pose. This makes it user-friendly for families or therapists who may not be familiar with yoga.
  • Love the variety of ways these games could be used. These games could easily be used in an individual or group setting. It would be fun to incorporate the Farm Set & Nature Set into larger themed activities by adding music/songs, a book, crafts, etc. It would also be fun to make picture cards of the animals & nature items to use as non-identical matching with the pose cards in therapy sessions. Another idea would be to hide the yoga pose cards and find them in a Yoga-Yingo scavenger hunt…. Doing poses on the go 🙂

Available for purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=yoga-yingo&x=16&y=17

Price (as of the date of this post): $17.99 per set.

Info about the creator of Yoga-Yingo: Jeanette Runnings is a pediatric Occupational Therapist with over 20 years of experience. She has been trained in children’s yoga through Karma Kids Yoga and the Radiant Child yoga programs (2005). She received her 200 hr. Yoga Teacher training at Gilbert Yoga (2011). She is a Certified Laughter Leader through the World Laughter Tour (2012). She created the Yoga-Yingo game series in 2005 to help families learn yoga in a fun way.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeanette.runnings

Website: www.yoga-yingo.com

E-Mail: jeanette@yoga-yingo.com

Product Swap: Jeanette is interested in doing “product swaps” with other folks who have kids yoga products. If you are interested in doing a “product swap” with Jeanette, you can contact her directly via e-mail: jeanette@yoga-yingo.com.

How to enter the giveaway:

  1. Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids Yoga FB page (http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga?v=app_197602066931325) & mention how you would be using this game with your child or the children you work with. (comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; 1 entry per Facebook account).
  2. For one additional entry, leave a comment on this blog post. Must mention how you would be using this game with your child or the children you work with. (comments must be in English; 1 entry per person; must have a valid e-mail address)
  3. Tips: You increase your odds of winning by entering via both methods. Entering via the “Giveaways” tab will save me the step of having to obtain your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail.

Entry Deadline: Enter by any of the methods listed above by 11:59pm CST on April 2, 2012.

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Only USA & Canada entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids Yoga, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • Three (3) winners will be chosen via a random drawing of valid entries on April 3, 2012.
  • The winners will each get one (1) Yoga-Yingo game set. Yoga-Yingo will decide which set to send each winner.
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail and will be posted on the blog post.
  • If a winner only entered via blog post, their mailing address will be obtained via e-mail.
  • In the event that a winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected via a random drawing.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the company and they will be mailing the product directly to the winner.
  • Prize Value: retail price $17.99.

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just a yoga game but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids Yoga, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids Yoga, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids Yoga, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids Yoga, LLC – inclusive yoga for kids & teens of all abilities in Norman, Oklahoma

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Blog: http://omazingkidsyoga.com

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