Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sensory Success!

Last Saturday Bee and I spent a lovely afternoon at a local garden centre with my Mum and Ken. Bee had been a bit off-colour for a couple of days and was quiet and a little clingy. We took her walker as my little miss is very keen on her independence these days and I wanted to give her the opportunity to try new places and new surfaces to walk on.

Bee was not keen at first. She wouldn't walk, only wanted to be carried so I obliged. There's no point in forcing Bee to use her walker, it should be fun. The last thing we need is for her to be afraid of it. We had a little walk around the gardens and a look at the animals and then it was time for some milk for Bee and a cuppa for Mummy!

Once milk was over and done with Bee was keen to be out of the high chair and away! She asked for her walker and I was more than happy to oblige. Without waiting for me to follow she hot-footed it out of the cafe and on to the patio outside, navigating the tables and chairs very well. There was a slight pause as she realised the paving gave way to gravel, but after that small hesitation she tackled it with her usual aplomb and was off. Bee loved walking the paths! There were flowers to look at and turns to navigate... so much fun!

We made our way to the small playground as Bee loves swings and we thought she might like a go. Of course, now Bee has the walker she's discovered a very strong sense of independence and we took a long and circuitous route to the playground. Along the way we had a lot of stoppages with "no, up", to which one of us would pick her up and carry her a few feet before she would wriggle and demand to be put down again. It's becoming a game, this pick-up-and-put-down, I'm gonna have to work on stamping that out, it's no good for the back!

On reaching the playground we found a lovely little wooden boat that you can sit in, which of course Bee definitely wanted to! However she was not impressed with the grass and wouldn't walk.

After some sailing down the river and letting dolly have a turn to steer we tried Bee with some of the myriad of natural objects around; sticks, leaves, grass and such. She's never been good with texture. Case in point: refusing to walk across the grass to reach the boat.

As it turns out, Bee was very keen to try the new things. I've discovered that if you relate the new objects back to something she's familiar with she's more inclined to try. And so we made some beautiful music from nature's found objects: drumming with the sticks and shaking with the leaves. We played 'peepo' and tickled and generally had a great time.

This was a big success for Bee. We tried rough, smooth, bumpy, sticky, spiky.... 

A lot of walking on top of new sensory experiences made for one tired girl, Bee was exhausted by the end of the visit! It was worth the tears when we got home though, every small success is worth it's weight in gold!


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