Monday, August 13, 2012

Got Bubbles?

Bubbles! Along with play-dough, bubbles are a PSR must have. How can you be angry when you are blowing bubbles? Even for the older kids, or an adult, blowing bubbles can bring them back to a more innocent and fun time, helps them breathe without thinking about it, and redirects attention.  Keep bubbles in your car kit, add to a breathe box, or calm kit (posts to follow soon). Or bubbles can be used as a great reward instead of candy. 

Simple idea for "make it yourself" bubbles: Save any bubble containers you use, or a plastic bottle and straws.  10-15 parts water, 1 part dish detergent, and 1 part Glycerine (thickens and makes them colorful)! 

Controlling your body:  Begin with an activity using bubbles to help with understanding of controlling their body.  Blow bubbles for you client, letting them freely pop the bubbles.  Then have them sit in front of you, again blowing the bubbles for them, only this time practice controlling themselves enough to sit still without popping the bubbles!  Talk to your client about what it meant to control their body, how they were able to control themselves, what it felt like to control themselves, then help them brainstorm situations and coping skills they can use to control their body!

Five ways to take a deep breath: If you are just starting out as a PSR worker, you will soon learn deep breathing will be a repeated subject when helping clients practice coping skills!  Tracing their hand, then brainstorming and practicing is a quick and easy way to practice breathing. Get creative, especially with younger kiddos, find ways they can breathe in to calm themselves using silly and easy prompts to breathe correctly. The examples we named here are: 
Santa belly- breathing in deep enough to focus on expanding that belly
Snake breathing-focusing on breathing out slowly, using a hissing sound 
Blow out the candles- using your fingers to blow out one at a time, again focusing on breathing out slowly
Then of course using a windmill, or blow bubbles!  The purpose here is to not just breathe, but to help them breathe s-l-o-w-l-y.

Other fun activities and suggestions:
Paint with bubbles, using the recipe, then adding paint (very small amount) and using different tools. Watch the colorful bubbles, but be aware of mess!
Paint with bubbles using a straw, blow bubbles in the paint itself in a shallow dish, or pie tin, then set a piece of paper over the dish, pressing down lightly.
Use and old wire hanger for big bubbles!
Use toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, cut off the end of a plastic bottle, or cut up a pool noodle!

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