I've noticed that my son's SPD often manifests in a need to control some situations. Sometimes it's to avoid unwanted touches, other times it's to avoid the unexpected. I notice that he misses cues about personal boundaries, hence his need to orchestrate the play. I know that as he matures, this will be a valuable leadership quality, but at present it can sometimes make play difficult. To help him (and others like him) I've been looking for more cooperative games to play with the delightful gaggle of children that visit us daily, games that require group participation and foster a sense of connection.
I was grateful to have received a review copy of Todd Strong's "Great Games For Big Activity Balls". This book contains 75 games that can be played indoors, outdoors or in the pool. The games help develop social skills, trust, cooperation, problem solving, appropriate touch and communication. In addition, the games aid in the development of perceptual, physical and motor skills. Our favorite games so far are "Orbit", "Planet Pass" and "Parachute Ball".
When played with the "Earth Ball" by Orbis, one can further illustrate the message of connectedness. The Earth Ball features realistic NASA satellite imagery. One of the coolest things about the inflatable Earth Ball is that the cities glow in the dark. Earth Ball comes in 2 sizes and includes a 20 page booklet of facts and games.
In short, it's educational, inflatable, portable FUN!
I am also had the good fortune to review "Parachute Games" by Todd Strong. It is a terrific resource for parents a/o teachers that want to engage children in cooperative play. The parachute is a useful developmental tool that allows children to explore personal behavior and social skills while offering an opportunity to improve perceptual and physical skills. Parachute play promotes cooperation and what I like most about parachute games is that everybody wins! The book includes 59 games with variations and teaching tips as well a DVD to see some of these games in action.
On a personal note, whenever I bring out our humble parachute, the wee folk go crazy. I'm always amazed by how that a colorful billowing piece of nylon induces so much joy.