Movement Education combined with a Social Outing = Ultimate Fun

Trellis School seeks to provide our students with social interactions, community outings, and new experiences with their peers in out-of-school settings.  We look for educational opportunities to teach our learners how to interact in meaningful and appropriate ways with their peers within the community.

In an effort to increase our participation with different schools and organizations, we reached out to some elementary schools asking to have some of our older learners participate in social activities at their school.  Education Director Reyes Vera has a working relationship with Padonia International Elementary School, and he arranged a visit to the school that coincided with the travelling Whittle equipment came to their school for physical education classes.

Gerstung Movement Education equipment, also known as Whittle equipment, is made in Baltimore, MD and has been a part of Movement Education since the early 60’s. The equipment is used to allow children to refine motor skills and build confidence in creative ways through full body engagement, balance, coordination, and problem solving.  Baltimore County Public Schools has a few sets of Whittle equipment that rotate through the school system for a month in physical education classes.  Students are challenged to use their imagination in creative ways to traverse the climbing walls, curved bridges, rope walls, ladders and balance beams. The climbing rope is often themed as a way to cross an “alligator-filled” body of water, and students are encouraged to use new ways to climb, move, and explore safely.  Tall climbing walls become mountains to overcome and balance beams become ways to escape from fairy tale creatures.  When the Whittle Equipment comes to physical education class it’s as if the ultimate playground has come indoors to be conquered.

We want to thank Padonia International Elementary School for inviting us to participate in a few of their gym classes to experience the movement education and chance to exercise our imaginations while practicing social skills through play.  We are grateful to have such a good relationship with the elementary schools in our community.  Padonia gave our students a unique experience and we look forward to future events with the amazing students and teachers at Padonia.  A special thank you to the principal, Melissa DiDonatto, physical education teacher, Gary DeGroat, the 4th grade teachers and students!

ClassPhotoWhittleCombinedClassWhittle

Springtime and Sensory Play

It’s that time of year again. Where old becomes new and the air becomes just a bit warmer. Even when it’s gloomy outside, there are plenty of sensory activities you can do at home. So here are three Spring time sensory activities to kill the boredom on these rainy Spring days. We all know the importance of sensory play, the opportunity for children to explore their world through the five senses.

Sight & Taste: Rainbow Cereal Sort

Cereal Sort

Photo courtesy of b-inspiremama.com

Find the calm after the storm with the easy and equally tasty activity. Rainbow Cereal Sort is the perfect activity for learning colors. Follow the helpful hints to add even for fun to the activity.

                What you’ll need:

  • Large muffin tin (one that makes six muffins)
  • Small to medium bowl
  • One box of fruit loops (Go for the store brand to save money, or go gluten free by using the Wegmans brand)
  • Construction paper in red, yellow, green, blue, orange, and purple

Helpful hints: Make this a fine motor activity by using thong or a clothes pin to transfer cereal pieces. Talk about taste texture by adding milk or water and watching/feeling the cereal as it changes from crunchy to soggy.

 

Touch, Smell, & Sight: Earth Day Sensory Bag

SensoryBag

Photo courtesy of handsonaswegrow.com

Pay homage to Earth Day with this sensory filled creation. Earth Day Sensory Bags.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 gallon size food storage bag
  • Tape
  • Small flowers and small leaves
  • Clear hair gel

 

How to: Gather materials. Add clear hair gel to bag (fill to about 1/3). Gently add in flowers and leaves, about ten total. Zipper bag and tape top closed. Have fun moving objects around in the bag.

Helpful hint: Tape to a bright window or door for added visual input.  OR, add a line down the center of the bag and sort leaves from flowers. OR, separate parts of a flower and slide pieces around the bag to rebuild the flower. Use the assembly as an opportunity to talk about smells and textures.

Touch & Sound: Easter Egg Shakers

Eggs

Photo property of www.rockabebabymusic.com

Looking for something to do with the dozens of leftover plastic Easter eggs? Try making egg shakers to intrigue your child’s sense of sound.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 plastic Easter eggs
  • ½ cup of uncooked rice
  • ½ cup of beans (any kind)
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • ½ cup of cereal (Your child’s favorite will do)

How to: Gather materials. Allow your child to explore the different textures and tastes of the materials. Fill 2 eggs of each food product and close them. Take turns shaking the eggs, guessing their contents and matching them with the egg of the same sound.

Helpful hint: Tape plastic spoons to either side of the eggs to turn them into maracas.

This blog was written by Kirby Allen, Trellis Instructor

Three Questions

Anne McHugh recently joined Trellis as the ABA Program Director. We sat down to ask her three questions to learn more about her vision. Read her bio on our Leadership Page and read below for the answers to our questions.

Q. What attracted you to Trellis?
Trellis Services is client-centered. I have always been impressed with their dedication to each individual child and meeting his/her needs in every way possible.

Q. What’s your vision for your role as ABA Program Director?
My vision is to bring Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to every child who can benefit. I look forward to growing the clinic, social skills and in-home programs so that Trellis can continue their excellent quality of care on a larger scale.

Q. What are 5 things you want parents to know about Trellis?
1. Trellis can provide ABA services to children in practically every aspect of their lives: home, school, clinic (for children under school age), and community.
2. Our ABA treatment plans are designed using only evidence-based procedures for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
3. When a child receives ABA services through Trellis, the child is always learning and getting closer to reaching his/her potential.
4. ABA services through Trellis not only teaches new skills but makes them usable in real life.
5. Trellis staff members are some of the most talented and dedicated individuals you will find in this field.