This week we’ve begun our Minecraft gingerbread houses! This activity addresses a lot of therapy goals. Especially one of my favorites – executive functioning. All of my therapy is now via telepractice, so it requires extra planning/executive functioning skills to make sure we are ready on BOTH sides of webcam.
For this activity, I bought gingerbread house kits and had my clients buy some as well. This cuts out on a lot of the “cooking”, which is quite difficult (but not impossible!) via telepractice. Most kits include similar products, but making sure everyone has the same kit helps with clients who struggle with “flexibility”. I buy mine at the end of each season from Michaels – because they are a chain, I can have my clients pick up the same ones at their local store!
Getting Ready, Doing, Done (GRDD)
We use Sarah Ward’s GRDD framework to prepare for our sessions. We fill out a table together via screen share – always beginning with the “DONE”. We need a mental picture of the finished product before we begin making a “GETTING READY” list! We also create a visual of the “DONE” so we can make sure we are all “seeing” the same things in our brains! Then we make our “GETTING READY” list – which often now includes a shopping list as well!
Setting a Goal
We set a “DOING” goal for each week. But many individuals with Executive Functioning Delays struggle with “weekly goals”. This type of “general” goal doesn’t give them an actual timeline. We break our “weekly” goal” into daily goals, and put them on a calendar. When you do this, you see there are a LOT of little goals going into that weekly goal. A few we included were: grocery shopping for items, asking mom where our “waiting spot” is for the house in progress and covering the house after each step with plastic wrap!
When doing this via webcam, it’s helpful for me to have two webcams. I use the one built into my laptop for my face, but have another one I can aim at the desk. This has helped with looking at items in our kits, planning a layout on our cardboard “base” and even discussing how to apply the icing!
We decided to start this week with our “landscape”. We chose a “snow” scene, seeing as it is winter currently. We searched Google Images and found this image as our “inspiration”. We’re going to try to make our landscapes using chocolate bars and icing. I love that my client picked chocolate bars. They are square, similar to the pixilated look of the game!
Tune in next week for our progress and more examples of how we worked on our therapy goals!
– Tara Roehl, the Speechy Keen SLP
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