Friday, 16 January 2015

Positive touch: Story telling

I recently attended a fantastic course on peer massage at our local special school. The course was aimed at parents massaging their children at home however I got some interesting ideas from it after having a chat to the course leader.

What if I used massage to tell a story? It doesn't need to be complex, in fact, it could even be instructional.

I chose to test this on the one day we have had any snow in the setting (quite by chance really) and knew exact what 'story' I was going to tell:

Today it is snowing *run fingers from top of their head down their shoulders*
I walked to school through the snow *use hands to make 'footsteps' from the base of their back*
I'm going to scrape together the snow *run palms along back from all directions to centre*
and make a snowman *use my fingers to outline a snow man on their back*

I did this to a few of my children on their backs. The other children all watched and seemed fascinated.  I have a few reluctant children in my key worker group so I had to start small.  I asked one little girl to copy my 'story' on my back. She got so far.. then just hugged me!

Next I used their arm and hand:

Today it is snowing *dabble fingers on palm*
I walked to school *'walk' fingers along forearm to hand.*
I am going to make a snowman *use fingers to 'pinch' the snow into the centre of the palm and pat it down*

We get so hung up on reading stories to children (we love visuals!) that we forget about those in our classes with sensory deficiencies elsewhere.  My little autistic girl loves pressure on her feet so the next time she sits on or near me I will try and do something like this on her feet.. fingers crossed it works!  How could you use massage or positive touch to help your children in class?

**I should mention that our Nursery supports positive touch such as peer massage. Its always worth checking with your school whether or not massage is allowed or appropriate for your children. And of course always ask the children first and ensure that this is done in public:)**

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