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Forum Why you need NTLS - parents

The Holding Hands Challenge

2 months 1 week ago #583 by nicolette.brata
The Holding Hands Challenge was created by nicolette.brata
One year I had a 3 years old girl in my class who loved to play with her classmates, however she had sensory integration challenges and couldn’t hold hands. I carefully picked this challenge as my goal (at cognitive level of the child) for the first quarter of the school year (= allowing time). I collected as many ideas as possible for games and activity songs to be played while standing in a circle and holding hands, but instead of hands I started with 2 big soft teddy bears (no stress sensory experience for her). The girl would hold a front paw in each of her hands and the class mates standing beside her would hold the other. I would make jokes about the bears wanting to join us (humor) and enjoy holding her hands as it made them feel safe (explain) and over the period of weeks, I gradually used smaller and smaller bears (taking time). Each Friday I explained that the bears would come home with me for a refreshing bath and return on Monday. After several weeks, when she was already used to the small bears, I ‘accidentally’ (stupid-me-humor) and had to apologize for leaving one bear at home. She thought that was very silly of me and without any hesitation held a classmate’s hand instead. Two Mondays later I asked her to help me search my bags, while apologizing and using humor in a story of how I had to run for the toilet that morning and must for forgotten to bring the small teddy small teddy bears back to school. I had purposefully put some silly items in my bag (e.g. the spoon I had used to eat my yoghurt that morning), which made her burst out with laughter. I then asked her which circle game she wanted to play without the bears ...
End of the story was that before the October break the whole class had had tons of fun (and learned a lot, e.g. counting, colors, the names of the students) with all the circle games and the girl was initiating holding hands, as well as shaking hands.

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1 month 4 weeks ago #584 by Brimbach
Replied by Brimbach on topic The Holding Hands Challenge
This made me smile! I have kiddos- and to be honest, I am not a huge fan of the hand holding idea either- but we overcame it with small pool noodles, but I loved your teddy idea because it is a link that makes sense and you playfully overcame the barrier to join some games...nice work!

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