In the early spring, Jonah was invited by the early interventions program to participate in a new "swim" class that the program was trying out. The class was for children 6-24 months who have sensory processing issues. During the class, the therapists integrate sensory exploration with water play. You may remember, if you've been following the blog for a long time, that last year about now we were gently introducing Jonah to the idea of being in water. It was a very long process. Jonah absolutely hated being in the water. But by the end of summer, we not only got him used to the water, but he absolutely loved it! So of course since we've created this little water baby, I thought it was a great opportunity for him to join this class.
Then we went to the orthopedic surgeon. Jonah had casts put on his feet, and that was the end of that idea. Now that Jonah's casts are off, I have not heard of another session of the swim class starting.
So I decided that we could do sensory integration and other therapies through water play here at home. I decided to buy Jonah an Artic Splash water table from Step 2. I chose this table because it was affordable, and also easily available at our toy stores in the area. I had also considered getting a table that could hold both sand and water, but in the end I decided that the whole thing would end up one big murky sandy mess. No way would Jonah leave the sand in the sand compartment and the water in the water compartment!
As far as water tables go, this one is okay. It holds water, and therefor serves its purpose. I wish that the pieces to the glacier could snap together somehow, because every time Jonah bumps it, it falls over. I was also disappointed to find that the figures that come with the table (a walrus, a polar bear, and a penguin) do not fit down the "water slides" that make the table look so fun. Also, and this is just a nit-picky geeky mom sort of thing, but the "Artic" water table came with a penguin. Penguins do not live in the artic region, they live in the antartic. You would never see a penguin hanging out with a walrus and polar bear. Jonah seems to agree with me, that this is an issue, as he has removed the penguin from the set and placed him with the fisher price farm animals. Although I doubt you'd ever see a penguin hanging out with a cow either.
We started out just by exploring different water toys and "tools" in the table. Jonah really enjoyed figuring out what he could do with each toy.
I am working with him on motor planning skills by having him pour and scoop. We've been doing this with beans, rice, and flour, in the house with kitchen utensils. The water table gives us many other options for this. Jonah explored using different kinds of tools for scooping water into different kinds of containers. This water table is also very handy for scooping and pouring, because the glacier tower is a water slide. When Jonah pours water into the top container, it flows through the glacier and comes pouring out into the main water compartment. Jonah really enjoys this feature.As you can see, though, he still needs a lot of practice on getting the water into the container! He's got the concept down though!
This water table gives us a great way to fit things we've been working on in therapy, into our everyday play on hot summer days. And Jonah loves the chance to be outside.