Many of us are teaching or doing therapy virtually, in-school, or as a hybrid mix of in-school and virtual visits. Although we need to limit the use of a stuffed animal for onsite sessions due to infection protocols, we can still use Bluebee Pals during virtual visits. Here are some ways we are using Bluebee Pals during the pandemic.
When my occupational therapy visits were in person and I needed to demonstrate a handling or facilitation technique, we were able do it right then and there – in person. I could monitor and correct the technique the parent was using. Now, things are different and it takes some planning and thought to communicate to parents or caretakers what to do.
As handling techniques are manual, they are very difficult to verbally sequence what to do and where to put your hands. Many parents have anxiety over their ability to follow the directions for multistep or complicated techniques. And when a parent is anxious, their children become anxious. This is where Bluebee Pals have come to the rescue! Having Bluebee up on screen, puts a smile on everyone’s face and immediately calms frayed nerves. Modeling sensory or handling techniques on Bluebee relaxes everyone! Bluebee makes movement fun and less scary. I have also found Bluebee Pals to be invaluable for demonstrating feeding techniques. Now if I would only coordinate a call from me through my Bluebee Pal to make scrumptiously delicious sounds while he is munching! http://bluebeepals.com
We’ve also been reviewing ideas of using Bluebee as a home ambassador to kids in need. We are exploring sending a Bluebee Pal out to children that may need that extra social boost or extra practice for language or reading skills. Kids learning English as a second language will be able to hear and rehearse vocabulary and social greetings with Bluebee at their side. In addition, with the bonus of being able to use Bluebee with the phone, it gives therapists a chance to reinforce all skills learned during visits on preprogrammed phone lines..
Last but not least is having Bluebee teach essential life skills like wearing a mask, social distancing, and rehearsing what to do if someone makes you feel uncomfortable. Bluebee can also be a teaching aid in how to get dressed. Baby sizes 6-9 months and even 12 months fit Bluebee perfectly. Not only is the child looking at the weather and what is appropriate to be dressed in, they are also learning to have an inquisitive mind and look to science for what needs to be done.
Other Ideas to use Bluebee in a home teaching environment are:
- Tea parties to teach social skills/manners
- Bluebee as a means to learn self-calming, and use in high stress community settings – how to give deep hugs and how to talk to someone who knows
- Pushing Bluebee in a doll stroller or shopping cart for heavy work
- Practice going to the doctor, church, post office etc.
- Practice getting haircuts (Play-doh scissors)
- Clipping nails or other hard to perform activities of daily living
- Practice school or circle routines
- Cooking with Bluebee – tasting new foods
- Parties and other social events