Monday, February 22
Making and Using Streamers
Making steamers was another project from my to-do list. These were so easy to make and are lots of fun to use. I made them for us to use at circle time, but have found my daughters enjoy playing with them just as much anytime- they have already become flags and fishing poles. All that is needed to make the streamer is a dowel, a large bead or spool, and ribbon. I enlarged the hole in the spool using a drill.
I found the best way to store the streamers is in a jar so that the ribbon can hang and they are ready for play.
Aside from being fun, the streamers are useful for coordination and movements that encourage crossing the mid line of the body. Crossing the mid line is an important skill for children to develop. Essentially, the term, refers to one side of the body crossing over to the other side. For example, right elbow touching left knee. These movements are critical for strengthening communications and connections between the two sides of the brain. This ability is also needed for daily tasks and are important for reading and writing. (For more information on crossing the mid line check out this link on Brain Gym and Smart Moves).
Some examples of movements that cross the mid line include making large circles with the arm in front of the body, sweeping the arm in front of the body from one side to the other and criss-cross motions in front of the body (figure eights, x's).
We used our streamers with songs which enabled a lot of the mid line crossing exercises. The Wheels on the Bus was great for making large circles (for the wheels) sweeping the arm side to side (for the wipers) and then up and down (for the children). We also used Sally Go Round the Sun, making large circles with the streamers as we sang.