Friday, April 1, 2011

How to Build Listening Skills with your Wind Whistle (part 3 of the wind whistle series)

Activity #1 - Stop and Start
You need kids and scarves and your wind whistle.

  • Instead of passing out scarves or putting the scarf box on the floor so the children may choose their own scarf, I like to blow the scarves out into the room.  Each child catches their scarf.  It's fun!
  • Some of the children will try to blow their scarves as I did.  Some just want to wear them or fling them about.
  •  I begin blowing my wind whistle and moving my scarf as I blow the whistle.  
  • "Can you hear the wind?"  and we all start waving our scarves.
  • Suddenly, I stop blowing my whistle.  My scarf is still.
  • Then I start again.  Stop again.  Start again.  (you get the idea)  The children love to stop and start using their arms and scarves.  They giggle with joy as they hear the wind stopping and starting them.
  • When the wind blows stronger or weaker other parts of the body get involved too.  We bend our knees to move the scarf higher and lower and around and around.

Activity #2 - Rise and Fall
You need kids, a parachute, some parents and your wind whistle.  (note:  My parachute is a silk parachute and is very, very light-weight.  The typical school parachutes may be too heavy for this activity.)

  • We spread the parachute out flat and invite the children to lie on the floor.  
  • The parachute is held all around the edges by parents suspended above the children.   As I blow the wind whistle, the parachute begins to move up and down.  
  • When the wind is blowing, then the parachute is moving.
  • When the wind is silent (not blowing) then the parachute floats to the ground landing on the children.
  • The children typically will giggle and call out.  They put their arms and feet straight up to try to catch the parachute and then the wind comes up again and the parachute flies away from their little hands.
  • This is calming for most of them.  
  • Even children who have sensory challenges seem to enjoy this activity.  
  • They may not always join the other children on the floor.  They may prefer to be part of the group that holds the parachute, but they love the gentle flow both visually and aurally that the wind whistle and the parachute inspires.

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