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Resource Spotlight: Geoboards

Geoboards are square board with pegs or nails set in rows and columns, or circles, around which rubber bands can be stretched to create various shapes. They're frequently used in the school classroom to teach mathematical concepts, however they are valuable tools in therapy because they address multiple developmental and cognitive skills through engaging and hands-on activities. Their versatility and adaptability make them suitable for a broad range of therapeutic applications..

Lets look at some skills that can be targeted through a geoboard:

1. Engagement and Motivation

Geoboards are often seen as fun and engaging, which can increase motivation and participation in therapy sessions. They look less like 'therapy' than some activities working on the same skills, and can be more interactive nature makes therapy more enjoyable and less intimidating. We are all about variety!

2. Fine Motor Skills Development

Geoboards help children and adults improve their fine motor skills, which are crucial for tasks involving precise movements of the hands and fingers. Placing rubber bands around pegs requires dexterity and coordination, which can enhance hand strength and finger control.

3. Cognitive Skills Enhancement

Geoboards can be used to create various shapes and patterns, which aids in the development of cognitive skills such as:

  • Spatial Awareness: Understanding how different shapes fit together and relate to one another in space.

  • Geometry Understanding: Recognising and creating geometric shapes and patterns.

  • Problem-Solving: Figuring out how to create specific shapes or patterns can enhance problem-solving abilities.

4. Hand-Eye Coordination and Visual Perceptual Skills

The process of stretching rubber bands and positioning them accurately on a geoboard promotes hand-eye coordination. This activity requires visual processing and precise hand movements, which are beneficial for improving overall body coordination skills.

Activities on a geoboard can help improve visual-perceptual skills, including:

  • Visual Discrimination: Distinguishing between different shapes and patterns.

  • Visual Memory: Recalling and reproducing shapes and patterns.

  • Visual Sequential Memory: Remembering the order of shapes or patterns.

5. Creativity and Imagination

Using geoboards allows individuals to express their creativity by designing their own patterns and shapes. The smiles of joy when a child shows you their creation of a house, or a rocket are unbeatable.

6. Sensory Feedback

Manipulating the rubber bands around the pegs provides proprioceptive sensory feedback, which can be soothing for some individuals. Further soothing can be the visual inputs of the rows and colums, and the creation of ordered lines or symmetrical shapes.

7. Adaptability for Different Age Groups and Abilities

Geoboards are adaptable and can be used with a wide range of age groups and abilities. The complexity of the tasks can be adjusted to match the individual's skill level, making them a flexible tool in therapy.

We hope this series helps you understand how the use of certain resources in occupational therapy!

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