Kids of all ages are talking about Pokemon Go. This is the perfect time to use this popular app within therapy sessions. Sometimes it helps to bring in things that students like to sessions to motivate them in different ways. While Pokemon may not be something that individual kids like, the adventure and excitement surrounding the game keeps them focused and engaged in the process. Here are some ways to work in the use of Pokemon Go in occupation, physical, and speech therapy.
The beauty of the Pokemon Go app is that it gets kids up and moving to try to find new characters. Therapists can incorporate a short period of time in sessions for kids to play Pokemon Go. When kids play this app, they have to utilize hand-eye coordination. As they move around locating a Squirtle, Pikachu, Gloom, Eevee, Tauros, or one of the other 132 items in the Pokedex, they also work on spatial awareness, following directions, fine motor skills, impulse control, and more. Taking turns within a group session assists with social skill development.
As your speech students follow the map toward a Pokestop to get more Pokeballs, they can point out items along the path. They may verbally explain what is happening and why. Since they are actively engaged in the game, they won’t be aware that they are practicing their speech and language skills. For children who are working on gross motor skills, they may need to practice exercises that work on core body strength. Kids can hop and skip, rather than simply walk as they move toward a target. For those in occupational therapy, capturing the Pokemon with the Pokeball helps them with the fine motor skills on a touch screen device. They have to use visual perception skills, along with hand eye coordination to be able to say gotcha!
If you are unable to use the real Pokemon Go app within sessions, think outside of the box and make a real-life version to do within the school day. Kids will have fun helping to write clues, follow maps, and catch Pokemon critters. You can set up targets with Pokemon for them to hit with a ball or something else to utilize many of the same fine motor and gross motor benefits. Talk with gym teachers and classroom teachers to see what they may be trying to incorporate within their classes. You may be able to work together to make something beneficial for all students to use in different ways.