Fit Kids Returns!

Greetings from the BAC,

Last night was the start of our Spring Fit Kids session with a lot of returning faces and one new one. Everyone worked up a sweat after the week off and got right back into the groove of things. As some of our more seasoned Fit Kids return, they have begun to take small leadership roles either leading other kids in exercises, helping a friend through an obstacle, or helping set up for class. It is a pleasure to get to work with such a motivated and hardworking group. Here is a rundown of what skills and obstacles the Fit Kids conquered last night:

Warm up: To get started we all gathered around in a circle for a chance to go over everyone’s names again. With a 10 pound weighted ball, we tossed, squatted and passed the ball around making sure to say the person’s name before we gave it to them. Without asking, all the Fit Kids did a great job of making sure everyone got a turn and no one was left out.

The Main Event: Our version of America Ninja Warrior included the obstacles below, and was completed multiple times by each child.

  • Climbing the rock wall sideways approximately 20 ft without falling into the water (blue mat)
  • Jumping from the trampoline to a balance beam and walking across without taking a step off
  • Climbing up steps and descending steps of the tree house
  • Pushing a scooter with 10-20 lbs across the ground and around obstacles
  • Climbing up steps and jumping down 1 foot
  • Crash jumps off an inclined trampoline into pillows
  • Crawling under 3 hurdles without knocking them down
  • Weighted ball tosses to knock into targets
  • Inchworm walk 20 ft and then carry a 5-10 lb kettlebell to the finish line
  • Jump over the finish line into crash pads and pillows

Cool down: We did some running around the track to end the day with a game of Duck, Duck, Goose.

We look forward to seeing everyone next week and can’t wait to keep the Spring Fit Kids rolling along. As always, if at any time you have questions about FIT Kids please let us know with an email, phone call, or in person at a FIT kids session.

Have a great end to the week,

Micayla and Brian

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Image at the top of this blog post is the red, white, and blue American Ninja Warrior logo with “American” crossed out and substituted for “BAC.”

“Skiing is more than a sport; it is a way of life.”

My experience volunteering for the Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports Program

With all this snow we have been getting in New England over the last week, I figured it was time to share with the BAC community my experience this winter as a first-year volunteer in the Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports Program. Much like how the BAC uses fun, function, and adventure to facilitate growth and establish relationships among its patients, adaptive skiing allows its skiers and snowboarders to do the same.

To quote their program mission, Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports is dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities through access and instruction in sports and recreation for life. They encourage freedom and self-reliance through experiential opportunities in a safe and supportive environment with highly trained staff and volunteers.  The program enriches the lives of everyone involved, resulting in a profound and lasting impact on individualism, health and well-being.

So far this season I have had the opportunity to observe, learn about, and participate in teaching lessons with individuals with a variety of disabilities including Autism, Down Syndrome, visual impairments, and physical limitations. Skiing has been something I have enjoyed for my entire life! It is an activity that all family members can participate in, it incorporates physical activity, and is a great reason to get outside! Every Sunday, I drive up to Waterville Valley Resort, assist in teaching an adaptive ski lesson, and drive home. It has been incredibly crazy but in the best way possible as I feel it has expanded my skill set as a clinician while sharing something I have always found meaningful with others!

I could go on forever explaining all the benefits of skiing, but there are some that I find incredibly applicable to the world of OT. They include working as a team with your student to plan your lesson, facilitating safety through planning and timing movements through a variety of adaptive techniques, navigating what can sometimes be busy environments, utilizing a variety of muscle groups to maintain correct positioning, and demonstrating emotional flexibility towards uncontrollable circumstances such as the weather, snow conditions, incorporating necessary clothing or equipment, and other people on the slopes.

As an OT, I see patients make immense progress and find meaning through hard work, supportive caregivers, and AMAZING BAC therapists daily, both in the clinic as well as at our partnership schools. The greatest joy I find though is when I see patients use their interests to reach their goals, whether it be building a ninja obstacle course, pretending the hammock is a rocket ship, or skiing down the slopes!

Skiing is my chosen leisure activity that helps me achieve my own goals of growing as a clinician, improving my technique, and watching individuals experience what the mountains have to offer. It has been a gift to share in the experience of others who may not have had the opportunity to experience it without such a fantastic organization. The Waterville Valley Program truly takes the time to provide a supportive, professional, and a family-centered experience to all those involved, including those who choose to volunteer.

Please feel free to reach out via email if you would like to learn more or connect with the staff at the Waterville Valley Adaptive program. Also please find a link below to their annual Ski-A-Thon fundraiser coming up this Saturday, February 23rd. To make a donation please visit:

https://www.firstgiving.com/event/wvas/2019-Changes-in-Altitude-Ski-A-Thon-and-Apres

See you on the slopes!

Janine, MS, OTR/L

 

 

February Vacation: Quality Time for Kids and Families

Image result for staycation

Looking for something fun to do this February vacation? Check out some of these fun family events in and around Boston! Vacations often come with lots of fun activities, but they can also come with changes in routine, crowds, and increased amounts of unstructured time. Wondering how you can best set your child up for success amidst these possible challenges? BAC clinicians are always here to help! 

Celebrate National Engineers Week at the Boston Children’s Museum.

Get out of the house for some family-friendly outdoor activities at the Boston Children’s Winter Festival, sponsored by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

While you’ve got your coat on, check out one of the many FREE places to take your kids ice skating around Boston.

Have a little dancer in the family? The Boston Ballet has partnered with Boston Public Libraries and Boston Children’s Hospital to host FREE 1 hour dance themed storytime and movement workshops to children ages 2+.

Head into the city for “Movies at the Marketplace,” a free PG movie series hosted at Faneuil Hall running all week during February vacation.

Calling all builders! Let your imaginations sail and join the LEGO Maritime Festival at the USS Constitution Museum this vacation week. Kids are invited to build their own ships, test out their creations in the water, participate in a scavenger hunt and more!

For the animal lovers – check out a temporary multi-sensory exhibit at the Museum of Science entitled “Nature’s Superheroes: Life at the Limits.”

Wishing it was summer? The Charles River YMCA in Needham is hosting an Adaptive Free Swim for individuals with special needs and their families (open to both members and non-members!)