Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Parachute

Back from Spring Break and ready to blog again!

I tried something new for me at my internship this week. I have been comfortable using props before in my sessions but have only ever explored the use of balloons, scarves and more recently an octaband. This week I brought in a 12-foot parachute I was given.

Boy was I surprised by the reaction I got! I was hesitant to try the parachute as the more modern version, the octaband, wasn't a big hit in the fall with this group. The seniors I have worked with in the past respond the most to the use of balloons. They enjoy the bright colours and finding new uses for an old toy that also allows them to share stories from their past that have involved balloons. 

When this group's curiosity prompted them to ask what was in my bag and I replied with a parachute, I got a few "well that's interesting" and "a parachute!". I had decided that in honour of St. Patrick's Day, that had fallen earlier in the week, I would put on some music from Lord of the Dance and we would move the parachute to the music. My professor had done this at Perkins earlier in the week with the children and it had engaged some with others not showing interest. I thought I would try it at my site to see if I had a different experience with an older group.

When the time came I pulled it out from the bag and the group was full of joy about the colours in the parachute and how cheerful it was. As we began to play with it, smiles emerged with laughter close behind.

I expanded on how I had seen it used earlier in the week and began forming relationships within the circle by lifting the parachute above our heads and waving to the person across from us. It then turned into a bit of game to see how many people you could wave to before the parachute fell down. I was able to engage everyone in the group!

The group requested I bring it in again in the near future....I think it's safe to say that it was a success!

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