You may have noticed at one point in today’s video Noah was motivated by a paper towel…yep, a paper towel. It’s a lot like playing with the box that the toy came in rather than the toy itself. Thank goodness I have these at home. I don’t seem to be using them for cleaning, so motivating my child it is…!
Motivators are essential in Noah’s therapy and development. They help turn hard work into play, core work into entertainment, and frowns into smiles. And most importantly help them to meet their developmental milestones!
Let Your (Child’s) Eyesight Be Your Guide
Infants can see color, but they are more entertained by strong contrasts such as black and white. These will be the best toys to help with motivation. You will notice several toys in the baby aisle have strong contrasts. You will also be able to find sensory books that are only black and white. Noah really enjoyed those and I did notice that he focused on them with more intensity than the brightly colored books.
Around 3-4 months of age you may notice that they are much more interested in things that are brightly colored and toys that make noise. Now you get to start breaking out the lights and action for motivation.
Our occupational therapist recommended sitting in a dark room with lighted toys such as one of our favorites the light wand and going from side to side to help Noah stay focused and work on tracking. We have found it to be quite the motivator for other tasks now as you have seen us use it to try to get him to move forward as well.
Motivators Are Great…umm…Motivation!
One of the best things you can do for your child to help them make the most of their therapy sessions, and hit their goals, is finding out what motivates them. It may be you, it may be lights, music, or even your family dog. Every child is different, and what works for one child, may not necessarily work for another. You will eventually find something that your child loves (like our wand for Noah), and that is the one you have to save for the big wins like helping them get through a task they don’t enjoy doing or motivating them to move forward. One of our friends just discovered that their child would crawl forward if his mom threw him up in the air once he got to her. That is a pretty awesome motivator that I may have to try myself.
What motivates your child? Do you have an ultimate motivator? What has (and hasn’t) worked for you?