Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Friends come to visit KAMI Playgroup

Hi everyone! Welcome to yet another update on KAMI, a non-profit playgroup for children on the autism spectrum held at Masjid Kg Tunku, Petaling Jaya. We had our 7th fruitful session on 13 January 2018 and best of all, we were joined by a couple of new friends. They very kindly lent us their support and encouragement, which means a great deal to us at KAMI. I am so grateful that KAMI is growing from strength to strength with support from members of the community. 

An overview of KAMI Playgroup in full swing.

Our volunteer Denise helping one of the children during the fine motor task.

For this week's playgroup session, we welcomed 7 children, 6 parents and 2 volunteers - Kila and Denise, who brought along her two boys. We began our session, as usual, with circle time for Salam, Alfatihah and Zikir, and this was quickly followed by music and movement to a few upbeat action songs.

Music and movement to action songs is our favourite warm up activity.

Next, we did a simple gross motor activity to help get our bodies moving. Using balloons and paper plates, we played "tennis" and the children tried to keep the balloons off the floor. Though this seems like a very simple activity, it contains many hidden benefits. It encourages the children's hand-eye coordination, visual motor and even midline crossing.


After they got our wiggles out, the children engaged in a table task with fine motor play activity. Now to some, it may seem counter-intuitive to get the children "excited" before a table task, where they need to sit down for an extended period and focus.

However, I've learnt from several experienced occupational therapists that it's good to start with gross motor activity for vestibular and proprioceptive input, before you get the child to do a seated table task. This is because the gross motor activity helps to activate their bodies and settles some of their sensory needs.

In fact, throughout a child's day, it's good to schedule sensory breaks in the form of gross motor activity. This helps break the monotony and help children focus better. For this week's table task, we did a fine motor activity using coloured pasta and string. Some of the children even made necklaces for their mums.

The children did great with this fine motor activity. 

Our penultimate activity for the day was an arts and crafts session. This activity encourages focus and seated behaviour, as well as creativity. For this week's art session, we gave the children crayons and paints to create their own mixed media artwork. Last, but not least, we cleaned up the area together, with help from the children. Then we sang the Goodbye Song and dispersed.

My son Arif (in black t-shirt), loves to experiment with paint.

Besides welcoming our volunteers, we also had the pleasure of receiving three special guests, Puan Hajjah Nor Yasmin, President of CBR Network, En Shahrin and his wife Puan Ros. They met with Puan Hajjah Salmah, the Head of Masjid Kg Tunku's Education Bureau and the parents in our playgroup. Alhamdulillah for such a wonderful day with all our friends.
Me with Puan Hajjah Nor Yasmin and En Shahrin at CBR Network, PDK Ara.

Puan Hajjah Salmah with Puan Rose.

Puan Hajjah Yasmin and En Shahrin took time to speak to some of the parents in our group.

To learn more about KAMI Playgroup's launch, click here.
To see what we've done in our previous playgroup sessions, click here.
To locate Masjid Kg Tunku (Ar-Rahman), click here.

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