Monday, 23 August 2021

Celebrate the Paralympic Games - a medal craft


Helping kids understand or engage with sports events can sometimes be a challenge whether they have autism or not.  This year the kids got right behind the Olympic Games and we are excited to see the Paralympics kick off.  There's been a bit of controversy about some of the promotion of the Paralympics Games and the tag lines on some adverts saying it's 'Rude not to stare'.   

We get stared at a lot sometimes. We have people pull their kids away from ours.  But I've also had people stare in amazement when my kids do something unexpected.  As I'm not disabled myself I don't think I can comment on what exactly it's like for my kids.  

However, exposure to disability, like exposure to many other things can make it seem less different.  More something that just 'is'. I moved around a lot as a child, lived in several places, went to several schools, but I still wouldn't say I was exposed to many different ideas, cultures or people.  This wasn't on purpose - life at the time just didn't naturally mix me with people of different religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or people with disabilities. 

The Paralympic Games is an opportunity to watch some amazing athletes, who are also disabled people. 
This is a great way to look at what the different para athletes do and learn about their sport, them on and off the track, and develop an understanding and appreciate for people who are different from ourselves. 

At the end of the events, there are the medals ceremonies, where the athletes achievements are celebrated. It's the same in all games and all sports, across all competitions all over the world. This year, all the medals are made from recycled materials too which is another great thing to talk about especially with Jane our little eco warrior, so why not watch some of the games and have a go making your own.  

Medal craft activity

We used:
  • Old tin foil and/or ribbon
  • Card discs (2) made from old cereal boxes
  • Glue stick
  • Decorations for your medal - such as pens, feathers, foils, material shapes, bits of wrapping paper, old sweet wrappers and crisp packets, even some stuffing from old broken toys 
Although you can use a more traditional ribbon for your medal, rolling a length of wrappers to make the 'ribbon' part is really good for pinching practice and bilateral motor skills (using both hands together).  Glue the card discs to 'sandwich' the middle of the foil band or ribbon  - this is another task that uses bilateral motor skills as your kids will use one hand to hold the card and the other to glue.

Now you have your basic medal, you can decorate it how you like.  Remember by placing the materials around the table you will also encourage your child to stretch across their midline. Once it's finished simply squash the end of the foil together to make it into a loop. This will easily come apart if needed for safety.   Make sure you use a loose slip knot if you have ribbon. You may wish to try your writing skills and add a No.1 if there is still space! Once it's completed you can make up events to play out or simply wear with pride just like all the Paralympians! What will yours look like?

Medal craft activity finished

There are also a range of great Paralympics craft and learning activities on Twinkl that we loved. What can you think of doing?

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