If you haven’t noticed it yet, I LoVe tangible take home interventions. 🙂 This is one of the reasons I find making things like stress-balls and glitter bottles in session with clients to be so helpful. Let’s be honest though, kids don’t always remember to take them to places like school or other structured environments where they seem to need them most.
I am a school based therapist and I recently started my own supply basket of fidgets such as glitter bottles, sand timers, bendable toys, and stress balls. I then made a sign out sheet for these items to rent them for the day. I put the paper inside of a sheet protector so dry erase markers can be used and paper can be saved. 😉
I included the date, what the fidget is that they are borrowing, the purpose (helping remind them of when and how to use the skill), when it is going to be returned, and the child’s grade instead of name or initials (for confidentiality purposes and this is usually enough to jog my memory of who has what).
The sheet helps increase accountability and responsibility and kids love being praised for returning them! As they show responsibility, (also depending on the child’s age and what can be realistically expected) I may also allow him or her to borrow it for a longer period of time. This is especially helpful since some children stay for the after-school program and I am often out of the office by the time this is over.
If a child loses the item we review what happened, how they could have kept better care of it and decide on length of time on when the child can try again, if appropriate. I also only offer this to children who I know it is a realistic expectation for them to return it.
I think this sign out system is also helpful because it allows an opportunity for children to feel that someone trusts them, which so many of the children we work with have never felt before.