Several of our Sensory Enrichment exercises demand that you place for two seconds something really cold, like an ice cube, against the finger tip of your child.
The purpose of this strong information is to build connections of great future value between fine motor of the hand, the sense of touch and the corpus callossum.
Stimulating each finger tip with a strong and linear information such as ice cold is novel in the sense that we hardly ever get a pressure with cold temperature, in turn, on all fingers of both hands. The novelty and the power of the information ensure that the brain will process fast and accurately, even in the case of a child or adult with brain injury.
Proper processing strengthens existing connections and allows growth of new connections.
For some of our exercises, the facilitation can be a problem.
The main problem with ice is: it melts! My suggestion to our parents is to keep the ice cube in a ziplock bag to avoid adding information to the cold, like a dripping and sensation of wet, for child and for parent.
Chad, our genius friend from the Australian Institute for the Development of Human Potential has solved the complication of melting and added comfort to the parent who is doing the exercise with the child.
His brilliant suggestion is as follows:
use a disposable styrofoam cup.
Fill it with water to the brim, freeze this water, then peel off as necessary a small portion of the cup top to expose just enough of the ice for the contact with the finger tips.
While dripping is a possibility, it is kept to a minimum and presents the added bonus that styrofoam is warm to the touch and the parent does not have to freeze his or her fingers while doing the exercise.
Thanks so much Chad.