Oversized Manipulatives

For youngsters with sensory processing disorders, use of oversized manipulatives necessitates use of an additional layer of cognitive control. Rather than just taking a quick glance at the picture, and moving into action, completion of this task will require interaction among multiple sensory systems.

This series shows an activity Integrating vision with touch, movement and language.  Learning goals achieved through multisensory input include, but are not limited to:

  • Task organization
  • Position in space
  • Spatial language

All of which are needed for success in reading, math, and daily living skills.

The first picture shows this youngster comparing his assembly with the illustration.  He is internalizing the visual image using the language of spatial relations.  As the “where” and “what” components of the task become paramount, he is challenged to organize himself into a step-wise progression in order to match the illustration.


The next picture shows this youngster using memory components to connect the parts of the assembly so that it corresponds with his  visualized recollection of the illustration.  The motor planning  elements of “how” to bring together the middle with the  rear portion of the assembly is now becoming paramount.


The final picture shows the completed assembly placed within a functional ecological setting.  The youngster can now verify if his completed product actually matches the illustration in terms of overall visual accuracy and placement of parts, spatial orientation (he was eager to see that he could fit inside it), and projected action sequences  that could be actualized while playing with the toy.






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