Snowball Fight Anyone?

Posted on December 21st, 2012 by Denise | No Comments

Snowball Fight Anyone?

By

Denise Koonce OTR

I generally do not write about Reach Therapy Center or about the wonderfully talented individuals that make up Reach Therapy Center but this time I just couldn’t resist.  Every year now for about 5 years Reach has held a Holiday Party for their patients.  Every year has been slightly different and has included visits from the local fire department with their shiny red fire engine, crafts, games, cookie decorating and the ultimate cherry on top, a visit and photo with that jolly ole man himself, Santa Claus!  My daughter and I have had the pleasure of attending each and every one of these parties.  I would get so excited about bringing her to the party each year, but my excitement is now overshadowed by her anticipation of the next one.  This year was no exception.  She received her Reach Therapy Center holiday card and party invitation then after opening the card promptly marked her calendar with “my clinic party”.  Then came all the reminders from her and the decisions of what to wear and the questions such as “I wonder what they will have for us to do this year?”  The conversation also included what she would say to Santa and what she would ask for.  Finally the day arrived and as I was dropping her off at school she once again mentioned to me that today was the party and asked if we were going to go straight to the party after school.  I informed her that we would go directly from school but she wouldn’t be able to enter the party until her homework was finished.  “Ahhh mom!” she said.  The end of school arrived and while normally I have to wait several minutes before she leisurely makes her way to the pickup area, today she was prompt.  “Mom, are you ready?  Let’s go!”  she said.  I reminded her that she would need to finish her homework and she immediately got started.

As she was finishing her homework I was able to watch the children as they arrived for therapy and henceforth the party.  Some were dressed in their school clothes while others were adorned with holiday shirts, vests, ties, dresses and all the accessories.  Precious!  Finally the homework was finished and we could go in.  I could see the excitement growing with each passing second.  We made it in and my first inclination was to visit Santa, but not hers, because this year they added a bouncing house.  So big it almost didn’t fit in the sensory gym.  That had to be her first stop.  Off came the shoes and orthotics and into the wonderful world of vestibular and proprioceptive stim she went.   She completed her allotted time and it was time to move on.  Next was a visit with Santa, then on to make a Santa Face out of a paper plate and cotton balls, a reindeer ornament made from a cut out of her hand, a pine cone Christmas tree, and then to the food.  After all that excitement and expenditure of energy you need a snack.  Now that the energy level was replenished it was onto more fun.  She pinned the nose on Rudolph, tried her hand at bowling and made a picture frame for her Santa Photo but the best was yet to come.  As we exited the Photo Frame shop we saw a sign for snowball fight, really, indoors and in Houston?  Yes indeed!  One incredibly creative therapist came up with the idea to wad up large pieces of paper and create snowballs.  Initially, I thought, what a cute idea but once I was engaged in the fight there was no stopping me, my daughter, or the kids with whom we were playing.   It was a blast.  We lost the fact, as we played, that we were playing with paper snowballs and not the real thing because we reacted just as if they were made from snow.  The imaginations of both the adults and children took over as the throw and duck maneuvers began.  They also began to incorporate the environment around them finding items to hide behind and making a fort out of the therapy loft.  We squealed, we laughed, and we had a blast.  All due to a few wads of paper, a little imagination and some very creative therapists.  After about 5 minutes of play, I stopped to gather snowballs and realized that a crowd had now gathered to watch and more children were eagerly waiting to join in the fun.   I passed off my snowballs and stepped back to watch the fun.

For those of you, who attended one of the three holiday parties that Reach Therapy held this year, please share with us your memories.

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