Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 2018

2018 flew by! November's Sibshop was our final of the year. 
Our celebration started with stuffing some turkeys.  We admit it wasn't the traditional way! Our turkeys were stuffed with candy and treats and tissue paper feathers.

Each month we spend a little time getting reacquainted with one another and reviewing our rules and expectations. Our rules include 1.) Have Fun 2.) Be Nice 3.) Be Respectful and 4.) Keep It Confidential
 After a fun game of "Four Corners" our awesome volunteer Hannah led us through a bibliotherapy activity. Reading books about special needs families provides an opportunity to connect, reflect, and share our own similar experiences.

This group of Sibshoppers enjoyed playing a "Minute to Win It" cup stacking game.
 In October we played a new game called "Marshmallow Battleship". We had a handful of of Sibshoppers request that we play it again this month. The marshmallows went a flying!

 "Don't Eat Pete" is a silly game our Sibshoppers love! This Thanksgiving themed version is called "Don't Eat Tom."
It's a simple game where one piece of candy is placed on each square of the game board.  The other players designate a square as "Tom" which is unbeknownst to the player who is "It." "It" then chooses a piece of candy and can keep on eating until he reaches for the piece of candy designated as 'Tom". When that happens, the other players yell out 'Don't Eat Tom!" and that player's turn is over.

 "Zap It!" This was a request from a Sibshopper who has been with us for quite some time.  This tennis ball tossing game is one we played years ago with a Valentine's Day Theme.  This turkey edition was a bunch of fun! You earn points by bouncing tennis balls at the target.  But, if you hit a turkey all your points are "zapped" and you end up with zero!  

All of us at Sibshops of Utah County are immensely
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for the opportunity to work with all our Sibshoppers! They teach us facilitators and volunteers so much about patience, kindness, compassion and selflessness.  Thanks for trusting us with them!

There are no Sibshops held in December--we look forward to seeing you all in January 2019!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October 2018

Welcome to Sibshops October 2018.
Our Sibshoppers created some awesomely fun Cursive Skeletons. 

 It took a lot of cutting and pasting and some grownup help in writing their names in cursive and the skeletons turned out awesome.  You don't know exactly what you are going to get until you open up the paper.
 Can you tell what names are reflected in the skeletons below? I'll let you try and figure it out! In no particular order the names are Jaxon, Olivia and Addy.

 We were super lucky to have Debbie from the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind come to present to our Sibshoppers.  We were grateful for her expertise in deaf blindess.  She led our Sibshoppers through a simulation so they could experience what it might feel like to have some measure of deafness and blindness.

 Each Sibshopper had the opportunity to both lead someone through the simulation and to experience deaf blindness.
 Just navigating the hallways and doorways can be tricky. 

 Our Sibshoppers expressed their frustration about not knowing what was expected of them, especially in these "play" tasks that they couldn't see.  Many of them were able to empathize with their siblings who might get angry, confused, or withdrawn when they don't understand what is expected of them. 

 There can definitely be an uncomfortable feeling of isolation during the simulation. We depend so much on our sense of sight and hearing.  Some Sibshoppers felt like their other senses--especially touch-were heightened during the simulation.

 This Sibshopper is showing some joy as he figured out what it was he was playing with!  He did have prior experience with his sight to figure this out. 

 The simulation was a good experience for all our Sibshoppers.  They were sometimes intrigued, confused, uncomfortable and successful as they engaged in the activities.  It is our hope that they can better understand how their sibs may feel in their environment with their own unique special needs.We hope they learned some strategies on how they can approach and help their siblings and others with special needs.
 After our simulation we played a fun new game we called "Marshmallow Battleship."  It is a human version where marshmallows are thrown over the barrier in an attempt to "sink" the human battleships!  Teams take turns tossing large marshallows over the barrier and if the marshmallow lands on any part of your body then you are sunk!  First team to sink all the other teams ships comes out victorious!

 After lunch we played a game of "Sightless Sculpture."  We started by talking about famous artists and musicians with special needs.  We discussed Beethoven, Stevie Wonder and others. It is amazing what we can do!  Our brains are amazing.  The Sibshoppers then broke into groups of three where one person assumed a statuesque position, another was a blob of clay and the final member was a blind sculptor.  Their job was to "mold" their blob of clay into the same statuesque position being held by their group member. It is no so easy a task when you can't use the benefit of your sight!