Have you ever noticed that when we are nervous, stressed, unsure or anxious, we tend to fiddle? We may scratch our head, pull on our earlobe, pick and unpick the sleeve of our jumper, play with our phone, pen or keys.
When we feel uncomfortable, it often comes out in our hands—we just don’t know what to do with them!
In our work, it’s not unusual for us to have challenging conversations on a regular basis. These conversations can sometimes be intense and uncomfortable. A great way to lighten the mood and introduce some fun and humour is to introduce a tactile resource. This not only gives us something to do with our hands but also gives us something else to focus on.
Having an object to squeeze can also take some of the tension out of the conversation. Directing our anxiety into a physical action or movement can help calm our mind and soothe our body.
What are tactile resources?
Tactile resources have been used by human service workers and teachers for many years. They can include things like soft toys, balls, figurines, puppets, dolls, clay, sand trays, card sets, stickers, musical instruments, cultural or symbolic objects and objects from the natural world such as stones. Tactile resources are especially effective for visual and kinaesthetic learners.
Innovative Resources has a number of different tactile resources including the Koala Company Therapy Ball, The Bears Cube and Pocket of Stones. But it is very easy to make your own tactile resources or use things you find around the home.
Who are the Mood Dudes?
The name says it all—they are bunch of dudes in all sorts of moods! Happy, sad, angry, frustrated— these squishy fellas have a range of expressions that can be interpreted in all sorts of ways.
While we often use animal characters in our card sets and tactile resources, sometimes it can be really useful to have human faces. For some people, animal characters can be hard to understand. They may not be able to connect to the feelings expressed by an animal character. Human faces are more familiar and recognisable, making it easier to interpret the expressions and empathise with those feelings.
Mood Dudes are a great tool for teachers and human service workers to talk about feelings and emotions with children or adults. They can also be used as part of a game or in conjunction with other tools, books or resources. Check them out by following the link below.
Mood Dudes $39.90 inc. GST Product Code: 0725