Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hold on to your...

I have several students in my class that do not keep items in their lap or on the table in front of them.  Two students in particular that I have in mind are capable of grasping and holding on to materials but instead they are constantly dropping things on the floor or pushing items off of the table. I am always looking for new ways to keep the materials accessbile to the student, where they cannot drop them or push them out of their reach.

For paper materials I can tape them to the table in front of the student or clip them to a large slant board that is non-slip.  For toys I have tried using dycem pads to keep them from sliding but students are able to pull the dycem up from the table or move the toy off of the dycem. 

While scanning the aisles at Target the other day, I discovered these in the office supply section: 
Retractable badge reels!!!

Of course, we have all seen these before, but that day it dawned on me... I can use these with my students to attach small toys and other items to their wheelchair or belt loop!!  They are retractable, so the student can easily move the objects, but if they push them off their lap, they won't fall to the floor!  I decided to buy them and give them a try.  I think I got a pack of 6 for around $3.99. 

Here is my first attempt at using them with my students.  During our music/sensory time each student got to choose an instrument to play.  This student picked bells.  I was able to attach the instrument to the badge holder using a rubberband.  I then attached the holder to the chest harness on her wheelchair.  It worked perfectly!  When she let go of the instrument it stayed in her lap instead of falling to the floor every time! 
Use a rubber band to attach the item to the badge reel

Clip the badge reel to an article of clothing or wheelchair strap

I'm excited to use these with other materials in the classroom.  I figure I can attach lots of different items to these badge holders using different sized rubberbands or ribbon.  I'm going to play around with it and see what I can come up with.

If you have any other great ideas for keeping items within students reach and preventing them from throwing/dropping the items to the floor, please share!



  1. What a great idea!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love this! It would be great for those washcloths used to pat chins know, those ones that always end up on the floor. Ugh. This is such an awesome solution for that, especially if there was a buttonhole sewn near the edge of the washcloth for looping the plastic loop!

  3. What a great idea! I love it!