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Summer will be over before you know it, and many OT/A programs and SOTAs across the country will be welcoming a brand new class of students into the fold! In my program, we hosted a welcome picnic for students, faculty, and family members at the start of the semester so that everybody can get to know each other. Everybody always has a great time getting to know one another in a less formal context, and I’m definitely going to miss welcoming the new class of students to campus this fall.
If you’re looking for a fun way to get to know your new classmates, try holding the OT Olympics! Basically, it’s just a fun way to learn more about the people you’ll be spending the next couple years working and learning alongside while enjoying a little healthy competition. Divide up into teams of 4-5 people, create team names, and let the games begin!
OT OLYMPICS EVENTS
- Greatest Grip Strength: Select one member from each group to test his or her grip strength.
- Goniometry Games: Choose one of your most flexible team members and get a judge to measure his or her range of motion. The team with the most flexible person wins!
- Shoulder flexion/extension
- Elbow flexion/extension
- Wrist flexion/extension
- Wrist radial & ulnar deviation
- Hip flexion/extension
- Knee flexion/extension
- Ankle plantarflexion & dorsiflexion
- 9-Hole Peg Test: Select one member from each group with the best dexterity and fine motor skills complete this task. The first person to place and remove all the pegs is the winner!
- Most Powerful Pinch Strength: Select one member from each group to test his or her lateral, pincer, and 3-jaw chuck pinch strength.
- Adapted Dressing Race: The setup for this relay includes several stations with various adaptive devices. Create a scenario in which the competitor must adhere to hip precautions, use only one hand, have limited shoulder ROM – or all of the above – and let the hilarity ensue!
- Clothing: Large socks, loose pants (sweatpants), button-down shirt,
- Adaptive Devices: Sock aid, long-handled shoehorn, reacher/grabber, dressing stick, buttonhook
- Scooter Board Race: Set up an obstacle course using cones, pool noodles, etc. and race to see who can navigate it the fastest! (For an additional challenge require competitors to race while lying prone or only using their feet!)
- Fine Motor Madness: Give competitors a pair of small tongs or tweezers and have them race to pick up as many pom poms or beads as possible in 3 minutes.
- Stereognosis Challenge: Place several small, medium, and large-sized item in a stereognosis bin and give competitors 3 minutes to locate and correctly identify as many items as possible.
These are a just a few of the many ways you can have fun challenging your classmates’ coordination, strength, and other skills! Get creative developing your own OT Olympic “events” that challenge balance, coordination, and motor skills or try using parts of pediatric assessments like the MFUN or the BOT (Ex. Traveling with a ball on a spoon, completing a maze) to liven things up. At the end of the day, hold an awards ceremony and reward the victors for their outstanding achievements!
What events would you add to the OT Olympics? Share in the comments!