Monday, October 24, 2011

Paper and final posting

So this is my last posting!! Yaye!! I hope you have enjoyed learning about my activity of making a pinata and relating it to ergonomics, affordance, ambience, practical considerations AND demonstrating me being mindful :)

I was hoping to upload a picture of my finished pinata but unfortunately was experiencing some technical difficulties (go figure!!). We decided to paint it bright orange and create a beautiful angel fish, which ended up looking awesome!! Then we basically filled it to the rim with  sooooo many lollies and chocolates and let it do its job at my daughters birthday party and the kids loved it!! Definitely worth all the effort :)

Before I say my goodbyes I want to quickly introduce my activity of making a pinata into a framework. In class our activities were categorized into frameworks of paper, play, food or other.

Paper applies to arts and crafts and according to Osbourne (1977) "comprise a whole host of activities and hobbies that are related to making things with one's own hands...most require a combination of skill, speed, and patience, but they can also be learnt on a more basic level by virtually anyone."

This explanation of arts and crafts definitely relates to my activity of making a pinata within a 'paper' framework, and I will further analyse and reflect in the assignment that accompanies this blog.

Thank you all for staying tuned throughout both Participation in Occupation blogs :) I hope you have learnt something :)

Goodbye for now


Affordance. (2011). Retrieved from

Dul, J., & Weerdmesster, B.A. (1993). Ergonomics for beginners: a quick reference guide. CRC press: USA

Ergonomics. (2011). Retrieved from

Reed, K.L., Sanderson, S.N. (1999). Concepts on occupational therapy. USA: Lippincott & Wilkins.

Osbourne, H. (1977). The aesthetic concept of craftsmanship. British Journal of Aesthetics. 17, 138-148.

Comments posted on other peers blogs

Godhelp Mutero Nyashahu
Participation in Occupation 2: sixth (and last) posting - enjoying my guitar over the semester break.

Sarah Mete
Blog 3/6 Affordances

Megan Lee

Cara Tate
Work and labour

Practical Considerations

Now this as another topic we have briefly touched on during tutorials but practical considerations comes under the reason why I chose to make a pinata as my activity - as apposed to scrap booking or tye dying because I didn't have the equipment or money to be able to do either of these things.

Now I can't find a decent definition on what practical considerations are but they are all the things I need to take into account in order to be able to make my pinata.

Now because making a pinata is an activity that needs little resources, to be honest there weren't many practical considerations I had to consider. I chose pinata making because I knew I had most of the resources at home. These were

  • a balloon
  • newspaper
  • flour and water (for glue mixture)
  • string
  • and either paint, crate paper (depending how you want to decorate the pinata)
The only real practical consideration that could have hindered myself in making the pinata would have been if I had enough money to purchase the lollies for inside. Because I had over 3 weeks to budget for this I knew it wasn't going to be a problem.

Below is a video link showing an example of how to make a pinata. The only practical consideration mentioned is time pressures - as a pinata can take anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeks ( depending on decorations and other commitments). It also gives you an insight into what I've been doing with my daughter over the last few weeks. Very quick, simple and effective eh!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Although we touched very little on ambience during our tutorials, I have gathered and gained some useful information on what ambience is and how this relates to my activity of making a pinata (which by the way I finished last week! Woo Hoo!!)

"Ambience applies to the atmosphere of the surroundings, their mood or tone, and can compromise the atmosphere or background against which something is seen" ( Reed, Sanderson, 1999, p.160).

So the way I see it, atmosphere, tone and mood have substantial effects on ambience. Would I want to participate in making a pinata if my flatmate was blasting dubstep, or if my daughter was nagging me to take her to the park, or if my lounge had a smashed window creating a draft throughout the house? I THINK NOT!!

When I participate in making my pinata, it is usually just me and my daughter at home, no negative vibes in the house, no distractions, and we are both keen to get crafting. This sets the mood and creates a positive ambience :)

According to Sunderland (2010) evidence of ambience is about action, participation, production, expression and subsistence. So as an Occupational Therapist it will be important to create positive ambience for clients so that all the above can be demonstrated with an end result of people having fun and enjoying themselves.


Reed, K.L., Sanderson, S.N. (1999). Concepts on occupational therapy. USA: Lippincott & Wilkins.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


 "An affordance is a property of an object, or a feature of the immediate environment, that indicates how to interface with that object or feature. The empty space within an open doorway, for instance, affords movement across that threshold. A couch affords the possibility of sitting down on it" (wikipedia, 2011).

From our tutorial I learnt that affordance is much about the match between the environment and the person, involving communication and relationships, ethics and connections. I will break these down for you further in relation to my activity of making a pinata.

Communication & Relationships
  • The build up of making the pinata and the social outing of going shopping with my daughter for resources and the excitement around this.
  • The mother/daughter relationship involving spending quality time together.
  • The social gathering as a result of the finished pinata, knowing that it will be used at Paloma's birthday.
  • All the verbal/non verbal actions e.g laughter, giving instructions, smiles, eyes glowing with excitement.
  • The burden of cleaning up the mess and the sense of obligation I have in finishing this for my daughters birthday.
  • The joy of the end product along with it being cost effective and having therapeutic benefits.
  • The negativity attached with the hitting the pinata and parents seeing this as a form of violence.
  • How it starts from a simple balloon that leads to cutting, gluing and painting and ultimately ends with a fun game of playing pinata involving food (lollies) and the gathering of people. These all show connection with one another.
This little poem regarding making my pinata that sums up my view on connection involved in affordability. 

This is the lady that blew the balloon,
that got the paper,
that glued and cut,
that painted and painted,
that played and hit,
that laughed and smiled
that got the lollies,
and ate and ate!!


Affordance. (2011). Retrieved from


Part of analyzing the value of meaningful engagement and mindful participation in my case making a pinata...involves taking into consideration ergonomics.

According to Dul and Weerdmeester (1993) the word ergonomics is derived from the Greek word 'ergon' (work) and 'nomas' (law). Ergonomics aims to design appliances, technical systems and tasks in such a way as to improve human safety, health comfort and performance.

Some examples of ergonomics I will need to consider when making my pinata are:
  • How many people do I need to participate in making a pinata?
  • Will this activity feel normal/natural?
  • Are the scissors sharp enough?
  • What is the best position for seating when crafting?
  • Safety considerations??
  • Time available??

It is also important to acknowledge how the environment has a strong influence amongst ergonomics. How the person fits within the environment will influence how an activity is performed, yet they have the potential to equally shape each other.

So what are some opportunities that are made available for me in making a pinata in my home environment ?

  • Being able to choose what time of day I engage in making a pinata to ensure my daughter is at home with me and that I have no visitors, distractions or errands to run.
  • Being comfortable in my own house, creating an ideal environment i.e good lighting, warmth and a suitable area to work in.
  • The ability to stop and start for breaks when I choose.

All of the above considerations involving ergonomics will help to facilitate action, participation, production, expression and subsistence. summary lots ergonomics is of great importance to me now as a student and as a future OT and knowing how the person fits within the environment and their abilities to shape each other.


Dul, J., & Weerdmesster, B.A. (1993). Ergonomics for beginners: a quick reference guide. CRC press: USA

Ergonomics. (2011). Retrieved from

Participation in Occupation 2 - Activity analysis

Sooo it's second semester and I'd like to welcome you all back to my blogg :) This time around it will involve LOTS of reflecting and being 'mindful' on my experiences engaging in a certain activity. What is my certain activity I hear you say? I have chosen to use the occupation of 'making a pinata' as my activity to reflect. So stay tuned to learn more :)

Notes: on what it means to me personally
Experience of doing this activity
Imagine myself as an OT and what this activity would mean to 

Family tradition


Cost effective

Every year I make a piƱata mainly for my daughter’s birthday, or other occasions such as baby showers and family get togethers.

I enjoy doing this and continue to do so because it was something my mum and I used to do together as a child.

To me they are of better quality and a lot more meaningful than the bought ones and you can be very creative and choose whatever design you’d like. I’ve made Winnie the pooh, flounder of lil mermaid, lady bugs, turtles, fish & that’s just to name a few.

I find the painting and creativity side of it very calming and relaxing and they are so easy to make – needing only little money and resources.

Paloma, loves them and mum still enjoys seeing me make them too!!
Could be used as an intervention tool
-          Group work
-          Meaningful occupation
-          1:1

          Could be used in a range of settings with any age group.

         Can be easily incorporated into a weekly schedule

           Therapeutic benefits

           Cost effective

            Increase volition

            Is an activity promoting the use of and strengthening fine/gross motor skills

Basically making pinatas is something that was introduced to me as a child and I have continued to engage in this activity for the sheer enjoyment, it's therapeutic benefits, and most importantly the fun outcome it brings...being blind folded, twirled and being whacked at until....LOLLIES!!

What will help/hinder me in doing this activity mindfully?
Finding the right atmosphere & environment will either help or hinder me, so having not too many distractions and a clear working space will contribute to helping me be mindful. Also being in the right frame of mind and aware of what being 'mindful' is will help & last weeks exercise using the raisins will surely be a guide in doing so!

Where and when are you going to do it?
I am going to make my pinata at home and aim to work on it 2- 3 times a week leading up to my daughters 4th birthday!! She wants a princess pinata!! So it's got to be ready in 3ish weeks time :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tutorial Eight: Assistive technology

What is assistive technology?
According to Access IT (2011) "Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible"(para.1).

 Assistive technology includes mobility devices like walkers and wheelchairs. It also intails hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities so they can accessing computers or other forms of technical devices.

This week we had the pleasure of having some guest speakers come into talk about assistive technology/digital devices. It was really interesting and the fun thing about it was that we got a hands on practicle session looking at all the many types of assisstive technology there are today.

I will be looking at the jelly bean switch.

The Jelly Bean is a robust switch that can be used with most battery operated games, computers and electrical appliances. They come in 4 different coloured tops to choose from ranging from Red, blue, green and yellow. The base plate can easily be mounted to many structures. 

Diameter: 63 mm 
Activating force: centre 100g, outside edges 50g 
Connector: 3.5 mm mono plug
Lead: 1.8M

The cost for a single jelly bean switch is around $107.64. Not exactly cheap eh!

·  Features
·  tactile and audible feedback to the user
·  activation no matter where pressed
·  easy to mount flange base to use with most types of mounting system

The jelly bean switch is considered a standard in the industry and allows you to meet the widest variety of student needs and is recommended for students who can access a smaller target area.

The jelly bean switch promotes independence and assists people who may experience little movement in their hands. They can use it with just the slightest touch of an elbow, finger, and palm of hand and for individuals with no upper limb functions they can use a foot. 

AccessIT (2011) What is assistive technology? Retrieved April 19 2011 from