New ideas for using a Clonker or resonance board!

Developing or introducing the power and excitement of sound and vibration with a clonker board with a child, or group of children, adds an extra element to your repertoire of activities with children who may be ‘hard to reach’  or difficult to engage with.

Here’s a list of clonker board activities to get you started, including ideas for you to use in your everyday classroom practice – we hope you enjoy them!  These are a progression of exercises that can build gradually. Don’t rush. Each idea is a whole session – however long that may be.

Clonker board activities!
  • Introduce a rhythm to ‘pitter patter’ on the board.  Repeat the last activity using drum/silence. Keep this rhythm, pace and intensity throughout the whole session.  Repeat, but use a different rhythm. Repeat the last 3 but now use your hand to pat the board. This is quite a different experience to pitter pattering.  Repeat keeping your nails on the board. Experiment with the variety of sensations. Does the child indicate any preference?
  • Explore different intensities of sound building up to a loud sound and then quietening to silence. Remember to move you hands/fingers from the child’s body outwards then back again – around the child’s body.
  • The Rumble – get eye contact if possible. ‘Shh’ -finger to mouth. ‘Ready’ – plus sign. Build up the sounds quietly, building to loud bangs. Say  ‘Stop’. Lift up hands to indicate the end and allow a few moments to experience silence. Let the child have the opportunity to ask for more. Copy the child if s/he taps.  See if the child will copy your taps.
  • Tap board 3 times and say ‘I can see…’ silence – tap twice (or appropriate number of syllables in child’s name) – Ethan!  Repeat many times. Then pat 3 times, say ‘I can see’ – then WAIT. Does the child touch, tap, vocalise? Does the child move a little? If so take this to mean you continue – tap twice and say ‘Ethan’.  Build on this working towards vocalising before you continue.
  • Child has feet on board holding one end of rope. You are on the opposite side holding the other end. Encourage them to lift the rope up and down, clanking it on the board, pulling it to and fro and snaking it from side to side.
More new ideas and repertoires to develop engagement and interaction using a clonker board are  shared by Naomi in her forthcoming course ‘Focussed learning for pupils with autism’ in May 2018.
Naomi Rosenberg