Categories
Fine Motor Activities Gross Motor Activities Handwriting Sensory Activities Visual Perceptual Activities

Top Ten OT Things to do with: BALLOONS

You know I’m always looking for fun inexpensive and light ways (I travel to schools) to use children’s favorite toys and tools to teach important skills. Balloons are one of those magical items that makes every child rise to their feet and motivates them to participate!

 

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Here are my TOP 10 + WAYS that I like using balloons!
1- Gross motor skills:
  • Play a version of Musical chairs by tapping balloons when music stops whoever doesn’t have a ballon sits out. Remove one balloon each time.
  • Great for eye-hand coordination and team building. Children tap the ballon to each other but it can’t touch floor.
  • Write letters on a balloon as children tap it to each other they must name a letter from the balloon or name the letter and a word that begins with that letter.
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2- Bilateral Coordination:
  • Use balloons to work on bilateral arm and leg skills such as tapping the balloon with alternating hands or alternating feet.
  • Use chopsticks to have children pick up the balloons and walk over to a target where they have to drop them. You can increase the difficulty by adding a balance beam, items on the floor to step over, cones to go around! You cannot drop the balloon.
3- Sensory:
  • Dipping balloons in different colored paints and stamping them on paper makes beautiful Artwork (hint: keep balloons small) I love doing this activity with children that require simple activities as it requires very little skill but produces beautiful results.
  • Fill balloons using a funnel with rice, beans, flour, beads and use as a fidget toy or to improve hand strength as you squeeze or finger isolation as you squeeze with (the thumb )and one finger at a time. You can even blow them up and then shake as musical instruments!
  • Put shaving cream on a balloon and have children write their letters!
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4- Drawing: Learn to draw a face. You can add paper feet so that it stays up!
 
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5- Handwriting:
  • Have a balloon with letters written on it. Children Write a word for each letter. Or 2 children pick either the same letter.
  • Or 2 different letters and write as many words as possible for that one letter.
  • Write Who words on one balloon (nouns) and What words on another (actions). Children pick two words to make a fun sentence. Kids can also do this as a game by tapping the balloon to each other and each call out a word from one of the balloons. They then each have to make a sentence combining the words that they each called out.
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6-Letter Concepts: Write upper case letters in a balloon,”. Ask children to match the lower case letter sticker to the correct letter.
 
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7-Number Concept: Children pick 2 numbers on the balloon, write down the number sentence to add them up.
 
8-Reading/Spelling: This can be a fun way to learn spelling! Write your child’s spelling words on the balloon as they tap the balloon they pick a word and spell.
 
9- Visual Tracking Skills: Blow up a balloon do not tie it, let it go and children have to track where it lands. To make it more challenging, do 2 balloons at the same time!
 
10-Science: So many science activities involving sound, electrostatic E, blowing it up by using a solution of baking soda and vinegar, poking a ballon with a skewer without popping it, centrifugal force with a penny, power a lego car to move by letting the air out of a balloon…the possibilities are endless!!!20151022_162507-1
 
Categories
Gross Motor Activities Sensory Activities

Top 5 Activities for Children this Summer?

Parents have been asking me the same question over the past 2 weeks…Where do I sign up my child for the summer? What is the best camp or activity to involve them in? So I figured I would post my favorite Summer activities for children along with benefits of these activities to help you pick the best activity for your child.

You may want to sign up your children in a camp specializing in these activities or find classes in your community where children can try more than one of the following. I also recommend these throughout the year. I like when children can be involved in activities as part of their natural routine (when possible) rather than through conventional therapy.

My Top 5 Activities for Children:

1- Swimming:

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I love recommending swimming for all its benefits. The water is a calming to the body. It is great for children that  need to work on core strength and bilateral coordination. Furthermore, the buoyancy of the water and its resistance provides a non- weight bearing medium to strengthen without hurting joints.

Living in Miami, many of my families have a pool. I recommend it as part of a weekly routine especially for children that need calming! (make sure you give them an activity to do not just splash around)

There are swim camps in our area. You can choose between formal swimming lessons to work on core and coordination or recreational swimming so kids can have fun in the water (my favorite 😉

2-Gymnastics:

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This is one activity that I highly recommend for children that require more body awareness, coordination, strength, flexibility and balance. I find that boys and girls really enjoy gymnastics. I believe the teacher is key. I like working with a local gymnastics teacher that works with children with special needs at a regular studio. The combination of one-on-one classes and group class is best!

3-Team Sports:

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My favorite thing about team sports is the social interaction and camaraderie that children get to experience. Many times I have to work on specific skills with children in my OT sessions so that they can then get involved in a specific team sport. (Talk to your OT about the sport you would like for your child so that you can build skills for improved participation). I like team sports for the obvious gross motor skills that children will work on. But as part of a team, I also like that children have to pay attention to other kids’ body language and that they build s sense of teamwork.

4-Arts-n-crafts:

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This is a great way to work on fine motor skills as well as express creativity with no right or wrong! This is wonderful for self-esteem (: Through crafts children strengthen little muscles of the hand that help improve dexterity and fine motor skills.

5-Martial Arts:

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I like to recommend martial arts for children that need to improve attention, body awareness, balance, coordination and graded motor control. This activity works on gross motor skills but in a more disciplined/organized way. This requires children to pay attention and pay attention to their body movements and positions. This is great for children that do things too fast, need to slow down their motor output or need to learn to pay attention.

 

Categories
Gross Motor Activities

10 ways Blue Painter’s Tape

1- Tic tac toe: I’m a huge fan of tic tac toe. It’s a great motor planning/problem solving game. You can use bean bags or 2 different colored items to play.

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2-Sticky Spider Web: I saw this on handsonaswegrow.com and thought it was such a great idea! I adapted it to meet OT goals. First, i gather magazines and I ask the children to make balls by crushing the  paper (this works on hand strength) I write numbers 1 to 10 on the web of tape. Kids pick a card with a math problem and they throw the newspaper ball on the answer!

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3-Mazes: I’ve used this as a spider web or you can create a Maze on the floor., place foam letters in the maze. Children have to spell specific words. You can also have children kick a ball or a bean bag along the maze for eye-foot coordination!

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4- Figure 8 fishing: create the number 8 with tape. place puzzle pieces in each of the circles. Have children walk along the 8 (great whole brain integration activity) when u say freeze they stop and pick up a fish.
You can do this with foam letters or numbers. Ask children to pick up the first letter of a word OR solve a math problem and pick up the answer.

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5- Don’t steal my shape: I make a rectangle on the floor using tape. I place shapes on either side of the rectangle. One child stands in the box while the other is outside the box and tries to steal his shape.

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6-Musical x: kids really love this game. Just like musical chairs. I make x’s on the floor with blue tape. I put on the music and kids dance around. Once the music stops they have to find an x to stand on otherwise they leave the game. Continue until the last man standing!

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7- Letters on floor and kids lay on it: this is a great group activity to introduce letters.

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8- Balance Beam: Make a simple straight line or curved or zig zag and have your child walk on it different ways ex: tip toe, forward heel toe, backwards, sideways, grapevine etc..

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9- Paint a design: this is great for kids with very low fine motor skills to create wonderful art. Make a design with blue tape on a foam board (available at craft stores) For instance you can create beautiful chevron pattern or star beams. Have your child use paints or markers freely to paint the entire surface (who cares how it looks) once it dries and you remove the painters tape it will create a beautiful painting. Kids looove peeling the tape too! (Great for pincer work)

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10- To facilitate cutting: great way to teach cutting on the line. Place tape along a shape and tell children to cut on the road. The blue tape is a great visual and the thickness of the tape facilitates cutting. Thick stock paper can be expensive s o this is a great way to thicken paper to cut.

Categories
Fine Motor Activities Gross Motor Activities Visual Perceptual Activities

10 Ways to use Fairy Wands

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You Will Need:

  • A wand
  • Round Thumbtack
  • Small magnet

I put a round tip thumbtack and secured it with hot glue on one end and a small magnet on the other end. You can also purchase this wand at MissMancy’s Shop.

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The Activities:

Fantastic Ways to teach letter formation:

1. Form letters on your child’s back and they have to guess the letter. I added a rounded tip at the end of my wand to make it “roll” more smoothly on different surfaces.

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2. Form letters in the air and have your child guess. I like to do it also as a race between 2 children. Who can name the letter first.

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3. Form letters in the pool and have your child guess the letter.

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Other ways to use the wand:

4. Use the magnetic tip to pick up bingo chips or magnetized letters as part of an obstacle course.

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5. Carry small items from one end of the room to the other or on a balance beam. I like to make little butterflies or birds out of different materials or use mini erasers and ask children to “save” the butterfly across the bridge. This helps children learn to slow down and pay attention to their bodies and movements.

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6. The Abracadabra Animal game: Wave your magic wand and name an animal. Your child has to pretend you turned him into that animal and imitate this its walk ex: bird, butterfly, elephant, bear, crab. This is a fun gross motor activity.

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7.Tap a balloon to each other. Great eye-hand coordination game especially for children with poor ball skills.

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8. Finger Activities: Race with fingers up and down the length of the wand. Begin by holding it with a tripod grasp like a crayon and walk your fingers back all the way to the star and then forward all the way to the tip. Twirl like a baton. These are both great ways to work on pincer grasp which will help strengthen little fingers for writing.

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9. Have your child close his eyes. Touch him with the wand somewhere on his body and ask him to then open his eyes and point where you touched him. This is great for body awareness through tactile input.

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10. Turn on the music and have your child dance around with the wand. When the music stops they must freeze. They cannot move but if they do, you tickle them with the tip of your wand and they are out of the game. This is a great auditory processing game.

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Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Magnetic Coin Rainbow Pick-up

Here is another wonderful activity that I like to do with a magnetic wand and bingo chips. Kids love the magical effect of the magnet 🙂 it never gets old!

Therapy corner (skills addressed):

Core strength/Coordination: The use of a scooter board is great to work on skills such as bilateral coordination. The reciprocal movement that children do with their feet in sitting or with their hands in prone (on the tummy) to maneuver the scooter works on bilateral coordination of the upper and lower extremities. Furthermore, using a scooter board helps strengthen core muscles. In prone, children work on strengthening their lower back muscles and neck extension muscles. While in sitting, the abdominal muscles are being used (especially when I asked children to hold their arms above their head).

When working on fine motor skills it is important that your child learn how to use both sides of his hand simultaneously and in a coordinated manner. In a nutshell, you want the first 2-3 fingers of the hand (which includes the thumb aka the radial side of the hand) to do the work/movement while the last 2-3 digits of the hand work as stabilizers (aka. ulnar side of the hand).

This activity also works on:

Nesting Skills (i.e. picking up small items with fingers and placing them in the palm of the hand)

Retrieving Retrieving (i.e transferring small items from the palm of the hand to the tip of the fingers)

Graded finger movements: I noticed that with children who are a bit “rough” with their fingers, it  is challenging to place the coins gently on the page without disturbing the other coins. This is what we call graded control. In other words, how much force to be used for different tasks. For ex: opening up a drawer filled with rocks does not require the same amount of force as opening a drawer of feathers 🙂

You will need:

  • Scooter board
  • Magnetic wand (available at MissMancy’s SHOP)
  • Different colored bingo chips (available at MissMancy’s SHOP)
  • Print out of rainbow (I got this one on line at: Making Learning Fun)

The Activity:

Spread out all bingo coins across the room.
Ask your child to lay on his tummy over the scooter and place the wand next to them on the scooter board so that both hands can be used. Note: you can also do this activity with your child sitting on the scooter board to work on other muscles (refer t

Name a color and ask the child to pick up all coins of that color using the wand.

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They then come back to the table and place the coins on the rainbow .

I like to use this part of the activity to work on in hand manipulation skills. This can be done by asking your child to hold all the coins in one hand and place them one by one on the rainbow    By  using fingers from the same hand to ” wiggle” the coin out. (Retrieving skills)
Continue until all coins are found and  placed on the rainbow.

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During cleanup get your child to work on nesting skills by picking up one coin at a time with the same hand and putting the coins away after every 8-10 coins they’ve picked up.

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I usually like to go the fun way and have them clean up the rainbow with the magnetic wand!!

Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Scooter board Rainbow Game

Therapy Corner:

This activity is so much fun! It is colorful, happy and can be adapted to meet sooo many OT goals!

The use of a scooter board is great to work on skills such as bilateral coordination. The reciprocal movement that children do with their feet in sitting or with their hands in prone (on the tummy) to maneuver the scooter works on bilateral coordination of the upper and lower extremities. Furthermore, using a scooter board helps strengthen core muscles. In prone, children work on strengthening their lower back muscles and neck extension muscles. While in sitting, the abdominal muscles are being used (especially when I asked children to hold their arms above their head).

This rainbow activity requires minimal cutting skills. Children simply have to cut along a straight line. For younger children I ask them to cut one sheet at a time. However for older children, I stack all colors of construction paper for this activity and ask them to cut out a strip. This strengthens hands and also requires more advanced bilateral coordination skills (holding all the sheets and still cutting along a straight line)

You Will Need:

  • Scooter board
  • Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

The Activity:

Ask children to cut along a straight line for each of the colored construction paper to make 1.5 inch wide strips.

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Then have children cut each colored strip to be shorter than the previous color in the following order: Red is the longest, then orange, followed by yellow, green, blue and the shortest one will be violet.

Spread out all the colored strips in the room (make sure to place them in random order)

In prone on the scooter: ask children to use arms only in a reciprocal manner  to maneuver the scooter to get one strip at a time from longest to shortest. Make sure that your child places the strip of paper on the scooter before bringing it to you, that way he can still use both hands to move the scooter.

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In sitting on the scooter: ask children to move feet with reciprocal leg movements to pick up one strip at a time from longest to shortest. Make sure that when your child brings back the strip, that he holds it above his head (to tilt the pelvis correctly and activate abdominal muscles)

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Once all strips are gathered and that your child has arranged them in descending order,

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put all strips together, line up the edges.

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Then staple all edges together on both sides. This will make a rainbow!!!!

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Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Skeleton Hands Scoop

You Will Need:

  • Skeleton Hands (I got these at Target , they are for serving salad!)
  • Koosh Balls
  • Scooter board
  • Container (I use a Halloween basket)

I love using the scooter board for various activities, especially if I see children at home where equipment is not available. For this activity, my goal was to work on bilateral coordination skills (both upper and lower extremities)

I begin by laying out koosh balls at one end of the room, and place the “target” basket at the other end. I ask children to sit on the scooter and pick up a koosh ball using the skeleton hands. Once they pick it up they must hold on to the koosh ball without dropping it and “walk” while sitting on the scooter across the room and into the basket.

Important things to keep in Mind:

  1. Look for quality of movement and execution.
  2. Picking up a ball using the skeleton hands will work on upper extremity coordination.
  3. Ask your child to stay sitting on the scooter and walk across the room, with reciprocal leg movements. This works on lower extremity coordination. Do not allow your child to advance the scooter board by scooting.
  4. Also very important, make sure your child holds the skeleton hands overhead. This ensures that if your child lacks core strength to complete this activity smoothly, (i.e. they slouch) the raising of the arms will provide what we call an anterior pelvic tilt and eliminate slouching so that we are strengthening the correct muscles!
Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Spider Maze

I saw this maze on No Time For Flash Cards Blog and thought it was such a great idea! I decided to kick it up a notch and plug in as many “OT skills” I can combine into this game to make it fun while working on many important skills.

You Will Need:

  • Painters Tape
  • Ghost cut outs
  • Grabber
  • Sight words/Spelling written on index cards (I used flash cards here)
  • Koosh Balls (the ones I used all Holloween spiders)

Begin by creating a spider web using the tape.

Ask your child to begin at the top of the web and ask them to walk on the blue tape and pick up a specific koosh ball that you indicate by using the grabber. They must stay on the blue lines the whole time (this works on balance and coordination) and use the grabber t o pick up a koosh ball and make their way out of the web (this works on hand and finger strength)

If they cross a sight word card, they must pick it up and read it . If they read it correctly, they may continue along to get to their koosh ball, otherwise they start over from the beginning (with a group of children, it would then be the next child’s turn).

If they cross a ghost they must pick up the sight word, look at it for 10 seconds and then spell it. Again, if they spell it correctly they continue on their way.

You can also use this for handwriting. Just ask the child to pick up the card that they cross and write it on a dry erase board or paper as they reach their destination.

 

The kids really loved this activity! And also loved to peel the tape. I asked them to make a big ball out of it! You would be surprised to see that this sticky medium can be challenging for some children! It takes motor planning to form the tape into a ball!

 

Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Sight Words Spelling Words Spider Toss

I got all these fun Halloween items at Target $1 area (always full of cute items that can be used to teach kids basic skills)

You Will Need:

  • 10 plastic cups
  • 3 bean bags
  • Sight words written on paper

How to Play:

I marked the cups with points ranging from 30 to 5. Use a small piece of tape to stick 3 sight words in 3 different cups. Ask your child to toss the bean bag (spider in this case) and hit as many cups as possible. Then ask your child to look for cups that contain sight words. Your child gets to then read (or spell) the word he found in the cup. If he reads or spells correctly, he wins the number of points on the cup. Don’t forget to ask your child to restock the cups into a pyramid!

Therapy Corner:

Not only  is this a great way to review spelling words and sight words,I even use it for handwriting and ask children to copy the word they found, it works on many “OT” skills.

Throwing on a specific target helps your child work on eye-hand coordination skills. Stacking the cups into a pyramid is challenging for many children. It works on motor planning skills as well as graded control of the arms/hand. (This means your child will have to decide how much force to use when stacking the cups into a pyramid…gentle enough to make them stand)

Categories
Fine Motor Activities Gross Motor Activities

Hanging them up to Dry

You will need:

  • A 3ft long ribbon
  • mini clothing pins
  • 5-6 items of Doll or Barbie Doll clothing
  • Balance Disc (Available for purchase at MissMancy’s AMAZON Shop)
You can purchase ribbon and mini clothespins exclusively at MissMancy’s Shop

The Activity:

This activity allows you to work on your child’s static standing balance while also working on bilateral coordination and finger strength.

I first place a balance disc on the floor however you can also use a balance board or Bosu ball. Then place 5-6 items of clothing on the floor around the disc and one mini clothing pin in front of each piece of clothing.

 

Ask your child to squat down and pick up one article of  clothing and one mini pin.

As you child stands up, hold the ribbon taut at their shoulder level and ask them to pinch the pin with 2 fingers to attach the clothing on the ribbon.

And this is how we hang them up to dry!

Categories
Fine Motor Activities Gross Motor Activities

Happy Pin Pick up

What you need:

The Activity:

I learned this great game from Roni, a wonderful OT that I work with. Clip different colored smiley face clips to your child’s clothing. Have the child stand on the wobble board. Then ask your child to get 1 clip, 1 specific color then 2 clips, 2 different colors in the order that you name them then 3 clips then 4 etc…The more clips your child retrieves correctly, the greater number of colors you request (you can also request the same color more than once ex: red, blue, red, pink). If your child gets the clips incorrectly, put them back on his clothing and ask for a new sequence of colors with the same number of clips. Only increase to a longer sequence if your child gets the presented one correctly.

Make sure that your child squeezes the clips using the thumb and two other fingers.

Therapy Corner:

This activity works on several important skills. When standing on a wobble board, your child works on static standing balance as well as proprioception. Your child has to constantly be aware of his body when he completes this on a wobble board and readjust his body not to fall off.

Also, the use of clips allows your child to strengthen his pincer grasp and the color sequencing game gives your child the opportunity to work on auditory memory.

Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Pop the Piggy on my Tummy

You will need:

Therapy Corner:

Many of the children that OTs work with have weak core muscles. This includes abdominal muscles and back muscles. It is very important to work on core first as it is the center of ones body. A strong core means stability and we always strive for stability before mobility. In other words, before working on movement such as coordination, balance etc…, we must make sure that we work on building a stable/solid core so that the child doesn’t compensate during movements but instead completes activities with proper form.

Core work is also important for children with handwriting issues. A child with a weak core will use his arms to prop himself on the table as to support his trunk instead of freely using his hands to write. You can now understand how important it is to work on core strength (and why us OTs are always on the search for activities to work on these muscles in a fun way of course! 🙂

When working in prone (on the tummy) not only does your child work on back and neck muscles but he also works on shoulder/scapular strength and wrist strength. Once again, by making the arms strong and stable we are able to ensure more success in the correct mobility/utility of the hand during fine motor activities.

The Activity:

Lay out Pop the Pig Game on the floor.

Place the exercise ball on in front of the game and have your child lay on her tummy on the ball.

Make sure that her arms are extended and that her wrists are flat on the floor and facing forward.

Roll the die and pick the corresponding color to feed the pig by placing the burger in his mouth and pushing at the top of his head to feed him. Continue till his belly pops!

Make sure to give your child plenty of rest breaks and always provide as much support as needed so that correct form is used.

Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Mardi Gras Necklace Dive

You will need:

Therapy Corner:

Many of the children that OTs work with have weak core muscles. This includes abdominal muscles and back muscles. It is very important to work on core first as it is the center of ones body. A strong core means stability and we always strive for stability before mobility. In other words, before working on movement such as coordination, balance etc…, we must make sure that we work on building a stable/solid core so that the child doesn’t compensate during movements but instead completes activities with proper form.

Core work is also important for children with handwriting issues. A child with a weak core will use his arms to prop himself on the table as to support his trunk instead of freely using his hands to write. You can now understand how important it is to work on core strength (and why us OTs are always on the search for activities to work on these muscles in a fun way of course! 🙂

The Activity:

I like using this activity to help children strengthen their abdominal muscles. I give them as much support as they need to succeed but be challenged. Sit your child on an exercise ball and kneel in front of him. Provide support at the hips and let them rest their feet on your lap. Proper form is important.

Place the necklaces behind the ball. I use two to three of each color. Ask your child to lean back and pick up a necklace.

Depending on the child, I will use this opportunity to teach concepts.

Color concept: Pick up a necklace the color of a strawberry (red)

Letter concept: Pick up a necklace with the color that starts with B (blue) or one with the color who’s last letter is W (yellow)

Word concept: Pick up a necklace that IS NOT yellow OR pick up two necklaces that are the SAME or that are DIFFERENT

Help your child pull himself back up to sitting. Make sure he tucks his chin IN on his way up and provide as much support as needed on the way up and down. If your child has difficulty tucking his chin, place a little bean bag for him to hold with his chin when coming back up to sitting.

Once in sitting have the child place the necklace around your neck. I find that with children who have difficulty making eye contact, this is a wonderful way to encourage eye contact with you in a non-threatening way.

 

Categories
Gross Motor Activities Sensory Activities

ABC Magic Tunnel

What you need:

  • ABC Puzzle (You can purchase a similar puzzle at MissMancy’s AMAZON Shop)
  • Homemade Nylon tunnel (You can make it by sewing  a long piece of Nylon material purchased at your local fabric store)
  • Dry erase board and dry erase markers ( Available for purchase at MissMancy’s AMAZON Shop)

The Activity:

I like using this activity when I need children to “get into their bodies” before working on other activities that require more attention from their bodies (for ex: balance activities).

Start by laying out the tunnel across the room. Place 8 letters on one end of the tunnel and the puzzle on the other end.

Ask your child to pick a letter and write it on the white board or a word that begins with that letter.

 If he writes it correctly, he can now crawl inside the magic tunnel and place the letter in the puzzle. Have your child crawl back through the tunnel to get another letter.

Little tips to keep in mind:

Some young children can be afraid of crawling in this dark tunnel. Have someone else keep the other end of the tunnel open and verbally cue them as they crawl through.

Ask children to go through the tunnel several different ways such as crawl backwards, walk on your knees, walk standing up,  commando crawl like a snake etc…

The resistance from the nylon tunnel provides great proprioceptive input to the body. And since your child cannot see much in the tunnel, he uses other senses to “feel” where his body is in space.

Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Old McDonald on a Ball E,I,E,I,O

You will need:

  • Farm animals on a string (This one is from ALEX toys available for purchase at MissMancy’s AMAZON Shop)
  • Exercise Ball (Purchase at your local Sports Store)

The Activity:

I like using this activity to help children strengthen their abdominal muscles. I give them as much support as they need to succeed but be challenged. Sit your child on an exercise ball and kneel in front of him. Provide support at the hips and let them rest their feet on your lap. Proper form is important.

Place all the animals behind your child on the floor and keep the string close to you.

Sing “Old McDonald had a Farm….and on his farm he had a mooooo (insert the sound that the animal makes). Your child then bends backwards and picks up the corresponding animal.

Help your child pull himself back up to sitting. Make sure he tucks his chin IN on his way up and provide as much support as needed on the way up and down. If your child has difficulty tucking his chin, place a little bean bag for him to hold with his chin when coming back up to sitting.

Once your child is in the sitting position, let him practice stringing the animal.

Categories
Gross Motor Activities

Cutting Long Legs

You will need:

  • Scissors (I like Fiskars best..available for purchase at MissMancy’s AMAZON Shop)
  • Heavy stock paper or construction paper
  • Markers or crayons

The Activity:

Here is a really fun way to get ANY child to enjoy cutting. First I draw the face of their favorite character at the top of an 8×3 inch piece of construction paper. I then draw 2 long legs and color the middle yellow.

I then ask the child to cut by staying on yellow so as to create 2 legs for their favorite character! Tada! Simple but fun way to teach early cutting skills.

Note: If you are not artistically inclined, find small characters in coloring books to complete this activity.

 

Categories
Gross Motor Activities Visual Perceptual Activities

Scooter Make and Break

You will need:

The Activity:

I love finding activities that combine more than one therapeutic goals. When working on core strength I often use a scooter board and combine it with a fine motor or perceptual activity.

Get your child to lay on the scooter on his tummy. Make sure that the edge of the scooter reaches the middle of his chest. Place a selected card at one end of the room and place the colored blocks at the other end of the room.

Start your child on the scooter where the card was placed. Have your child look at the card carefully, then using only his hands reciprocally to propel the scooter, retrieve one block at a time and go back to the starting place to build the figure from the card. Only allow your child to get off the scooter and sit to build the figure if he becomes tired from the scooter.

This position on the scooter called prone positioning helps a child build core muscles of his back and neck along with shoulder, arm and hand strength while the reciprocal arm movement to propel the scooter works on your child’s coordination.

Make and Break is a wonderful game to work on important visual perceptual skills (more specifically visual spatial skills). These are important skills for handwriting.

 

Categories
Fine Motor Activities Gross Motor Activities

Monkey See Monkey Do

You will need:

The Activity:

Ask any therapist, they will all tell you the same thing… Kids love to play with thera-putty. Putty comes in different strength depending on the color. I like the orange one best as it usually provides the “just right” resistance for most age groups. The only thing you want to watch out for with putty is to not let it get on clothing or carpets. It will never come off!!! Playing with putty should therefore always be supervised unless making a “permanent” mess is not an issue.

I love to hide all sorts of items in the putty and have the children find it. (I don’t suggest any metals such as coins as they become faded and dull.  So I’m always looking for small, fun items I can hide in the putty and have the kids look for them. My favorite things to hide are these tiny plastic monkeys that I found online and available on MissMancy’s AMAZON Shop. They all have different body positions and facial features.

Ask your child finds one of the monkeys, tell him to imitate what the monkey is doing! Kids absolutely love this game! You are not only working on finger strength but the added component of imitating the monkey helps your child develop motor planning skills. In other words I see what the monkey is doing, now how do I get my body to do the same thing!