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.

IMG_5258

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.

IMG_5263

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.

IMG_5178
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.

IMG_5191

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.

IMG_5206

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)

IMG_5203

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

IMG_5224

put all strips together, line up the edges.

IMG_5226

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

IMG_5229

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

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 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.