Spacing observations for the whole page: Is the child’s name placed in the appropriate space? If no: Is the child too young to know where their name is to be placed? Are there inconsistencies with where the name is to be placed on the various pages used in the class? Does the child have the concept of “upper left hand corner”? Corner is not a word used a lot in our society. It may need to be taught along with left and right. Do the words hug the left hand margin of the paper? This has been discussed in recent blogs. Is there excess space between words or do the words run together? Children who do either of these, may have visual perceptual weaknesses. It […]
One of my favorite books to take with me to parent/teacher seminars is this excellent book by Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR/L! Its eight chapters are filled with must have developmental information, activities, toys to make, songs to sing to encourage development from birth to age five. For instance the chapter on two year olds (my favorite age now as my grandson is 2!) includes separate divisions on Developing Body Awareness, Communication, Social Interactions, Encouraging Visual Motor Perception, Encouraging Sensorimotor Skills, Encouraging Large Motor Development, Encouraging Hand Skills, Encouraging Early Drawing and Pre Writing Skills, and What’s Next?. The Visual Motor Development Scale at the end of the book is a nice quick reference for anyone looking for what is appropriate at a certain age […]
Dear Mom and Dad, I know you are looking forward to having me back in school. Half of me is excited and really scared. We both know that I really struggle sometimes at school. I want to please you both and especially my teacher. But I get into trouble because I am the last one to finish my work, I have to look off when I am thinking which makes me look like I am not paying attention, and I get easily frustrated because my brain won’t think as fast as the other kids!!! Please, mom and dad, don’t wait until I get into trouble to tell the teacher that I can’t keep up sometimes. The summer tutoring really helped me, but I am still […]
March madness has begun for summer scheduling! If your child needs therapy this summer, its important to contact a therapist in March. Generally by the beginning of April, most therapists have their summer schedule tenatively in place. Its also wise to talk with the therapist that your child may be already seeing to let him/her know that you will want therapy for this summer. Be wise! Contact and schedule now!
Did you know that our wrist muscles through the way the tendons are attached can help pull our fingers into a thumb/finger grip? The desk makers from the early 1900′s knew this as all desks were slanted! Architect’s desks are slanted. Slanted surfaces are easier on our hands from an ergonomic standpoint because of the “tendenosis” action! Its much easier for all of us but especially children who are developing the grip to hold a pencil/marker if they use a slanted surface! Vertical surfaces provide the similar benefits as a slanted surface. Hats off to you who have easels in the classroom or allow the children to write on your chalkbaord or interactive board! Commercially available slanted clipboards are available in many colors and sizes […]
Did you know that our body needs stability before mobility? This means that our body needs to be secure in one position before moving a body part away from our body. For example, sitting down on the floor or in a chair to write, cut, or eat requires good balance, good posture and the ability for us to move our arms/hands away from our body. Our body needs to feel balanced and strong in the sitting position before we can reach out with our hands to do these activities. Two ways to help our body feel stabilized in the sitting position: Sit on the floor in criss cross applesauce style. Reversed W sitting (legs behind the body not sitting on the legs) can hinder the development of […]
Materials: foam hands and paper or foam letters from Hobby Lobby Plastic clear tape or shelf paper to secure the letters on the hands. 1. Spread the hands on the floor and have your child pick up: All the same colored hand All the letters in his name and spell his name All the right hands, all the left hands 2.Use the hands for playing “Twister”: one hand on A, left foot on Q, etc. or spell words by placing hands and feet on the letters (great for working on crossing body’s midline) 3. Hang the hands from a clothesline to spell name and words 4. Sign in with the hands rather than writing the name Other ideas? z
I apologize for the disappearnace of this post from my blog history! A dear reader discovered its absence and graciously ask that I repost it. So thank you for making me aware of this! “Freedom to be…..” Each child needs the opportunity and freedom to just be who they are: a child! Children learn not only fine motor skills but gross motor, social, language, cause and effect plus much more through their own play! Here’s several outside play suggestions! Don’t forget its very important for adults to play as well!!!! For large muscle development: Playground equipment of all kinds, digging in dirt, riding toys for outside play, helping rake leaves, wash cars, and so much more For small muscle (fine motor) development: Picking or cutting […]
The Preschool Teachers Adventure Conference will be hosted at Houston ‘s Woodwind Presbyterian Church’s Preschool on January 26! This is a great conference to earn CEU credits as well as catch up on the latest in preschool topics! Besides its just FUN!!!! I will be speaking about “Red Flags in Motor Development of Preschool Children” ” Teaching the Alphabet Through Practical Play” “Sensory Motor Issues in the Classroom” Come join me! Hope to see you there!
Tips for those kids who need to wiggle to stay alert but should not leave their seat: 1. Chew gum or suck on sour candy (if allowed in school; allow at home if no problem with choking or swallowing) 2. Tie a stretchy exercise band around the front legs of the chair. Place your legs and feet behind the band. When the need to get out of the chair arises and you should not, push against the band to help release the “wiggles”. 3. Try a “Sit and Move Cushion”. This has bumps on one side and air inside which allows “wiggling” without getting out of the chair. Purchase at www.funandfunction.com or www.therapro.com 4. Place tennis balls on the back legs of the chair to […]