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 […]
As school is progressing, I am seeing signs of visual issues with the children in the classrooms I am visiting. Please be aware of the need for early intervention with children who have acuity, tracking, or teaming issues with their eyes. These are some of the things I look for in a classroom: a. Consistent head tilt to one side: make sure placement of book or crowding of child on other side is not contributing to this. b. Consistent head tilt to one side combined with the body turned to one side in the chair. One child I recently observed had one knee up in the chair, her body turned to the left in the chair, and her face almost on top of her paper. […]
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 […]
Three more silly variations to teach lower case g/j, f, and the number 6 j and g: Lower case j is frequently reversed. If your child knows how to form a “g”, use this trick. Form a “g” and then erase the “head” (circular part). You may say “off with his head” (from Alice in Wonderland) to emphasize the point plus the kids will remember it!. The “g” becomes a “j” once you place the dot. A second trick: “f” is a candy cane with a bow tie. Most children easily draw candy canes! Third trick: Monster 6: If your child is having difficulty with drawing a rounded 6 (6 varies depending on the curriculum of the school), try making a C: first and curling […]
. Last week we talked about students who preferred to work in the right body space which often led them to begin writing at the left paper margin but progressively pulled away from the left and eventually started their work in the middle of the page. Another set of children I see frequently prefer to work vertically. Their rows of math probems are completed 1, 11, 19, etc. rather than 1 through 10, 11 through 20, etc. They also prefer to copy from a book placed ABOVE their paper rather than to the right side. These children may have a preference for vertically working due to visual horizontal tracking issues,to difficulty crossing from the left body space to the right body space, or just a preference […]
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 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!