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Toy Tuesday: Magnet Maze

24 Apr

How cute is this! Great to use while on a swing, on a balance board, or just sitting at a table. Great for teaching correct grasp as well!

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Tweezer fun

13 Mar

These are awesome! They come in a pack of 12 for $12! Perfect to throw anywhere…in a bag, classroom, or gym. They have great resistance and visual cues for where to place index and middle fingers. Great price, and great quality!

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Toy Tuesday: Frog Tongs

8 Jan

Aren’t these awesome?! Mardel always has wonderful therapy tools, but these win the award for this week! Even under $5!

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Toy Tuesday: Gum Ball Machine

11 Dec

Hi there! Jeez it’s almost half way through December and I’ve yet to make a post! I can’t believe there are only 14 days until Christmas!! Crazy! My husband and I have been crazy busy these past few weeks. My brother in law got married to the love of his life, we decorated inside and out for Christmas, and have almost finished shopping for gifts! Still working on wrapping up everything… This week is also secret Santa week at work. For 4 days, small little gifts show up on everyone’s desk, all from their secret Santa, then Thursday night we will have a Christmas party at one of our co-workers house and reveal the secret Santa!! Such holiday fun!

This weeks Toy Tuesday is in honor of a coworker and her talent for finding great toys at the Dollar Tree…an inexpensive gum-ball machine. The kids have had such fun with this. It’s great for finger strengthening to use aerosol cans (spray deodorant, etc.) and spray bottles, as well as intrinsic palmar strengthening and bilateral coordination. Also works on grading movement and simple problem solving. Word of warning if you ever end up in a Dollar Tree with a pediatric OT… 😉

Have a great week! Be blessed and be thankful for our Lord and Savior!

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Mat Man!

29 Sep

One of my favorite ways to teach body awareness and drawing a picture of a person with a body (versus a head with arms and legs 😉 is the Handwriting without Tears Mat Man! If you’ve never heard of Handwriting without Tears (HWT) check it out at: http://www.hwtears.com. HWT is a handwriting curriculum developed by an OT using a hands-on, educationally sound instructional method to teach handwriting. It is composed of several workbooks, teaching manuals, educational materials such as flash cards, CDs, and different types of paper. The curriculum also has an assessment, The Print Tool, used to evaluation and remediate capital letters, lower-case letters, and numbers. HWT has been adopted by the Texas State Board of Education, and meets TEKS standards for Language Arts. The workbooks have even been translated into Spanish, French, and Hebrew! How cool is that? Maybe I should purchase the Hebrew book for myself. I’ve always wanted to learn how to write Hebrew!

Anyways, one of the HWT programs is called, Get Set for School. It’s primarily based for pre-K to K kids for pre-writing, letter recognition, proper letter formation, and other developmentally appropriate activities to allow the child to be ready for Kindergarten. One of the tools used with this program is the wood pieces set (http://shopping.hwtears.com/product/WP/GSS). It has big lines, little lines, big curves, and little curves that are used to teach basic letter formation, recognition, and memory. In the teacher’s manual there is a pattern to create your own wood pieces set. I used this pattern to create a set of wood pieces on poster board. I chose the color yellow so the letters would be bright!

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HWT encourages the wood pieces also be used to make mat man! The Get Set for School even has a nice little song to sing while you build mat man. Sing along with the song, if your voice is good enough and the child doesn’t ask you to be quiet. This happens quite a bit in my treatment sessions. I decided to make some facial features for my version of mat man. I made 2 of each: blue, green, and brown eyes, so the child can pick out the same color eyes he has. I made a mouth, nose, and even some eyebrows. You can even give mat man a belly button! Now all I need to do is make him some hands and a variety of hats to wear and then he will be complete! I may have a few of my kiddos help me with this task. Then they can work on tracing their hand and cutting! Creating a list of hats will also help with higher level thinking processes including imagination and role playing.

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Other fun ways to modify this activity include: making the poster-board pieces even smaller, perhaps using an index card; use puff paint on the pieces in order to trace with index finger and create a tactile feedback for letter formation; Put velcro/magnets on the back of the pieces in order to use on a vertical surface or while swinging. Can you think of any other activities using the wood pieces?

Check out the app too! http://wetdrytry.com/

Now go have some fun and learn your letters! 🙂

~Amy

Tongs, tweezers, and more!

26 Sep

Tongs, tweezers, grabbers, etc. are all wonderful for grasp development and strengthening. Have the child hold the grabbers with thumb and pointer, and if needed middle finger to improve her tripod grasp on a marker or pencil. Encourage the child to keep ring and pinky finger tucked in his palm. You can facilitate this by having the child hold a small item in her palm with ring and pinky finger. Other methods include: cut a two holes in the toe of a sock, one for the thumb and one for index/middle finger, and let pinky/ring finger stay in the sock and use coban/ace wrap to wrap around pinky/ring finger to hold them down in the palm. The items to pick up using tongs are endless! Examples include: puff balls, candy, beads, blocks, cereal, socks, erasers, dice, etc. the possibilities are endless! See the post using a wet ones bottle for more ideas! What have you picked up with tongs?!

Photos from google, http://www.therapyshoppe.com, and http://www.pfot.com

Be blessed!
-Amy

Pencil Grasps

22 Sep

I wanted to share this link for different pencil grasps. It has great pictures and descriptions of mature and immature pencil grasps.

Enjoy!

http://www.mcpasd.k12.wi.us/northweb/OT/motorgroups.html

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