Friday, November 20, 2015

Fun DIY Activities for Visual Perceptual Skills

Sponges are one of my favorite "pediatric occupational therapy" items in my therapy bag!  There are so many therapeutic activities for basic kitchen sponges!  Simply cut the sponges into blocks or shapes of various sizes and watch any child enjoy making creations. Take a variety of brightly colored sponges, and create a stack in a particular sequence of colors/shape and then have the child re-create the stack. 
 Another fun activity that is great for visual perceptual skills is to make a variety of worksheets with different shapes that they child can place the sponges on top of to create a design.  This is basically an inexpensive tangram game that will challenge a child's visual perceptual skills.  The sheets can range from basic to more complex in order to increase the challenge based on the child's skill level!  So go to the dollar store and pick up a package of sponges and get ready to have some fun!

Therapy project by Meg Lawrence: Posted with Permission

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fun Toys for Baby's Bilateral Integration Skills!

When a child has intact bilateral integration skills, he can use both arms together in a coordinated manner.  Bilateral skills are important for future tasks like writing and cutting.  These are a few of my favorite classic toys, and they are great for your baby’s bilateral skills! It’s

The farm toy is a wonderful way for your baby to learn words and animals.  Just point the arrow to an animal, and have your your baby stabilize the toy with one hand and pull the lever with the other to hear the animal sound!  There are 16 different farm animals featured on the toy.  And to add to the fun, this classic also plays “Old Mac Donald” and “Farmer in the Dell.”

These snap lock or pop beads are good for your baby's bilateral skills, eye hand coordination and upper extremity strength! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Wheelchair Costumes for Kids

Photo Credit: Felixco, Inc.
Are you looking for Halloween wheelchair costumes for kids?  If so, you have to check out WALKIN' & ROLLIN' COSTUMES!

Walkin' & Rollin' Costumes transform wheelchairs into fun and amazing costumes.  Volunteers design and hand sew each costume, so it will be a perfect fit!  This is a wonderful organization, so you may want to consider donating to this worthy cause.  For more information, click HERE.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ziplock Bag Teaching and Learning Quilt: Perfect for a Visual Schedule

·      Sandwich sized Ziplock bags
·      Clear packaging tape
·      Colorful Masking/Duck Tape (design of your choice)
·      Pictures, educational materials, or other items that you wish to put in the slots

1.   Decide how many Ziplock pockets that you would like for your quilt to contain.
2.  Lay the Ziplock bags out on a flat surface in rows make a large square (For example, 9 Ziplock bags will make 3 rows with 3 bags in each row.)
3. Using clear packaging tape, tape the back side of the Ziplock bags together.  Tape straight down the back of the bags between the first and second columns, the second and third columns, and then continue taping between additional columns from top to bottom and between the rows from left to right. (Only apply this tape to the back sides of the bags to allow the bags to be opened from the front.)
4.  Place strips of the decorative tape straight down between each row where the bags meet on the front of the quilt.  Use one large strip to tape from the top of the square to the bottom of the square.  Repeat this until you have taped between each column.
5.  Next, apply the tape across the bags from left to right where the bags meet.  Be sure to not tape the flap down to the bag above it.  You will line the top side of the tape up with the top of the flap where you open the Ziplock bag and tape across from left to right.
6.  Finally, use the decorative tape to tape around the outside of the big square.  Once done, each individual square will be outlined with the decorative tape. 
7.  You should still be able to open your individual Ziplock pockets on the front of the quilt to slide in the pictures, quotes, instructions, or any other item of your choosing.
8.  If you wish, you may use the same instructions for applying the decorative tape to the back side of your Ziplock bag quilt in the same pattern to make the back side as visually appealing as the front side of your quilt.

      This fun teaching and Learning Quilt can be used in a variety of ways!  You can use it as a visual schedule, or to list the steps of a task that you want your child to learn.  It can also be used to list other visual instructions. It's fun to fill the slots with pictures of family, past trips, or hobbies.  Use your imagination and come up with other ideas for this Ziplock Bag Teaching and Learning 

Therapy project by Ashley Wright: Posted with Permission

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Craft Activity for Kids: DIY Paint Palette

Do you know a child that loves to paint?  If so, here is an easy DIY paint palette! An egg carton can serve as a simple paint palette, with each egg slot holding a different color of paint.  
Painting Activity for Kids:  Tape a large sheet of white poster paper to the wall. Instruct the child to dip his index finger into the paint and to draw on the paper.  Provide hand over hand guidance at first (if needed) to build confidence and comfort level with the activity, then begin to fade your assistance. Demonstrate how to draw simple shapes to work on the ability to follow simple commands.  If appropriate, the child can practice writing his name and other simple words, or have him draw something that he loves, such as his car, a pet, or family member.  This is fun and allows for free expression!

Therapy project by Camille Marsden: Posted with Permission

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Craft Activity for Kids: Tissue Box Guitar

 Materials Needed: tape, tissue box, colorful paper, paper towel roll, rubber bands, and scissors
1.     To prepare the tissue box, cut the plastic protector out of the middle.
2.     Outline the all sides of the tissue box and paper towel onto the paper.
3.     Cut out the outline and line them up to their appropriate side to confirm proper alignment.
4.     Trace and cut the center of the tissue box on the top piece of paper.
5.     On the short side of the tissue box, cut a circle to fit the dimensions of the paper towel roll.
6.     Cover the paper towel roll in its correlating paper using tape, and stuff it into the hole designated on the tissue box.
7.     Tape the paper towel roll into place on the tissue box’s internally and externally.
8.     Tape all sides of the tissue box with the paper cut outs.
9.     Cut a small slit into one side of the paper towel roll as close to the tissue box as possible.
10. Place a rubber band in the slit and wrap it around the tissue box until it is touching both ends of this box.
11. Place at least one rubber band on either side of the initial rubber band. (depending on the size of your tissue box you may apply numerous rubber bands)

Purpose: This is a wonderful craft activity for kids! This guitar provides unique sounds with each stroke. Playing the guitar uses fine motor skills such as cutting, using tape, and placing the rubber bands. By decreasing the instructions to only a few steps at a time, any child can build their attention to activities while working on other skills. Many children will find this kids craft enjoyable!  Cutting the circle out of the tissue box for the paper towel roll can be difficult and should be done by the parent/therapist.
 Therapy project by Catherine Cole: Posted with Permission

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pediatric Occupational Therapy Activity: A Clothespin Wreath

Are you looking for pediatric occupational therapy activities? Craft activities for kids are fun and are great for a variety of skills. Check out this clothespin wreath!  This is a fun art project for kids, and it's also appropriate as a toddler activity.  

Materials Needed:
1 package of wooden clothespins
A sturdy paper plate
Paint and paint brushes

1. Have the child cut a circular hole in the middle of the plate.  If the child is learning to cut on a line, draw the circle using a brightly colored magic marker and instruct her to cut on the line. 
2. Use the paintbrush and paint the plate and wooden clothespins any colors the child prefers. 

3. Once the plate is dry, the clothes pins need to be placed along the rim until there is no more room on the plate. 

Squeezing and placing the clothespins improves finger strength and dexterity, and the wreath makes a lovely gift for any mom!

Browse my blog for more craft activities for kids!

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Therapy project by Tess Barnfield: Posted with Permission