Saturday, July 26, 2014

#OTLifeHack

During the month of July, The American Occupational Therapy Association is encouraging therapists and students to share their #OTLifeHack ideas on social media. AOTA describes a life hack as:

"any trick, shortcut, skill, or new method that solves an everyday problem."
 July has been a crazy month, so I'm just now getting around to posting on this topic. What a great idea!!! Here are a 3 of my "go to" life hacks for therapy:

Rainy Day Indoor Game Tape

On a sunny day, I love to pull out my sidewalk chalk for all sorts or therapy games. However, rainy or cold weather means therapy is likely to occur indoors. No fear! I just pull the gym tape out of my therapy bag. You can use this tape to make a bean bag toss, a hop scotch space, or whatever else comes to mind! It's simple to place and peels up easily when your session is over.
Quick and Easy Foot Rest

If your budget is tight and you're in need of a foot rest, just recycle an old phone book or a stack of magazines! Keep stacking until the footrest is tall enough. Cover the books with colorful duct tape to make the foot rest fun and durable!
                       Easy Footrest



Do it yourself Bean Bags
Have you ever wondered what to do with those "single" socks or baby booties that turn up while you're folding clothes? Here's a tip...use them to make bean bags! Just fill the bootie or sock with beans/rice or both, tuck the open end in and stitch it together. Turn the socks inside out to add a bit of texture for an added sensory experience! There's no limit to bean bag activities, so make your own set now!

#OTLifeHack, #TherapyonaShoestringBudget

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spelling and Strengthening!!!

Do you know of a student who has finger/hand weakness, poor eye-hand coordination and weak spelling skills? If so, you may want to try this "clothespin-spelling" activity. 

You'll need:

Plastic clothespins (these require more strength than the wooden ones)
Sticker/Label Paper
Computer
Paint stick or ruler
 Print all of the letters needed for the spelling words using 26 - 28 font size on sticky-back label paper. Cut out each letter and stick it on a clothespin. I like to put the same letter on both sides of the clothespin.
Call out a spelling word and instruct the child to spell the word correctly by placing each letter/clothespin in order. Once she spells the word correctly, have her "sound out" the word.  This activity is good for visual scanning, spelling, finger strengthening and eye-hand coordination. 
video




Sunday, July 13, 2014

Motor Planning Balloon Games: Have Some Fun!!!



Suspend a balloon from the ceiling or a doorframe using a long piece of string. Have your child hit the ball while having her say or sing the A-B-C’s or while counting. For example, A- hit the balloon, B- hit the balloon, etc. You can also make this more difficult by removing the string, and having her keep the balloon in the air as long a possible by hitting it while saying the A-B-C’s. Can she get all the way through the alphabet and keep the balloon in the air? This is also a fun activity for practicing spelling words!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Building Blocks Make a Wonderful Therapy Tool!


Are you looking for inexpensive items to include in your therapy "bag of goodies?"  Are you a parent that is tired of spending the BIG bucks on therapy equipment and supplies for your child? Well, if you have $20.00 to spend, I have a recommendation for you!  This 100-piece wooden block set is available on Amazon for $18.95, and it is one of my favorite therapy "tools."


Basic building blocks are a dream come true to an occupational therapist! Here is a list of block activities and the skills each activity addresses:
  • Copy the Design- Build a block design that is a "just right challenge" for your child to copy. This activity addresses grasp and release skills, eye-hand coordination, and visual perceptual skills. It's also a wonderful way to learn about colors and shapes.
  • Build a Tower- Stacking block to make the tallest tower possible is a fun activity for all children. This task addresses eye-hand coordination, skilled release and placement, and visual motor skills.
  • Count Down- When stacking the blocks, be sure to count each one as it's placed to work on those math skills!
  • Race Time- Time your child while stacking the blocks or building a particular structure. He'll have fun racing to beat "his time." Working against the clock will address your child's motor planning skills and coordination.
  • Tunnel Time- Make several tunnels using the blocks, then practice rolling a marble through the tunnels without "bumping" the blocks. This activity is also good for motor control and planning, and it's will challenge her spatial skills.
So click HERE to order your set of blocks and start having fun!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Activity for Bilateral Skills and Visual Perception!


As a therapist, I frequently work with children on bilateral upper extremity skills. It’s important for a child to learn to stabilize an object or container while performing an activity with the opposite hand. This is a simple, inexpensive activity that addresses bilateral skills and visual perception. When the child is required to copy a pattern, this addresses design copy and color discrimination.

  video
All that is needed for this activity are 2 dowels (found at a hardware or craft store) and mini-terry cloth covered ponytail holders (These can be purchased HERE on Amazon). For the child who has difficulty with the task, the activity can be adapted by using a paper towel or toilet paper roll and larger ponytail holders or scrunchies.




Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Retro Baby Wins Award!!!!

My parenting book, "Retro Baby" wins a gold!!!!

"The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, which include fifty-five categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design, are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers.

The Awards are administered by IBPA, with help from over 160 book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors. The Benjamin Franklin Awards are unique in that the entrants receive direct feedback on their titles. The actual judging forms are returned to all participating publishers.

Prestige as a publisher is one of the many benefits of being named as a winner of this distinguished award. In addition, Gold winners receive an engraved crystal trophy."
Source: http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cursive Handwriting: The Debate Continues


The state of Tennessee recently passed HOUSE BILL 1697, by Butt requiring all public schools in the state to include cursive handwriting instruction before the end of 3rd grade.

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10 - relative to curriculum.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1.

Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, is amended by adding the following language as a new section: 49-6-10.

The course of instruction in all public schools shall include cursive writing so that
students will be able to create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting
by the end of the third grade.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring
it.

-Please click on comments and share your thoughts and opinions on this topic!