Do you ever struggle with teaching a child how to stay within the lines when coloring? Coloring inside the lines can be a tough skill to teach, especially if the child has visual motor or perceptual challenges. One technique that I've found to be helpful is to provide a tactile "cue". Just take some clear Elmer's glue or a hot glue gun and outline the edges of the picture. This provides a nice tactile "ridge" that the crayon will "bump" against when the child is coloring. I've found that it is also helpful to glue the coloring picture to a poster board to keep the child from ripping the paper while coloring.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
A special education education class at one of the schools where I work came up with a wonderful project idea that I'd like to share with you. It's called "Valentines for Veterans!" The students are making these very special Valentines card for local veterans. Aren't they awesome? Of course, the OT in me loves all of the skills that were addressed as the students were working on the project. First of all, they worked on bilateral skills and hand strengthening when punching the stars in the blue construction paper.
They practiced cutting skills when cutting out the hearts as well as the stripes, and they worked on gluing skills, as you can see in the photo below. We practiced making glue "stripes" and glue "dots", as well as lining up the construction paper stripes on the glue line. (Great for visual-motor and perceptual skills!)
Friday, January 13, 2012
This was a simple activity that I carried out with a group of student to work on following directions. I began with a sheet of red construction paper. I prepped ahead of time by gluing a blue stripe across the center and a green and yellow stripe running up and down. (See photo)
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Visual perceptual skills allow a person to understand what he or she sees. Visual perceptual skills include recognizing and identifying shapes, objects, colors, and other qualities. A person with functional visual perception is able to make accurate judgments regarding the size, configuration, and spatial relationships of objects.
Visual Spatial processing falls under the umbrella of visual perception and is the ability understand directional concepts for organizing visual space. It is the ability to perceive the position of two or more objects as they relate to each other and as they relate to your own body. For example, if you are walking through a room, you must know where you are positioned in relation to the walls, floor, other people, and furniture in that room. If you have visual spatial problems, you may have challenges with maneuvering through space, with ball skills, and with writing and spacing between words and letters.
Recent research reveals that the spatial language that parents use around their children causes the children to better attend to spatial information. For example, toddlers who frequently heard words such as "over, under, beside, tall, round, and short" from their parents scored better on spatial tasks at an older age! Additional research tells us that skills practice can improve spatial abilities. Since spatial processing is related to success in science, technology and math, as parents, we might as well expose our children to spatial language and activities.
In recently discovered the game Equilibrio that I have been using in therapy and I absolutely LOVE it. It is great for working on visual perceptual skills and it also requires dexterity, planning, patience, and persistence! These are all important skills to address, and believe me, the kids always have a blast playing Equilibrio! Check it out, it is available on Amazon.