Monday, April 23, 2012

The Great Bike Giveaway


My friends at PediaStaff are promoting partners in the ‘Great Bike Giveaway.’   Friendship Circle of Michigan has partnered with adaptive bicycle companies to give 18 children with special needs a free adaptive bicycle in this contest. 
What? Submit a creative photo or photo of a child (yours or your therapy client) along with 250 characters describing why he/she needs an adaptive bike. 
When? April 16th through May 10th 
Share! From May 13th through the 18th share your submission with as many friends and family members as possible. Ask them to vote for your submission and to share with their friends and family.
Be a Winner! The 14 submissions with the most votes will be the lucky winners :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Visual Perceptual Activity: Tangram Puzzles


The visual skills that a person uses to understand, analyze, and interpret all that is seen are called visual perception. Tangram puzzles are a great activity to challenge visual perceptual skills. Tangrams are also great for helping to develop motor planning skills, spatial relations, and eye hand coordination, and to top it off, they require a child to use problem-solving skills!  I use them frequently in therapy to help students with understanding properties such as shape, size, and symmetry.  Here are a few of my favorites that I use in therapy.
  
Classic Tangos (available at Amazon)-Includes 7 pieces that can form an infinite number of abstract designs along with patterns for matching.



Magnetic Tangrams (available at Amazon) -Includes five sets of magnetic tangrams of different sizes, colors, and shapes, plus a board with a metallic interior for setting up designs and solving the puzzles.
Tangos, Jr. (also available at Amazon)-For younger children, ages 4 and up, includes
seven large magnetic puzzle pieces, 12 double-sided puzzle cards and a large playing surface.

Classic Tangos are the most challenging, magnetic tangrams are a bit easier, and finally, Tangos, Jr. is a much more simplified version. All of these would make a great addition to a theraist's toolbox! :)


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Teaching Kids to Button- Make it Fun!

I attended an amazing conference this weekend and I learned all sorts of fun and creative therapy ideas! Now, I'm looking forward to sharing them with you. I want to give credit to Leslie Adler, MA, OTR for this idea...it's totally hers! Thanks Leslie :)

Do you dread working on buttoning skills? You have to pull out the button board or button vest over and over again, which can get old. How about a new trick for your tool box? This buttoning string is sew easy (ha! ha!) to make! All you need: 1 button (I used a larger size, but you can vary the size based on the child's skill level), yarn, felt, scissors, and googly eyes.

Take 3 pieces of yarn that are 8 to 10 inches long and braid them together. Sew a circular piece of felt on one end, and the button on the other. Now, cut 4 or 5 different shapes out of the felt (see photo for size). I made flowers, a fish, and a butterfly. Add googly eyes and other decorations, if desired. Cut a small slit in each shape. Make sure that it's just the right size for your button to fit through. If you have a sewing machine, you can use it to stitch around your buttonholes, just so they don't stretch out. Now you have a buttoning string! See the video below:
video


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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Craft for Kids

I'm a little late posting this, but I've been really busy and I'm just now getting a chance! This Easter egg craft was very messy but tons of fun. My students who have lots of difficulty with fine motor skills needed quite a bit of assistance with this task, but fortunately, we had peer tutors in the classroom that were eager to help. All you need to get started are a bag of plastic Easter eggs, Elmer's glue, scissors, and some colorful fabric scraps.
Cut the fabric scraps into tiny pieces. They should not be any larger than 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch...the smaller, the better.  Pour the glue into a paper or plastic bowl. Dip a fabric scrap into the glue then smooth it onto the egg.

Keep adding fabric scraps until the egg is completely covered. You may want to take a break half way through and let the egg dry. This will keep it from being so difficult to handle (the egg gets really sticky). The end result...LOVELY Easter Eggs!


Dear Readers, If you have found my blog to be helpful, please "like" my Facebook page and follow my blog...I'm trying to get my book published and this would be a great help! Thanks :)