Sunday, February 21, 2021

Magnificent Motor Planning Game!

You've got to try this "Magnificent Motor Planning Game" to address motor planning and gross motor skills, including balance, and coordination! It's also great to promote attention and help with following directions.

Items Needed
Typing Paper
Printer
Laminate 
Instructions: Make the "key" as seen above by typing a motor skill activity next to a certain color of circle. Examples of activities are "jump in place 5 times," "spin in a circle," "complete two jumping jacks," and "hop on one foot 3 times." Create strips of paper that have different combinations of colored circles on each one. Some can have two different colored circles, others can have three, etc. Laminate the "key" and "circle strips." Have the child close her eyes and pick one of the strips, then she can practice carrying out the activities in the correct order by following the "key!"

This project was completed by a Master of Occupational Therapy student at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Pom Pom Paper Doll: Fine Motor Skill Fun!

This is a cute activity that addresses fine motor skills and motor control!


Items Needed:
Pom poms of various colors
Construction paper
Colored pencils or crayons
Yarn
Scissors
Glue

Draw the figure of a girl wearing a dress on the construction paper. See the photo above. Cut out the figure and snip several pieces of yarn to use as hair. Draw a face and the small circles on the doll’s dress. Color the dress…as seen above. Glue the hair in place.

Once the doll is finished, it’s time to play! The object of this activity is to pick up the pom poms with the tongs, and place the colored pom-pom accordingly on the doll in order to “dress her”.  If the child has difficulty using tongs, have her pick them up using her fingers. This therapeutic activity can be graded up or down in a few ways. You could use smaller tweezers or tongs, which will create a greater challenge.  Different sized pom poms are also an option. Have fun!


This project was completed by a Master of Occupational Therapy student at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Fun Motor Planning Activity!

 

If you are looking for a fun activity that addresses poor motor planning skills, here is just what you are looking for!

 Materials
-Carpet mark-it spots - Available on Amazon or vinyl spot markers - in different colors (These can also be made out of construction paper and secured to the floor with tape.)           

- Strips of paper with circles printed on the in varying order- laminate these                                       

-"Key" with instructions for different motor tasks next to each colored circle- also laminated

How to Play:
Position the carpet mark-it spots in a circle and instruct the child to stand in the middle. The child should draw a card and perform the tasks in the order of the colored dots.  For example, if the card had a purple circle then a red circle, the child would look at the cheat sheet, go to that particular colored circle on the floor, and then perform the each task.

 

For a neat twist, pay close attention to the child and mirror what he or she does. Then switch it up and have the child copy you!

This project was completed by a Master of Occupational Therapy student at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Having fun with handwriting!

 

Check out this DIY slant board that was made using a binder, paper clips, and Velcro strips! This is a nice way to make handwriting practice more fun. A child can practice forming shapes or writing letters, numbers, and words using this DIY gel bag, which is just a Ziploc freezer bag filled with hair gel, food coloring and glitter. (Be sure to let the child pick the color!) Secure the bag closed with a strip of Duct tape and Velcro the sensory bag onto the slant board. The child can start by using their finger to write and then progress to a writing utensil. 

This project was completed by a Master of Occupational Therapy student at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Therapy on a Shoestring Budget: DIY Lacing Shape Cards

These DIY lacing cards are a fun way for a child to work on fine motors skills, bilateral integration (using two hands together), and motor planning! Making them in a variety of shapes and colors will help a child learn to distinguish their differences. You can also use a sharpie to write letters or numbers next to each lacing hole to work on letter and number recognition. Use your imagination to come up with other fun variations!

ITEMS NEEDED:
Scissors, single-hole punch, Colorations Foam Door Hangers, shoe laces, string, or ribbon

INSTRUCTIONS:
Use this shape sheet as a pattern. (The sizes may need to be adjusted.) Trace each shape onto a different piece of foam, and use the scissors to cut them out, and use the hole punch to punch out the lacing holes. (Save the scraps of foam to use with another DIY project that I will be posting about soon.)

If you are using string or ribbon, wrap a piece of tape around each end. Now it's time to start lacing! 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sign a petition to support National Tummy Time Awareness Day!


Please click on the link below and sign the petition to support a National Tummy Time Awareness Day!  https://www.petition2congress.com/ctas/national-tummy-time-awareness-day

Tummy time is when an infant spends time on the stomach while awake and supervised. Infants who don’t spend enough time on their stomachs during their waking hours are at risk for motor skill delays and developing flat spots on the head (cranial asymmetry), while tummy time promotes infant development and serves as a preventative factor for cranial asymmetry. An added bonus is that it is a wonderful opportunity to bond with a baby!

Unfortunately, many parents are not aware of the importance of tummy time and the negative consequences that can occur if an infant does not spend enough time on the stomach for play. When infants aren't exposed to tummy time in the first days and weeks of life, they often resist being placed in the position by fussing and crying.

Parents need to understand that it is important to provide their infant with tummy time early on, and doing so will be beneficial to their child in the long run. Having a "National Tummy Time Awareness Day" will increase awareness about the importance of providing infants with supervised tummy time on early in the early days of life and on a regular basis.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Visual Schedule to Help with Challenging Morning Routines


Dealing with problem behaviors in the home setting can be challenging, especially with children who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. For these children, maintaining focus in order to complete morning tasks independently can be quite difficult, especially when everyone else in the family is rushing around getting ready for the day. 

This is a situation when a visual schedule can be helpful. A visual schedule is an ordered sequence of images that shows a person the steps to follow to complete a task or set of tasks. According to research, using visual schedules with children who have a diagnosis of autism can be very effective and make routines and transitions go more smoothly.
Directions:
- Write out the morning routine on a piece of construction paper. (See the example above.)
- Laminate the construction paper
- Locate various images to represent each task and print them out.
- Cut out the shape of a small star for each task.
- Laminate all of the images and stars.
- Attach the Velcro pieces to the appropriate spots on the visual schedule, images, & stars.

If your child needs prompts to know which task to complete first, second, etc., hand him the image that represents the first task. The child should take the image to the Visual Schedule and attach it to the right of the appropriate task on the schedule, and then he should complete the task. Provide assistance as needed at first, then gradually reduce the amount of assistance that you provide. Once he completes the task, he should place a star next to the task in the “Done” or “Complete” column. Have him continue the same process for all of the morning tasks on the schedule. Be sure to praise him when all the stars have been placed, and he has completed the routine successfully.
 
Hopefully, the use of the visual schedule will help your child be calmer and more organized during challenging activities and routines each day!

This project was completed by a Master of Occupational Therapy student at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.