Saturday, April 23, 2016

Win a copy of the parenting book, Retro Baby!!!!

"Put down your smartphone and pick up this book. With plain-spoken, concise wisdom, Dr. Zachry provides vital, research-backed information for parents of young children. Creative, interactive play with other children and adults supports healthy brain development in ways today’s technology never will. "Retro Baby" provides parents fun, money-saving activities that will set their children up for lifelong success." 

"Retro Baby" is the perfect baby shower gift.  To purchase a copy on Amazon, click HERE.

To win a copy of "Retro Baby," all you have to do is like the "Retro Baby" Facebook Page by clicking HERE, and send me a message explaining why you'd like to win a copy and how to contact you.  The drawing will be in June.  Good luck!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Coloring is Good for Development: Free Coloring Sheets!

If your child enjoys coloring, that's a good thing!  Coloring is a great way to improve a number of different developmental skills.  Fine motor skills and dexterity are required to hold and manipulate a crayon.  If the child doesn't use her thumb and fingers to hold the crayon, break the crayon into small pieces.  Coloring on a vertical surface using a small piece of crayon promotes a tripod grasp and finger flexion and extension, which are desirable!

Children can also learn about colors, shapes and other concepts when coloring.  It's also great for attention span!  For free coloring sheets, click on these links!

Click HERE for more free worksheets!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Therapeutic DIY Game: Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Do you work with a child who loves baseball?  Here is an easy, DIY activity that will be motivating for him!  This activity addresses eye hand coordination, balance, and gross motor skills.  Add light weights to the child’s wrist to work on strengthening!

Materials needed: Trifold display board, scissors, markers, yarn, game pieces, Velcro, and plastic baseballs

How to Make the game:

1.     On the center section of display board, cut out 3 circles of different sizes.  Each circle needs to be assigned a number of points (if the child throws the ball into that circle).  Make sure all circles are large enough for the ball to fit through.

2.     On the left side of the display board, draw a baseball diamond with all 4 bases.  In between each base, draw lines in proportionate segments.  Each of the segments represents a score of 5 points.  This will form your score board.  Place Velcro pieces on each segment to later attach a game piece.

3.     On the right section of the display board, attach game pieces to the board by using Velcro.  The game pieces can be made out of felt or poster board.

4.     Use markers to design the trifold board to be baseball themed.

5.     Punch a hole in the board large enough to slide a piece of yarn through.  This is where you will store the yarn that the client stands behind while playing the game.


      1. Make an additional score board on a piece of foam so that the child can play the game with other individuals.

      2. Attach yarn to the foam to form a handle.  The child can carry the score board over their shoulder during the game instead of using the score board located on the trifold.

 How to play the game:

1.     Set the game board on a flat surface appropriate to the child’s height.  The bottom of the board should line up to their waistline.

2.     Have the child stand behind a line (yarn) on the floor.

3.     Next, the child should attempt to throw a ball into one of the holes in the board.

4.     If the child scores, the therapist or child can move the game piece on the scoreboard to the correct Velcro strip- depending on the point value of the hole that the ball went through.

5.     Continue the game, alternating between all players, until someone reaches home plate.
The project above was completed by one of our Master's of Occupational Therapy students at 
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

DIY Fine Motor Activity Bag

Turn a basic brown paper bag into a fine motor activity bag that is portable, colorful and fun!


Tools: Scissors, single-hole punch, and a square-hole punch.

Materials: Brown paper bag, twine or yarn – 16 inches, 2 inch ribbon – 8 inches long, pipe cleaners – cut to 6 inches, hole reinforcers, and one shoelace.


On the top of the bag (near the opening), use the single-hole punch to create 9 holes approximately 1 cm apart.

Thread the twine or yarn through the bottom left hole and tie a knot to prevent it from going through and to stay in place.

With the bag flat, and the bottom towards you, cut 2 1.5 inch notches on each side.

Cut a slit with the scissors on one side near one of the notches.

Thread the ribbon through the slit, and wrap it around the notches, forming a spool.

On the bottom aspect of the bottom of the bag, use the square hole punch to create 4 square holes approximately 1.5 cm apart.

Weave the pipe cleaners through the holes in an alternating pattern.

Punch a hole 3 inches down from the bottommost left hole and 2.5 inches right from the side of the bag.

Punch a hole 3 inches down from the bottommost right hole and 2.5 inches left from the side of the bag.

Punch 2 more holes 2 cm apart from the newly created hole on the left, do the same on the right side, then place hole reinforcers around each hole.

Thread the shoelace through the holes, mimicking the last 3 holes of a shoe, coming back to the front, and tie a basic shoelace knot.

Now any child is ready to practice shoe tying and lacing.  Have fun!!!

The project above was completed by one of our Master's of Occupational Therapy students at
 The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.