Sunday, August 8, 2021

Sensory Activities to Carry Out at Home!

When a child gets the sensory input that their body needs throughout the day, it helps them stay calm and focus. Typically, I recommend that a child carry out two to three of the sensory activities included in this home program approximately every two hours throughout the day. Please consult with your child's occupational therapist for recommendations that are appropriate for your child's sensory needs.


Photo Credit: StockPhotoFreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Home Exercises to Improve Hand Skills

 I am often asked to provide exercises or activities that children can carry out in the home setting to improve hand skills, so I thought I would share some of the tasks that I usually recommend. Please keep in mind that these may need to be adapted to meet the skill level of the child. Also, it is important to make the activities enticing and fun. You can incorporate them into games or time the child completing them so that they can try and improve their time on the next attempt!

Click on the worksheet below for a PDF copy of the worksheet!


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Paint by Numbers DIY Activity: Great for Fine Motor Skills!

Painting by the numbers is an awesome art activity that is good for a child's eye hand coordination and fine motor skills! It is also good for recognizing numbers and colors because the child has to match the number on the color key and then paint that color in the correct space.

Anyone can create this DIY activity! All you need is a basic water color set that can by found at your local craft shop or dollar store. You'll also need some construction paper and a sharpie and possibly some puff paint. Label each color with a number, and then create some simple drawings such as a house, person, tree, car, flower, etc. Next you will need to add numbers to the different parts of the drawings. If the child has difficulty staying in the lines when painting, you can outline the drawings with puff paint! Now it's time to paint. This activity is also a fun way to work on following directions and attending to task!

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


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Whatever It Takes: Solutions Discovered During My 35 Years of Living with MS is a Must-Read!

 

“Whatever It Takes: Solutions Discovered During My 35 Years of Living with MS” is an informative book that everyone must read, especially occupational therapists! In this wonderful resource, Barbara shares how she overcomes many of the barriers that she faces as she lives with Multiple Sclerosis by using creative solutions to maximize her independence. She shares how she uses voice controls, commercially available adaptive devices, a homemade sandwich gripper, and even zip ties to adapt to the demands of everyday life and carry out her activities of daily living. Barbara’s unique perspective, fun sense of humor, determination, and positive attitude are evident throughout the book. This valuable resource includes videos, photographs, and detailed descriptions of Barbara’s experiences using home modifications. I have no doubt that this book will inspire students and practicing therapists to think creatively so that they can help their clients who have similar struggles. Available on Apple Books or Google Play!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

DIY Pom Pom Counting Game!

This DIY pom pom counting game is fun and easy to make. It's great for learning colors, counting, and improving fine motor skills!  
 
Materials Needed: 
Pom poms of various colors
Small boxes to make the 2 dice
Paper
Cover the small boxes with paper and glue the paper in place. Put dots (1 - 6) each side of the die and color each side of the other die the different colors of the pom poms.
Now it's time to play! Roll the dice. The color of the side facing up is the color of the pom poms that the child will remove from the box using the chip clip or tongs. The number of the die showing is how many of the pom poms to remove. Be sure everyone gets a turn, and 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.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

See Occupational Therapists Run!

Are you an occupational therapy (OT) practitioner who is stressed out? Do you deal with limited resources, a large caseload, and feel overcome by physical and emotional fatigue? If so, then I have the resource for you! “See Occupational Therapists Run” is a book that includes a variety of straightforward strategies that you can use to take care of yourself so that you can be the best you can be for your clients. This valuable book is written by AimeeKetchum, an OT with 24 years in the field, and I highly recommend it. Click HERE and place your order now. Thank you Aimee for this wonderful resource!

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.