The bus has taken the kids to school and now its time to gear up for Fall activities (Gee, parents never get a break!). My kids want to play soccer, baseball, karate, and learn to play the guitar, Wow! Now if there were only 3 more of me.
How do you choose what activities to enroll your child in? A guiding principle for occupational therapists is that people must have balance in their "occupations". Occupations for children involve being a student, a friend, a son/daughter, and other roles that are important to them. As parents, we want to offer our children every opportunity. However, parents must also balance their own life as well as set restrictions on how many extra-curricular activities children are involved in.
For me, balance is very important. If the grades start slipping, the children are more tired/yawning/grouchy, then I know the extra-curricular activities are too much and we cut out one thing at a time to find the just right challenge. Too much of a challenge can lead to anxiety, so it is important to monitor how your child is doing with activities and watch for any personality changes.
Academics are my number one priority during the school year, but physical activity (sports, karate, dance, etc) are also important as it allows release of energy and allow our brains to be calm enough to take in the academics.
Moms and Dads, bring your babies ages 3 weeks to crawling to Learning Charms and learn infant massage strokes to soothe your baby and promote sleeping, sensory awareness, bonding, & communication. Good news is that it reduces colic too! Each week, we will learn new strokes and watch the babies grow to love massage (what is there not to love about massage??) and ask you for more. For more information and registration, please click here. See you there!
I think every Mom and Dad I have talked to is ready for school to start and for Fall to be here as well!
Along with taking time to start transitioning your kids back into the Fall schedule, be sure to talk with them about any changes they may experience this year, especially for those kids making a transition to a new school. For K and JK students, it is important to talk to the kids about what they will do during the school day and what the expectations will be. Kids will often be quite scared or anxious to start a new school, even though they may not talk about it. Here are a few tips about things to talk about and even practice for the rising Kindergarten students:
Talk about: what happens when they get to school, what they do at the end of the day (how they get home/behaviors while on the bus or while waiting), what they should do if they have to go to the bathroom during the day, how to ask for help, talk about that some things might be difficult and what to do if they get scared/upset/mad/etc, when they will see you, who they might know and see at school, & behaviors they should have when walking through the hallway or at lunch.
Practice: Pronouncing teacher's name, putting contents into backpack (including lunchbox and a folder), zipping/unzipping, putting backpack on shoulder and carrying, tying shoes, stacking 5-10 pieces of odd shaped paper and putting into a 2 pocket folder, cutting simple shapes, do a mock lunch with lunchbox (if applicable) and have them eat in designated time and unpack/pack contents again, writing first and last name on a line, counting to 30 out loud, & getting clothes on, brushing teeth and leaving house with all belongings at the same time appropriate to get to school.
Happy back to school!
This week we have a popular camp that is girls only! Our 3rd-5th graders are learning creative handwriting (dots/curly's/textured..) methods and are having fun practicing in their diaries they have made. We have listened to Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and other of their favorites while playing and creating.
The girls used fun edge scissors, glitter, gems, and other cool embellishments for their diaries. Later, the will create funny stories using Mad Libs and write them in their diaries. Everyone learned to braid today and now we are ready to start on our friendship bracelets! Tomorrow is crazy sock day, yoga day, and more of wacky baseball (at the girl's request). FUN!
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
Read past Blog here