If you have stumbled upon the NFL TeenyMates in the stores, you know that your elementary and middle school kids might be a little crazy about collecting them. You also know that they are expensive and take some time to collect "all" the teams. Another thing I have found out is that dogs like to chew on them and they hurt when you step on one.
If you need a reason to console yourself after buying 4 packs of TeenyMates for your child, instead of having 4 Starbucks, then here is a reason to feel better: for the young child they can be a fun sorting activity and lining them up is a nice motor coordination activity. You and your child might even learn all the NFL teams along the way, and their colors (I'm reaching here).
Avoid those choo choo pencils and jumbo crayons. Start kids with short or broken crayons and lottery sized pencils when they begin to draw. You'll see better grasps and save yourself from going to occupational therapy! #LearningCharms #OccupationalTherapy #finemotor#finemotorskills #handwriting#handwritingwithouttears#learningwithouttears #learninghowtowrite#occupationaltherapists #pediatrics#enrichmentoccupationaltherapy#OTeveryoneisdoingit #kids #children#teachingchildren #parenting#elementaryschool #manuscript#teachingkids #teaching #charlotteNC #OT#visualmotor #coordination#visualperception
This is Sweetie. Like many dogs, she hates storms. She seeks out proprioceptive input (tight spaces = tight hug) to decrease her anxiety. She also has her Thundervest on which helps too. You can decrease your child's anxiety or worry by offering opportunities for deep pressure (wheelbarrow walks, tight hug, heavy blanket, jump on trampoline, etc.). It works and their autonomic nervous system will thank you! #learningcharms #proprioception #dogs #anxiousdog #occupationaltherapy#thunderstorm #heavywork #autonomicnervoussystem @wickstephanie
Those packing forms that are all kinds of shapes have been very useful for some unique and free artwork around Learning Charms. I let the kids pick the form that they wanted and then they turned it into whatever they "saw" (visual closure). We painted them, but markers & crayons would work too. They are so lightweight that they can be hung with a string and a pushpin. Time to go recycle bin diving!
The best way to work on letter identification is through sensory- motor based learning. What I mean, is that when we crawl, hear hop, look, stretch, run, feel, climb, touch, and push, the brain is at an optimal state for learning and retention.
In this activity, we were working on upper case letters (remember that its best to teach letter identification for uppercase then lowercase letters). We had been working on the Frog Jump Capitals (Handwriting Without Tears) and so I took 4 of the ones the child new and added the next two. The letters were written on one of the foam shapes and then scattered upsidedown in the gym. The letters were also written on the chalkboard. I wrote several on the chalkboard that were not hiding so that it increased the visual discrimination work that was demanded. Then I called out the letter that the pirates were looking for (I was the pirate and the child was the pirate on the treasure hunt) and he then had to follow the path (steps/foam blocks) to retrieve only the letter that was called out. Since the letters were written on the chalkboard out of sight from where the letters were hidden, the child had to rely on auditory memory and visual memory. The child then brought back the foam letter to the chalkboard and squeezed the clothespin to place it above the stimulus letter. The game could easily be modified for any level of difficulty. Fun!
About the blogger: Stephanie Wick is a pediatric occupational therapist that founded and is lead O.T. at Learning Charms.
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