Our weekly "Mini Charmers" preschool class gets to play with lots of messy sensory activities that encourage handwriting preparation. Yep, thats right. Work on handwriting without doing handwriting. In the studio, we had a few centers going at once.
Our first center was the cornstarch tubs. Lots of gooey cornstarch, mixed with water, washable paint and small things thrown in. Kids were Encouraged to find and pull out everything they could find-- from frogs to tiny perler beads. The cornstarch is resistive, so this works the finger muscles. The activity also encourages tactile processing as children have to distinguish between textures.
Another preparatory center was our "N" and "M" activity. They cut the big lines out of magazines and placed them on the construction paper. Building letters is a great reinforcer for visual memory of letters and for the stroke too. We use Handwriting Without Tears curriculum so there are lots of building and writing inside of boxes and with consistent language.
In another center were our clothespin activities. Miss. Kelly and the OT students made these foam sea creatures, etc, a few minutes before class. Kids loved adding legs and candles!
Then, we always have our group direct handwriting instruction for our letters of the week. These kids are laying on their stomachs as it increases core strength and helps their forearms and hands be in the correct position. You can see that these 4 years olds are writing their letters very well and independently. These are some bright Charlotte kids!
Our occupational therapists enjoy working with kids and making therapy fun. if your child is learning to recognize letters, up the challenge by offering letters turned this way and that in a bowl of non-letters. This challenge in picture actually uses water beads, which is a sensory experience in itself. The specific goal here is to increase visual discrimination (meaning, can the child recognize the upper case letter if it is turned a different way?). Once they find the letter, have them place on a line and see if they can orient in the right direction and perhaps spell out their name or another word. Have fun!
Be sure and get your appointment preferences set with us now for summer of 2013! Whether your child needs occupational therapy for fine motor, handwriting, kindergarten readiness or even Interactive Metronome...we are here! Miss. Caroline will also be taking appointments to see kids for speech therapy. We look forward to seeing you then!
Welcome to our 2nd year of summer camps at Learning Charms! We are excited about our camps and another fun summer!
All of our camps max out at 15 campers (with "My Kindergarten Friends" maxing 20) with a ratio of at least 1 staff to each 5 kids. Each camp has ample play in our 1,000 square foot gym each day. Some themes for this year include: Kooky Pens and Smencils (handwriting), Recycled Art and Green Thumbs (art /composting/gardening), Camp PLAY, Sensational Speech (led by speech therapist), Fancy Little Girls' Camp (all girls! crafts/arts), Fancy Letter Girls' Camp, Fine Motor Madness (crafts/arts/fine motor/gross motor fun), and more!
Remember that camps will close once we have registered 15 campers, so be sure to register now and get in on the 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