Read daily POTS blog to stay informed, inspired and in-the know! Articles on parenting topics, special needs and tips and tricks for living with special kids are shared to provide you with the latest information to make great decisions.
At POTS we are always looking for fun ways to practice handwriting within the context of a game or daily activity. What better opportunity than Valentine’s Day! This valentine marshmallow snack, from The Decorated Cookie is adorable and can easily be adapted to various skill levels. Materials: marshmallows baker’s twine tapestry needle shortening scissors red cardstock stapler edible markers Instructions for marshmallows-on-a-string (to dunk in hot cocoa or tea) can be found
Coloring in the lines is an excellent activity for developing pencil control, and contrary to popular opinion it does not stifle creativity. To develop a proper crayon grasp avoid engaging your child in a dialogue about how to hold a crayon correctly and the virtue of coloring in the lines. A better strategy is to adapt your child’s environment (e.g., drawing implements, position, image quality and drawing implements) and facilitate coloring skills by choosing appropriate m
I stumbled upon these fabulous turkey treat recipes and cannot wait to try them out. The combination of temperatures and textures make for a rich sensory experience. These are great recipes for sensory seekers who love to get their hands messy, and exciting enough to motivate sensory avoiders to get involved in the activity. The application of detailed turkey décor provides lots of opportunity to practice fine motor skills. Following instructions step-by-step gives children a
Your Questions Answered! POTS hosted an exciting and dynamic handwriting workshop focusing on readying children’s hands for writing, for pre-k through first grade. Below are answers to some great questions asked at the workshop. Q. By what age should my child have a mature dynamic tripod grasp? A. By 4½ years of age children should be writing with their elbows down and their fingers consistently holding a crayon with the thumb and index finger, and resting on the third finger
Pre-schoolers can often identify their letters and attempt to form them with manipulatives such as sticks before their small hands are ready to control a pencil and paper, and they should not be expected to. Listed below are several activities for practicing how to form letters without having to place a writing tool into your child’s hands. Sequencing the formation of the letter is the key here, for example, and 'O' should be formed counter-clockwise, and 'D' should start wit
I am sure that many of your homes have a beautifully decorated Christmas tree sitting in your living room. While it sets a festive mood and is delightful to look at, here is an edible and delectable way to make a Christmas tree in your kitchen. Here’s what you will need to make this tasty treat: Sugar cones Cupcakes Vanilla frosting Green food coloring Red or green decorative sugar or sprinkles M&M’s Gum drops To work on pressure modulation and fine motor coordination, have y
This adorable craft project caught my eye while I searched for holiday projects to make with the children at Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services (POTS). Instructions were adapted from www.busybeekidscrafts.com, photos by Busy Bee Kids Crafts. I was drawn to the multi-sensory components of this project, including the olfactory (smell) sense and touch. Is your child hesitant to get messy or dirty? Adjusting to the sensation of feeling messy and gluey is particularly import
Peeling potatoes to add to any dish is an excellent activity to work on bimanual coordination, using the two hands together skillfully. When using a peeler, one hand has to hold the potato firmly to allow the peeler to work. Naturally engaging the non-dominant hand to stabilize the potato allows the preferred hand to peel. To start, peel hand-over-hand with your child. If the non-dominant hand is a strong stabilizer, focus on strengthening the preferred hand’s “pressure modul
Professional athletes, international speakers and anyone who wants to improve performance has access to video critiquing, a highly effective tool for self-improvement. The users film themselves either at practice or when performing live, and then watch the video, either by themselves or with others, to analyze and fine tune their performance. Are they throwing the correctly? Are they speaking clearly and slowly? They may make small critical changes, or perhaps catch a fundame
Stickers develop fine motor skills! Peeling stickers from a sticker sheet promotes a pincer grasp and ulnar-radial separation (separation of the two sides of the hand). Sticking stickers to a surface requires a child to stabilize with the pinky side of the hand (ulnar stability) while controlling the sticker with the thumb and index finger (radial mobility). These skills are essential for grasping and controlling a pencil or crayon to write and draw. Stickers are motivating!
We are frequently asked by parents which tongs they should purchase for their child. Below you will find some of our favorite tongs from least challenging to most challenging. Each of the tongs is good for overall hand strengthening; fine motor coordination, and improving pre-writing and pre-scissors skills by eliciting/strengthening a static or dynamic tripod grasp. These products can be purchased from therapy websites, such as www.pfot.com or www.therapyshoppe.com. Strawber
Now that the weather is warm, I find that I am spending as many afternoons as possible outdoors with my children. One of their favorite past-times is to make water balloons. Listed below are some of the therapeutic benefits of this fun activity suited for children of all ages. To challenge your child’s fine motor coordination place the balloon on the tip of the pump, using the “pinch fingers” (thumbs and index fingers). To fill the balloon once it is in place, be sure that yo