4th of July Bracelets

Making bracelets is a great short activity to teach several things: patterns, language, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor.

I use physical prompts to show my kiddo what the sequence is. I also lay out a visual prompt of what color comes next.

He knows how to string the beads independently, if he didn’t, I would physically prompt through that as well.

 

Here is the end result. I’m so proud that he even left it on his hand!!

Toy Review: Stacking Wooden Chunky Puzzle

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This is my new favorite toy. I love everything from Melissa & Doug, they seriously make the best toys. I found this puzzle at Marshalls for $8!! It goes for $20 on Amazon. I get a lot of my toys at Ross, Marshalls, or T.J.Maxx.

All of my kids had trouble stacking it: they kept turning the bears 180° instead of 90°, which makes it great for hand-eye coordination practice! So far, they’ve all loved to match the colors. This toy is a hit with my kiddos! I highly recommend it.

The semester is over!!

I am done for the semester. I’m so happy to have a couple of weeks off before the next one begins. I have 3 semesters left to graduate. I will be posting again over the weekend. I have some paperwork to catch up on. Hope everyone is have a good week!!

Writing Letters

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A common concern that I hear moms say is: “In OT, they want him to color, but he doesn’t make any marks on the paper! He’s never going to hold a pencil, he’s never going to write his name!”

Take a deep breath, it’s not a big deal. Coloring is a preferred activity, not everyone likes it. And that’s ok!! There are other ways to teach children how to write their letters to prepare them for writing.

This Montessori school used ground coffee and a tray for the children to make letters with their finger. Other ideas include shaving cream, sand, or dirt! Get a stick while outside and show him/her that you can make designs in the dirt.

Some children actually prefer to use a pen. I have noticed that while I’m writing my notes in session, the child is fascinated by what I’m doing. Take out a note pad and start writing, chances are they will imitate what they see.

Have fun!!

 

Autism & Montessori: Hand-Eye Coordination

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Simple tasks such as pouring water back and forth helps with hand-eye coordination and adaptive skills for the future. We take for granted simple tasks such as pouring milk into our cereal, because it comes natural for us. But for a child with developmental delays, there is a lot to process: the weight of the cup, the speed of pouring, and the coordination so that it doesn’t spill.

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Switch it up by using different size cups/bottles and different textures. You can even add a funnel for the more advanced learners.

Have fun and it’s ok to get messy!!

*Please note that he should be using both hands. One hand to pour, one hand to hold. He still needs to work on that. Keep an eye out for that with your little one.*

Autism & Montessori: Spatial Awareness

The Montessori classroom is set up so that the child has to be aware of their surroundings. Children have lessons out on the floor, there are tables set up randomly, and the lessons have an assigned spot on the shelves. You have to look where you’re going so you don’t bump into things. I love that all the lessons are placed on shelves. This forces you to look at what you’re doing and coordinate where/how to place the item.

Here, my kiddo is returning his lesson to the second shelf. The long rectangular shape needs precise calculations. He did it!!!

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Teaching colors

As with any task, when you’re first teaching a new subject, always pair the label with the item. It’s going to take time before the child can say the name of the color, so stay away from asking “What color is it?”.
imageCheck the level of the child. Start by matching the colors. As the child matches, label it for them. I like to use the phrase “Match, blue with blue” etc.

If the child is not able to match independently, set up a positional prompt to increase the chances of getting the answer correct. Praise! Praise! Praise!

Learning is suppose to be fun. If the task is too hard, the child will get frustrated and probably won’t want to do it again. Keep it simple. It might not click right away, and that’s ok!! Just keep practicing!