Planting flowers

I love this simple activity. Planting flowers is great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. You can also throw in some language skills by asking/labeling the color of each flower. If the child is verbal and more advance, ask some wh-questions like “What do you do with flowers?” or “Where do you find flowers?” You can also do some pretend play and “smell” the flowers. It’s about keeping them engaged.

Have fun! 

Autism & Montessori: Learning to spoon feed

In the practical life section, there are many activities that involve transferring objects with utensils. These are great tasks to help if your toddler has trouble feeding him/herself.

If you think about it, how often do they get to use the spoon? Average, 3 times a day. For some, that might not be enough to acquire the skill. What they need is more practice.

Do small transferring activities throughout the day so that your toddler gets used to holding and manipulating a spoon. Practice! Practice! Practice!

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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.

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!!

 

Motor Skills: Playing Train

One of my favorite toys to use is a wooden train set. Depending on the child, I use it for many reasons, in this case it’s for motor. Building the train set helps with balance and coordination. I’m not an OT/PT so I don’t know the correct terminology, but the child is in a tripod stance where she is using her arm to support her weight and keep from falling over.

While putting the train together, if the magnetic ends don’t match, she needs to use her fingers to rotate the train and make it “click” together. She also has to use both hands to line up the magnets.

The idea is to make the track long enough so that she has to move around it. The constant getting up and moving around is great practice for her muscles.

Have fun!!