Try Drawing on a Mirror with Dry Erase Markers!
My niece Emmaline shows us how we can draw a picture on a mirror. Drawing or writing on a vertical surface is great for development of the arm and shoulder muscles, and encourages the correct wrist position for writing.
Switch this activity up by playing Tic-Tac-Toe, practice writing letters and numbers, create a maze that your student has to solve, or write surprise messages to family members!
Posted in Handwriting, Visual Perceptual by Emily Dandron, OTRL with comments disabled.
Try This Fun Balance and Visual Motor Activity!
This activity is great for all ages, and works on several skills at once! This works to strengthen the core muscles, back muscles, neck muscles, and shoulder, arm, and hand muscles.
This works on balance skills. (You will still need to have at least one hand on your student for safety.)
This works on reaching skills. Including reaching across the midline. (Imagine there is an invisible line down the center of your body. Reaching with your right hand to grab something on the left side of your body, [and vice versa] is crossing the midline. For example, when you are about to drive and you buckle your seat belt, you cross your midline to grab the seat belt.)
This works on visual motor skills. This is how your brain and your body work together to understand visual input and respond with appropriate body movements. (For example, when someone tosses a ball to you, you respond by putting your arms up and closing them around the ball to catch it.)
How To Adapt This Activity: Play Tic-Tac-Toe with sticky notes. Use shaving cream to draw on the mirror instead of dry-erase markers. Roll your student back to a standing position between each turn to give them brief breaks from being in the prone (face down) position. Or simply roll your student toward the ground and back to the standing position. (Encourage your student to reach to the floor with his/her arms when you roll forward.)
Posted in Handwriting, Motor Planning, Sensory, Visual Motor, Visual Perceptual by Emily Dandron, OTRL with comments disabled.
Fine Motor Activities Using Items From Around The House
Here is a link to an OT’s website. http://mamaot.com/fine-motor-activities-using-household-items/ On this page she lists several fine motor activities that you can try with your student. Many of the materials are things you may already have in the house.
Posted in Bilateral Coordination, Helpful Links, Motor Planning, Sensory, Visual Motor, Visual Perceptual by Emily Dandron, OTRL with comments disabled.
Fine Motor Activity: Pulling Leaves from A Stem
Puling small leaves from the stem of a plant is a great fine motor activity. Students will work on their finger coordination skills, strengthening the muscles of the hand, and using their thumb and pointer finger to create a pincer grasp. Encourage your student to make a “finish pile.”
Encourage your student to use her or his non-dominant hand to hold the stem while s/he uses the dominant hand to pull the leaves.
Use the leaves to create shape outlines, or draw a shape, letter, or number in chalk and have your student place the leaves along the lines to work on visual perceptual skills.
Posted in Bilateral Coordination, Visual Perceptual by Emily Dandron, OTRL with comments disabled.
Fine Motor Activity: Peeling “Helicopter Leaves” to Get the Seed out
Add another layer to this fun outdoor activity! Not only can you work on fine motor coordination skills while you peel the leaves, but you can also address visual perceptual skills by having your student line the seeds up to make different shapes. Another option is to draw shapes or letters with chalk and have your student place the seeds directly over the lines.
My nieces like to pretend to cook with the seeds. They combine the seeds with other objects they can find in nature to make ‘stone soup’ and ‘dandelion salad.’ Get creative and encourage your student to use her/his imagination!
Posted in Bilateral Coordination, Motor Planning, Visual Perceptual by Emily Dandron, OTRL with comments disabled.
Lazy 8 Breathing
What is it: Lazy 8 Breathing is a way to encourage self-regulation through controlled breathing. A student runs her or his finger along the shape of a horizontal 8 (infinity symbol). Start in the middle, slowly breathing in through one loop, and slowly breathing out through the other loop, and repeat.
This may be Calming when your student is upset, frustrated, or hyper.
This may be Alerting when your student is tired, lethargic, or unfocused.
Here is a PDF image to guide your student through Lazy 8 Breathing: https://jefferson.mpls.k12.mn.us/uploads/bw_reproducible_t.pdf
Posted in Helpful Links, Mindfulness, Sensory by Emily Dandron, OTRL with comments disabled.