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.)


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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.


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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


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Trouble Cutting Your Child’s Nails?

Explore this page for helpful tips on nail cutting. https://yourkidstable.com/sensitivity-to-nail-cutting/ This fantastic resource was written by an occupational therapist. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at dandroe@dearbornschools.org


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Try the Downward Dog Yoga Pose!

This yoga pose is great for stretching, mindful breathing, improving balance skills, building (arm, shoulder, trunk) muscles, and providing vestibular input.

Give it a try: https://www.yourtherapysource.com/files/Yoga_Cards_Freebie.pdf

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at dandroe@dearbornschools.org


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Let’s Try Coloring & Writing on a Vertical Surface!

Writing and coloring on vertical surfaces works on so many skills at once!

  • Helps to strengthen and stabilize the joints and muscles in the shoulder and arm
  • Bilateral coordination skills (using both arms at once) to stabilize paper on a wall
  • Encourages wrist extension which will help to develop a functional pencil grasp
  • Core Strength and Posture
  • Visual attention to task
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Crossing midline (reaching across the center of our bodies)
  • Visual perceptual skills: spatial awareness
  • To learn more visit https://azopt.net/vertical-surface/

Some Activity Ideas:

  • Writing & Coloring on a mirror with dry-erase markers (have your student erase their creations too by wiping with a damp paper towel)
  • Tape paper to the wall and color with small crayons
  • Place a paper with a pre-writing shape on the fridge and have your student place magnets directly over the lines of the shape
  • Do you have an eager helper in your household? Have your student “wash the walls” with a damp washcloth or help you wash windows (You MUST supervise if your student is using cleaning products.)
  • Drawing on a white board with dry-erase markers
  • Write in shaving cream or whipped cream on a mirror
  • Paint/draw/color/write on an easel


Posted in Bilateral Coordination, Handwriting, Helpful Links, Motor Planning, Sensory, Visual Motor by with comments disabled.

OT Activities with Kitchen Tools

These activities work on several underlying skills at one time using objects you may already have in the house. If you have any questions about these activities, please email me at dandroe@dearbornschools.org

Sorting Silverware, and Folding towels
Stacking Paper Towel Tubes, and Nesting Measuring Cups
Opening and Closing Containers, and Stabilizing/Pouring Rice and Corn
Unwrapping Foil, and Placing Pegs/Straws in Putty

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OT & Play Time!

Play time is important for everyone! Play is the most natural way for students to engage in learning.

Here is a link to a video on the importance building Play into your daily routine https://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Patients-Clients/ChildrenAndYouth/video-play-important-part-of-your-day.aspx

This link is directly from the AOTA, a trusted source. The AOTA or American Occupational Therapy Association is the Professional organization that helps set guidelines for OT services in the United States.


Posted in Bilateral Coordination, Handwriting, Helpful Links, Mindfulness, Motor Planning, Sensory, Typing, Visual Motor and tagged , by with comments disabled.

Practice Writing Letters and Numbers!

Writing letters, numbers, and pre-writing shapes in different textures helps students to engage, learn, and remember what they are practicing! Try these different ideas on a tray, plate, or table.

  • Sand
  • Shaving Cream (add food coloring for extra fun!)
  • Whipped cream (add food coloring for extra fun!)
  • Dish Soap
  • Paint

Need a Less Messy Option?

  • Try putting a small amount of paint and dish soap (or hair conditioner) in a large seal-able plastic bag.
  • Tape over the seam with shipping tape (or duct tape) to prevent the seal from breaking
  • Lay the bag on a flat surface
  • Use your index finger (pointer finger) or a Q-tip to create different shapes, letters, and numbers


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Ms. Erin’s Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Look for these items in your backyard and check them off as you find them!

For a Word document: https://iblog.dearbornschools.org/ericksonot/wp-content/uploads/sites/2702/2020/03/Backyard-Scavenger-Hunt.docx

For a PDF: https://iblog.dearbornschools.org/ericksonot/wp-content/uploads/sites/2702/2020/03/Backyard-Scavenger-Hunt.pdf

  • To practice handwriting skills, answer the questions by writing in a notebook
  • To practice typing skills, answer the questions by typing on a computer (be sure to use good posture and both hands)
  • To practice holding your head up, moving your head, or reaching and grasping with your arms, work on these skills as your searching for items around the yard

Posted in Blogs, Handwriting, Sensory, Typing, Visual Motor and tagged , , , , , by with comments disabled.
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