Hello! Welcome! My name is Sumaiyah Mahmood and I am an occupational therapist at Howe and William Ford. I will be sharing resources and links about skills we address in occupational therapy and how to address them at home. The students have been working at school to build on their skills and it is important to maintain and grow those skills at home. One of the best ways to build fine motor, visual motor/perceptual, cognitive, sensory processing, and self care skills is for the child to participate in and practice everyday activities. Activities such as helping with cooking, putting their clothes on, feeding themselves, interacting with toys and games, making art/craft projects, and helping with chores (laundry, sweeping, making their bed, and cleaning up their belongings). If you have any questions please email me at Mahmoos@dearbornschools.org.
Hands and knees activities works on increasing trunk and upper extremity stability and strength. Have your child complete the activity before beginning a fine motor task or to take a break.
Make an obstacle course using objects and furniture at home. Have your child complete this activity before sitting down to complete school work or to take a movement break. The obstacle will provide sensory input and help increase focus and attention. Show your child how to do the obstacle course before asking them to do it. Or provide physical support if they have trouble completing it. Supervise the child for safety.
Animal crawls is another great activity that provides sensory input and helps increase upper extremity strength and stability. Show your child how to do the animal crawl.
Different types of crawls
Guided drawing is a great activity to work on spacial awareness, visual motor skills, visual attention, and following directions. Here are videos for your child to try out. You can also draw along side with your child if they are having difficulty following the video. After drawing, color the picture, and cut it out.
Make this simple butterfly card for your mom or someone that you care about to practice folding, cutting , writing, and drawing shapes. If your child has difficulty with spelling, have them copy a sentence or draw a picture inside the card instead. Skills addressed are: bilateral coordination, visual motor, visual perceptual, object manipulation, and grasping skills. Click on the link below for step by step visual instructions.
Play dough is a great tool to increase fine motor, visual motor, bilateral coordination, manipulation, and grasping skills. It also provides sensory input as the child touches the play dough. You can also complete these activities using home made dough if you don’t have play dough. Show you child how to complete the activities or exercises before asking them to do it. Provide physical assistance if they need help.
Activities to do with playdough. Use store bought or make some at home.
Hand strengthening exercises, use playdough instead of TheraPutty.
Click on the video below to watch a playdough activity to try at home. If your child is practicing drawing shapes or writing, have them draw shapes or write letters and numbers to squish with playdough balls. Your child can also work on shape/letter/number identification during the activity. For example, ask your child “Where is letter A? Squish letter A”. This will also help increase their visual attending and scanning skills.
Clothing fasteners can be tricky for children who have difficulties grasping, using both hands together in a coordinated way, and following step by step instructions.
Practice unbuttoning and unzipping first. Once they are able to unfasten, practice fastening buttons and zipper. Practice using loose fitted clothing. If your child has trouble latching a zipper, latch it for him/her and pull the zipper up a little. Then have your child pull up the zipper the remainder of the way. Practice tying shoes by placing a shoe on the table or floor in front of the child. You can help your child using verbal, physical, and visual help. Don’t rush the child and give them positive feedback as they practice.
Pause the video below and have your child practice buttoning, zipping, and shoe tying.
Click on the link to view activities to work on functional skills at home. Having your child practice everyday tasks (functional tasks) will help your child become more independent at home and at school. Completing functional tasks also helps to build their fine motor skills! https://www.yourtherapysource.com/blog1/2017/08/16/functional-fine-motor-activities/
Click on the link to learn about fine motor activities to try at home using household items. http://mamaot.com/fine-motor-activities-using-household-items/
Click on the video below to watch activities to try at home using a paper towel or toilet paper roll. Please supervise your child during all cutting activities and remind them to watch their fingers while cutting. The skills addressed are: cutting, grasping, hand strengthening, bilateral coordination, eye hand coordination, and dexterity skills. https://youtu.be/kMleXJ9IWlA
Click on the video below to learn about fine motor activities your child can try at home. Skills addressed: grasping, hand strengthening, bilateral coordination, eye hand coordination, object manipulation, and dexterity skills. Practicing opening containers at home will help your child become more independent at school during lunch time and help them manipulate classroom materials. https://youtu.be/HRP8VH74m2M
Balloon Tennis is a fun activity for everyone! Material needed are: a balloon, tissue paper roll, paper plate, and tape. Tape the tissue paper roll to the back of the plate to make a “tennis racket”. Blow up the balloon with air and hit the balloon with the racket. Make a second one to play with a partner! Try to keep the balloon in the air as long as possible or throw it back and forth to a partner. Keep count of how many times you hit the balloon. If you child is working on grasping and reaching, provide your child physical assistance to hold the tissue paper roll and help them hit the balloon with small hits (avoid large and sudden movements).
- Upper extremity coordination
- Upper extremity strength
- Shoulder stability
- Trunk control
- Motor planning
- Grasping and reaching
- Eye hand coordination
- Weight shifting
Hello Spring! Below are spring themed daily activity ideas. Try 1-2 ideas each day! Click on https://www.theottoolbox.com/?s=spring for details of the activities.
Today I am sharing resources from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The resources will discuss building routines at home, daily living skills, and play skills. Below are direct links to the web pages and PDFs (if you like to print a hard copy). Please contact me at Mahmoos@dearbornschools.org if you have any questions about the information below.
Establishing Routines at Home
Establishing Daily Living Skills Routines
Building Play Skills
Making homemade playdough is fun and easy! The process of making and playing with the playdough is a learning experience. Children will be working on scanning, sequencing, grasping, pinching, bilateral coordination, eye hand coordination, strengthening, crossing mid-line, sensory processing, and shape/letter recognition and formation skills. Print out the recipe so you can follow along. Allow the child to try each step (except for pouring the hot water). If the child has difficulty, help the child with physical, verbal, and visual assistance. Such as hand over hand assistance, pointing to the next step, and giving verbal clues. When you are done playing, place the playdough in a ziplock bag or container to play with the next day!
Recipe for Homemade Playdough
- Add 1 cup flour to bowl
- Add ¼ cup salt to bowl
- Add 1 koolaid packet to bowl
- Stir dry ingredients
- Add ⅔ cup of very hot water to bowl (not boiling). Have an adult complete this step for safety.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil
- Mix ingredients
- Optional: Add flour or water as needed for correct consistency
- Sprinkle flour on flat surface and scoop the playdough on to flat surface
- Knead the playdough with hands
- Time to play!
During the activity have your children do the following:
- Locate, gather, and carry items to the table
- Identify and name each ingredient
- Pour and scoop ingredients into measuring cups and spoons
- Open the packaged ingredients
- Pour ingredients into bowl
- Mix the ingredients with a mixing spoon
- Use hands to mix
Ideas on how to play with the playdough:
- Push your hand into the playdough
- Squeeze the playdough, count aloud how many seconds you can hold it
- Roll the playdough between two hands
- Roll out a snake and ball using your hand
- Make a snowman
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the playdough
- Pinch the playdough using your thumb and index finger
- Place a ball of playdough between two fingers and squeeze your fingers together
- Roll out little balls and count
- Make a bowl
- Use cookie cutters
- Add beads to the playdough and find the beads
- Push buttons into the playdough
- Press a fork into the playdough
- Make a snake and cut with scissors
- Slice the playdough with a plastic knife
- Create letters of name
- Create shapes
- Draw shapes and letters on a paper and then form playdough to match the shape/letter and lay it on top of the paper