How to Support Gross Motor Skills Needed for Playground Success

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Demonstrating the gross motor skills needed for conquering the playground is often seen as a right of passage for kids.  The first time they sit in a bucket swing as a baby while mommy or daddy ooooo and ahhhhh over them and say what a "big kid" they are. The first time they walk up and down the stairs ...

Fine Motor Boot Camp: A New Way to Support Fine Motor Practice

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One of my favorite things to do as a pediatric occupational therapist is to find ways to help parents and teachers carry over therapy recommendations to support developmental progress. So any time I learn about tools or tricks to help with this, I get really excited and I want to share them with everyone I ...

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Fine Motor Buttoning Activity (No Sew!)

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Fine motor, self-help, and pre-literacy skills are all HUGE components of early childhood development. They prepare toddlers and preschoolers for success with classroom participation, independence, and overall learning. So why not use ONE activity to address all three skills at the same time?! That's what I've done with this "Very Hungry Caterpillar" fine motor buttoning activity!  This buttoning activity follows the ...

How Outdoor Play Builds Social and Emotional Skills in Children

Social-emotional and cognitive benefits of outdoor play

Today's post comes to you from Pediatric Occupational Therapist Angela Hanscom, who recently released a book called Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children. Angela wanted to share about how outdoor play can help build social-emotional and cognitive skills in children!  . . . . . Your child's mind is rapidly ...

When Do Kids Learn to Dress Themselves?: The Developmental Progression of Self-Dressing Skills

When do kids learn to dress themselves?

"Buddy! You CANNOT leave the house without pants, so...PLEEEEASE...put your pants on so we can go!" "Sweetie, hurry up, get your coat on and zip it up, we're running late, it's time to GOOOOOO!" "Ugh, you put your shoes on the wrong feet AGAIN? Let's hurry up and fix them so we can get moving, you don't want ...

Top Quotes from AOTA Conference 2016

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Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 2016 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) annual conference in Chicago for three days with over 10,000 enthusiastic occupational therapy professionals. After three days of non-stop learning, connecting, and living off of hotel coffee, my brain was filled to the brim with all sorts of new facts, ...

5 Ways to Improve Self-Regulation Skills in Toddlers and Young Children

Occupational Therapy tips to help toddlers and young children with self-regulation skills

Please welcome guest blogger Kim Syers -- an early intervention occupational therapist, blogger, and mama! She is here to share tips for how to improve self-regulation skills in toddlers and young children. . . . . . WHAT IS SELF-REGULATION? Self-regulation is the ability to adjust one’s own emotions, attention and behavior depending on the situation at hand. It is ...

How to Play with Your Newborn Baby (0-3 Months)

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Caring for a newborn baby is hard work, isn't it? Who knew that a tiny human who sleeps 18-20 hours a day could make life so exhausting?! THE FIRST THREE MONTHS The first three months of a baby's life truly are all about survival -- survival for the baby and, even more so, survival for the parents. Between the ...

The Developmental Progression of Play Skills

A pediatric OT outlines the developmental progression of play skills #functionalskillsforkids

"Play" is one of those things that gets talked about a lot in child development circles and on social media. You might hear about the benefits of play-based learning, or how giving kids more recess will improve their school behavior and learning abilities, or how there are sensory benefits to encouraging kids to play in and explore ...

Cool trick to help kids learn to turn the paper while cutting

Simple trick to help kids learn to turn the paper while cutting

For kids who are developing their scissor skills and need help learning to turn the paper while cutting along a curve (and who can read numbers), try this little trick...I came up with it on-the-spot during a recent therapy session when working with a child who hasn't been able to figure out how to turn the ...