50 Clever Ways to Play with Tongs for Fine Motor Development

50 clever ways to play with tongs for fine motor development

When kids play with tongs, tweezers, and chopsticks, they exercise the small hand muscles needed for developing skills like cutting with scissors and writing with pencils. I've shared a DIY tutorial before on how to make kiddie chopsticks, and I mentioned that the ability to use tongs is a pre-scissor skill, and the ability to use scissors is ...

Developmental Progression of Scissor Skills: 35 Best Tips for Teaching Kids to Use Scissors

35 of the best scissor skills tips, straight from an occupational therapist!

As a pediatric Occupational Therapist, I feel scissor skills are an undervalued area of development for which many parents and educators are underprepared. Proficient scissor use requires foundational components such as postural stability, hand strength and dexterity, hand-eye coordination, bilateral integration, sensory integration, sequencing, rhythm, and attention. These are skills that are also needed for success in play and learning. Today, ...

Clever Ways to Teach Shoe Tying for Kids (Tons of Shoe Tying Tips, Tricks, and Modifications!)

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Conquering the task of shoe tying is one of those childhood milestones that truly sets kids apart as the "big kid". But shoe tying is not necessarily easy to learn or teach, especially for kids with special needs. Today I wanted to share a video of a little OT trick to help you in your shoe tying endeavors! ...

10 Awesome Summer Activities for Kids!

10 awesome OT-recommended summer activities for kids - Mama OT

If you’re looking for awesome summer activities for kids that are both fun AND beneficial, you’ve come to the right place! Here are a bunch of ideas to keep your kids moving, exploring, developing, and having fun all summer long! This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (ready my full disclosure here). 10 AWESOME SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR ...

Clever Way to Practice Putting on and Taking off Socks

Clever Occupational Therapy trick to help kids practice putting on and taking off socks all by themselves! #OTtips #OThack #childdevelopment

Learning the skill of putting on and taking off socks is a right of passage in early childhood.  When you can tell your kiddo to go put on their shoes and socks...and then they can actually do it?...that's a whole new level of independence for them and freedom for you! This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (see my ...

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 ...