I am so excited to be teaming up with a great group of therapy bloggers this week to bring you a SUPER fun blog hop and giveaway!
All of us have picked out our favorite summer toy or activity that promotes developmental skills. The list is full of great ideas that are sure to keep your kiddos moving, learning, and having fun all summer long! Read on for more details about how to enter the giveaway. Wouldn’t a $50 Amazon gift card be a great way to kick off your summer?
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
Step One: Use the Rafflecopter entry form at the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card to purchase a favorite summer toy!
Step Two: Visit each of the blogs below and COMMENT on their post about their favorite summer toy or activity. Have you tried it? Will you buy it? Would your kiddos love it? How would you use it?
Step Three: Earn additional entries by “Liking” each blog’s Facebook page, straight from the Rafflecopter form!
***Remember: You will only be entering the Rafflecopter ONCE, ON THIS PAGE, not on every blog in the hop.
Here are the participating therapy blogs:
Mama OT’s favorite summer activity is:
Bubbles are one of my absolute favorite things to use when playing with kids, especially the virtually indestructible bubbles found at Gymboree (described in my post here). That’s why I’m excited to feature bubble play as one of my favorite summer activities in the therapy bloggers blog hop! Not only does bubble play provide an easy way for kids to play outside during the summer, it also promotes a host of developmental skills!
1. Fine motor skills. Kids have the opportunity to practice pinching the skinny wand, coordinating two hands to hold the bottle and dip, holding the blower with a pencil-like grasp, opening and closing the bottle, and using hands in different ways to pop the bubbles (poke with index finger, “squeeze” to grab bubbles with the whole hand, use two hands to clap the bubbles).
2. Visual tracking skills. Follow where the bubbles go. Some are fast and some are slow. And some will even glow!
3. Hand/eye coordination. It takes serious practice to link up what the eyes and hands are doing in order to accurately dip and blow with a wand.
4. Sensory processing skills. Bubbles are wet. and slimy. and sticky. They feel funny. And the physical act of blowing can be a very effective sensory-based way to help children “organize”, calm, and focus their bodies.
5. Oral motor skills. Obviously. Blowing bubbles is good exercise for little mouths, but it can be hard work! Bubble blowers (like the tube-shaped ones) are easier than bubble wands, and kids won’t inhale bubble solution if they decide to suck instead of blow out. Skinnier tube blowers are typically easier than fat ones. And blowing at bubbles that have already been blown and are sitting on the end of the wand can also be easier than straight-up blowing through the wand.
6. Social and communication skills. Kids can ask or sign for “more” and establish eye contact when doing so. And if playing in a group, they can practice taking turns and keeping personal space between their bodies so they don’t bump into or knock each other over.
7. Gross motor skills. What an easy way to get kids to reach way up high, stand on their tippie toes, squat, jump, run, stomp, and kick.
8. Following directions. You can give them directions on how to pop the bubbles with each turn (clap them, poke them, squeeze them, jump on them, etc.) either one at a time or by telling them a popping sequence (first poke, then squeeze, then clap). Or they can follow the directions to a turn-taking sequence (first Johnny pops, then Caitlin, then Danny). The possibilities for directions are endless.
9. Identifying body parts. Pop with your finger, your elbow, your knee, or your nose!
10. Speech skills. I’m not a speech therapist, but I know that /b/ and /p/ (those formed in the front of the mouth with the lips) are early speech sounds that are naturally used during bubble play. A few examples include “Bubbles!” “Bye-bye bubbles!” and “Pop!”
11. Language and cognitive skills. You can teach toddlers and preschoolers how to understand and describe where the bubbles are and what they’re doing by pointing things out when they happen. “The bubbles are going up (or down)” “They’re going fast (or slow).” “There’s a bubble in front of (or behind) you.” “I see one next to you.” “There’s one above (or below) your head.” “It’s to your right (or left).” “That’s a really big (or little) bubble.” “Go pop the biggest (or smallest) bubble!”
Babies often love to watch others blow bubbles and think they’re so interesting, and bigger kids love to play with them in all kinds of creative ways. You can make your own bubble solution using any one of these basic recipes, or you can make super duper GIANT bubbles using this recipe and simple homemade bubble wand.
So grab your bubbles and get ready for some summer fun! Oh, and make sure you enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Open worldwide to those 18 years and older. Please read FULL RULES BEFORE ENTERING, available in the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will begin at 12am on Friday morning, May 30, 2014 and will end at 12am on Friday morning, June 6, 2014. Winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and will be notified by email once entries have been verified (comments on each blog, Facebook likes on each blog).
Be sure to hop over to all of the participating blogs to see what other toys and activities you can find for some serious summer fun!