Toddler Throwing Practice with Play Dough Basketball

Orange play dough basketball text

Does your child like to throw things? I know my toddler does. Well, challenge them to a game of play dough basketball! I tried this yesterday after making a fresh batch of orange scented play dough using this basic recipe (and I used 2 packets of orange Kool Aid as both the color and scent, rather than ...

Tips for Raising Smart Kids

Genius Infographic

Someone shared an interesting infographic with me recently about how to raise smart kids. I wanted to post it here not because I believe there is a "formula" for turning kids into geniuses, but because I think it's a good conversation starter. As an occupational therapist, I like that it addresses the fact that there are ...

Mama OT’s Product of the Month: From Rattles to Writing {May 2013}

This month Mama OT is excited to feature the book From Rattles to Writing: A Parent's Guide to Hand Skills as the product of the month! From Rattles to Writing is written by Barbara Smith, a highly experienced occupational therapist who loves to educate and empower others. In addition to being an OT and an author, Barbara ...

Sensory “Calm Down” Bottle

Calm Down Bottle

Have you ever found yourself working with or caring for a child who becomes so overstimulated or upset that nothing seems to help them calm down? While there are many whole-body sensory calming strategies that can be used to help kids calm and regulate their bodies, they aren't always available or effective in certain contexts. Wouldn't ...

How to Sneak Fine Motor Skills into Gross Motor Play

OC 1

Parents and teachers often ask me how they can incorporate more fine motor practice into their child's or student's day. Well, try this one thing: Sneak fine motor practice into their gross motor play! Many kiddos I work with struggle to sit still, focus, or follow adult-directed tasks, and their fine motor development suffers as a result. That's ...

Diaper Rash Home Remedies

Mama OT: Diaper rash home remedies

Diaper rash is miserable. It's a totally common irritation of the skin in the diaper region that can be caused by a number of factors such as a too-tight diaper that inhibits air flow, a soiled diaper left on too long, antibiotics being taken by baby or nursing mother (which is then passed to baby), ...

Use Fresh Food Feeders to Introduce Solid Foods to Baby

Mesh fresh food feeder

If you care for a baby who is relatively new to solids or is teething, then these these mesh fresh food feeders are for you! I love them because: You can introduce baby to new flavors, with a significantly reduced risk of choking. Some great foods to start with are soft foods like bananas, avocado, (clean right away ...

25 Tips for Preventing Injury in Infant Caregivers

25 tips for preventing injury in infant caregivers. Written by a mom who is also an occupational therapist.

Caring for a baby is tough. Really tough. It takes a huge physical toll on the body. And sleep deprivation makes the body even more prone to injury and physical break down. The fact is, preventing injury is a challenge. If you're in the trenches of baby care, you know the last thing you need is ...

Use a Pullover Bib to Practice Pre-Dressing Skills

Use a pullover bib to practice pre-dressing skills. So simple!

  Yesterday morning my 17-month-old son was wearing a pullover bib (something I had never heard of until my mother-in-law gave us one) and, all of a sudden, he pulled it up and over his head just like he was taking off a shirt. As soon as I saw him do this, a light bulb went ...

4 ways to get babies moving

4 ways to get babies moving

Babies need to move just like grown-ups do. The only problem is, they can't. Sure, newborns can wiggle. And, yeah, pre-crawlers can roll. But it's not the same as big time movement through space. Did you know that a baby's movement sense (called the vestibular system) lives in the inner ear and is developed by the ...