Teacher Information and Resources

Because we have a holistic approach to each child’s development and progress we offer in service training for schools and their staff. Topics vary, but can focus on sensory processing, early intervention, and motor development, to name a few. In addition we are available to make recommendations regarding resources or structures that may be needed within the classroom to support a specific child’s needs. Please contact us if you or your school would like to find out more information or have a specific request regarding a topic.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

  • Play with dough, roll it into snakes or tiny balls use the fingertips to roll
  • Finger exercises: playing with an elastic band, stretch the elastic band around a small tin, or around the finger tips.
  • Pretend to play the piano, clap hands or click fingers while music is playing
  • Pick up small objects such as pins, rice grains, small pebbles etc.
  • Thread beads, macaroni, or straws cut up into pieces
  • Fasten clothes pegs around a paper plate, draw a face and turn it into a sun or a lion
  • Flatten soap bubbles by pinching them with a clothes peg
  • Draw, paint, colour, write, tear and don’t stop!!
  • “squash” a tennis ball/squash ball/ with one hand
  • Shoot marble or small paper balls using different fingers
  • Finger painting
  • Play pick up sticks
  • Use toothpicks to construct shapes
  • Open and close lids on jars or taps in the bathroom
  • Crunch a newspaper sheet into a small ball using only one hand

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS-SO WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE

  • Mini trampoline – encourage your child to bounce to loud upbeat music and keep her interested by varying how she bounces. For example bouncing and clapping, bouncing and twisting, jumping backwards and forwards, star jumps, etc.
  • Wheelbarrow walks – hold your child at her hips or knees whilst she walks on her hands (when your child is strong enough hold at her ankles). Motivate your child by encouraging her to go further each time. Vary the activity by getting her to carry something on her back or set up an obstacle course such course such as going over a cushion or around a table.
  • Hoppity ball- encourage your child to bounce on a hopper ball in the backyard or up and down the hallway.
  • Running on the spot, stomping, star jumps, skipping with a skipping rope.
  • Crawling activities, crab walks, bear walks, bunny hops – make it fun by setting up an obstacle, course, relay or race.
  • Tug of war – use a dressing gown cord or twist a bathroom towel to make a rope. Play tug of war with your child either sitting, standing or kneeling.
  • Play ball games – catching, throwing, bouncing, and aiming at targets.
  • Rolling-log rolling, roll from one side of the room to the other to fetch a toy, or roll down an embankment in the park
  • Walk, crawl, hop, run-in all directions, and vary the speed
  • Swimming
  • Bicycle riding
  • Climb trees
  • Animal walks-make bedtime fun, walk to the room like different animals:
    • Crab (walk sideways on hand and feet, looking up)
    • Kangaroo (jump on feet, holding their hands in front of their chest)
    • Rabbit (jump on all 4 limbs, first hands and then feet)
    • Worm (stand with both hands and feet on the floor, walk with the hands away from the feet and then bring the feet closer to the hands)
    • Donkey (put the hands on the floor, and kick backwards with the legs)
    • Dog (walk on all fours)
    • Duck (waddle in a squatting position with hands clasped under the armpits)
    • Giraffe (walk with hands stretched above the head)
    • Elephant (take big steps and pretend the arms are a trunk and tail)

HANDWRITING SKILLS- IDEAS FOR HOME

  • Drawing: Encourage your child to do a drawing and then ask him to tell you about it when he has finished.
  • Draw on a Magnadoodle or Megasketcher.
  • Duo drawing – draw dots or squiggles for your child to join up and make a picture, or draw the outline of a person and get your child to draw the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Pencil activity: Encourage these activities without the use of the other hand, chest or the table.
  • Pick up the pencil and hold it ready for writing. Practice walking your fingers to the other end and back
  • Using a click pen or multi coloured pen, click the top of the pen and then walk your fingers back to hold it ready for writing
  • Sharpen a pencil
  • Using a pencil with an eraser on the end, encourage your child to write a letter, turn the pencil around to rub it out and the turn it back for writing again
  • Pencil windmill: hold a pencil up in the air and try to turn it like a windmill. Try clockwise and anti-clockwise
  • Place some coloured pencils on the table. Ask your child to pick up one and write the first letter of his name. Encourage him to use his preferred hand only and pick up and position the pencil for writing. Repeat using a different coloured pencil for each letter.

 

  • Copying: Show your child how to draw simple lines and shapes and then get him to do it. Start with horizontal and vertical lines then progress to a circle, square and triangle.
  • Incorporate visual perceptual games and activities into your family life. Try Waldo books, "Seek and Find" books and plan regular jigsaw puzzle sessions as a family.
  • Look out for Lotto and Bingo type gameswhere your child needs to match up picture cards.
  • Encourage your child to pay attention visuallyby finding items in picture books, finding specific groceries on a shopping advertisement, and looking at "spot the difference" pictures.
  • Provide lots of opportunities to trace and draw shapes and simple drawingsin early childhood BEFORE letters are introduced.
  • Let your child trace over your shapes in sand, or with chalk on a board before trying to draw the shapes on their own.
  • Work on visual perceptual skillsand fine motor skills to strengthen those foundations
  • Older kids can benefit from grid drawingsto strengthen their visual perceptual skills.
  • Spatial perceptual gamesand construction games where your child needs to follow instructions can help a child develop good spatial perception.

VISUAL PERCEPTION – IDEAS FOR HOME

  • Matching games
  • Sorting objects according to size, colour, shape or category
  • Spot the difference games
  • Simon says-assuming different positions and using direction
  • Constructional games
  • Peg boards
  • Tangram
  • Word searches
  • Puzzles
  • Copying, completing and finding the missing parts in sequences
  • Practice letters and numbers in textured substances (shaving foam, sand, jelly powder)

SELF-CARE SKILLS-SO WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE

  • Encourage independence.
  • Facilitate the sequence of activities: use visual cues or picture sequences to show the steps involved.
  • Praise successful attempts.
  • Small steps: breaking down self-care skills into smaller steps
  • Routine: use the same routine or strategy each time you complete the same task.
  • Consistency: be consistent and keep instructions short and simple.
  • Allow enough time: Ensure that there is enough time available for the child to participate in self-care activities without feeling rushed (e.g. practice on the weekend to start with before doing before rushing to kindergarten/school).
  • Model self-care tasks from when they are young-children love to imitate and will learn through imitation.
  • When they show signs of independence remember to step back and let them be independent, let them show you that they can (be patient, and acknowledged the small successes)

BEHAVIOURAL SKILLS – IDEAS FOR HOME

  • Closed choices: If kids are asking for something that is not on offer, it is important that parents put boundaries in place for kids, and sometimes this means saying NO and sticking to that. It is ok to say: "That is not a choice. The choice is ........ Or .......... What is your choice?"
  • Time out: The purpose is to interrupt a non-desirable behaviour and at the same time provide an opportunity for the child to settle themselves before continuing to act. Time out works best in sight of the parent and should be relatively short. It is recommended to use 1 minute for each year of age.
  • Clear expectations: Sit down as a family group and list the house rules. This will help everyone know what is expected of them, both for the children and adults in the family.
  • Routine: routine allows a child to function safely and effectively. Establish a schedule for meals, homework and other chores, TV, getting up and going to bed etc., and maintain it as consistently as possible
  • Discipline effectively and immediately: the focus of discipline is to make wise choices the next time he is faced with a similar situation. Disciplining immediately after the wrongdoing allows for the child to make the association between the undesirable behaviour and the consequence.

SENSORY PROCESSING SKILLS – IDEAS FOR HOME

Sensory Processing varies a lot from child to child. These ideas are broad and your OT will help you make them more specific to your child’s needs.

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