How to beat the "End of Summer Blues"



Got a minute activity: Fine Motor Scissor Project

Flying Goldfish: 2 snips on a strip of paper, fold and fly! These are made that quickly and are fun to fly!

Cut a strip from a 8.5"x 11" sheet of paper (more or less - exact measurements not needed, unless ruler work is needed). About 1" in from either end, draw then snip a slit about 1/2 way through the width of he paper on opposite sides of the paper. Bend, tuck and fly! (see diagram).

1. Mark 2” in from the right edge of the paper, on both the top and bottom. Join these marks making a 2” wide strip down the right side of the paper. (Fig. A)

3.  Find the bottom right corner of the paper; measure UP along the right edge of the paper 2 inches. Mark this spot. (Fig. B) 

4.  At this new mark, draw a 1” horizontal line. (Fig. B)

5.  Find the top of the line drawn in step 2. Measure DOWN along this line 2 inches. Mark this spot.  Make a 1 inch horizontal line at this mark as you did in step 4, EXCEPT the horizontal line must be drawn to the right of the vertical line being measured (draw into the strip not into the remainder of the paper). Your pattern is now complete. (Fig. B)

6.  Decorate.

7.  Cut carefully along the long line, making 2 pieces of paper. (The larger piece will not be used for this goldfish, but 3 or more goldfish could be made from this extra piece of paper.) (Fig. C)

8.  Very carefully snip the short lines – remember to STOP WHEN THE LINE STOPS!! (Fig. C)

9.  Lay the strip onto the table with the decorations face down. 

10.  Hold both ends of the paper (one in each hand) and bring them together to form a loop. (Fig. D)

11.  Interconnect the snips (adjust depth of snips as needed). (Fig. E) 

Now your Goldfish is ready to fly. Hold loop with two fingers; one in loop and the other out – Careful not to crush it! Hold up very high, just DROP it -the higher the better (maybe stand on steps) and watch it roll and tumble! (Just let go- do not toss it like an airplane)

^excerpt from Paper Folding toys by Pocket Full of therapy



Got a minute activity: fine motor coordination


Learn and practice the "Jumping Rubber band" trick. Place a rubber band around the index and pointer fingers, close your hand and when opened again the rubber band "jumps" to the ring and little finger. How is it done? While the hand is closed, secretly stretch and slip all of your fingertips, under the stretched band. When you open the fingers again, the rubber band will come off the 1st fingers and go around the last two. 


 Years ago, famed magician David Cooperfield joined forces with, Julie DeJean, OTR and developed Project Magic. It was a collection of magic tricks and  illusions selected for the motor skills and coordination required to complete them. It's goal was to motivate as well as to improve motor skills.

"Most people with disabilities have come to believe that they are less capable than a non-disabled person. Therefore, the ability to perform simple magic allows them to do something that others cannot. Performing magic involves knowing something that the audience does not know - the secret. The performer can work "miracles."This baffles the spectator and creates within the performer a sense of accomplishment, pride, and self-fulfillment.Self-esteem and motivation are essential to the achievement of rehabilitation goals" (https://projectmagic.org)

















Got a minute activity: Memory Tic-Tac-Toe

This is a new twist on an old game. Short term memory is challenged by this quick game. So is mental visualization and strategy. Once players get good at it, you can play anywhere; like in the car while traveling, on a school bus or while waiting anywhere. This cognitive challenge may also be helpful as a distraction to reduce anxiety.

This is Memory Tic-Tac-Toe:   Draw a traditional playing board, then number 1-9 as demonstrated. Players take turn claiming places by number, mentally keeping track of all spaces played by both players. After someone states they have Tic-tac-toe, ask them to prove it by placing markers on the board. All must agree to the places marked to win the game.





Tips for copying from board, counting, sequencing that can improve efficiency

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The New TurnUnit 3D Balance Trainer (aka Dizzy Disc Senior!)

New design with a 300lb weight limit easily accommodates teens, Tweens and adults ! You know this toy is a "must have" for sensory seekers and others that just gotta spin regardless of age. 16" non-skid platform adjusts angle to challenge balance and change sensory input. Sit, lay or stand (with caution!). Also great for rehab and sports training. Strengthens core too!  Here's more info:





Quick Neuro review...


NIH - has a quick & simple game called "Lobe-oratorium" that reviews the brain lobes and their functional skills. See how well you remember Neuro 101..
Try it here: Click

Good Luck- pfot.com





Improve hand skills with rubber bands!

Doriet Bialer, OTD, MA, OTR has developed a number of hand splint designs using only rubber bands and surgical tape. These splints are quick, temporary, inexpensive and easy to do "on the fly".

Her new manual, "Functional Hand Splints: An Easy DIY" demonstrates step-by-step how to 'twist and turn' a rubber band to improve various grasp patterns, even a dynamic tripod grasp for handwriting.  Imagine, walking into a classroom, with just rubber bands and tape, and immediately being able to influence a students skills!

Available as a set with manual and enough materials to get you started, manual only (you have to gather materials) or materials only (refills).










Visual Tracking Activities with Touchable Bubbles


YES! A bubble that doesn't always break when you touch it or when it lands on a surface. Players can REALLY VISUALLY TRACK the bubble then use coordination skills to catch it. Can you make a snowman or catch 5 on a paper? MORE INFO HERE...

Some things to try:
- Catch a bubble on each finger
- Make a snowman
- How many bubbles can you stack on top of each other?
- Make several dots on a sheet of paper. Then try to catch a bubble on each dot.
- Called out different body parts to catch a bubble on (elbow, thumb, back of hand....)
- Complete a simple path while holding a bubble.


Buying info: Here



Pustefix Bubble Bear - The original premium bubbles with pop-up wand!

This bear, with the chubby tummy, was the first bubble container with a pop-up wand. Gently squeeze his belly to make the wand appear. Unlike cheap knock-offs, this cutey has a semi-closed inner top that the wand emerges from reducing spills & mess. It also contains PREMIUM bubble juice that produces more consistent bubbles per blow. Nothing is more frustrating than huffing & puffing repeatedly only to get one lone bubble! We even offer bubble juice refills! More info HERE...


Bubble cups: Oral motor- Respiration, Lip Closure, Blowing without fear!

Bubble cups: a favorite by staff & child

What's a bubble cup? Take a sturdy cup and make a hole slightly below the upper rim. (The lower on the cup wall the more "huffing & puffing" will be required). Next cut a square (double layered) from a handi-wipe it needs to be about 2" larger than the cup's rim. Secure it over the cup top with a rubber band. Place a straw in the hole you made. Now turn the cup upside down and dunk the handi-wipe top into a bowl of very soapy water.  (Avoid getting water into the straw or hole). Players blow through the straw creating long piles of bubbles on top. Since there is no bubble juice actually in the cup, there is no fear of a mouthful of yuck!  (Most children learn very quickly to coordinate suck vs blow with this motivating






touch bubbles by pfot.com
Touchable Bubbles 


YES!  TOUCH, CATCH, STACK... Finally a bubble that doesn't allows break when you touch it or when it lands on a surface. Players can REALLY VISUALLY TRACK the bubble then use coordination skills to catch it. Can you make a snowman or catch 5 on a paper? MORE INFO HERE...





Activities that address: Suck, Breathe, Swallow - Talk, Listen, Process


Cup & Scoop in the classroom improves hand skills


Cupping or Scooping can easily be incorporated into daily tasks in and out of the classroom.