Toothpick Art & Construction -$5 Flat rate Shipping!

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Creative Fine Motor Fun

Fine motor skills refers to the coordination of the small muscles of the hand, also referred to as manual dexterity.  You use fine motor skills everyday from writing and cutting to buttoning and zippering. 

Some well known fine motor activities are Legos, building blocks, pop beads, stringing beads, among others. 

Here are some fun and different ways to help development of those small muscles using TOOTHPICKS!!!???


Toothpick Art

Who knew you could be so creative with a box of toohpicks?

Toothpick construction: You need a box or two of toothpicks and bag of marshmellows. 

Take one toothpick and push it into the marshmellow then another marshmellow on the other end, then toothpick, and so on until you have your creation.  How creative can you be? 

Need some ideas? 

        - Form shapes, letters, or numbers.  Write your name!

        - Build a house, barn, skyscraper, or school building.

        - Make some people, animals, How about your whole family? 

You can also use chop sticks or skewers to build longer sides to your creation! Instead of toothpicks, you can use popsicle sticks or pretzel sticks.  Use grapes instead of marshmellows.  Or if you don't want to work with food, you can use small balls of play dough or clay.

Get creative!  Place beads or small pastas on the toothpick before pushing it into another marshmellow. 

Sticky Toothpick Art: You need toothpicks and some contact paper. 

Cut a piece of contact paper from the roll (whatever size you need for your creation) Peel the paper off so you can feel the sticky side, then tape it to a table, wall or window (sticky side out).  Now take you toothpicks and puch one at a time onto the sticky side of the contact paper.  They are small and light enough to create a masterpiece. 

When you are finished, peel another piece of contact paper (the same size as original), peel paper and carefully stick it to your art.  Now your art work is complete!

Toothpicks On a Larger Scale

You worked those small muscles now go outside and work the larger ones!  Instead of toothpicks (unless you have A LOT of toothpicks) use sticks that you found in your yard to build with.  Instead of pushing them together or connecting them, you can just lay down the sticks to form letters, shapes, or numbers.  Collect enough and you can make an obstacle course.

Stick Obstacle Course: Collect enough sticks to form larger shapes next to each other on the ground.  Jump or hop in and out of each shape.  Spread them apart a little and you can run, skip, or gallop around each.  Use the stick shapes as if they were cones)

Thank You Pinterest Friends!! - Compiled by Lisa Walker OTR

Snowy Day Fun... With or Without the SNOW!

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Snowy Day Fun With or Without the SNOW!
There is no reason why you can't enjoy the snow even if it doesn't snow where you live!  Here are some super fun snowy ideas for home or school. 

Snowy Day Fun
Shaving Cream Ice Skating: This is an old favorite and one of the most fun classroom groups all year.  Our students love it!! If you are lucky enough to have a space and some therapy mats, you are good to go! The only other thing you will need is shaving cream. 
- Have your children come in, take off there shoes and socks, then roll up their pant legs.
- Spray the mats with shaving cream and one at a time go for a skate. 
- It is messy but so much fun! When they get the hang of skating on shaving cream, ask them to skate with a friend or turn around on the "ice"
- For easier clean up, tape a large plastuc tablecloth or shower curtain liner over the mats. 
For a cleaner version of skating indoors without the ice you can use carpet squares or pieces of towels as skates.  Cut the pieces one to two inches larger then your child's shoe.  Have them stand on the square and skate around the floor. 

MakeYour Own Snow!
Too hot to snow where you live?  Make your own snow with these easy recipes
    Snow: All you need is baking soda and shaving cream.  Pour shaving cream in a large bowl or bin and slowly add your shaving cream.  If you have a large group you can use one box of baking soda to one box of shaving cream. 
   Snow Dough: All you need is 2 cups of corn starch and one cup of hair conditioner.  Mix together and play!!
   No Mix Snow: Don't feel like pouring and mixing ingredients?  Some items in your house that look like snow- mashed potato flakes,  sugar and powdered sugar, salt, and baking soda.  Pour one of these on a tray and practice drawing and writing in snow. 

Let's Write About It!
Sitting in the car, in the doctor's office waiting room, or for handwriting practice, here are some fun story starters:
    We sat on our sled, sped down the hill, went over a bump and......
    As we looked up in the sky, the largest snowflakes ever fell and.... 
    We built a snow family and when we started singing they started    dancing and....
We fell in the snow and....
My dad turned the snowblower on and

Thank you to all our Pinterest Friends! Please Share and Like us on Facebook also!
Compiled by Lisa Walker OT

Let's make Letters!

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Construct A Letter
Letter Construction Activity Set:  This awesome new product is a must buy!  Attractive, beautifully made set of 60 color coded plastic pieces snap together to build all the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.  Activity cards show you what component pieces you need to collect and provide a full color guild for construction.  Reinforce letter construction, prewriting skills along with motor planning and fine motor skills.  Largest piece is 10" in length.  Item # W7868

What Else Can We Use?
While the above product is an awesome addition to any therapy bag or play room, there are some easy at home items you can use to form letters, numbers, and shapes.  Practice letter formation with more than pencil and paper, you can use:
Popsicle sticks and straws: You can form all kinds of shapes, letters, and numbers.  The curves are difficult with popsicle sticks but you can use pipe cleaners or string to form those little and big curves.
Salt or sugar: On a cookie sheet or tray, pour enough sugar or salt to cover the bottom and have your children form the letters, numbers, or shapes. 
Zip loc bag and pudding: Place some pudding about half way full in a zip loc bag.  Seal the bag and lay flat on the table.  Easily write letters, numbers, words, or shapes.  You can place the bag on colored paper for a better contrast.  You can also use paint, shaving cream, or shampoo in your zip loc bag. 

Gross Motor Letter Fun
Forming letters isn't just for the table.  All you need is a roll of tape and some space.  With your tape form letters on the floor.  You can make them small or large.  Here is an activity for each:
Make small (approx. 12 inches) letters with tape on the floor.  Have your child take their favorite cars or dolls and see if they can form the letters over the tape.  Make numbers and shapes as well.  You can also use buttons, coins, or pasta
Make large letters: you may not have room for many, depending on where you are but form letters with tape (approx, 3 feet in height).  Now you can use them as part of an obstacle course or gross motor game.  Propel your scoorer in the form of the letter.  Or jump from top to bottom.  Make sure you form your letter correclty even with jumping, hopping, or walking on them. 

Story Starting Fun
We were hiking through the woods when we reached a clearing and....
We were having a crazy talent show at school, my act is going to be....

We packed up a bunch of stuff and ....
We jumped so many times,  we almost... 

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Complied by Lisa Walker OTR