SNOW!!! Even If It Isn't Coming Your Way

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Falling From The Sky or Not- Let's Play In the Snow

Here in the Northeast the snow is coming- What to do??  For those of you in the nice warm weather, you can still play in the snow!  Here are some fun and snowy activities to do with your children!

1. Snowball Fight For Everyone: All you need is some paper or tissue paper.  Work on your fine motor strength, crumbling a piece of paper into a ball.  Make as many as you can.  Now start throwing!!!  Make obstacles or barriers to protect yourself. 

Don't want to throw at each other? Try shooting snowball baskets using your trash can or laundry basket. 

2. Jack Frost Game: GROUP ACTIVITY!!

Materials: Draw a picture of a snow ball, snowflake and icicle shapes on paper, also need chairs or carpet squares, or tape marker for each player. 

Divide your children into 3 groups (the snowballs, snowflakes, and the icicles)

Tape one labeled paper shape on each child to indicate what group they are a part of.  Have your children sit on their spot.  

One student is Jack Frost, have him/her stand in the center of the circle.  Remove Jack Frost's spot, so there is one less then the amount of children playing.  (No one is being eliminated!)

Start by having Jack Frost call out ONE of the group names- such as snowflakes.  When they hear their group called, they have to stand up and run to another chair.  At the same time, Jack Frost tries to get into one of the empty spots. 

Whoever is not sitting down is the New Jack Frost. 

If Jack Frost calls "Snowstorm" everyone gets up and shuffles!

Motor planning, attention, socialization, and sensory processing all in one group activity!

3. Indoor Ice Skating: Messy or Non Messy

      For the non messy version; clear an area on a rug or floor, and tape wax paper to the bottoms of your children's shoes.  Let them skate around the room.  Skate in pairs or skate back ward. 

Instead of wax paper you can also glide on felt squares to skate around. 

     Messy Version; You will need mats to cover the floors, in case anyone falls.  Spray shaving cream on the mats, after taking your children's shoes and socks off, jump in and start skating. 

Either activity provides motor planning, sensory input, coordination, and Fun!!!


Compiled By Lisa Walker OTR

Handwriting Important? Fun ways of celebrate National Handwriting Day

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Handwriting Important?
Why teach it?  Why learn it?  Why practice it?  Is it in the curriculum?  Should it be?  Isn't typing and keyboarding the way of the times?  
There is much discussion about these questions and both sides have their reasons, can site research and feel very strongly about their views. But that's an interesting topic for another time.  Instead let's have some fun with writing and showing children why writing and written communication is important in our everyday lives!


Make a Quill Pen:
Cut the tip of a craft store feather at an angle and you have a Quill! Make ink by adding a few drops of food coloring to water, or thin out watercolor paints. 
Practice writing their name; spelling words; a short note to Mom/Dad or a friend.

Shoe Grab Bag
Here's a fun group activity demonstrating how writing impacts daily life. Start by everyone taking off one shoe and placing it into a brown paper bag. A designated "writer" marks the bag by drawing a square, circle, triangle, happy face, the childs name or nothing at all, then shows the child the bag. At this point, play a game to distract for a few minutes. Maybe do the "hooky pooky" or other silly game. Then all bags are mixed up and placed on a line. Now the fun begins! In groups of 5, children must find their bag, without opening them, within 10 seconds! Can't find it quickly? Discuss the importance of writing and labeling and how it helps in daily life.

Secret Messages... Shhh....
Write a sentence or word using a special code!  Attention to detail, focus and legibility will determine success with this task. Take turns writing and deciphering, both practice key elements needed for handwriting.
Draw the Space/Shape to represent the letter.
Each picture represents a letter. Simplier designs or shapes can be used to make it easier.

Let's Fidget to Focus & $5 Shipping Special

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Fidgets, Fun and $5 Shipping
Why Do We Fidget?
Whether you are fidgeting with a pencil, your hair, the papers on your desk, or items in your desk, we fidget to help us focus, attend, and concentrate. 
According to Roland Rotz and Sarah D. Wright, authors of Fidget To Focus: Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies For Living With ADHD: "If something we are engaged in is not interesting enough to sustain our focus, the additional sensory-motor input that is mildly stimulating, interesting, or entertaining allows our brains to become fully engaged and allows us to sustain focus on the primary activity in which we are participating."
One 2005 study concluded that kids who are allowed to fidget during class learn more quickly than those who are not. Karen Pine with the University of Hertfordshire says that "if teachers encouraged more fidgeting in class they might find children actually learn more."

What Kind of Fidgets Can We Use?
There are so many different types of fidgets or items we can use as fidgets.  Some you can find in your kitchen drawer! Here are some fun fidgets you can give your children to help them focus throughout the day.
  • Strips of Velcro under their desk
  • Pipe cleaners, wrap around pencil top or just hold and twist in your hand
  • Fill and tie a balloon with flour, rice, or sugar
  • Rubberbands or hair ties
  • Worry stone- find a stone, clean & polish it, can even paint it
  • Theraband wrapped around the legs of chair
Tangles- Several types
Focus Fidget - Wrist band; Add to backpack, zipper pulls
Ergo Balls - Lycra Covered

Newsletter compiled by Lisa Walker OT