The Frugal OT Series: Let It Snow!

This craft is a classic, snowflakes made from craft sticks. They are super simple to make! All you need is 4 craft sticks. Using two craft sticks, make a cross and glue them together in the middle where they meet. Then make an oblique cross (an X) using the other two craft sticks. Glue them together where they meet. Done! The addition of a few Dollar Tree finds creates the perfect fine motor boost. Build fine motor strength and coordination by placing two mini clothespins on the ends of select craft sticks to make the dendrites of the snowflake. Ditch paintbrushes and create a greater fine motor demand by using a pump spray bottle to paint the snowflake. Add another element of design and motor challenge by using an eye dropper to apply glitter. Embellish with buttons, beads or whatever you have handy. I used glass mosaic tiles. So many fine motor skills are addressed in this fun winter themed activity. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Holiday Bonus Activity

Who doesn’t love a sweet homemade holiday momento, made by the precious little ones in your life? I know I absolutely adore taking the ornaments made by my kids out of the box every Christmas. Instant memories are recaptured and experienced again as I examine each one. I love reminiscing about the time when they gave it to me or the time spent making it together. I fondly decorate my tree with the love each ornament represents. Holiday trees feels especially meaningful when adorned by homemade ornaments. Children love making gifts for their family, and feel super proud when they see their contribution hanging on the tree.
The memento presented in this post can be fun for younger and older children. I often feel like older kids are forgotten during the holiday season. You no longer see the cute little crafts coming home in their backpacks. But they still like making festive crafts, just like the littles do. This charming holiday ornament appeals to all ages. Numerous fine motor skills are addressed, both simple and complex, making it an appropriate fine motor feat many. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home with your little one. An of course, all the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local dollar tree.

8 Tips To Help Neuroatypical Kids Cope With Holiday Stress

Along with the holiday season comes bright lights, loud noises, large gatherings, and much excitement.  Routines are often disrupted to attend special events and winter vacation from school.  Home, school, and most places change in appearance with festive decorations.  Streets, stores, and neighborhoods are adorned with bright, colorful lights to celebrate this jubilant time of year.  Children who thrive on structure and routine may find all the change quite overwhelming.  Not to mention the sensory challenges that the holidays may bring.This post is about how to reduce holiday stress and meltdowns in children with autism, ADHD,  anxiety disorder, executive functioning, and sensory issues.  Therapists and educators, please share this post with your parents!

The Frugal OT Series: Festive Fine Motor Trees

This super cute holiday tree packs a lot of bang for your buck. So many fine motor skills are addressed in this time efficient craft. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home with your little one. Children will be pleasantly challenged by the fine motor demands that will result in a sweet holiday craft ready to gift to a loved one. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local dollar tree.

How to Create a Sensory Smart Classroom or Home

When teachers and/or parents think of how they can support the sensory needs of their students or child, they often have ideas of elaborate sensory rooms that boast expensive fancy equipment. I am here to tell you that while this is a fantastic option, it is not the only option!  You can provide meaningful sensory experiences using regular household and or classroom stuff. In this post, I will explain how to create a sensory smart classroom or home.

Sensory Processing Disorder Unveiled and Explained

In this post, I will explain what sensory processing disorder (SPD) is in simple, everyday terms. My hope is to bring insight and understanding to this very complex, often confusing, condition that many children have. About 1 in 20 children have SPD.

The Frugal OT Series: Fine Motor Monsters

These cute little monsters are perfect for building fine motor skills. Run to your local Dollar Tree and grab a container of Play Doh. Pop over to the craft section and toss some wiggle eyes into your basket, grab a bag of beads and a box of toothpicks and you are all set! Children will enjoy making a cute little monster of their own. Of course, while working on the following fine motor skills.

How to Teach Kids of ALL Abilities How to Tie Shoes: Modified Techniques

Learning how to tie shoes can be quite daunting for a child with fine motor issues.  It may not seem like it, but there are many underlying skills needed in order to master this complex task.  Typically developing children are usually able to accomplish this skill around the age of 4-5 years old.  By kindergarten, it is expected that children will be able to manage their own laces when they’ve come untied.  Oftentimes, children with fine motor difficulties and/or executive functioning difficulties have a very hard time learning to tie shoes. I see a lot of parents give up on teaching their kids how to tie their shoes because it seems like they just won’t get it or it takes too much time. If a child can’t tie shoes, there are many fashionable alternatives today. Elastic, no- tie laces have come a long way! But before you go down that road, please try the methods in this post. Five methods are presented here. The first two are rather traditional methods, the final three are adapted to make it much easier. Before throwing in the towel, give these methods a shot. If successful, it will surely build your child’s confidence and independence with their self-care skills.

The Frugal OT Series: Puffers for Pennies

Pufferfish made out of pool noodles, how fun!  Run to your local Dollar Tree and grab a few pool noodles, one goes a long way.  You can make 20 or so pufferfish from just one pool noodle.  Pop over to the craft section and toss some wiggle eyes into your basket, grab a box of toothpicks and you are all set! Children will enjoy making a cute little pufferfish of their own. Of course, while working on many fine motor skills.

What Are Heavy Work Activities and Who Should Do Them?

What is heavy work? Heavy work is any type of activity that provides resistance to the body by way of pulling or pushing.  Resistance could be created by something pushing against the body like water in the swimming pool, or the body pushing against the floor such as doing push-ups.  Pulling on resistance bands, andContinue reading “What Are Heavy Work Activities and Who Should Do Them?”