Frugal OT Dollar Tree Top Pick: Foam Dice

Handwriting can be difficult for children with fine motor and sensory processing difficulties. For this reason, it may soon become a non-preferred activity. This makes it really tough to get kids to engage in handwriting tasks without seeing undesirable behaviors like whining, defiance, or avoidance altogether. One of the best ways to remedy this problem is to make it fun! A great way to make handwriting fun is by turning it into a game. Kids love to play games. Make handwriting a game by using foam dice from the Dollar Tree. I love these dice because they are so versatile. The sides have a laminated surface that allows you to customize them as you’d like. Use a dry-erase marker to write commands on each side of the die. Each command corresponds to the skill the child or children need to work on. For example, letter placement skills or where to place letters on the line. “4 tall letters, 5 short letters, 3 “diver” or go under letters, etc. The kids are asked to roll the die and write whatever it lands on. You can make it simple or more challenging based on the level the child or children are at. Perfect for doing during therapy sessions, as a class, or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique: Using Our Sensory System to Calm Anxiety

The 54321 grounding technique is a tool children can use when feeling anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed.  This technique can help to prevent multiple anxious thoughts from piling up by focusing on your surroundings in the present moment.   It calls for you to tap into a heightened awareness of your environment, fully taking in your five senses and grounding your thoughts to the present moment. The 54321 grounding  technique can be used to regulate emotions and calm down. It is a great strategy to teach when helping kids self-regulate. 

I Can Use Scissors! The Ultimate Guide To Scissor Skill Development

Hey OTs! This one is just for you!

Have kids on your caseload who need to work on scissor skills? Chances are you do. Have a heavy caseload with very little prep time? Chances are you do. Do you find it challenging to set goals that are measurable and easy to take data on? You are not alone! Save loads of time using this resource! Whether you are completing a formal assessment, an IEP annual review, or working with a child to improve their scissor skills, this guide is equipped with all the tools you need to make the process seamless and easy!  I Can Use Scissors! boasts clear and concise graphics, making it easy to find information at a glance. The guide includes everything you need from assessment to goal writing, to intervention and data collection. All materials correspond to the developmental progression of scissor skills making the process straightforward and efficient. Make your job easier by grabbing this digital resource today!

12 Ways To Improve Scissor Skills

Scissor skills are essential in both school and life. Solid scissor skills will help children as they learn and play. The maturation of scissor skills requires lots of practice over time. As with all fine motor skills, there is a developmental progression to acquiring scissor skills. Check out my post Scissor Skill Development to read more about this. Some children have trouble with learning how to use scissors, and there can be many reasons why. Using scissors efficiently is a very complex skill that requires many prerequisites. To read more about this check out my post What Skills Are Needed For Scissor Use?  In this post, I will focus on how to help kids who struggle with learning how to use scissors. Here are 12 strategies that can help!

Good Scissor Skills…What Does It Take?

In this post I will cover the prerequisite skills needed to be able to use scissors efficiently.  Scissor use, like most fine motor tasks, is a complex skill requiring many underlying components. It may not seem like it, but children are tapping into many skills when they are using scissors.

Scissor Skill Development… What To Expect

Early on, around 1.5 years old, children will use both hands to open and shut scissors. Around age two, he or she can do so using only one hand. In this post, I will cover the developmental progression of scissor skills. You’ll learn what to expect from the very beginning, til when scissors skills have matured, around age 6.

The Frugal OT Series: It’s O-FISHally Summer!

Summer is finally here! Kids have worked hard all school year and it is time for a much-needed break. These pool noodle fish are a fun way to welcome summer vacation and all the excitement that comes along with it. This craft will evoke thoughts of trips to the beach, ocean life and all the fun summer brings. A great way to embrace summer vacation while working on fine motor skills. 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.

Hand Dominance: How to Help Kids Who Switch Hands

Most people are inclined to use one hand over the other.  Repeated use of the preferred hand leads to hand dominance.  Your dominant hand is your skilled hand, the hand that is better at performing intricate tasks like drawing, handwriting, and using a fork or a spoon.  Try writing a note or spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread using your non-dominant hand. You will quickly see how one hand is more skilled than the other. This post explains how to help children who have difficulty establishing hand dominance.

The Frugal OT Series: Mother’s Day Blooms

As a mom, I know how special it is to receive a handmade Mother’s Day gift from my child. The time and energy spent to make something memorable for Mommy is priceless and preferred over any store-bought gift. I save them for as long as they’ll hold up. Mother’s Day is just around the corner so now is the time to create sweet and unforgettable gifts for moms. This craft is sure to bring a smile to any mom’s face, it’s just so cute. A great way to celebrate Mother’s Day while working on fine motor skills. 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.

How to Improve Handwriting Legibility: Letter Formation

Hello again! I hope you’ve enjoyed my Handwriting Series. If you’re joining me for this first time, welcome! In the series, I’ve covered why handwriting legibility is so important. I’ve broken down the components of handwriting legibility and provided tips regarding how to address issues with acquiring them. In this post, I will cover the most important component of handwriting legibility, letter formation. Letter formation is the ability to form letters of the alphabet correctly and following a standard (e.g. the method taught in school). Being able to form letters correctly, in a smooth, effortless manner is called handwriting fluency. Handwriting fluency is a vital part of academic success and plays a major role in literacy. Handwriting fluency begins with learning letter formation.

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