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.

The Frugal OT Series: Sock Bunnies

Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner. This simple, no-sew craft is just so adorable. It makes for a great spring or Easter decoration, an Easter basket stuffer, or a wonderful gift for parents or grandparents. The sock bunny can also double as a fidget tool. Children can squeeze and squish the rice in the bunny to get the proprioceptive input they need. If you plan to use the sock bunny in this way, I suggest you use extra elastic bands to make it more sturdy. A great way to celebrate spring and/or Easter 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.

The Frugal OT Series: Little Leprechaun

As a child, I marveled at the tale of the leprechaun. According to Irish legend, a leprechaun is a type of fairy that is short in stature, usually bearded, and wears a green suit and hat. They are shoemakers who live in the forest. Leprechauns are thought to be tricky little fellows who are delighted by mischief. The story states that every leprechaun has his very own pot of gold that he hides in the Irish countryside. He must give his fortune to anyone clever enough to capture him. He’s not easy to catch though. As legend has it, the leprechaun is very sneaky and can vanish in the wink of an eye. This fun craft pays homage to the Irish legend. A great way to celebrate St. Patrick’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.

The Frugal OT Series: Race to Erase the Heart

This activity was a hit with the kiddos! It’s a very simple, low prep way to target many skills. For a Valentine’s Day theme, I used a heart as the object to erase. This can be modified to suit any time of year. You can draw a shamrock for St.Patricks Day, an egg for Easter, etc. You can personalize the activity by having the child race to erase their name or initials. Even better, have them write it! In this activity, I simply drew a heart on the chalkboard. Children then raced to erase the heart using a pump spray bottle that I picked up at the Dollar Tree. They come in packages of 2! A fun way to build strength both proximally and distally (from the shoulder girdle down to the fingers). 

The Frugal OT Series: Lace My Heart!

This craft is super sweet! Hearts that are laced and adorned with pony beads. A great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Once complete, children can write an endearing message to their special family member or friend. All you need is a package of foam hearts (one package goes a long way, containing 12 foam hearts each), a spool of yarn, and a package of pony beads. Many fine motor skills are addressed in this fun Valentine’s Day-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.

Handwriting Legibility: Why Is It Important?

On my blog, I strive to provide insight into the complex issue of handwriting difficulties, the varying factors that may contribute to its cause, and above all, the importance of providing intervention at the onset to prevent hard-to-break habits and further problems in school and life. 

How to Improve Handwriting Legibility: Pressure Grading (how much force to apply)

On my blog, I strive to provide insight into the complex issue of handwriting difficulties, the varying factors that may contribute to its cause, and above all, the importance of providing intervention at the onset to prevent hard-to-break habits and further problems in school and in life. In this post, I will discuss the skill of pressure grading or knowing how much force to apply when writing, coloring, or drawing.  I will also provide tips, strategies, and resources to help kids who struggle with acquiring this skill.