Monday, August 20, 2012

Clothespin Clipping on a Coffee Can!

Here's another clothespin activity that took no time at all to whip up!

Skills Addressed:
  • bilateral coordination
  • pinch strength
  • manual dexterity
  • cognition for color matching
  • visual motor
  • visual percpetual
 Look Closely:  The same three fingers that your child uses to pinch the clothespins are the same three that he or she will need to use to hold a pencil, button a shirt or unscrew the toothpaste lid!

Materials Needed:
  • Coffee Can or similar container-keep the lid
  • Colored Clothespins
  • Pictures (approximately 1 inch in size) You can either color them to match the clothespins you have or print them out accordingly.
  • Glue


1. I colored the pictures (8) to match clothespins that I had.
2. Glue the pictures around the can.
3. Let dry. The kids were at work within 10 minutes!
The can provides nice storage for the clothespins when not in use!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pinching Power!

What a great activity to work on finger strength, dexterity, color identification and matching! Thank you, Julia V. for sharing this great DIY fine motor activity!

Julia used the following materials:
  •  A wooden ruler
  •   Paint (your choice).  I like that Julia used colors beyond the traditional primary colors!
  •   Traditional clothespins (super cheap!)
  •   A black Sharpie

  1. Julia painted the ruler into approximately one inch sections using a variety of colors.  It will probably take two coats.
  2. She separated the colors by a black line.
  3. She painted clothespins to match.  You could do 2 clothespins for each color, one for each side of the ruler.

It's that simple!  Watch for more clothespin activities and
share your favorite clothespin games!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Love Your Leftie!

Hey, Lefties!  Today is your Day!

Did you know that approximately 13% of our population is left-handed? For the most part, they have had to adapt to living in a right-handed world!  I remember growing up and watching the lefties struggle with the pencil sharpeners where you inserted the pencil on the left and turned the handle on the right side.  How awkward would that be for us righties to crank it with our left hands?  

Many kids have chosen their hand dominance by the age of three and most by the time they enter school.  A good indicator for hand dominance is observing which hand a young child feeds herself with, either finger feeding or with utensils.  Also take note of which hand she uses to manage toys such as a hammer with the pounding bench or a hand puppet.  Often, eye and leg dominance correlates to hand dominance.  Pay attention to which eye she holds a telescope or camera up to or which leg she uses to kick a ball or to balance on one leg.  If your child hasn’t picked a hand, yet, be sure to place feeding utensils and other toys at her midline so that you do not influence the use of one hand over the other.  Most importantly, never force your child to be right handed!

My nieces are lefties.  Emma, who is 12, reported that the worst thing about being a leftie is “writing in pen, because it smears!” Have you seen those lefties who hook their wrists?  I believe it’s a combination of improper paper position as well as trying to avoid smearing what they’ve written.  

(Guess who this is?!)

Show your lefties some love with the following considerations:

  •   Sit to the right of your leftie friends; teach your leftie to sit at the left end of a table or row

  •   Look for workbooks or notebooks that are bound at the top

  •   Teach your leftie to position his or her paper correctly!  The top left corner of the paper should be higher.  

  •   Help your child establish strategies to avoid erasing her work as she moves along the chalkboard or whiteboard.  Positioning her hand underneath her writing will help.

  •   Teach her how to tie her shoe laces by sitting across from her so that you’re not teaching it “your way”.  

  •   Position handles of cups, mugs, pitchers and saucepans toward the left hand.

  •   Provide your child with left handed tools and equipment for school and leisure activities:
    1.   Left-Handed Scissors are a must!
    2.   Consider modifying the computer mouse to reverse the buttons
    3.   Hopefully, they no longer have those right-handed desks!
    4.   There are leftie guitars, knives and golf clubs!  Look around to find something to make life a little easier for your leftie!

Michelle Yoder, OTR/L

Monday, August 6, 2012

 This is a great activity that doesn't take much time!

Keeping with our Olympic spirit, this painting activity works on your child's in-hand manipulation skills, primarily his ability to control the arches of his palm.

First, get a large sheet of paper or five paper plates, one for each color.
Next get 5 plastic cups.
Then, place a quarter size dollop of paint on each plate or around the paper. You'll need: black, blue, red, yellow and green paint.
Find your canvas; a standard piece of paper works!

Using a plastic cup, roll the rim around the paint or some kids like to "stir" it in a circular motion.

"Stamp" the cup onto the paper following the Olympic Ring Design:  blue, black and red on the top row, yellow and green on the second row.  Be sure to overlap the yellow onto the blue and black and the green onto the black and red.

To add a bilateral and tactile component, have your child trace around the cup like a stencil to form the Olympic Rings.  Then, she can use her fingertip to dab on paint to color the rings.

The finished product that will make them proud!

If you're feeling like some abstract art, try this version of the Olympic Rings!