Month: June 2019
The following are several different activities that you can do at home, both inside and outside, for your 2-3 year old kiddo.
« Practicing Stairs – walking upstairs reciprocally (one foot passing the other), progressing from use of one handrail to no handrail. To make it fun, make it into a game with building blocks or with putting a puzzle together.
« Standing on One Leg – improve their balance and hip strength by practicing standing on one leg for 3 seconds. First start without hands on their hips, and progress towards hands on hips as this makes it harder. To make it more interesting, try doing this while playing a game (stopping every 3 turns), coloring at a table while standing, or watching TV for example.
« Alligators – this is a simple hip strengthening exercise that will help improve their stability and strength for stairs, balance, and walking. You have them start by laying on their side, slowly raise the top leg, and slowly lower. To make it more fun, have a stuffed animal between their legs, and “chomp” down slowly as if they are an alligator.
« Bridges – this is a simple core and leg strengthening exercise. You have them start by laying on their back with knees bent, lift their bottom up off of the ground (forming a “bridge”), and slowly lower down. To make this more fun, have a small animal, car or favorite toy pass under each time as they “open” and “close” the bridge.
« Going down the slide – whether at home or at a park, the slide can be a fun activity for kiddos. At this age, a kiddo should be able to climb up the jungle gym and go down the slide by themselves while being able to sit upright without falling over.
« Soccer – practicing kicking a stationary ball towards a target, whether that be you (caregiver), another kiddo (friend/sibling), a soccer goal, or some other creative target from about three-to-six feet away.
« Playing catch – practicing catching a larger ball by bringing/trapping to their chest rather than with just their hands, and progress towards hands-only after they get consistent with trapping. This can be made into a game with basketball, catching stuffed animals, etc.
« Bike Riding – practicing bike riding can be done inside or outside depending on the space available. At this age, a child should be able to ride a small push bike; a bike without pedals where the kiddo uses their feet on the ground to move themselves. They should also be progressing towards the use of a tricycle around the age of 3. This activity is fun while helping to build strength and coordination.
If you have questions about what your child should be doing and when visit http://checklist.abcpediatrictherapy.com for a free screening.
Visit our website at https://www.abcpediatrictherapy.com for information on child development.
THERAPY IS PLAY!
Occupational therapy from a parent’s perspective: Why is the therapist playing with my child, and why am I paying for someone to play with my child when I could do this at home?
Occupational therapy from an OT’s perspective: How can I make this fun and purposeful, while giving this child a challenge?
OT’s have a method to their madness, a purpose to their play, an underlying skill to work on with every move. We just disguise therapy with play…because let’s face it…if a child thinks they are “working” they won’t be as motivated to participate!
Play is a child’s number one occupation; it is intrinsically motivating and FUN! What children don’t know? It is also a learning experience. Children are like sponges; as they interact with objects, their environment, and the people around them, they are soaking up all of the wonderful skills needed for future occupations such as being a student, completing chores, and playing with friends!
So…what’s the difference between play at home and play at therapy?
As occupational therapists introduce toys and play into their sessions, we are continuously looking for the just right challenge for your child. This means we are allowing them to learn new skills with our support, but without overwhelming them in the process. As we assess their skill level during play, we are also able to provide modifications to the activity and are able to grade the level of difficulty up or down based on your child’s specific ability.
Examples of this could be: sitting on a therapy ball while playing a game to activate postural muscles, coloring on a vertical surface to improve shoulder stability, or using tongs to pick up game pieces rather than their hands for fine motor control and strengthening.
Each toy and activity used during therapy is specifically chosen to cater to the individual needs and abilities of your child. When choosing a toy or activity, some of the things occupational therapists consider are:
-What does their grasp or release on objects look like?
-How is their postural control and shoulder stability?
-Are their movements intentional and fluid, and are they able to move their arms and legs both individually and simultaneously?
-How are they manipulating, exploring, and interacting with the toys? Is their play purposeful and functional?
-Are they aware of their environment and the others around them?
-Are they able to follow multi-step directions?
This is just a glimpse into what play looks like from an OT perspective. That’s why we allow the last few minutes of our sessions for Q&A with you, the parents! We are a team, and we want you to understand the goals for your child, and the path to master those goals. The home exercise programs created for you and your child are imperative to seeing the most success. We encourage you to ask questions when you are uncertain about anything!Read More
Is your child becoming bored on snowy or rainy days? These are great days to spark creativity and imagination! By allowing your child the ability to be creative without specific instructions or a model promotes independence and problem-solving skills. One way to promote creativity is through “free art”, which allows the child to create anything they desire without “rules” (except for safety, of course!). The amazing thing about free art is anything can be used to create amazing pictures, cars, buildings, etc.
The following is a list of craft supplies likely already in your home to help spark creativity:
- Paper plates
- Paper towel rolls
- Cotton balls
- Shoe boxes
- Egg carton
- Paper cups
- Construction paper
- Masking tape
- The possibilities are endless!
The ability to work independently is an important skill to support development, success in the school setting, and later in life! Children do not learn independence unless they are given opportunity!
It’s is important to use the correct language to complement a child’s work. Phrases like “what is it?” or “I like your dog” may decreased self- confidence. If the child believes the creation is obvious to the observer (house, etc.) or if the final product is a cat instead of a dog, it is likely the child’s self-confidence will decrease. Asking open-ended statements or questions such as “You worked very hard!” or “Tell me about what you made!” will help boost self-confidence and social skills.
Before throwing away the paper towel roll, save it for your child’s next creative project!
Take a look at our developmental checklist at http://checklist.abcpediatrictherapy.com to see what fine motor to challenge in your child and when.
Visit our website at https://www.abcpediatrictherapy.com to answer any questions about your child’s development you might have.Read More