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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adapted Heart Stencils

These adapted stencils make it easier for children or adults with hemiplegia, weak grasp and/or spasticity to color or paint inside stencils. I describe how to make the red stencil and yellow sponge handle out of a detergent bottle in my Amazon Kindle book "The Almost Complete Plastic Bottle Activity book". Check it out for lots more therapeutic activities and adaptations......

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Weaving Valentines

I knew that my little clients would love this ....they were so tuned into valentines and hearts.  I cut the large white circular piece (from a large container that held protein powder) to function like a belt. In fact the two ends buckle together and it can be placed on the head, around the waist, on arms or used on the ring stack pole. Cut up different sized containers to get different sized "belts" to weave onto. There seems to be a thin line between stringing and weaving but i will call this "weaving" because I was teaching them to insert the end through the 2 notches  in the hearts and then push them down.  This is easy to simplify by asking them to only insert through 1 notch or complete the 2nd notch after the first one is already inserted for them. Removing them also took some nice motor planning and hand strength.

 These and many other activities are described in the Kindle book The Almost Complete Plastic Bottle Activity Book

Consider making the following manipulation activity that involves inserting and/or removing the arrow from a heart....
Source: Make-your-own Valentine Hearts and Arrows by RecyclingOT on Rumble

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weavable Coloring Valentine and Weaving board

These valentines manipulation activities are made out of detergent and dishwasher bottles ... keep a lookout for red plastic...

The red valentine functions as a stencil to color around with dry erase markers. The markers I found at a craft's store have erasers on the ends. You can make designs with the erasers as shown or completely erase the colors.  You will need to wash them with water to complete remove any color and reuse for another coloring activity.

I had difficulty finding resources for really nice long strips to weave into the rectangular shape. But you get the idea from the picture. Children can weave thinner strips through the notches and then weave the thicker pieces just as they would on a paper weaving board. The finished product is vibrant and waterproof. It may also be further decorated with dry erase markers.

Source: Make-your-own Valentine Hearts and Arrows by RecyclingOT on Rumble

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weaving with Beach children

During my trip to Florida I approached a couple of children with moms who were interested in trying out my "weavable toy" prototypes. They gave me a few ideas for improvements. Here is the video and a revised rectangle with larger and fewer notches- definitely easier and I think appropriate for a preschool/kindergarten aged child.

Check out some other patent pending "weavable toys" on this page:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Teaching how to Zip

A discussion arose at one of my OT seminars on how to teach children to close a zipper. Many children learn the motion to pull the tab upward but its a challenge to teach a child how to connect the tip of one side into the other before pulling the zipper upward.

Some strategies might include:
1. using extra large zippers
2.using a zipper that has 2 different color sides
3. Use zipping boards as well as zipping large clothing and bags
4. Pull a pipe cleaner downward through the zipper slot to practice that motion.
There is a picture of the last one on this page:

I made the following practice activity out of a baby wipe container. The edges have  a curve to them. The white sides shown below are cut from the box's edges. The 2 pieces are cut from 2 sides and connected by overlapping them. I covered the inside with black contact paper to make it easier to discriminate. The ends also have blue tape attached to make it easier to see where they are.

The colorful strip is a piece of plastic with covered with a fruit design contact paper. I punched a hole near one end and attached a small clip that I found, but any small object that is easy to pull can be attached.

Now show the child how to insert the colorful plastic piece and pull upward until it comes out. Its not the same as actually zipping but a nice way to introduce the motion involved in pulling the tab upward.