Easy, Earth Day OT Activities | Play It Forward Therapy

Easy, Earth Day OT Activities

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April 23, 2021

Step #1:  Buy yourself a cold, delicious drink.  Enjoy!

Step #2:  Reuse your Starbucks beverage cup (or any plastic cup with a lid) to create a playful, fine motor activity that I like to call, “Mr. Mouth!”

All you need is a plastic cup with a lid, scissors, a permanent marker and perhaps some glue and googly eyes (fun, but not a necessity).  You’re going to create a face by drawing on the lid and cutting a slit for the mouth.  Some cups already have a spout on the lid so this can also be the mouth.

Pro Tip: It’s helpful to outline the slit or spout with a black permanent marker to make it easier to see, especially support visual contrast and motor planning.

How to Play

Next, find some small items such as Q-Tips, cotton balls, coins, popsicle sticks or cut up straws to “feed Mr. Mouth”.  Kids always seem to be amused if you make a “nom, nom, nom” sound or say in a silly voice, “I’m still hungry” while pretending Mr. Mouth is eating the items.  It’s also a fun way to reinforce them to put more items into the slot.

Place items on both sides of the cup.  Does your child cross midline and use a preferred hand to put items into the slot?  Or do they use both hands equally?  Toddlers and preschool kids may use both hands if hand dominance is not yet established.  ** Note: Always use careful, adult supervision and be aware of any choking hazards when using small items.

Why this activity is beneficial

This activity addresses the following important fine motor, dexterity skills and pretend play skills.  Plus, reusing then recycling helps keep the earth healthy!

Two hand use:  Practice taking the lid on and off.  This is important practice for being able to open containers independently to get a snack for example. Notice whether your child can hold the cup with one hand while picking up the small items with the other hand.

Precision control: Use a pincer grasp to pick up items using only the thumb and index fingertip.

Crossing midline:  Lay out items in an arc or a rainbow shape with the cup in the center. Encourage your child to use one hand to pick up the items, reaching across to the other side of his/her body.  This supports “laterality” and establishing hand dominance.

Increase the challenge:  For older children, start with small items or coins in the palm of the hand.  Without using the help of the other hand, move the items from the palm of the hand to the fingertips to put the coins into the slot.  This is called palm to finger translation.

 

ON DEMAND TRAINING

Here’s what you’ll learn in The 3 Essentials For Telehealth Success:

✅ How to tackle the tech (for non-techies).
✅ How to captivate your client’s attention and keep them engaged!
✅ Tips for getting your parents and caregivers on board (especially if you wish they were more involved).

You’ll walk away from this training with 3 specific steps to immediately feel more prepared and confident before your next telehealth session… pretty cool right?…so if you want a few secrets to feel more confident and competent when it comes to your online practice…

CLICK FOR DETAILS!

On Demand Training | AOTA Approved! (1 CEU)

Here’s what other’s have to say about the training…

“Jessica made the introduction to telehealth less intimidating to me. I can now breathe and move forward.” ~ Stephanie OTR/L

“Jessica’s course made me feel more positive and comfortable about telehealth practice. It was practical and actionable; I can use Jessica’s suggestions right away.”  ~ Kelli OTR/L

“I just finished watching your course and loved every minute of it! The lessons are very informative and engaging.” ~ Sabrina COTA/L

“The telehealth resources were a hit, so I plan to keep on using them even though I’m back to working with kids in person.” ~  Suzanne OTR/L

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