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Recommendation: OT Strategies at Home
  Added by: angelbunny   
Occupational Therapy Strategies at Home

Fine Motor Development

Short pieces of chalk, sidewalk chalk, crayons or pastels to foster proper finger grasp
Pinch tug-of-war with a piece of paper, string, ribbon, etc. held with only thumb and forefinger
Pennies: inserting into a coin bank, turning them over, stacking, twirling, etc.
Clothespins for finger push-ups (squeezing open and closed)
Clay, Playdoh, Slime, Shaving cream (hide treasures, write letters with fingers, etc)
Clay Tray: Line a tray with clay then draw designs, letters, etc.
Stringing beads, popcorn, buttons, macaroni, etc.
Lacing cards
Mosaic pictures
Tweezers and tongs
Help with chores at home
Hole Punch
Spray bottles
Bubble Wrap
Film, Coffee canister with slit on top for putting objects in like buttons, coins, etc.
Wikki Stix
Wind-up toys
Hand Play in shaving cream or foam soap
Travel boardgames
Improve pencil grasp by holding a penny with the ring and pinky fingers
Squeeze toys: stress balls, water, and air squeeze toys

Visual Motor &Visual Perceptual Skills

Mazes, word searches, dot to dots
Hidden pictures, Where's Waldo?, I Spy, Highlights Magazines
Wire/Bead frames
Cars on a rug road
Lacing cards
Tracing Infinity (large paper, with infinity symbol slightly larger that shoulder width)
Trace shapes and letters on the childs back and have them guess the letter
3-D shapes and letters (wood blocks, magnets, etc.)
Draw shapes and letters in different media: shaving cream, playdoh, toothpicks, fingerpaint, pipe cleaners, on sand paper, wikki stix, in the air, etc
Trace with color changing marker
Hang Man
Teach letter formation with consistent language with clear directional terms: up, down, around, slide
Improve spacing between words: popsicle stick, small sticker, pencil, etc.
Improve placement of letters on the baseline: highlight the baseline
Improve size of letters: boxes, graph paper, small vs large letters
Handwriting Checklist
Cut scrap paper into pieces
Riddledy, Riddledy Ree, I see something you don't see
Guess Who game
Tiddly Winks or other flip games

Self Care/ Activities of Daily Living

Let them do it
Choose easy fitting garments
Lay garments out in correct orientation
Dress up doll/ stuffed animal

Use large buttons
Start with garment off the body
Do the first part, let them do the last step for SUCCESS! (Backchaining)
Add pulls to zippers
Have long enough laces
Color L & R laces different colors
Prepare the mouth to eating
Use sensory strategies and advance notice if needed
Consider it progressto be near or touch percievedly noxious food
Scoop bowls
Non-skid surface
Expanded handle utensils
Long straws
Bent straws
Universal cuff
2-handled cup
Sports bottles

Sensory Processing/ Organization of Behavior
Sensory Diet Providing Increased & Enriched Sought After Sensory Input to Set Up for Success ProActively
(Addressing Low or Hypo-Sensory Responsiveness most commonly proprioceptive & vestibular)

Deep Pressure Touch
Massage or firm touch or towel massage
Bear hugs
Pressure snug garments (spandex one size small, weighted vests, weighted blankets)

Heavy Physical Activity - Joint Stress
Moving objects
Reaching for Objects

Heavy Play
Sports, Swimming, Biking, Scootering, Skateboarding
Walking, Running, Jumping, Hopping
Climbing, Swinging, Jumping Rope
Crashing into soft surfaces
Hot Dog Kid - swaddling, or pressure in a blanket
Squishy Kid - smash under or between pillows
Wall Push-ups
Walking on uneven surfaces
Wheel Barrel walking, Crab walking, Switchers!
Floor Play - scooting, rolling, crawling
Couch cushion castles, Monkeys jumping on the bed
Dancing freestyle
Play, relax, watch TV propped on elbows
Have play equipment if possible

Heavy Work/ Chores
Sweeping, Vacuuming
Mixing, Stirring (the stiffer the better)
Carrying items
Taking out the trash

Oral Motor Organization
Chewy foods, chewing gum
Drinking through a straw
Crunchy foods - apples, carrot sticks, etc.
Blowing toys
Deep Breathing
Funny faces, tongue calisthenics

Environmental Adaptations Reducing Noxious Input
(Addressing Sensory Defensiveness or Hyper-Sensory Responsiveness most commonly touch or sound)

Avoid or give advance notice for light touch
Provide deep pressure experiences of light touch
Comfortable clothing and bedding
Some prefer loose, snug or natural fibers
Avoid seams (inside out or seamless), seamless socks
Allow long sleeves or otherwise full coverage
Cut tags out
Add texture to slimy foods (graham crackers)
Set routine, advance notice, advance deep pressure/ calming, special toys for uncomfortable activities such as bath, hair washing, hair cuts, loud noises
Classical music, "Music for Modulation"
White noise as filter
Avoid or place fluorescent lighting at a distance

Sensory Integration/ Motor Planning/ Bilateral Coordination
Physical Activity

MultiModal Demonstration, Repitition, Sequencing, Reciprocal Movements, Weight Bearing/ Vaulting, Crossing Midline, Novel Motor Actions, Enriched Vestibular Stimulation

Heavy Play List
Walking backwards or eyes closed
Jumping with hands on head
Hopping on one foot X times, other Y times
Jumping games: hopscotch
Tug-of-war on tire swings or rolling chairs
Obstacle course sequences with walking on uneven surfaces, wheel barrel walking, crab walking, scooting, rolling, crawling
Dance steps, (Dance, Dance, Revolution)
Practice mirror actions (my L - your R)
Motor Sing Songs
Play equipment - swings and climbing

Plan on demonstrating with verbal and gestural or guided tactile cues to begin to learn motor actions

Build Sequences after success

Integrate crossing midline (look to make sure the child is not turning the whole body) and bilateral hand use in daily activities such as a high-5, shaking hands, positioning objects in games & activities to require crossing midline.

Postural Stability / Gross Motor Development

Encourage outdoor & or imaginative play
Take frequent trips to the park, playground, beach
Play fort or hideout using couch cushions, pillows, sheets
Climbing and crawling over and under large pillows, bean bag chairs, jungle gyms, stairs
Jumping on bouncy surfaces
Make obstacle courses
Community sports
Simon Says
Jumping rope
Balloon Games, vollyball, baseball
Mirror image
Kangaroo hop
Sack races with old pillowcases
Crawling races
Switcher exercises
Leaning, picking things up from a seated position
Boogie boarding
Kickboard or kicking from the side in pool
Rolling on floor or down hill - especially uphill
Propping on forearms while laying on the floor

CAC Conference: OT Strategies at Home (May 17, 2008)
Greta Binkley, OT & Grace Lopez OT
6 Recommendations Add Your Recommendation
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Reply #1 - 02/04/09  9:19pm
" I thought this was a really great list of ideas to help our kids on the home front :-) "
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Reply #2 - 02/04/09  10:03pm
" I love it angelbunny! Thank you!!

Haha...it reminds me...
Last week I told my son that when he finished his homework he could eat a serving of his favorite: flaming hot cheetos. But...he had to eat them with chopsticks.

He is not terribly motivated to do the fine motor activities that he needs to develop a more stable writing grasp...but he was motivated with THAT! "
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Reply #3 - 02/04/09  10:23pm
" thanks for posting this. I am very interested to try some of these. "
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Reply #4 - 02/08/09  2:59am
" My son (14) has been able to develop his fine motor skills pretty well, but he still writes really slow and his hands get tired. Do you think anything will help this? "
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Reply #5 - 02/09/09  9:20am
" thanks alot for sharing this. my son gets ot at school but this is awesome, i want to help him at home as much as i can too. definetly printing this off! "
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Reply #6 - 02/10/09  3:36am
" Yes, the exercises to strengthen the finger muscles will help. His hand gets tired because the muscles are weak. In particular, the pinch tug of war and the clothespins will help strengthen the muscles. "

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