Archives for the month of: February, 2015

Cathy and Dominic 2Hi everyone! Today Cathy from Bountifulplate shares with us her very valuable review on bubble toys! Cathy is a homemaker/wife and a mother to a 10-year old son with Autism and ADHD, an 18-year old daughter who is a college freshman and a stepson who is 30. Originally from Maryland, she has lived in the Midwest for 13 years.

772821_2We took Dominic to a family camp several years ago. It was a wonderful place, but with him not being potty trained at the time and having limited speech, there were really no activities for him to participate in. He and I spent a lot of time in and around our cabin. The weather was spectacular the entire week we were at camp and we spent many, many hours outdoors. I was so glad that I had tucked a huge bottle of bubbles into our car at the last minute along with our suitcases, because we spent 95% of the week blowing bubbles!

big bubbleOne of the many benefits of bubbles is improving oral motor control. When Dominic blew a bubble by himself for the first time, I was ready to have a party! An automatic bubble blower is great too, because it produces tons of bubbles with the flick of a switch, thus promoting fine motor skills. Dominic is fascinated with bubbles and wanted to go outside to blow some a 775051_1few days ago. Given that the temperature today is a “balmy” six degrees, I think we may need to wait until it gets just a little bit warmer here in Michigan!

Cathy B.

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Handwriting… All kids can find this difficult to master but special needs kids have a greater chance to experience the tears of frustration at school or at home while trying to get their homework done. The reason for this varies: either the body is not well positioned, the child lacks attention or coordination, there is a medical condition, you name it. Thankfully, there are exciting ways to promote handwriting skills that will work with almost every child!

5 tips handwriting

1. Grasp, grasp, grasp

Handwriting starts with good positioning of the whole body and fingers on the writing tool. It may be too abstract for your child to follow your directions as you explain or show them, so think of those pencil grips or claws to physically guide their hand. Heavy pens are another affordable and efficient way to improve their grasp by building hand muscles strength.

jumbo grip 1 claw medium 1 TPG-651

2. Lower the pressure

32090_3Handwriting problems often come from a too strong pressure applied by the child to the pen. Use stress balls at any time to encourage your child to relax their hand muscles and promote fine motor skills.

3. Feel the vibes

__017877_A_previewThe Squiggle Wiggle is a very original pen that vibrates, creating colored squiggles as an interesting alternative to drawing. It encourages fine motor control and helps your child appreciate writing while staying creative.

4. Have fun!

Think of fun activities that involve writing or drawing such as: drawing around your hand, making an herbarium (simply run a color pencil on a paper to transfer leaves’ relief), or playing Pictionary with the whole family! They should improve your child’s handwriting skills without tears.

iStock_000013308707_Large Herbarium Pictionary

5. Play (yes, play!)

TPG-654 OpenLet kids play their favorite game on a phone or tablet with an adapted stylus. They look just like a pen and will train them as if it were the real thing… except they are playing!

If those simple tips are still not effective enough, don’t hesitate to ask the help of an Occupational Therapist who will have a better understanding of your child’s abilities.

Did you find new tips to try with your child in this article? If you have more tips, please share with other readers!

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