Sunday, November 5, 2017

6 Ways to Improve Your Little One’s Motor Skills While You Work Out

Photo Credit: By Ambro@FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Let’s face it: many parents have no choice but to become excellent multitaskers. If you can’t help with homework while also folding the laundry, for example, one of those things just doesn’t get done. All too often, the need to get the most out of every waking moment means making a sacrifice here and there – usually missing out on something we as parents would like to do (morning jog, I’m thinking of you).

If you are one of those people with a jam-packed day who would feel so much better about getting some exercise if it didn’t mean sacrificing quality time with your little one, despair no more. You can indeed multitask this portion of your life as well! There are also many benefits of exercise for kids, including developing their motor skills without them even realizing, so you get bonus points if you both get a workout.

Try out some of these simple ways to develop your little one’s motor skills while you squeeze in a workout. 

1. Try out some of the free “baby and me” workout videos that abound on YouTube. Many of these help develop hand-eye coordination for your baby while you do yoga, Pilates, cardio, strength training, or dance.
2. If your little one is a bit older, try some children’s exercise videos, also on YouTube (my preschooler loves the Cosmic Kids Yoga series), to help your child learn to balance, stretch, follow instructions, jump, and more while you actually get a fairly decent (if brief) workout.
3. Show your little one how to roll, do the army crawl, crab walk, somersault, and more. Demonstrating the activities gives you the chance to work your core and upper body while teaching your child how to move in different ways. If they’re old enough to try to copy you, they’ll be working on coordinating the motion of their arms and legs to try new postures.
4. Have a dance party. The vast majority of physical exercise I got when my son was 1 and 2 was in the form of dance parties. Raffi, BeyoncĂ©, whoever. You can make it aerobically intense for you while having your child dance, hop, twist, or play the (pot and pan) drums. “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and the good old “Hokie Pokie” have the added benefit of teaching body parts and additional skills while getting you both moving and grooving.
5. Jog with your little one in the stroller and attach activity-based toys to keep them busy. These include books, shakers, mirrors, and other items with ties, buttons, springs, rattles and more. They will be happily occupied playing while simultaneously learning about colors, textures, physics, sounds, and more.
6. Reserve some of your coolest motor activity-based toys for your workout times. While you exercise, your little one can have a blast exploring a special toy that they only get to use during your workouts. This toy should be something that has lots of possible ways it can be used, such as a set of blocks, yarn pegboards or a kid-friendly toolkit.

Finding motor skill-building activities and exercises for kids that they enjoy can be the key to fitting in a workout for you without relegating them to a seat in front of the TV. Best wishes for a dual-purpose workout, fellow multitaskers!




Saturday, October 28, 2017

Developmental Milestone Chart: 12 to 15-Months

Your 12 to 15-month old baby is learning new skills at a rapid rate. He is likely pointing to get the attention of others, drinking from a cup and feeding himself a snack.  The following developmental milestone chart will give you a general idea of what do expect during the next few months.
References

Brill, A. (2017, March 16). Giant List of Self-Care Skills for Babies,Toddlers and Preschoolers. Retrieved from http://www.positiveparentingconnection.net/giant-list-of-self-care-skills-for-babiestoddlers-and-preschoolers/

Gross & Fine Motor Milestones. (n.d.). Retrieved August 08, 2017, from http://www.cwtherapy.com/resources/milestones/gross-fine-motor-milestones/#fifteenmonths

Gross Motor Skills Milestones for Toddlers 12 - 24 Months | EIS. (2015, April 02). Retrieved from http://day2dayparenting.com/gross-motors-skills-toddlers-aged-12-24-months/

Important Milestones: Your Child By Eighteen Months. (2016, August 15). Retrieved August 08, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-18mo.html

Physical Development of Toddlers From 12-18 months. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/physical-development-toddlers-12-18-months

Toddlers' Social and Emotional Development From 12-18 Months. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/toddlers-social-and-emotional-development-12-18-months

The project above was completed by Master of Occupational Therapy students at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Free Visual Perceptual Worksheets!!!

Visual perceptual worksheets are a fun way for students to work on visual perception skills.  As a special thank you to my readers, I am sharing these free visual perceptual worksheets! 
 
The following worksheets address Visual Closure.
Visual Closure is the ability to visually complete a picture or form that is not in full view. This skill is important for reading and recognizing words, forms, etc. in a speedy manner.
 
Visual-Closure Activities
-Complete pictures in which only parts of objects/shapes are revealed.
-“What is missing” worksheets
-Dot-to-dot activities
-Jigsaw puzzles
-Building three-dimensional models from cubes, cylinders, and blocks
-Connect broken lines to complete a shape or form.
-Partially cover an object or shapes and have the child identify it.
-Figure-ground activities also help with visual closure.
http://drannezachry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Visual_Closure.pdf

http://drannezachry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/NumberVC.pdf

Reference: Test of Visual Perceptual Skills

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Developmental Milestone Chart: 9 to 12-Months

Developmental Milestone Chart: 9 to 12-Months

From 9 and 12 months, your baby is developing at an extraordinary pace.  She is likely exploring her environment by crawling, and believe it or not, she will be walking and talking soon!  The following developmental milestone chart will give you an idea of what do expect during the next few months.


The project above was completed by Master of Occupational Therapy students at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

New Occupational Therapy Podcast!!! On The air: A space for teaching and learnng about OT


My good friend and colleague, Stephanie Lancaster, recently started a new OT podcast.  She came up with the idea for the podcast because she noted an absence of podcasts aimed at a general audience of individuals interested in occupational therapy. Her goals for the podcast are to promote and share information about the profession of OT to interested parties, to support learning and networking of OT students, and to provide a space for engagement and inspiration of OT practitioners in the field.
 This will be a wonderful resource for all OTs, OTAs, OT students, and other individuals interested in the amazing field of Occupational Therapy.

Here is a link to the website:



The podcast will also be available on Stitcher and I Heart Radio in the near future. Feel free to share this information if you'd like to!

Image used with permission.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Developmental Milestone Chart: 6 to 9-Months

Your 6 to 9-month old is growing and developing skills every day. She knows her name, imitates sounds, and is likely rolling over by now.  The following developmental milestone chart will give you a general idea of what do expect during these months.
 The project above was completed by Master of Occupational Therapy students at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Developmental Milestone Chart: 3 to 6-Months

Your 3 to 6 month old baby likely enjoys socializing by smiling and cooing at you. This is a fun age!  He has discovered his hands and fingers and explores them with his mouth.  The following developmental milestone chart will give you a general idea of what do expect during this time frame.
Photo/Image Credits:
Liz. (2012, May 30). Pastel ABC baby blocks. [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://sweetclipart.com/pastel-abc-baby-blocks-950
Saaraa. (2015). Infant and elderly: the most prone to burns. [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.saaraams.com/blog/infants-and-elderly-the-most-prone-to-burns/

The project above was completed by Master of Occupational Therapy students at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.