Give them Scissors!

Scissors teach wonderful skills, build the brain and body connection, and prepare kids for real-life problems. Too many parents have told me they were afraid to give their child scissors. Kids need those skills and too many today lack good fine motor skills.

Why OT’s Tell You to Learn Capital Letters First

There are many different approaches to teaching children to write. Most teach lowercase letters in conjunction with the uppercase letters. But this approach is flawed. Teaching children to write with capital letters first is the better strategy.

Drawing vs. Writing Letters – What’s the difference?

Schools today are NOT teaching children to write. Instead, they are allowing children to figure out, on their own, how to make the letters. This leads to children drawing letters instead of writing them.
What’s the difference? And why does it matter?

My Favorite Toys for Imaginative Play

Imaginative play is one of the most important forms of play for children ages 3-7. While using their imaginations, children learn how to interact with the world and other people. They can problem solve, explore emotional issues, and develop cognitive skills. Here are some of my favorite toys for imaginative play.

My Favorite Toys — Water WOW! Water Painting Set

In the quest to help children develop the skills needed to start learning to write, this toy is a surprising win! WOW Water Painting sets by Melissa and Doug are great for building hand strength and practicing good pencil grip.

My Favorite Toys — Board Games for Problem Solving and Strategy

From an OT point of view, board and card games are the best. Games promote fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, planning, social skills, and problem-solving. However, as a mom, some games just aren’t fun for a wide range of ages. Here are my winners–games that work for kids (and adults) of all ages.

My Favorite Toys — Fidget Toys for Focus and Hand Strength

As an OT, I love the new interest in fidget toys. Many of them promote hand strength, increase a child’s ability to focus for longer and can even help you deal with stress. However, not all fidget toys work for everyone and some work better than others. Here is a list of some of my favorites and why.

My Favorite Toys — Rock Crayons for Developing Good Pencil Grip

As an occupational therapist, I cringe when I see a child being encouraged to learn to write before they have developed a proper pencil grip. Your child needs to work on developing a grasp that uses the tips of their fingers. Rock Crayons are a great way of helping your young child build the muscle strength needed for a proper pencil grip. And they are fun!

Identifying 10 Signs of Reading Readiness

Is your child ready to read?  In today’s educational world, this question is not being asked enough.  Instead, we skip worrying about being ready and throw our 3, 4 and 5-year-old children into reading programs in hopes that they will be launched into academic success.  Research indicates that forcing a child to learn to read…