Teacher Tuesday…..National Handwriting Day

As you know, Thursday is National Handwriting Day.  (Don’t forget today is the LAST day to enter our contest.)  Here are a few of our favorite tips to helping your child or student improve their handwriting or make practice more fun!

1-PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!

Your child can practice handwriting ANYwhere!  While driving from one after school activity to another use the Fundanoodle Muscle Mover cards for your kid(s) to trace letters.

Have your child spell his/her spelling words in the air, practicing the correct way to form each letter.

 

2-Use fun writing utensils.

Is it a battle to get your child to practice handwriting, or do you hear groans from your students when it’s handwriting practice time in class?  Try using “new, special, or fun” writing utensils.  It’s very easy to find fun writing utensils at discount stores that can make handwriting practice FUN and not a chore!

 

3-Give your child a choice.

Let your child choose from 3 or 4 different handwriting activities.  Giving your child some ownership in the activity will make it easier for him/her to want to complete the activity.  If you don’t have several activities to choose from, have them choose the order on the worksheets.  (Who says you HAVE to start at the top and go to the bottom?)

 

Therapist Thursday…..Why WRITE?

by: Amy Bumgarner

In prep for National Handwriting Day, I could not help but think about why Fundanoodle is here.

So why teach handwriting? Is it really necessary for children to have the “best” handwriting, when so many schools are providing tablets, computers, and homework is done online? Of course, the occupational therapist in me, says “YES!” But, there is more to handwriting than just it being a motor skill that is important for development.

I was talking with a co-worker this week about the importance of teaching prewriting strokes to toddlers.  There are so many different schools of thought on what early intervention (including occupational therapy) should look like.  Some believe that early intervention should focus on the child in his/her natural environment and the daily routine of the family.  LOVE this concept, but unfortunately it can cause some skills to fall through the cracks.  If a parent is focused on communication and feeding, then when do we address the other skills of development.  It can leave an occupational therapist in a sticky place.  I firmly believe that children should be exposed to and master the basic prewriting strokes including, horizontal lines, vertical lines, circles, diagonals, and then begin putting these strokes together to form more complex shapes.  And, a lot of parents look at me and say “why.” In my mind, it is simple…

These strokes are the basis of drawing. How many of you have your walls and refrigerators covered with your children’s art work?  And, we always think it is more beautiful than do.  So, why not teach basic prewriting strokes just to facilitate creative expression.

These strokes are the premises of every letter of the alphabet.  So, maybe your child can type lengthy stories, but I want to see my child write his or her name on his artwork.  It is their signature, it is who they are.

And beyond just basic drawing and writing, handwriting is so important for

  • Increasing your child’s confidence in the classroom
  • There are actually still jobs that require handwriting
  • Technology does fail us at times, and our children need to be able to keep up and have a backup plan
  • Fostering self-expression.  I can remember every year of middle school and high school my handwriting changed.  It was just another way to show I was changing.  I loved playing around with the letters and putting my special touch on it.
  • As a child is more fluid in handwriting, it makes retrieval of knowledge much easier because he/she is not focusing on the actual formation of the letter.

So, have fun teaching your child all the skills he or she needs for handwriting.  Fundanoodle is a great resource for kids of all ages!

Muscle Mover Monday…..Uppercase D

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

Say this when writing uppercase D:

1-Zip Down

2-Hope to the Top

3-Buzz Around

D_DogBack - Copy

Dig like a Dog.

 

D_Dog

Therapist Thursday……Picking the Perfect Toy Continued…..

by: Amy Bumgarner OTR/L and Michelle Yoder OTR/L

Last week we discussed some of our top choices for muscle mover and active toys.  This week we will continue to introduce our top picks of toys for children who would enjoy brain builder/imaginative toys and toys that help develop fine motor/visual motor/motor planning.

Brain Builder and Imaginative Toys:

  • Get the Picture- a new toy for us!  Develops visual perceptual skills, visual memory, concentration, problem solving and cooperative play as you work to solve a mystery picture
  • Fundanoodle’s I Can Pound Activity Block– This is a favorite across the ages for girls and boys!christmast20136
  • Simon- perfect to address concentration and sequencing skills
  • Mr. Potato Head – there are so many different characters out there now, too!christmast201317
  • Pretend- Farm Animals, School, Housekeeping, etc.:  All foster imagination, motor skill development, cooperative play, language and social skills

 Fine Motor/Visual Motor/Motor planning:

  • Staxis- With careful concentration and motor coordination, gently pull out a stick without the structure crashing down!
  • Nuts and Boltschristmast20138
  • Fundanoodle’s I Can Bead, Lace, Rip, Tracechristmast20139
  • Dress Up Friend’s Pirate- works to increase independence in daily living skills by improving fine motor skills
  • The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Gamechristmast2013110jpg
  • Imaginets
  • Bristle Blocks- good for younger children
  • Straws and Connectors
  • Legos – These books are great for working on copying a design from a model!christmast201311
  • Wedgits
  • Tinker Toys
  • Lincoln Logs
  • Smart Max Magnetic Discovery
  • Pop Beadschristmast201312
  • Squigz- a new favorite as it provides nice resistance to strengthen those little hands!
  • Pattern Play
  • Beginner Pattern Blocks
  • Peg Boardchristmast201313

Teacher Tuesday….Tis the Season

Everywhere we go we see the sights of the merriest time of the year.  Last week we talked about ways to count down those special events and even the “big” day.  What about the kids writing the sacred lists to Santa?  Writing these lists to the Jolly ‘Ol Man is a great time to practice handwriting without it making it seem like “work.”  Depending on the age of your child you can let them free write the list, or use the practice pages in the back of the Fundanoodle I Can Write workbooks to give line and spatial definition.  (Just be sure this activity stays FUN and doesn’t become a chore for you child or student.)

writingtosanta

The above list could be made neater by using the Fundanoodle practice page.

15283 V3_2 dry erase board

Therapist Thursday……It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year….

By: Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L and Michelle OTR/L

It is the most wonderful time of the year…for all the kiddos! More, more, and more toy advertisements!  And, they want them all! We are going to spend the next few weeks, highlighting some of our favorite toys and why they are our favorites.  (Use your favorite search engine to find these at a store near you!)

Muscle Mover/Active Toys:

  • Tunnels- use for weight bearing, core and upper body strengthening, build forts, develops ocular motor skills  christmast20131
  • Ogo Sport- great for bilateral motor coordination and strengthening ocular motor skills, as well as cooperative play
  • Scooter Board – great for upper body strengthening, bilateral coordination, and ocular motor skillschristmast20132
  • Ezy Roller- this riding toy requires use of both legs to propel it forward
  • Plasma Car – great for bilateral coordination and upper and core body strengtheningchristmast20133
  • Flying Turtle- this riding toy requires the use of both arms to propel it forward
  • Fundanoodle’s Muscle Mover Cards – Great for getting the wiggles out, core and upper body strengthening, and letter recognition, too!christmast20134
  • Hippity Hop Ball – Great for Core strengtheningchristmast20135

Muscle Mover Monday…..Uppercase Q

Start your week with Fundanoodle’s award-winning Muscle Mover cards! Children can act out the movement from the cards to get the wiggles out, and then the fun continues by tracing the letter on the back of the dry erase card. Make sure to continue the blended learning by encourage the child to say the stroke movement out loud when they practice forming the letter.

Buzz around to the top.

Hop down to the middle.

Zoom Out.

Q_QuailBack

Whistle like a Quail.

Q_Quail

Don’t forget our MOVING sale!

We are busy around the Fundanoodle offices getting ready to move!!  You can take advantage of this by avoiding the crowds in stores and doing some shopping online!!  Check out the AWESOME deals on the Fundanoodle products.  (There are some awesome deals for that little one who just needs a little bit more to go with their Christmas wish list! Or add a little something to that special teacher’s gift!)

Fundanoodle_Open House

Zulily Event

Fundanoodle is excited to once again be apart of a Zulily event.  It starts today, Tuesday, November 26th and ends on Friday, November 29th.  Quick!  Get your Fundanoodle products while they last!

Zulily_Logo

This event will feature our award winning I Can Build Uppercase Letters, Uppercase Muscle Movers (yes, the same cards we feature on Muscle Mover Monday!) and the I Can Build Lowercase Letters!

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Fundanoodle by Carolina Pad Muscle Movers Uppercase cards

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