Dive like a dolphin.
by Michelle Yoder
A timeless toy, the barrel of monkeys, continues to provide our little monkeys with endless benefits! Fundanoodle’s Max, likes to play this linking game with his cousins! Below are all the benefits to having a barrel of fun with a barrel of monkeys:
Proximal stability: One arm has to hold the monkeys high in order to string others below. If this is too hard, continue to work overhead, by stringing monkeys on a clothesline.
Visual Perception: Visual spatial skills are needed to judge the positions of the monkeys as we manipulate and rotate them to link them arm to arm.
Visual Motor: Our eyes guide our hands for careful placement of the monkeys when hooking on the next monkey, while being careful not to disrupt the existing chain.
Oculomotor: Eye teaming is important, as we have to focus, converge (look at something up close, our eyes move inward) and diverge (look at something further away, our eyes move outward) on our work while we retrieve a monkey from the table and then move it to our chain.
Fine Motor: Grasping, pinching, rotating and manipulating the monkeys just so, takes effective fine motor coordination!
Bilateral Motor Coordination: The two sides of the body have to work together! One upper extremity has to do the stabilizing, while the other moves toward the opposite upper extremity for accurate placement.
Cognition: We can string the monkeys to make a colorful pattern or work on counting as we make the chain longer and longer!
All of these skills are important factors in the development of handwriting. So, break out your barrel of monkeys and get monkey-ing around!
by: Cherie DuPuy
Spring has sprung here in Charlotte. When I’m not in the yard, I have been searching Pinterest for great fine motor activities. My favorite one I found today is Q-tip painting. Children can use a Q-tip to paint on anything and with anything. Water, paint, glitter glue, the options are endless. Holding a Q-tip helps develop the pincher grasp in one’s fingers. Here is new twist to Q-tip paint, you can have the child put the paint on the circle drawn within the picture. This activity helps with distal control. Here are a few templates that I found made by Tova Stulbergeron, on the website www.therapyfunzone.com. You can also draw your own or put circles into a coloring book page. Share with us a fine motor activity you use!
Did you notice the title? Yep, that’s right. We have finished all of the uppercase letters and now are moving to lowercase letters. Remember, Fundanoodle introduces letters in a developmental order according to the ways children learn strokes the easiest. Meaning, we know we aren’t introducing letters in a-b-c order….we want children to be successful in writing, and sometimes buzzing all the way around for a child is a daunting task….it’s so much easier to just zip right down to form a lowercase l. Max and Alphie are so excited to start the lowercase letter voyage!!
First up….lowercase l
Roar like a lion.
by: Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L
Bilateral coordination is an important and necessary for skill for writing, coloring, and cutting. This refers to the use of the two sides of the body working together. When performing skills such as cutting and writing, the two sides of the body are performing different tasks. One hand is holding the paper, while the other hand is cutting or writing. In skills such as jumping jacks or rolling a worm with play-doh, both sides of the body are doing the same thing. For some kids, cutting and writing are challenging activities because they have difficulty with bilateral coordination. Here are some fun ways you can work on this skill at home with your kids:
- Nuts and Bolts: Taking a part and putting back together nuts and bolts
- Stringing Beads: Make sure they hold the string with one hand, while putting the beads on with the other.
- Baking: Have your child help stir the ingredients. They can hold the bowl with one hand, and stir with the other
- Pop beads: Large and small pop bead are great for hand strengthening to.
- Water bottles: Removing screw top lids from bottles and putting them back on
- Soldier Marching: Touching the left hand to the right knee, and then alternating with the right hand touching the left knee
- Zoom Ball: This is a fun game to play with a friend and is great strengthening activity too
- Stickers: Make sure one hand holds the sheet of stickers, while the other one removes the stickers
- Locks and keys: One hand holds the lock, while the other one turns the key
Just in case you missed last week’s blog. Fundanoodle is hosting an in service open to parents, preschool teachers, directors, or anyone who is interested in learning more about Fundanoodle and ways to help children acquire the fine motor skills needed to begin writing.
by: Cherie DuPuy
Incorporating math with holidays can sometimes be challenging. Today’s Teacher Tuesday gives a great way to use math and Valentine’s Day at one time.
Buy each child in your class a small package of valentine conversation hearts.
First, have the students shake and guess how many hearts are in their box.
Second, ask the children to open the box and count the number of hearts. Have the children compare the actual amount to their guess.
Third, sort the hearts in different manners. For example sort by color, message, number of words on heart.
As a class graph which color each child has most.
Finally, identify the different flavors by tasting. YUM!