Foundational Skills with Fundanoodle {Video + Giveaway!}

In lieu of our regular Muscle Mover Monday, Max and Alphie want to take this week to share our new instructional videos with you! And because we are so excited, why not offer a giveaway too?! Just check out our new short informational videos and share the link via Facebook or Twitter and you could win your choice of Fundanoodle product!

First up is our Foundational Skills video in which our CEO April explains the differential learning approach used across Fundanoodle products to develop everyday foundational skills children need to be successful in and out of the classroom.

Just enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below and leave a comment on this blog post with either your Facebook or Twitter username (whichever you used to share!) and what product you would choose if you won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back on Wednesday for another video and another chance to win!

Advertisements

Fun with Easter Eggs All Year Long

Now, that Easter is over, what are you going to do with all those plastic Easter eggs? Here are some fun ideas to use the eggs throughout the year!

  1. Take them apart and have your child practice matching the different colors or designs to put the eggs back together. For older children, you could write an upper case letter on one half of the egg and a lower case letter on the other half of the egg. Then, have the child match the upper and lower case letters.
  2. Practice color patterns with the eggs.eggs1
  3. Put different dry materials inside the eggs, glue them back together, and let your child have fun with new sound makers. Some fun things to try inside are: rice, beans, pasta, small beads, a couple marbles, or coins.
  4. Play hide and find. Hide the eggs around your house and then give your child verbal directions on where to find the eggs. This is a fun way to work on following directions!
  5. Paint with the eggs. Open them up and use the open circle side to dip and paint and make circles on paper. eggs2
  6. Use them in sensory bins as scoops!
  7. Keep them in the kitchen for special play when your kids want to help you cookJ
  8. Matching game with a colored dot inside an egg carton and then the child matches the eggs to color in the egg carton. You could also write letters or numbers inside the carton, and then on the eggs too. eggs3

Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L

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!

15266

Fundanoodle by Carolina Pad Muscle Movers Uppercase cards

15281

Therapist Thursday…..Creating a Good Foundation (Pencil Grasp 101)

By: Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L

Last week we talked about the pros and cons to pencils grips to help with pencil grasps.  (That’s a mouthful 🙂  )  This week we are going to learn how to help those little finger muscles develop and strengthen with several activities, and the best part, they are fun activities so it won’t seem like “work.”

So, how can you fix the underlying problem? We strategically developed the products in Fundanoodle to address hand strength and dynamic finger movements in preparation for holding a pencil.  In the “I Can Bead, Lace, Rip, and Trace” kit the overall purpose is to work on hand strengthening so that a child develops appropriate muscle strength for holding a writing utensil.  All of the activities work on using the thumb and first two fingers, as you would in ripping paper, holding bead for lacing, or balling up tissue paper with the fingertips.  We think it is very important to work on prewriting skills at early age, instead of holding an actually pencil.  These skills will foster appropriate grasp development necessary for later writing.  The “I Can Doodle” floor pad is great for developing shoulder and arm muscles in preparation for holding a pencil. You can place the sheets of paper on the floor or wall which will develop larger muscles of the body.  As these muscles become stronger, it will be easier to use the hands for smaller movements.

Some other fun activities include:
Using clothespins

Spraying a water bottle

Screwing and unscrewing nuts and boltshandsworkingtogether1
Popping bubble wrapsummerpinch1Tong activities. You can use tongs from the dollar store or ones in the kitchen. Tongs are great for sorting!

Pennies in
a piggy bank or jar with a slitsummerpinch2
Toothpicks in the holes of an empty shaker spice containersummerpinch5Wheelbarrow walkingAnimal walksHanging
Monkey Barsstrong writer 3

 

Remember, it is important to work on these underlying skills at a young age.  Once a child is older, it is often difficult to change a grasp pattern.  If your child is having difficulty with grasp patterns, it may be beneficial to find an occupational therapy in your area to further assist you.

So, if your child is demonstrating an awkward grasp when holding the pencil, work on some of these activities to work on strengthening the arm and hand muscles!

 

***The highlighted activities are ones we have already introduced for a good foundation for little fingers.  Click on the links to learn more.

Could This Be How Michelangelo Developed His Fine Motor Skills?

There’s a reason artists use easels. Easels provide better perspective and better control as they create their art. And there’s a reason kids should have some easel-time, too. The vertical surface helps position the arm, wrist and hand in the correct pose for writing. Vertical writing requires extra focus and concentration, too. Think you don’t have an easel? Think again! All you need is a fridge, door or wall. Use a magnet or painter’s tape to position the paper on a vertical surface.

Your child can even do homework this way, breaking the rut (some call it torture) of having to sit still at a table. Or, if you really want to mix it up, tape large sheets of posterboard or craft paper under the tabletop, and let your child lay on his or her back to create a work of art! It certainly worked for Michelangelo – and for little ones, almost everything is more fun upside-down!