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Fine Motor Skills For Mealtimes

From the beginning stages of a baby learning to pick up a piece of puffed cereal and feed itself, to an older child cutting vegetables to help prepare food, there are a variety of fine motor skills that are used and needed during meal times.…
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Ez Pz Bowl

When working with kids on feeding skills, one challenge is keeping the bowl from sliding around.  When I saw this ezpz bowl, I saw that it would be a perfect solution to the problem of bowls moving around too much.  It really stays in place…
therapy fun zone- delicious strawberry play dough
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Delicious Strawberry Play Dough

When working with kids who have food aversions, I like to do some fun activities with food that provide some of the sensory experience of food, but in a fun atmosphere without the required eating of the food. I want the fun item to be edible…
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Rubbery Marshmallow Play Dough

I have joined some other bloggers to share recipes and posts about sensory dough called the Twelve Months of Sensory Dough, and this month’s play dough is snow dough. When I think of snow, I think of white, and since marshmallow fluff worked…
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Picky Eating and Transitioning to New Foods

In Occupational Therapy, we work with eating, and often work with kids that don't like to eat food.  Sometimes the problem is due to muscle difficulties, but every once in a while, I see a client who does not have the underlying muscle weakness,…
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Sensory Painting with Pasta and Edible Paint

When working with a sensory group with food aversions, I needed to make the activities fun as well as give exposure to some of the sensations that go along with food.  I wanted to have the food textures, smells and tastes available while making…
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Sweet Potato Play Dough

This Summer, I was running a group with kids that avoid food, so we played with all kinds of foods to get some pleasant associations with the smells and tastes. I wanted to make every day food into a fun activity, and one of the things we did…
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Delicious Sensory Peanut Butter Play Dough

When working with kids who have food aversions, I work on having fun with food items. To make this delicious peanut butter play dough, I put the ingredients in a bowl and let the kids mix it all together. If you have a concern about peanut allergies,…
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Taste Testing New Foods

When working with kids who are reluctant eaters, they often are afraid to even taste new foods.  They may have had a negative experience at one point with a certain type or flavor of food, and so they avoid trying it again.  I will often start…
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Sensory Bird Feeders

A fun way to incorporate different sensory experiences, including food experiences, is to make pine cone bird feeders. I have three different types to make that each utilize a slightly different sensory experience. To start with, you…
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The WOW Cup is Really Cool

You see infomercials, and can’t believe all of the claims they have, so when I saw the WOW cup, I got it to test it out and see if it really did work. I have to say, the Wow Cup works, and it is really cool. It does not spill at all,…
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Honey Bear Cup

In some therapy circles, the honey bear is an obvious adaptation that is used to help kids learn to drink from a straw. I was unaware of this great use of a honey bear for many many years, and it was kind of a “duh” moment when I learned…
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Play with Scooping Ice Cream for Skill Development

Scooping is an important skill to have, and can easily be worked on in a fun and playful way. I decided to have fun with it with an ice cream scooping session, using large home made pom poms as the scoops of ice cream. I neglected to make toppings…
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Mixing straw drinking fun with fine motor fun

How could you get any more OT than mixing an oral motor, ADL, and fine motor activity into one.  I found these build your own straws called Pipeline at Bed Bath and Beyond, and just had to try them.  They seem to be the same thing as the Strawz…
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Having fun with straw drinking

Drinking from a straw can be a challenge for some kids, and it can be a scary thing for those who don’t know what to do or expect.  An OT friend of mine named Sharon mentioned that she and the kids love to use the Got Milk Magic Flavored…
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Marshmallow Men

We made some men out of marshmallows and toothpicks, and they were delicious.  We used multiple sizes of marshmallows for the different parts, and connected the parts with toothpicks. Some of these men were looking very funny, but they…
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Pine Cone Bird Feeder and Spreading with a Knife

Spreading can be a challenge for many kids, so here is a fun activity that helps practice. You use a pine cone and attach a wire or string to the top of it so that you can hang it once it is finished. You then spread peanut butter all over the…
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Vibration For Oral Motor Stimulation

I am seeing a little girl who enjoys eating, but she does not yet move her tongue to the side (tongue lateralization) in order to move her food around in her mouth. I will often use vibration in the mouth to stimulate more tongue and cheek movement.…
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Cutting with a knife and fork

Cutting with a knife and fork is more difficult than many people realize.  It requires good knife grip and positioning, which involves motor planning.  You must also exert the right amount of pressure on the knife, which involves sensory perception. Good…
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Marshmallow Painting for Fine Motor Skills

Painting is often good therapy, but you can kick it up a notch by using marshmallows as the painting tool. You can grade the type of grip used by using the large marshmallows or the mini marshmallows. You can use regular paint on paper and…
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Peanut Butter Playdough Recipe:

Playing with playdoh is fun, and if you can eat the playdoh when you are done, it can be even more fun.  It is also a good way to play with food for kids that have problems with eating. Ingredients: 1 cup of smooth/creamy peanut butter 2…