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Making Tents and Teepees with Writing Lines

When playing with the Munchy Ball with a young boy, we worked on making some houses. I tried to have him make a woven stick Teepee such as the one made by Timbernook, but our ground was too hard and we could not pierce it with sticks well enough…
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Can we practice handwriting without a pencil, please?

Let me start by saying that I'm probably one of the few pediatric occupational therapists who needs help with arts and crafts!  No, seriously!  I am so thankful for the many wonderful websites and blogs whose authors share some of the most…
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Swimming for Letters

I played with foam letters with the kids in school where we rolled the dice and then fed the letters to the Munchy Ball, and now that it is summer, we took the game to the pool so that we could swim for the letters. The fun foam letters float,…
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Fireworks Coloring to Practice Writing Lines

Fourth of July is this week, and what better way to practice writing different types of lines than drawing fireworks.  You can make fireworks out of different colors, and make squiggly lines, straight lines, curly lines, circles, and spirals. You…
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What is it about cursive that can make us crazy?

Cursive handwriting is like a sleeping dog...don't wake it up unless you want to hear some barking!  As innocent as it may look, it conceals a great deal of energy and power.  It certainly must because it can cause a lot of discussion among…
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Guess Who Clothespin Game

This is a guest post by Donna Abramson, OTR Opening and closing clothespins is a wonderful way for children to develop strength in the muscles of their hand, particularly the webspace - which helps them to hold the pencil with a correct tripod…
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Cursive Handwriting's Link to The Leaning Tower of Literacy

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” (Frederick Douglass)     One of my favorite quotes is from an article in the Journal of Education Psychology, titled "The Role of Mechanics in Composing of Elementary School…
practicing letters with munchy ball
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Fine Motor and Letters With Munchy Ball

I wanted to use the Munchy Ball in a new game with letters so that we could practice writing and build fine motor skills and hand strength at the same time. I started with just cutting foam squares from different colors and writing letters…
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Rainbow Puzzle game

I made a fun little game for spring with rainbows and words.  I call it the rainbow puzzle game, and you can download it for free (you can also find it in the shops).  You have to roll 3 dice first, a number dice, a color dice, and a word…
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Pond Jump Fine Motor Game With Munchy Ball

I have been doing a lot with Munchy Ball and realized that he could easily be incorporated into games the same way that I use clothespins in games. Munchy Ball is a ball with eyes, and a mouth cut into it that opens his mouth when you squeeze…
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The Kaleidopaint App serves 2 purposes

I have written about coloring detailed geometric shape pages to work on hand and finger strengthening and visual perception in older students. You can buy a book of these coloring pages on Amazon, but you can also now make your own using the…
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DO occupational therapists DO handwriting?

A guest post from regular contributor Katherine Collmer. Now therein lies the question!  What exactly DO we do with handwriting?  When I was a new pediatric occupational therapist, I found that question to be both disturbing and intriguing. …
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Coloring and Cutting Heart Bugs and Caterpillars

Last year I made some really cute heart butterflies, and wanted to increase it by having other bugs to make too.  They make cute little valentine love bugs. The bugs are very similar to the heart butterflies with the same template shapes,…
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Snow Man and Hot Cocoa Fine Motor Activities

I live in sunny Southern California, so we have to pretend that we have snow. We can still enjoy some hot cocoa even though the temperatures are in the 70s. (I even wear a sweatshirt in the mornings). The rest of the country has lots of snow,…
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Standards for writing and typing

There is a set of standards that have been worked out for what is expected with writing and typing per age group.  These are called the Written Production Standards for Handwriting and Keyboarding grades k-8.  They are research based, and…
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Pencil Grips–Pros and Cons

Most kids do not need to use a pencil grip. I rarely recommend having a student use a special grip, and when I do recommend it, it means that the grip really does help. What are the determining factors for needing a pencil grip? The student…
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Finish the Holiday Pictures - December Edition

There is a new item in the store from Your Therapy Source.  It is called Finish the Holiday Pictures - December Edition, and it is an activity to work on visual perceptual skills and copying pictures, with a December theme.  It…
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Writing Wizard App review

I have tried out several apps that work on letter writing, but many of them are too "baby" like for the kids I am working with. Your Therapy Source suggested the Writing Wizard App, and I thought I would try it out.  I had already downloaded…
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Ways to Encourage a Mature Grasp

When writing, the most efficient way to hold a pencil is using three fingers (index, middle, and thumb) on the pencil, and move just the fingers to make the letters (this is called a dynamic tripod grasp).  There are many other ways to grasp…
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Cursive Clubs: Moving Handwriting from Fine Motor to Functional!

There’s no question that cursive handwriting has taken the leading role on the stage of forsaken fine motor skills.  Its glamour has paled and its loops have sagged, that’s for sure.   Cursive debates have been making their rounds…
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Coban on a weighted pencil

When I was working on making weighted pencils, I bought some Coban (or generic Coban) to try out on the metal coupling nuts.  I didn’t try it because the craft foam worked so well.  I was reminded that I had the Coban, and so I tried it…