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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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More Kinetic Sand Fun

I posted about Kinetic Sand last year after I saw it at the AOTA conference and fell in love with how fun it was (you can read that post here).  I did not have any of my own at that time, and it was not available in many stores yet.  Since…
fun sensory and fine motor play
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Messy Play and Fine Motor with Munchy Ball

Now that I have the new vinyl Munchy Balls, I was eager to use them in messy play.  I started simple with water beads, which are the perfect size to feed to the Munchy Ball.  It was fun to fill the ball up all the way and then have the ball…
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Attaching a Chewy

Many kids benefit from using a chewy as a calming activity, and to use as a replacement for chewing on things that are not good to chew on. So if a child needs a chewy, they need to have it available to them. For kids who are lower functioning,…
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Senseez Vibrating Pillow

The Senseez cushionsare colorful and fun shaped foam pillows with a touch/pressure activated vibrator inside. They were originally created by a mom with a child that had trouble sitting still. Sitting on the vibrating cushion helped him stay…
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Making a Comfortable Weighted Pencil

Let's talk about weighted pencils.  Abby has a nice post about making weighted pencils.  I have used weighted pencil kits to add weight onto a regular pencil, and I have seen the do it yourself pencil weights using hex nuts, but there are…
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Summer Ice Bowling

In therapy I use bowling as a part of many different activities, and to target many different skills, such as scooter board bowling, bowling in a swing, and bowling on a balance board. For summer, I thought we would try a little ice bowling. To…
kinetic sand flows through your hands
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Kinetic Sand

I went to an Occupational Therapy Conference last week and found a cool new product while I was there. It is called Kinetic Sand, and it is seriously the coolest stuff. It is sand, but it does not act like sand, and it is a wonderful sensory…
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Covered Cup for Stereognosis and Sensory Play

Stereognosis is the ability to use your fingers to feel and know what you are holding, without seeing what you are holding. It is always hard to get kids to feel and find objects without looking. You can put up a barrier, but they always try…
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Cloud Dough

I have seen cloud dough posted about on the internet, so I decided to give it a try and see what it was like. It is a mix of flour and oil. The amount of oil is small enough that the dough does not feel wet, but it is enough that the dough can…
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Friday share with a lycra swing, hemiplegia technique, using straws, and a matching game

Home made lycra swing from Starfish Therapies.  Go check it out. DIY Lycra Swing   Next, here is a simple way to promote the use of the more affected arm in a child with hemiplegia. Abby from Notes from a pediatric occupational…
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Hammock swing for strengthening

A hammock swing is wonderful for strengthening in many different ways.  My favorite position in a hammock swing is prone with just the head and arms sticking out.  This position forces weight bearing on the arms, and works on full upper body…
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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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Oral Sensory Seeking and Vibration

Most of the kids that I work with that have oral sensory problems avoid oral stimulation, and avoid food. I just started seeing a young fellow that is the opposite of what I am used to. This little guy is a sensory seeker, and he seeks oral…
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Spaghetti Painting for Sensory Problems

I have a few kids that I see who do not like food. I like to use food as a play tool in order to help make food their friend because they need to accept being around food, so using spaghetti noodles as a painting tool is a fun activity. Some…
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Ice Painting

Summer painting wouldn’t be complete without a little ice painting. I started with a little ice cube tray that I put water in and a drop of food coloring in each space. I also put a toothpick in each spot so that when it hardened in the freezer,…
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Salt Painting

Salt painting gives an interesting twist to regular painting, and it makes good use of a glue bottle for hand strengthening. Before you get to the painting part, you squeeze glue onto the paper in the pattern that you want the paint to be in.…
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Meltdowns when going to the store

A lot of kids with sensory problems or with autistic behaviors seem to melt down when their parents take the them shopping. The reason for a meltdown in these types of situations is often because of sensory overload. A child may be able to deal…
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Messy Play

I found an awesome blog post about how important it is to get messy when playing. A child's body learns from the whole experience of being tactile and feeling their environment and the experience that what they are working with gets all over…
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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…