Therapro’s Free Activity of the Month: Straws Galore

by Therapro

If you are looking for cost effective and easy to make fine motor activities, you need Therapro’s Second Hand Therapies cards. This set of 40 activity cards features stunning images of activities made from recyclable materials. What we love most about the activity cards is that they are easy to use and show you the difficulty level, the hand function used, and the materials needed. They are perfect for home use or for a classroom group activity.

Below is a sample of Straws Galore, one of the activities in Second Hand Therapies.

When using straws to make jewelry, not only are the kids using fine motor skills, they are practicing their scissor skills, eye hand coordination, color recognition, size differentiation, counting, learning patterns, and so many more skills. 

Materials:

  • Straws of varying sizes and colors
  • Yarn, pipe cleaners, or embroidery thread
  • Tweezers
  • Medium-Sized Bowls

Directions:

  1. Hold the straw with your non-dominant hand. Use your dominant hand to cut the straws into small to medium sized pieces. Collect the pieces in a bowl.
  2. String the straw pieces onto yarn or pipe cleaner as though they were beads.
  3. Practice removing the straw pieces using tweezers for pinch strength development.

Variations:

  1. Instead of jewelry make letters with the straws. Have the child spell his name.
  2. Get creative and make animal silhouettes.
  3. Give the child a challenge. What can you make with 3 pieces of straw?
  4. Sprinkle glitter on the bowl containing the straw pieces for an added color fest!
  5. Use different scissors, such as scrapbooking scissors for different edging on your straw pieces.

What did you make with your straws?

Clinical Music Therapy with Children Diagnosed with Special Needs - September 20th Seminar

by Therapro

“Music is a universal language,” explained Kayla Daly, MA, MT-BC, LMHC at Therapro’s recent Saturday seminar entitled: Clinical Music Therapy with Children Diagnosed with Special Needs.In addition to being a board certified music therapist, Kayla, like many other graduate-level trained therapists in her profession, is a licensed mental health counselor. Kayla provided a glimpse into the practice of music therapy, described as a “multi-modal approach.” She utilizes a goal-oriented, developmental approach to treatment. In her presentation, she dismissed a common myth that many may associate with providing music therapy, namely that it is purely aesthetic. It is a “process oriented” therapeutic modality rather than being “product oriented.”  The video clips she showed of treatment sessions, as well as live use of her guitar and voice during her presentation were both enlightening and fun.

 

 

Music therapy is IDEA regulated. Since the passage of Public Law 94-142, 35 years ago, credentialed music therapists have been providing services to children with disabilities. In 2010, the US Department of education clarified the recognition of music therapy as a “related service” under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).  Music therapy can be an integral component in helping a child achieve educational goals that have been identified on his/her IEP.

 

 

Music therapy is a service that can work closely and cooperatively with other more traditional therapies to benefit a child. Kayla discussed the value of co-treating with therapists of other disciplines to ensure teamwork and the best outcome for each child.

 

 

 

Music therapy can make a difference for young children with special needs!

 

 

 

Those who attended this seminar were primarily OTs and educators from a variety of school settings. Attendees echoed a common positive response to Kayla’s presentation:


“Excellent speaker - excellent presentation, interesting”

“Excellent material, fun & well presented”

“I would recommend this seminar because it benefits everyone and so we can all be on the same page - knowledge is power, which creates success.”


Thank you, Kayla!


Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L

September 20, 2014

Therapro’s Free Activity of the Month: Make Your Own Goop!

by Therapro

Therapro’s Sensational Fun activity cards feature over 100 creative and fun sensory activities. The cards were created to encourage safe sensory experiences.

If you are a parent, teacher or therapist who needs sensory activities for the whole family, these cards are perfect for you. Below is a sample of one of the Activities included in Sensational Fun.

Making Goop is a tactile, proprioceptive and kinesthetic feast!

The Goop is solid when squeezed, yet turns to liquid when the hand is opened. The goop is quick and easy to make and provides fascination and tactile stimulation for curious hands.

Materials:

  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of water
  • Medium plastic bowl
  • Spoons

Directions:

  1. Place one cup of cornstarch into a bowl.
  2. Pour water into the bowl slowly and stir continuously until the cornstarch is fully saturated (you may need more or less water, so add a little water at a time).
  3. The mixture is ready to use once the cornstarch resembles a thick paste and becomes difficult to stir.

CAUTION: DO NOT EAT THE GOOP MIXTURE.

Activities:

  1. Give your child a scoop of goop. When he squeezes the goop tight and then opens his hands, it drips out in unexpected ways! Does it feel cool or warm?
  2. Play charades by making shapes or animals with the goop. Can your child guess what you’ve made? Give him hints: draw details in the goop!
  3. Fill a larger container with goop. Submerge your child’s feet in the goop. What does it feel like? Does it make a sound?
  4. Place the goop on a cookie sheet, have your child spell his name in the goop.
  5. Add food coloring and make colorful goop! Mix food coloring and guess what colors you can make.
  6. Make it an olfactory sensation as well- Add a sprinkle of your favorite Fruit Flavored drink mix (Kool-Aid®)

Have fun! Below are some pictures of our Cherry Scented Goop.



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