On September 19, 2023, Kelly Wilk-Downs, OTR/L presented Therapro’s first FREE Webinar of this school year, Cutting Made Simple. She offered a comprehensive look at the:
Development of scissor use
Selecting appropriate scissors for students
Prerequisite skills needed for learning to cut with scissors
This blog post comes on the heels of Kelly’s webinar; in this post we are reviewing some tools available at Therapro that are perfect for encouraging the development of scissor skills in beginner scissor users and beyond!
Hats Off and On to Scissor Skills: Exclusive to Therapro is a creative publication called Hats Off and On to Scissor Skills, by Peggy Huntley Spitz, OTR. This book consists of 25 themed hat designs that can be made for 4 progressive levels of cutting skills:
Straight line cutting and/or random snipping
Curved line cutting
Simple shape cutting
Complex shape cutting
This is a fun and unique activity book that will help you create an enjoyable project for the developmental progression of scissor skills!
Comprehensive Scissor Assessment Kit: Therapro offers a variety adaptive scissors that will ensure active participation from all students learning cutting skills, including those with limited hand function due to weakness, incoordination, and other functional limitations. Check out Therapro’s Comprehensive Scissor Assessment Kit, which includes 15 scissors of 10 different styles, plus a carry case and Manual.
Therapro carries a variety of scissors to meet the different needs of scissor users as they are progressing developmentally. Here is a sample of some of our favorite scissors.
Easi-Grip Loop Scissors : Easi Grip Loop Scissors are available in two sizes; the Mini Easi-Grip Loop Scissors are great for pre-school children while the standard Easi Grip Loop Scissors are made for the adult sized hand. These scissors are self opening for either right or left hand. They are operated by using pressure between the thumb and fingers or palm and fingers.
Self Opening Scissors : The Self Opening Scissors are available for left and right handed users. These scissors reopen automatically after hand pressure has been released.
Long Loop Scissors : The Long Loop Scissors are also available for left and right handed users. These scissors allow the user to use whole hand strength to operate. They also provide greater finger contact, which offers better control.
Mounted Table Top Scissors : The Mounted Table Top Scissors offer stability with scissors attached to a base. To operate users simply depressing the large handle.
When creating sensory-friendly environments, the emphasis is on minimizing overwhelming stimuli and providing sensory solutions that promote regulated and organized responses to sensation. The goal is to create an environment that benefits individuals with sensory differences. Here are a few examples of how to reduce irritating auditory, visual, or tactile stimulation and ways to offer calming deep touch, movement, auditory, visual, and muscle work options to create your own sensory-friendly environment.
Provide other visuals options for ways to move that require muscle work such as kids yoga cards.
Remember that each individual may have unique sensory preferences, so it’s important to offer a variety of options and allow for personalization. By considering these strategies and tools, you can create a sensory-friendly environment that caters to the sensory preferences of individuals, promotes regulation, and enhances their overall well-being.
It is important to note that all occupational therapists are trained in sensory processing and many have extensive experience and deep understanding in this area. Whenever possible, seek guidance from an occupational therapist for individualized sensory recommendations.
Kristi Langslet, OTR/L is the proud owner of Sommerfly, a company dedicated to providing individuals of all ages with sensory needs unique product designs that are meticulously crafted in the USA for optimal quality and construction. Most importantly, Sommerfly’s passion is to serve those who use our products.
We’re thrilled to share the highlights of our exhilarating experience at the 2023 School Based Practitioners Summit, held on August 7th and 8th in the vibrant city of Columbus, Ohio. This event brought together school based practitioners from across the region to exchange knowledge, discover new treatment tools, and forge meaningful connections. As part of this inspiring event, we’re excited to unveil the top five best-selling products that left attendees buzzing with excitement.
1. Letter Treasure Hunt: Handwriting Fun in the Form of a Great Game!
Topping the charts of the summit’s best sellers is Therapro’s own innovative game, Letter Treasure Hunt. This engaging tool takes handwriting practice to a whole new level through interactive play. Designed to captivate young minds, this game facilitates letter recognition, gross motor challenges, and social interaction. With Therapro’s commitment to combining fun and education, Letter Treasure Hunt was a clear favorite among attendees.
Pro Tip from a physical therapist in attendance; instead of writing letters, challenge players to imitate those letters with their body to change the skill focus from handwriting to body awareness!
2. Crayon Rocks: Ignite Creativity and Fine Motor Skills
In a world of digital distractions, Crayon Rocks stood out as a timeless gem. These vibrant, eco-friendly crayons provide an excellent platform for sparking creativity and refining fine motor skills. Their ergonomic shape encourages proper pencil grip, setting the stage for future writing success. At the summit, practitioners recognized the value of fostering creativity through simple yet effective tools like Crayon Rocks.
3. Happy Senso Sensory Gel: A Sensory Delight
Happy Senso Sensory Gel added an element of multisensory wonder to the summit. This versatile gel stimulates a range of senses, making it a versatile tool for therapists. From tactile exploration to sensory integration activities, Happy Senso captivated attendees with its potential to enhance learning experiences and create a sensory-rich environment.
Pro Tip: for an even greater sensory experience, try walking through Happy Senso Sensory Gel!
4. Wiggle Wobble Chair Feet: Enhancing Focus and Engagement
Recognizing the need for subtle sensory solutions in educational settings, the Wiggle Wobble Chair Feet received high acclaim. These clever attachments transform ordinary chairs into dynamic seating options, encouraging movement and improving focus. Attendees discovered how this simple yet effective solution can have a positive impact on students’ engagement and attention spans.
5. Flick Stick Fidget Toy: A Pocket-Sized Solution
Fidgeting finds a purpose with the Flick Stick Fidget Toy, which rounded off our list of top sellers. This discreet tool fits in the palm of a hand, providing a soothing outlet for restless fingers. Its satisfying flicking motion aids concentration and stress relief, making it an ideal addition to classroom and therapy settings.
A Journey of Innovation and Collaboration
The 2023 School Based Practitioners Summit was a resounding success, underscoring the importance of innovation and collaboration in the field of education and therapy. At Therapro, we are committed to providing professionals with the tools they need to create engaging, effective, and inclusive learning environments. The summit allowed us to connect with passionate practitioners and showcase products that align with our mission.
As we reflect on this exciting event, we extend our gratitude to all those who participated, shared insights, and explored our product offerings. Your enthusiasm fuels our commitment to supporting educators and practitioners in their noble mission of empowering young minds.
Thank you for being a part of the Therapro community, and we look forward to more opportunities to learn, grow, and innovate together.