Play Activities To Help With The Winter Blues!

As OT’s we can’t stress enough how much movement is essential to your child’s development. As your child moves and plays, their nervous systems are continuously re-organizing and developing endless skills including motor planning and coordination, emotional regulation, and attention. However, we understand how challenging it can be to give your kid the opportunities for movement and play during the winter time… it is freezing outside!!! Have no fear though, there are plenty of indoor activities that can be used to effectively calm your child’s nervous systems as well as help release all that built up energy!!! Implement a few of these games into your daily routine to help your children sustain a calm, alert emotional state, facilitate motor planning and coordination skills, and most importantly… have fun!

Obstacle Courses– Duration: 15 to 20 minutes. No need for any fancy equipment, use the furniture in your own house! Obstacle courses are all about using the whole body to complete a sequence of motor patterns. Create a 3 to 5 step obstacle course for your kids to complete.Examples of obstacles include climb over the back of a couch, crawl under a table, jump on a bed, jump on or over objects, crawl down steps, etc.

Rough and Tumble Play– Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. This activity is a therapist favorite because not only does it bring out a lot of laughs and giggles, but it is also extremely effective in facilitating a calm, alert state of arousal when done correctly! The idea is to safely wrestle each other to provide resistant feedback to the whole body needed to facilitate a sense of groundedness. General rules is each person participating needs to say “start” for the wrestling to begin, if one person says “stop” the wrestling stops immediately. Be goofy with grunting or laughter as this will ensure proper breath release. You can wrestle in a variety of positions to keep it novel and fun:Standing with hands only

  • Standing with arms crossed, pushing against each others shoulders and back only
  • Down in 4 point quadruped position facing same directions, pushing against each other’s sides using shoulders and hips
  • Laying down on floor with legs straight and arms crossed, roll into each other in log roll motion

Animal Walk Reg Light/Green Light– Duration: 10 to 15 minutes. Follow the rules of red light/green light with a start and finish line. Players go when directed with “green light” and stops immediately when directed with “red light”. If one moves when red light is called then they have to return to the starting line. First one to cross the finish line wins. To add resistance and heavy work into this game, have participants perform various animal walk and core activation patterns.

  • Puppy crawl- crawling on hands and knees (can be forward or backwards)
  • Bear walk- walking on hands and feet with belly towards floor
  • Crab walk- walking on hands and feet with belly towards ceiling
  • Frog jump- full squat and jump forward
  • Bunny hops- standing and quick 2 foot hops forward
  • Skipping- alternating hop and knee lift forward
  • Galloping- Moving forward with same foot in the lead
  • Army crawls- Laying on belly, using alternating arm and leg movements to move forward

Train/Car Ride– Duration: 5 to 10 minutes. This activity involves heavy pushing and/or pulling. The idea is to facilitate a car or train ride with one person sitting inside a laundry basket, and the other pushing/pulling the basket. With siblings, each person can take a turn being the passenger with the other pushing/pulling. If there are no siblings, then have your kid utilize his/her imagination to take their friends (i.e. stuffed animals, star war characters, barbies, etc) on a ride… add things to the basket for their “vacation” to add weight and resistance to the activity.

Puppy Crawl Tag– Duration: 8 to 10 minutes. Follow the game of tag with one family member/friend being “it” trying to tag someone else. Instead of walking or running, play the game crawling on hands and knees to add more resistance to the activity.

 

 

Holiday Gift Ideas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Holiday season!! Yes 2017 just flew by, and now you have the added stress of finding the perfect gift for your kids. Well have no fear, My Kids Therapy is here to help! Forget about the trends and fads, here is a list of our therapists’ favorite toys and games to support a variety of skills including gross motor, fine motor, visual motor, visual perceptual, and executive functioning development! Talk to your therapist about our recommendations for your child 410-451-5700!

MBMary Beth’s Top 5

StaceyStacey’s Top 5 Rebecca.pngRebecca’s Top 5

Pattern Play.pngPattern Play $27

scooter_boards 

Scooter Boards $17-$25

 

Geoboards.png

Geoboards/design copy games $15

Sequence JuniorSequence Junior $15

Farm HopperFarm Hoppers $30

Memory Yoga.pngMemory Yoga $10

Jigsaw Puzzle.pngJigsaw Puzzles $8-$15

Zoom Ball.pngZoomball $8 Sneaky Snacky Squirrel.pngSneaky Snacky Squirrel $15

Pop Beads.pngPop Beads $10-$20

Avalanche Fruit Salad.pngAvalanche Fruit Stand $17 Legos  Duplo or Lego sets $24-28

Ogosport Disks.pngOgosport Disks & balls $32

Tangoes Jr.pngTangoes Jr. $25

TwisterTwister $12

Developmental Delays

kids

Childhood Is Not A Race To See How Quickly A Child Can Read, Write, And Count. Childhood Is A Small Window Of Time To Learn And Develop At The Pace Which Is Right For Each Individual Child.

Developmental Delays – Will My Child Grow Out of It?

A developmental delay occurs whena child doesnot progress at the expected rate in a specific area of development. Within each developmental area, certain generalized milestones provide a guideline for typical growth and development. These milestones include learning to sit, crawl, walk, play, talk, or use hands functionally.  All babies and children develop at their own pace but these developmental milestones help us to identify those children who have fallen behind their peers and need additional help to succeed in everyday life.

Developmentalmilestones fall into 6 main categories:

  • Gross motor skills (e.g. rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, skipping, etc.)
  • Fine motor skills (e.g. stacking blocks, stringing beads, buttoning, coloring, cutting, etc.)
  • Communication skills (e.g. expression, comprehension, reading non-verbal cues, etc.)
  • Cognitive skills (e.g. creating new ideas, connecting ideas, problem solving, etc.)
  • Social skills (e.g. attending to others, reciprocal communication, play skills, etc.)
  • Visual motor skills (e.g. catching, throwing, tracing, writing, etc.)

Treatments for developmental delays need to be tailored to the child’s specific needs taking in to consideration each child’s strengths and weaknesses. The most effective treatment plans focus on building foundational skills that enable to the child to meet these developmental milestones. It is essential that these treatments occur during early childhood, since delays in one area may impact other areas of development as well. Early intervention services that support children with developmental delays often include:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy

At My Kids Therapy, our highly-trained occupational therapists provided support for children with a variety of developmental delays. Prior to treatment, therapists complete a detailed evaluation of each child’s skills, including assessment of gross and fine motor skills, reflexes,muscle strength, balance, coordination, postural stability, social and play skills, visual motor skills, and sensory development. Ouroccupational therapists use this information to identify areas of developmental delay and determine the most appropriate way to address your child’s needs.

Following evaluation, your occupational therapist will design a treatment plan to meet yourchild’s specific needs with the goal of promoting success in everyday life. Our therapists use play-based activities to encourage your child to explore his or her environment while providing appropriate supports for safety. We provide parent and caregiver education to encourage carry over of recently mastered skills into the home, community, and school environments. As part of treatment sessions, therapists work to stimulate:

  • The neural centers: groups of nerves that work together to produce movement
  • The vestibular system: the sensory system that controls balance and coordination with movement
  • The proprioceptive centers: bundles of tissue that help us know where our body is in space.
  • The sensory organs: ears, eyes, mouth, skin, and nose
  • Muscles: bundles of tissue that allow for body movement or maintaining position, including using the appropriate level of force

Occupational therapy treatments aim to:

  • developfoundation skills needed to master developmental milestones
  • gain increased independence for activities of daily living
  • improve postural stability,motor control, muscle strength, balance, and coordination
  • increase motor planning, problem solving, and social skills
  • provide parent and caregiver education to develop skills and mindsets to better support each child’s development
  • improve self-confidence and self-esteem

After All, It Is Not What You Do For Your Children, But What You Have Taught Them To Do For Themselves, That Make Them Successful Human Beings.

My Kids Therapy is an outpatient pediatric practice that offers a whole-person approach to therapy focused on promoting the growth and development of children within their families. Therapists use sensory integration, cognitive behavioral, motor learning, and neurodevelopmental frameworks to guide practice. Our therapists regularly attend professional training courses to enhance their skills and provide innovative treatment for our clients. If you would like to speak with our therapists about treatment possibilities for developmental delays, please contact us at 301-552-2370 or info@MyKidsTherapyMD.com

It’s important to contact us right away!! My Kids Therapy has solutions that can help.