OT Services From a Distance for Students with Autism and Other Special Needs
When COVID 19 hit last Spring, education moved to an online format with all OT students getting teletherapy. There were many families who did not have internet access, a computer, or even basic school items at home. Listen to Jenny’s audio podcast to get ideas for a teletherapy ‘OT Home Kit’ that can start your school year off with assurance that students will get effective teletherapy. If you are interested in ideas for therapy activities using the items in the OT Home Kit, click on Jenny’s Facebook post for her July monthly newsletter ‘Clark Comments’.
As a pediatric occupational therapist working in schools, my priority is to provide best practice occupational therapy services to the students who have OT services on their IEP’s. When COVID 19 hit last Spring and 4th quarter learning and therapy was all online, I discovered that there were many families who did not have internet access, a computer, or even basic resources at home such as scissors and glue. So, for the start of this school year and online therapy, I created a list of items for an ‘OT Home Kit’ with a variety of reusable items that can be used for tele OT sessions and home activities. Here is a list of items in each kit. All kit items fit nicely inside a zippered pencil bag.
OT Home Kit Supply List
Box of Crayons
Mini Pencil Sharpener
Deck of mini playing cards
Calming Sensory Strategies Cards
Yoga Brain Break Cards
Breathing Exercise Cards
If you are interested in ideas for learning and therapy activities using these items, click on my Facebook post for my July monthly newsletter ‘Clark Comments’.
More Than Meets the Eye: Sensory Integration and Visual Processing
Vision is a complex neurological process involving the integration of multiple sensory systems. Therapeutic activities that integrate visual, vestibular, and proprioception input are effective interventions to help alleviate visual processing challenges. Listen to Jenny’s audio podcast as she talks about engaging therapy activities that address visual integration in children with sensory processing disorder.
The visual pathway is a neural pathway where visual input travels from the eyes to the central nervous system and integrates in the cerebellum. The cerebellum plays an especially important role in this process as it is the grand central train station where sensory signals from visual, vestibular, proprioceptive and auditory input communicate with each other. There are many symptoms that a child may demonstrate which could indicate a visual processing deficit. Some of these may surprise you. These can include idiopathic toe walking, motion sickness, balance issues, eye-hand coordination delays, ocular tracking problems, and learning difficulties such as reading, math and handwriting. Therapeutic activities that integrate visual, vestibular, and proprioception input are effective interventions to help alleviate visual processing challenges. Here are some engaging therapy activities I have incorporated in my OT practice over the years to address visual processing in children.
Coordinate vis.-vest.-prop. in graded sequence, such as:
Have child visually fixate on you while they bounce
Have child visually track your moving hand while bouncing
Play catch with child using large ball while they bounce
Draw visual targets on trampoline with chalk, such as clock face or square grid with numbers, then jump in a pattern
Have child toss and catch bean bag to self while bouncing
Rescue the animals: while prone on a swing, reach to pick up a plush animal on mat and place it in a box
Prone in swing, assemble puzzle on mat
Prone in swing, engage in ring toss activity
Sit on swing and pick up a bean bag with feet (supine flexion)
Sit and swing while tracking a light-up toy
Alphabet Twister Games
Jump and spell
Upper-and lowercase letter discrimination
Right-left directionality – e.g., right hand on letter Z
Balance one foot on a letter
Visual perceptual skills – VSR, VM, VSM, VFG
Ocular tracking skills – Find the…
Midline crossing – Traditional Twister with hands/feet
Ball Pit Activities
Jump into (vestibular) and catch a plush animal
Climb out for proprioception and motor planning – Add VP and set up puzzle pieces to assemble
Throw the balls at stationary and moving targets
Toss and catch a beanbag
Pop bubbles while in ball pit
Look at light-up toys while in ball pit
Search for hidden objects in balls
Ocular Motor Activities
Catch bubbles on wand
Balloon volley: write letters/numbers on balloon; choose a letter/number to track while bopping the balloon
Zoom ball (ocular convergence): spell words
Beanbag toss while on balance board
Scoop Ball: name ice cream flavors
Hasbro Elefun game: catch pretend butterflies with net
Velcro ball game
Juggling with scarves
Dribbling a playground ball
Getting Kids Outside for a Therapeutic Experience Part 4: Geocaching with Kids
Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunting activity using a GPS-enabled device. Geocaching gets kids moving outdoors in fresh air and sunshine, which is vital to their health and well-being. Geocaching helps kids increase endurance, build muscle strength, integrate their senses, facilitate creative imagination, and improve their self-esteem. Learn all about Geocaching with Kids in Jenny’s audio podcast.
Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunting activity using a GPS-enabled device, typically a smart phone. It’s a fun way to get kids outside exploring local parks and walking on nature trails. Giving kids a mission of finding treasure is motivating, which helps increase their ability to stay focused.
Geocaching gets kids moving outdoors, in fresh air and sunshine which is vital to their health and well-being. The physical activity in nature involved in geocaching helps kids increase endurance, build muscle strength, integrate their senses, facilitate creative imagination, and improve their self-esteem. Geocaching has another therapeutic benefit for children, it helps them to develop visual perceptual skills such as visual discrimination and visual figure-ground, directional orientation for learning left/right/north and south, and how to read a map.
To get started, log onto www.geocaching.com and create an account with a geocache log name. Next download the free basic Geocaching app to your smart device. To prepare, collect the following items to bring with you when you geocache; water to drink (important to stay hydrated), bug spray, sunscreen, tweezers (to retrieve tiny paper logs from tiny geocaches), a pen to write your geocache name on the paper log, and items to trade.
Begin by opening the geocache app and select the map, which will display nearby geocaches on the screen. Once you have decided which geocache you want to find, click ‘Navigate’ on the app and it will provide you with specific coordinates. Then you can attempt to locate the hidden treasure. Geocaches come in all different sizes and shapes. From the size of a small pill bottle to a large ammo container. All geocache containers have a paper log inside. When you find the geocache, write your name and the date you found it on the paper log. Next, click ‘Log’ then ‘Found It’ on the geocaching app to virtually log it on the app. You can write a note about your find if you wish. If you have difficulty finding the geocache, the app provides a description as well as a hint to help you out. The larger containers typically have treasures inside, such as miniature toys and stickers, which are fun for kids to find. If you take an item, it is courteous to leave an item in its place.
If you get lucky, you might discover a trackable inside a geocache. A trackable is a special treasure with its own tracking number. It typically looks like a dog tag with something attached to it, such as a small plastic toy. If you find a trackable, you can log it in your geocaching app and read about where it came from and where it wants to go. There is a special place to log a trackable on the geocache app. You can view its log online and read about the adventure it has already been on. The purpose of a trackable is to travel to other geocaches, so remember to place it in another geocache some time.
Safety is the top priority, especially when geocaching with small children. Since geocaches have a difficulty rating, be sure to find geocaches on your app that have an easy to find rating. Also consider the location. Look for geocaches that are in easy to access spots. Some geocaches are far off the beaten path, so stick to the ones close to public sidewalks, trails, parks, etc.
Enjoy the adventures of geocaching with kids.
Getting Kids Outside for a Therapeutic Experience Part 3: Painted Rocks
In Part 3 of getting kids outside for a therapeutic experience, Jenny introduces you to ‘Painted Rocks’, another way to get kids outside connected to nature. Rock Painting is artwork painted on the surface of a smooth stone, then placed in an easy access location outside such as a park or a trail for someone to find and keep or hide again. Painting the rocks develops a child’s fine motor skills and hiding the rocks or finding a painted rock provides opportunity for physical activity and a sensory rich experience in the great outdoors.
In parts 1 and 2 of getting kids outside for a therapeutic experience, we discovered how important fresh air and physical activity is for a child’s physical, mental and emotional health. Part 1 we explored fun activities to connect children to nature in their own back yard. Part 2 we explored therapeutic gardening as a way to connect children to nature. In Part 3 of this series I am introducing you to ‘Painted Rocks’, another way to get kids outside connected to nature. What is it and how does it benefit our children’s health and well-being?
Rock Painting is artwork painted on the surface of a smooth stone, then placed in an easy access location outside such as a park or a trail for someone to find and keep or hide again. Painting the rocks develops a child’s fine motor skills and hiding the rocks or finding a painted rock provides opportunity for physical activity and a sensory rich experience in the great outdoors.
Materials needed for Painted Rocks:
Smooth flat rocks – these can be purchased or found outside easily, just keep your eyes open
Acrylic paint – I like Apple Barrel brand or Martha Stewert
Paint brushes – Look for brushes that don’t shed bristles
Paint pens – Artistro or POSCA are good quality brands
Chalk Markers – these are great for younger children
Sealer – I use Modpodge for outdoors. You can use paint on sealer or spray on sealer. The sealer is an important step because it keeps the paint on the rock if it gets rained on before someone finds it.
What to do:
Wash the rocks and let them dry completely
Paint a smooth flat rock using acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry
Decorate the rock using paint pens, small paint brush, or chalk markers
You can choose to skip the acrylic paint step and go right to decorating the natural surface of the rock
Seal it with Modpodge or other sealer of your choice
Remember to label the back of the rock if you have a Rock Painting Facebook page or if you belong to a Rock Painting Facebook page community – there are several to choose from. In most cases, you will need to request permission to be admitted to join the group
Take a photo of the painted rock and post the pic to a Facebook page
Hide the rock in a park, family-friendly hiking trail, or at a playground
Your job is complete. Now time for someone to find the precious treasure!
With older children and teens, you can take rock painting to the next level and paint an inspirational message on your rock. Whoever finds this rock, well, it will make their day! I found a rock with a kind message one day when I was out mountain biking. The timing was serendipitous, as I needed to read that message on that day to help me resolve a conflict I was experiencing.
There is national movement called ‘The Kindness Rocks Project’. A woman by the name of Megan Murphy is the creator of this movement. The Kindness Rocks Project encourages people to leave rocks painted with inspiring messages along the path of life. Check it out at www.thekindnessrocksproject.com
There are tons of ideas on Pinterest for painted rock designs and inspirational messages to write on the rocks.
Some of my favorite inspirational quotes I have painted on my rocks include:
I have my own Painted Rock Facebook page called ‘Dolphin65’. It is open to anyone. If you find a painted rock with that label on the back, then you found one of the painted rocks I created! I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to post a pic of anyone’s painted rock you and your child find on my Facebook page and let’s share the joy!
Getting Kids Outside for a Therapeutic Experience, Part 2: Therapeutic Gardening
Therapeutic gardening is a wonderful way to get kids outside and learn about nature while developing sensory processing, motor skills, language, and social skills. In this podcast, Jenny explains the benefits of therapeutic gardening and offers practical suggestions for ways therapists and parents can help children get outside and garden!
In part 1 we learned that getting outside exposes us to sunlight, which is vital for our bodies to make vitamin D and making vitamin D balances our immune system. A recent study looking at global data from COVID19 found that there is a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and increased susceptibility to the repercussions of this novel virus. Another recent study revealed that people are less likely to get coronavirus while outside, because indoor air spreads the virus more quickly.
This is just more evidence to validate the importance of getting kids outside.
Therapeutic gardening is a wonderful way to get kids outside and learn about nature while developing sensory processing, motor skills, language, and social skills.
What are the benefits of therapeutic gardening?
Exposure to the elements of nature is very healing. Studies reveal that exposure to nature reduces blood pressure, eases muscle tension, decreases the production of stress hormones, and enhances immune function. And of course, they are exposed to sunlight, which will help vitamin D production.
Gardening facilitates emotional regulation. Research shows that exposure to the outdoors improves mood and reduces anxiety. This is very good news for parents with children who have developmental disabilities such as sensory processing disorder and autism because these children have an increased risk of mental and physical health issues.
Studies show that children with ADHD improve attention from exposure to green spaces, including just looking at a plant.
Gardening develops fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, balance, postural stability, and muscle strength.
There are always new things to learn about gardening. Learning a new skill contributes to growth and development helping a child feel a sense of independence and self-worth.
Kids can grow a vegetable garden, herb garden, flower garden and/or make a fairy garden.
Growing a vegetable garden contributes to a child’s nutrition. When children grow their own vegetables, they are more likely to eat them. (example of child who grew green beans). Summer is a good time in most places to plant tomatoes, summer squash, green beans, and peppers just to name a few. Start by selecting vegetables that you know your child likes to eat.
Herb gardens are a wonderful sensory experience. Kids can get immediate sensory input through their olfactory system, the sense of smell, simply by pinching off a small piece of the herb and rubbing it between their finger and thumb. This also is great for developing pincer grasp and in-hand manipulation skills. There are a variety of herbs kids can grow; Basal, thyme, sage, rosemary, peppermint, parsley, dill, and cilantro, just to name a few.
Flower gardens are full of beauty. Select flowers that are hearty for your climate so they can be enjoyed all through the summer months. Some flowers have more fragrance than others. Have the child select which colors and smells they like the most. Get a pot, some soil, and teach the child how to plant the flower. The child will develop responsibility by learning how to continue to take care of the flowers such as regularly watering it and pinching off any dead flowers or leaves to help facilitate new growth.
Fairy gardens help to develop a child’s imagination, creativity, and pretend play. You can commercially purchase some fairy garden items, but it is much more fun and creative to make a fairy garden out of nature items. Kids can go on a nature scavenger hunt and collect twigs, leaves, acorns, and unique rocks. Use any container to put the fairy garden into. It can be an old broken pot, the base of a pot, a basket with a plastic liner, or a small spot in the backyard. Start by filling the container with soil, next place the plants where you want them, and finish by arranging the nature items to create a one-of-a-kind fairy garden. Children can even make their own fairies out of craft material. Fairy houses can be made from sticks, string, glue, leaves and moss. There are many more ideas on Pinterest. This is excellent for fine motor skills, motor planning, and sequencing. Creating a theme can be fun. Here are a few examples; a beach theme, desert theme, woodland theme, English garden theme, camping theme, and so the list goes on… It is only limited to your imagination!
Getting Kids Outside for a Therapeutic Experience: Part 1
COVID19 quarantine is causing many of us to feel a bit of cabin fever. The good news is that we can experience the great outdoors while staying safe and healthy. As a matter of fact, getting outside in fresh air and sunlight helps boost the immune system. In this pod-cast, Jenny suggests different ways to connect children with nature. In part 1 of this series, since many children are still at home due to COVID19, Jenny starts with ideas that allow children to connect with nature in their own backyard.
COVID19 quarantine is causing many of us to feel a bit of cabin fever. The good news is that we can experience the great outdoors while staying safe and healthy. As a matter of fact, getting outside in fresh air and sunlight helps boost the immune system. Sunlight energizes T-cells in the immune system which are key to the body’s ability to fight infections. In addition, when skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D, an essential vitamin for healthy bones and a strong immune system.
Sunlight increases serotonin, a neurochemical that helps our mood so that we can feel calm, focused, and positive. This can help keep anxiety at bay, which is especially important during these uncertain times.
Exposure to sunlight improves sleep. Cells in our eyes need sunlight to adjust our internal body clock. Quality sleep can make all the difference in a child’s physical and mental health.
Studies show that being around green space, such as trees and grass, and blue space, like creeks, streams, or ponds, improves self-esteem and focusing.
Let’s explore different ways to connect children with nature. In part 1 of this series, since many children are still at home due to COVID19, we will start with ideas that allow children to connect with nature in their own backyard.
Well, let’s get started, the adventures await us!
An important note before we start, be safe and remember to wear sunscreen outside to protect from harmful UV rays.
Here are some fun activities for children to get outside, and you don’t have to go very far, just your own backyard!
OT’s, PT’s and Speech therapists can integrate these activities into a therapy session, or they can be implemented as a home program. These activities develop fine motor skills, visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, gross motor skills, social skills, auditory processing skills, and sensory self-regulation.
Sidewalk chalk: draw a hopscotch pattern, write letters and numbers, draw pictures, play tic, tac, toe.
Bubbles: blow bubbles, pop bubbles, catch bubbles on the wand, stomp on bubbles before they pop on the ground.
Water play: fill up balloons and have a water balloon fight, use a spray bottle to water plants or grass outside, fill a bowl of water and squeeze sponges into an empty bowl, paint with water on the sidewalk.
Birds: Watch for birds and locate them. Close your eyes and try to find where the bird sound is coming from. This is good for auditory localization skills. Take a photo then look up the type of bird. Listen for the bird sound and record it, then try to match the sound with the photo. You can use a smart phone for this.
Trees: Hug a tree and feel the texture of the bark for a tactile sensory game. If you can climb a tree be safe and go for it! Stand in the shade of a tree and then in the sun, notice the difference in temperature. This develops interoception awareness. Pick a leaf from a tree and do a crayon rubbing. Find a stick from a tree and jump over it.
Insects: Look for insects and count how many you see. Listen for the sound of the insect and locate where it is flying. Learn 3 fun facts about that insect. Write about it to work on handwriting skills.
Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Make a list of fun outside nature items to safely and easily find. Have at least 1 item for each sensory system. Something to smell, something to feel, something to see, something to hear, etc. For example: smell a flower, feel a rock, see a butterfly, listen for a bird’s song, and other items such as a bug, feather, a cloud and so on. Have the child check off each item as they find it. They can work on reading skills too. This is a great activity for visual perception.
Pick flowers and smell them. Create a bouquet. Make a paper cone flower holder. Press the flowers between wax paper and place inside a heavy book so they flatten. Then glue the flowers to paper and write a label to name each flower.
Make an obstacle course out of available materials. Such as a hula hoop, baseball glove, a tree in the yard, and so on.
Sandbox play. Work on scooping and pouring. Bury a toy and feel and find it. Great tactile activity.
Paint rocks with watercolors, then wash it off with a hose. Great proprioception with holding the hose full of water.
Make a birdhouse out of a milk carton. Make a bird feeder. You can make a bird feeder out of a pinecone, a toilet paper roll, a bagel, cereal, an orange, or a milk carton. There are many ideas on Pinterest on how to make these. Hang the bird house and the bird feeder in your backyard and watch the birds arrive.
Engage in a pretend car wash: Wash toy cars with shaving cream and a toothbrush, then rinse off with the hose because it’s super heavy.
Collect nature items and glue them on paper to make a nature collage. Talk about interesting facts of each item. Older children can work on handwriting skills and label the items and write down some fun facts.
Go on a sound safari in your neighborhood. Create a list of sounds that you may commonly hear, such as a fire engine siren, a dog barking, a car passing by, the wind blowing, and any other sounds that you want to add. This is great for auditory processing skills.
Find a buried treasure in your own backyard. The therapist will need to coordinate with parents ahead of time. Have them bury an object somewhere in the back yard. The object could be pennies inside a container. Make a treasure map on a piece of paper. Follow the map engaging in gross motor actions along the way to find the buried treasure.
Handwriting Strategies for Dysgraphia
Research shows that as many as 20% of school-age children have problems with handwriting. Illegible handwriting, also known as dysgraphia, is the primary reason for referrals to therapists practicing in school-based settings. This is a significant problem because handwriting is important for many functional life skills, such as completing homework and school assignments. Dysgraphia is common in children with sensory processing disorder and children with autism. In this podcast, Jenny shares insights into handwriting problems and offers simple but effective strategies to support students with dysgraphia.
To purchase Letter Treasure Hunt handwriting game click here.
Research shows that 10%-20% of school-age children have problems with handwriting. Handwriting is important for many functional life skills such as: Complete homework, school assignments, achievement tests for getting into college, writing letters, completing a job application form, and writing checks just to name a few. Illegible handwriting, also known as dysgraphia, is the primary reason for referrals to therapists practicing in school-based settings. Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder in which a person experiences handwriting difficulties. Letter formation may be acceptable in very short samples of writing, but this requires extreme effort and an unreasonable amount of time to accomplish. Overall, written work is not readable, even if copied. Some Signs & Symptoms of dysgraphia:
Cramped fingers on writing tool causing hand fatigue
Mixture of upper & lowercase letters
Reversal errors (typical through first grade)
Inconsistent letter formation & slant
Irregular letter sizes & shapes
Misuse of line & margin
Poor organization on the page
Inefficient speed in copying
Here are some simple and effective strategies to support students with dysgraphia:
Let’s consider compensatory strategies:
non-sitting positions during handwriting such as prone on the floor, tall kneeling, or standing to assist with posture
Ball chair or air-filled cushion for sensory input
A slant board helps support the forearm and wrist during writing and positions the paper at just the right visual angle
Pencil grips can support and position fingers for the most efficient grasp
Adapted handwriting paper such as 2 lined paper to eliminate visual confusion, raised line paper to give a tactile cue for the baseline, or highlighted paper for easier visual target when writing
Here are some accommodations to consider:
Change demands of writing rate: Allow more time for written tasks
Change volume: Reduce copying by providing math worksheet with problems written
Change tools: Graph paper for math problems, pencil grippers, adapted paper
Change format: Do not grade spelling on some assignments
Let’s look at some intervention ideas:
Theraputty to increase grip strength
Hand and finger warmups to handwriting such as finger thumb touching and squeezing the hands
Kinesthetic activities for handwriting such as practicing spelling words in shaving cream
Letter Treasure Hunt handwriting game from www.Therapro.com This is my original invention and kids have commented how fun handwriting is when they play this game!
Tools to Help Children Develop Visual Perception
In this audio-cast, Jenny discusses tools that can be used by teachers, therapists, and parents to help children develop visual perception.
Jenny offers presentations, webinars, and workshops for teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. If you are planning a conference and you are looking for a speaker on SPD, please contact Jenny today.
Visual perceptual skills are the foundation skills necessary for reading, writing, and math. There are seven visual perceptual skills that impact learning. A student can have deficits in one or more of these subskills. I would like to share with you a description of these visual perceptual skills, how they might impact children in school, and activities to help improve each area of visual perception to enrich learning ability.
Visual Discrimination: The ability to discern slight differences between letter shapes, sizes and fonts. This can affect reading comprehension.
Activities: Matching game such as Old Maid, Go Fish, scrabble.
Visual Memory: Important skill for copying from the chalkboard or spelling.
Activities: Memory card game, practice spelling words using a scented marker, then smell the marker just before the test. The olfactory system is linked to memory.
Visual Spatial Relationship: Enables discerning between b-d-p-q. It is important in preventing letter reversals and manipulating columns of numbers.
Activities: Puzzles, parquetry, tanograms.
Visual Form Constancy: It is important in discriminating similar font styles when reading. Can lead to poor reading comprehension and recall.
Activities: Find and circle all of the letter “a’s” on a magazine or newspaper page. Then find all of the letter “b’s” etc.
Visual Sequential Memory: Affects reading comprehension and spelling. It is important in written organizational skills for creative writing. VSM difficulties may mean that class performance exceeds exam responses.
Activities: Use a hand-held electronic speller. Spell words using magnetic letters. Spell words in modeling clay.
Visual Figure-Ground: Difficult to focus on tasks without being distracted by extraneous input. May lose things easily in desk and would therefore benefit from organizational aids. May lose place on page when reading.
Activities: Use a window guide when reading. Here is one example (Reading Helper 954-752-3692). Hidden picture activity pages such as Highlights magazine, Where’s Waldo or I-Spy books.
Visual Closure: Difficulties may affect word identification, seeing words “spl-it”, or omitting letters when reading.
Activities: Finish the picture activity books, dot-to-dot (ask child what the picture is before completing it).
Therapeutic Fun with Wikki Stix
Wikki Stix is a product made of wax coated yarn. Parents, teachers, and pediatric occupational therapists can all use Wikki Stix with children. Touching Wikki Stix wax coated yarn stimulates the tactile system. Wikki Stix are fun and motivating. Give a listen to this short podcast to see how children with tactile sensitivity benefit from Wikki Stix fun.
Wikki Stix is a product made of wax coated yarn. Parents, teachers, and pediatric occupational therapists can all use Wikki Stix with children.
Touching Wikki Stix wax coated yarn stimulates the tactile system. Some children have tactile sensitivity, some are tactile seeking, and some are tactile underresponive. Wikki Stix benefits all 3 sensory modulation subtypes.
The fun and motivating Wikki Stix may encourage children with tactile sensitivity to tolerate touching the Wikki Stix, thereby increasing exposure to noxious tactile input. This may carry over to other tactile challenges, such as tolerating hands in messy art material.
Children who are tactile seeking benefit from engaging with Wikki Stix because the stickiness may satiate their neurological need for tactile input. This may carry over to helping these children decrease their excessive need to touch objects in the classroom.
Tactile sensory underresponsive children gain increased tactile input while engaging with Wikki Stix. The increased tactile input these children experience, may help them to feel a pencil in their hand with increased sensory awareness, thereby helping them with improved pencil control for handwriting.
Manipulating Wikki Stix to create designs helps children developing important fine motor foundation skills such as pincer grasp, bilateral coordination, in-hand manipulation, and prehension. These can carry over to functional skills such as manipulating scissors, holding a crayon or pencil with correct grasp, and successful use of math manipulatives.
Using Wikki Stix to copy designs helps to build important visual motor and visual perceptual skills, the foundation skills necessary for reading, math, and handwriting.
Wikki Stix can be used for visual accommodations in the classroom.
Stick on handwriting paper to give a tactile cue for baseline letters
Stick around coloring picture to teach children coloring inside boundary lines
Use for visual cue to mark reading line to help children keep from visually skipping lines
Roll a Wikki Stix into a small ball and place on larger numbers for Touch Math
Use Wikki Stix for a hand fidget
Wrap a Wikki Stix at base of pencil for an instant pencil grip
Stick to paper to stabilize it on desk
Here are some fun activity ideas with Wikki Stix. You can find more ideas at: www.Wikkistix.com
Create shapes for pre-writing skills: plus, circle, square, triangle