learning to tie shoes

The Amazing Secret Weapon to Learning How to Tie Shoes

 <This is a sponsored post. To learn more, read my disclaimer>

Learning how to tie your shoes is a giant leap toward becoming a “big kid”.   Kind of like getting your first car or driver’s license. It feels like you are immediately branded as a “grown-up”.

Yup, being self-sufficient below the ankles is a big deal.

There are tons of tips and tricks to help kids achieve those “big kid” milestones. Learning to get dressed (including shoes) by themselves is really monumental in a kid’s life.

Did you know that typically developing children are ready to learn how to tie between the ages of 4 ½  and 6?  It’s true. Unfortunately, many elementary school children don’t learn for years after that. 

  

Why aren’t Kids Learning How to Tie Shoes?

There are many reasons:

  1. No one ever taught them.
  2. Parents buy velcro or slip on because it’s faster and easier.
  3. It’s a hard thing to learn – Parents watch their children struggle with it and revert to number 2.

But there’s a solution for learning how to tie shoes!  Even for children who struggle with attention, motor planning, or using two hands together.

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Choosing the Best High Chair For Baby

<Finding the perfect high chair can be a daunting task for a new mom.  Baby feeding specialist Rachel Coley guest posts on how to choose the best high chair for your baby>

choose the best high chair, positioning, baby feeding, eating solids

TIPS TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIGH CHAIR FOR BABY

If you’ve ever spent an hour pouring over Amazon product reviews desperate for a clear-cut, final, definitive, let-me-get-off-the-computer-and-go-to-bed answer to which swaddle, stroller, pacifier, baby carrier or car seat is the best for your little one, I need to warn you ahead of time that I won’t be sharing the #1 best high chair brand and model for your baby today.

Truth is – I can’t. I don’t know your home’s space constraints, if you have a preference for a wooden chair or a plastic chair, if you care about how cute your baby gear is, etc.

BUT, as a pediatric Occupational Therapist and feeding therapist what I can share with you is the #1 most important thing to consider when  you choose the best high chair for your baby and your family:

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Introducing the Twiddle®Nathan – The Perfect Gift For Children with Autism!

<If you’re searching for the perfect gift for a child with Autism, ADHD, or Sensory Processing Difficulties, check out the Twiddle®Nathan. This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links for your convenience.>


Woohoo! Another amazing find!

You know when you are looking for the perfect gift and you just don’t know what to get?

It’s the worst.

So here’s what happened to me recently:  I’d been working for over a year with a family with a young boy diagnosed with Autism.

Then, they told me they were moving.   I had grown very attached to this sweet, loving family and their bright-eyed seven-year-old son, Gary, who had difficulties with attention and sensory processing.  He had achieved so much in the past year. We just “connected”.

So I wanted to find a little “good luck and goodbye” gift for Gary.  But it had to be something he would really like.  Something he would willingly play with, and not stim on.   This would be tough.

SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A CHILD WITH AUTISM and Attention Difficulties

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The Must-Have Sensory Processing Resource

<A powerful sensory processing resource can change your life>

This post contains affiliate links.

Click to learn more about the minicourse “Unlocking Sensory Secrets”


Do you remember when you first started using Pinterest?  Really using it on a daily basis?

I do.

Discovering  Pinterest literally changed my life. All of a sudden I was:

  • A cook with tons of healthy and fresh recipes
  • A DIY ninja who could change my own electric outlets (Yes, I did that!)
  • A budget-diva who could wear thirty different outfits using only ten pieces of clothing that were already in my closet   

Not to mention the TONS of awesome OT activities and hacks I discovered, pinned, and started to use every day as an OT.

A resource like that is worth a million bucks.  

I FOUND ANOTHER ONE… A Sensory Processing Resource.

sensory processing resource

Yep, it’s true. As good as Pinterest.  This will make you a more understanding parent. And a more empathetic therapist. And an adult who generally has awesome ways of helping their kids with Sensory Processing issues.  Which, BTW, is also worth a million bucks.

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5 Tips For Teaching Yoga To Children With Special Needs

Yoga is an exercise that incorporates balance, breathing, and coordination into smooth movements or poses that “flow”.  Teaching yoga to children with special needs is tricky.

 But there are definitely some amazing tricks to get the job done.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience)

As an elementary school based OT, I often push into work with whole special education classes. While every child is unique, the majority of the children need help with strength, fine motor skills, motor planning, coordination, and balance.  Almost all of them struggle with following directions and staying focused.  Sound familiar?

That’s why Yoga is my go-to activity for kids with special needs. It works on everything for everyone.

Research shows that teaching yoga to children can help improve behavior, attention, focus, and social skills. Physically, it can increase a child’s strength, coordination, bilateral integration, and even fine motor skills.   Yoga has TONS of therapeutic benefits for kids.  To learn more about WHY to teach yoga to kids, check out this post I wrote for MamaOT, called “The Therapeutic Benefits of Yoga for Children”.

teaching yoga to children

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Twiddles Sensory Toy

How to Improve Self-Regulation With The Twiddle® Sensory Toy

<The Twiddle® Sensory Toy is the answer you’ve been looking for!  >

HOW TO USE THE TWIDDLE® SENSORY TOY 

I’m so excited to write about a new product I found called the Twiddle®.  This is a sponsored post, which means I was compensated to write about the product.  I only endorse products that I use personally in my practice, and the Twiddle® Sensory Toy is a new favorite.

Twiddles are soft, therapeutic activity/comfort aids that assist caregivers and professionals specializing in children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, developmental disabilities, and more.

This post contains affiliate links.

Twiddle® Sensory Toy

What is a Twiddle® Sensory Toy and what is it for?

The Twiddle intrigued me when I first saw it – what an awesome idea!  It’s a comforting, engaging tool that looks like a toy or a stuffed animal but functions as a sensory aid to keep a child’s hands busy and mind focused.

It has gadgets on the outside and a soft flexible plastic orbit ball on the inside; perfect for active hands that like to squeeze, pull, and play!

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How To Help A Child That Uses Too Much Pressure When Writing

Many children use too much pressure when writing.  Read on for OT tricks to conquer this problem!


“He breaks pencils like crazy, and then wastes 5 minutes each time to go sharpen it!  Why is he pressing so hard?”

The teacher’s cheeks were pink with frustration.  I could see her patience with Billy was at an all time low.

This little boy was bright, but he wasn’t producing neat work and he wasn’t finishing his work in an appropriate time frame.  And all because of one silly reason:

Too much pressure.

There are a few reasons why a child may be pressing too hard when writing, coloring and drawing.

too much pressure when writing

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