Friday, March 26, 2010

Trip to Staples - good finds.

After learning about the china marker on Tuesday (see March 23rd post) , I decided I needed to make a quick trip to Staples to pick some up. And, of course there were other things I picked up as well. 

On the far left, I purchased Twist and Write Pencils - 4 for 4 bucks. These might be great for a student with a weak or awkward grasp. 

Next to that are circular multi-use labels. 1,000 of these blank stickers will run you about 7 dollars and can will give you endless treatment ideas. I use them to write the letters of student's names or words and have them peel and match them on whatever we are working on. This is great for fine motor manipulation, visual motor and visual perceptual skills. There are also different sizes available depending on the student's ability level. 

The third item I bought is paper reinforcements. I was thinking ahead to the week when I come back after Spring Break. I have seen a cute activity in the past where the student's dip their hand in black paint placing it on the paper upside down. The fingers are the feet and the thumb is the head. After it dries (definitely a two step activity), the students place the paper reinforcements on it as the "wool"to create a lamb.  It is a great spring theme activity. There are a ton of other lamb activity ideas here

And finally, the china markers, of course. These ere a little pricey for my budget but you get 12 pencils for less than a dollar each.  You might be able to find them somewhere else sold in smaller numbers. 

I am heading camping for Spring Break!! Be back later next week. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Assistive Tech Tuesday - Weighted pencil

I have a student who often makes light wavy strokes when writing letters. And, I thought I would try a weighted pencil. So, I made a quick trip to the hardware store and purchased a few nuts, that cost less than 10 cents each! I can't remember what size I got but just bring the pencil in with you and that'll solve that.

Once home, I wasn't really sure how to rig the pencil. I tied a rubberband around the ends of the nuts to keep them on and that seemed to do the trick.

But, once I tried it, there was no improvement. I think I'll play with the weight and the location on the pencil a bit to see if I have any luck. I looked for some research to support and guide my attempt and I was unsuccessful. Please share any EBP tips you have on this one.

When I googled weighted pencils to include some interesting links, I found this great webpage that had my idea along with other do-it-yourself projects.

And check out this super helpful pdf file compiled by an OT. It discusses many other weighted pencil options. I'm thinking about trying the China Marker.

Don't stop there because this tasty little treat is full of ideas and describes her "Handwriting Club" in great detail. So useful!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Almost St. Patrick’s Day!

Not long ago it seems I was whining about the lack of holidays for treatment inspiration. And, it seems time has crazily flown by and here we are at St. Patty’s day. I have been milking this holiday for weeks now and never got around to taking pictures of my other projects, so here is my latest one.

Leprechaun Hat - for lack of a more creative name

I precut the hat, buckle and four leaf clover. Of course, if your student is capable and there’s enough time, they may like to do it themselves.

My students cut along a ¼ inch thick line on a page that they had traced and colored a shamrock.  The piece that was cut from this page was used for the white strip on the hat. Then the students decorated the hats with small sequins that required a  precise pincer grasp to manipulate.

Here are some other great St Patrick’s day inspired ideas. And check here. 

I like this idea for a tactile component to your treatment. 
 Jello coins in a pot of gold! 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wonderful Website - Tasks galore.

I was looking through some of the literature I have saved in the past few years. And, although I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, I did stumble upon this wonderful resource. Tasks Galore is a publishing company that appears to have some great OT related books - but if you don't have the money for that right now, check the Task of the month, a free and brilliant idea. It does seem that they change these and the ideas are not archived, so check back monthly to keep up.

February 2010's idea would be great for a student with self-help dressing needs.  Picture the lunch box as a suitcase and have clothes that pack inside with buttons, zippers, etc.

I'm thinking that you could tie this into a themed treatment session and "go on a trip" on a scooterboard, avoiding obstacles (cones, pillows, chairs) in the road along the way, or picking up friends (stuffed animals).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Built-up handle - so easy!

Could it be any easier ?

Stop by Home Depot (or another hardware store, perhaps?) and pick up some pipe insulation. It comes in different thickness options - but is under 2 dollars for a 6 foot long piece! What a steal. You can wrap this around any handle that would help your student (or patient) access their environment. This could help with a student who has difficulty grasping smaller objects like the handle of a spoon, when self self-feeding.  It already comes with a cut down the middle, so simply wrap around object of interest or need. You may need to wrap it with tape if a student finds it entertaining to remove.

A solution so cheap you don't even need to find funding! Hooray!