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Therapy News

March 30, 2017

Therapy News

 

Theme:  Winter …continued

The past few months we have celebrated Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, and the official start of Spring.

 

Activities:

Some of our books over the past few months have included ”Peanut Butter and Jelly”- which is a rhythmic book with repeated phrases that lends itself to creating a clapping pattern, following the actions in the story, and speech practice.  We then “squished” the children between 2 mats and made them into sandwiches for that deep pressure and proprioceptive input.  We also practiced our coloring and cutting skills as we made paper peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.   We celebrated Dr. Seus’ birthday by reading “Put Me in the Zoo” which led to a discussion on categorizing animals and where they live, moving like different animals, and making a spotted cat with pom poms!   We enjoyed Mardi Gras with the Dinosaurs; another story with a repetitive phrase that we could all say together and do a clap/tap pattern to it.   We then went on the therapy ball and did sit ups and prone extension (superman lift) to strengthen our core while collecting beads and coins at the Mardi Gras Party!  For St Patrick’s Day we read “Searching for a Pot of Gold”; it talked about all of the colors in a rainbow and we categorized objects by their colors.

 

 

Activities to try at home:

  1. Read, read, and read some more with your child!  Have your younger child identify pictures, name colors, and answer simple questions.   With your older kids ask them “why” questions and have them predict what will happen next.
  2. Set up an obstacle course in your house.   Let the kids crawl or crab walk under the table, commando crawl or roll over a pile of pillows, have them step in and out of laundry baskets.  Get creative.   Children improve their motor planning abilities by having to plan and execute different types of movements in a variety of spaces. 
  3. Do an art project with your child.   Let them color, cut, and use glue with supervision!
  4. Act out nursery rhymes – kids love the repetitive patterns of these stories!
  5. Make a treasure map and go on a hunt throughout the house finding things “in, on, under, and over” using different motor movements to find the objects.
  6. Spring! – talk about the differences in the seasons – winter versus spring – snow boots versus rain boots; short-sleeve shirts versus long-sleeve shirts; things outside turning green; winter coat versus spring coat.
  7. Have your child help you in the kitchen – making the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc.  This helps with vocabulary, sequencing, math, etc.  It’s also great to try new things!

February 10, 2017

Therapy News

Winter
 

Theme:  Winter

 

Activity:

We read several books about winter, including “Froggy Gets Dressed”, “The Mitten”, “What Do Snowmen Do at Night?”, “Red Sled”.  We played in “fake” snow—which really does get cold!   We tore and glued tissue paper to make a sled.  We finger painted with pudding to make our pretend cups of cocoa.  We worked on lacing to make mittens.  Then we crawled through the stretch tunnel to pretend we were the animals going into the mitten.   We used scooter boards to pretend we were sledding.   We went through an obstacle course/motor maze to match winter pictures.

 

We sequenced winter dressing, how to make a snowman, and we made hot cocoa! We defined and described snow; we talked about the different seasons; and we played winter Bingo.


 

Activities to try at home:

  1. Shaving cream-squirt some on a mirror, table, or cookie sheet and have them work on writing or drawing in it.  

  2. Put puzzles together.  Place pieces on your child’s non-dominant side so that he or she has to cross midline to reach for the pieces.

  3. Take your child sledding!   It’s great for sensory input on the way down and lots of strengthening on the way back up the hill.  Make snow “angels” and make footprints in the snow! You can make hot cocoa with your child and talk about the ingredients and step by step instructions.

  4. Build a fort in your house by putting blankets of sheets over your table or over some chairs and let the kids crawl through it.

  5. Read some winter stories with your kids; have them label the pictures or if they are older, have them tell what is happening in the story based on the pictures.  Ask your child to predict what will happen next. After you finish the story have them retell it to you and answer questions about it.  

December 8, 2016

GINGERBREAD MAN

 

This week our theme was the Gingerbread man.  We read the story about the Gingerbread Man and identified the people and animals chasing him.  We then reached with both hands, while lying on our stomachs (prone extension/superman lift) to reach for the matching story pieces – to work on our trunk strength and see if we could recall the appearance of the characters in the right order.  We also did bowling with a weighted ball; we worked on upper body strengthening and doing squats with various weights to strengthen our leg too.  We then knocked over the characters from the story, since they were on the bowling pins.   We then mixed the ingredients and made dough to make the apple cinnamon ornaments.

 

Activities to try at home:

  1. Tactile/Touch Activities:  Play with sand, finger paints, or playdough.   Try shaving cream on the bathtub walls- it is fun!
  2. Strengthening activities to try at home: while lying on their stomach have them reach with both hands for an item (i.e. puzzle piece).   Have them push (while kneeling) a laundry basket with heavy items in it.   Have your child carry in the milk, laundry detergent, or other heavy items.
  3. Language:  Story sequencing and recall.  When reading with your child, talk about “first, second, next, last” and have him/her retell or sequence the parts in the story.  Ask questions relating to the sequence and main points of the story.
  4. Holiday baking and cooking – while making Holiday goodies, have your child help you make and bake them – this helps with sensory input and strengthening of the upper body (rolling out dough and pressing the cookie cutters down).  This also helps with sequencing, measuring, recall, and following directions.  Talk about what you are doing as you are making the goodies (we are “rolling” the dough; we are putting it in the “oven,” etc.) to help with vocabulary and general knowledge.

December 1, 2016


 

 

FARM ANIMALS

 

Today our theme was  Farm Animals.   We started with reading the book “Russell the Sheep”.   While we read the story, we laid on our tummies and propped on our elbows.   We identified animals in the story, counted, and labeled common objects.   The older children answered questions about predicating what will happen in the story next.   We then did animal movements down the mat: crab walking, bear walking, jumping, hopping,  etc.  We made sheep out of paper plates and cotton.  We worked on cutting on the lines to cut out our legs.  We worked on body and spatial awareness as we tried to correctly place our pieces. 

 

Activities to try at home:

  1. Scissor skills (with supervision): cutting on lines, cutting straws, or cutting play dough—to add a strengthening component.
  2. Play movement games at home: wheelbarrow walk to get to dinner, crab walk to brush your teeth, etc.
  3. Body awareness and body part: Have your child label his body parts or for older children have them draw themselves.  You can add in counting by counting different body parts. 
  4. Read stories with your child or have them read to you.  If they are younger ask them to identify pictures and answer simple wh questions  If they are older have them work on prediction “what do you think will happen next?”   Also, have them retell the story to you to work on recall or find the main points and ideas in the story.  If your child is older, look for humor, plays on words, idioms (“raining cats and dogs), etc.
  5. Words and sounds – have your child say sounds correctly as he or she labels pictures –beginning and ending sounds.

November 17, 2016

Theme: Thanksgiving

 

Activity:

 

We rode on scooter boards down the ramp and across the room while lying on our stomachs. This works

are trunk muscles which are important for sitting at our desks and maintaining an upright posture. When

pulling ourselves back; we pulled with arms together. This is a great workout for chest, shoulder, and back

muscles!

We divided our play-dough into two piles- one bigger than the other. We then rolled the play-dough into

balls. We put the smaller ball on top of the larger ball- it was the head on our turkey. We then pushed

small pipe cleaners into the body. Then we pushed beads onto the pipe cleaner. While doing this activity

we worked on the concepts of big and little; top and bottom. We are also worked on naming the colors of

the beads or making patterns with the beads. With the rolling the play-dough, we worked on the little

muscles in our hands, and with stringing the beads we worked on our pincer grasp.

We read a variety of Thanksgiving stories (depending on the age of the children). We identified pictures

with the younger children and answered questions about the story with the older children. We told or

wrote what we are thankful for. We talked about the different foods that can be offered at Thanksgiving

and favorite foods., as well as family traditions – eating dinner together, hunting, shopping, watching

football, etc.

Activities to try at home:

Gross Motor

1. Wheelbarrow walk with your child each night when they go to brush their teeth. Have them lie on

their bellies while placing their hands and elbows on the floor while they read a book. These

activities will strengthen their shoulder and back muscles.

Language

2. Talk about Thanksgiving – what your traditions are as a family and what each family member is

thankful for. Talk about Thanksgiving foods and the feast – have your child help you cook and/or

set the table. Talk about the different smells, textures, and tastes of the foods. Talk about the

history of Thanksgiving—Pilgrims and the Native Americans.

Fine Motor

3. Cereal Games. Small cereal like Cheerios or Fruit Loops work great. Have your child pick up the

cereal using their index finger and thumb. You can play counting games or see how many they

can hold in their hand at once. You could string them onto a piece of dental floss or yarn to get

both hands working together.

November 3, 2016

 

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Therapy News Letter

 

“GOING ON A BEAR HUNT”

 

Today our theme was a bear hunt.   We started with reading the book “Going on a Bear Hunt”.  We used a 2 step clapping pattern to work on rhythm and we did the actions to challenge our coordination and work on our core.   We then cut out the map pieces to work on our scissor skills and glued them on the map to work on our visual perceptual skills and our recall of the story.  Later we did movements  to find the bears using clues.  For example we bear walked, crab walked, hopped on 1 foot, etc.  to the bear that is “the color of grass”, “the bear that is the color of a strawberry”, etc  This worked on our strength, balance, and coordination.  It also made us think and decipher the clues. 

 

Activities to try at home:

  1. Scissor skills (with supervision): cutting on lines, cutting straws, or cutting play dough—to add a strengthening component.
  2. Play movement games at home: wheelbarrow walk to get to dinner, crab walk to brush your teeth, etc.
  3. Read stories with your child.  If they are younger ask them to identify pictures.  If they are older have them work on prediction “what do you think will happen next?”   Also, have them retell the story to you to work on recall.
  4. Words and sounds – have your child say sounds correctly as he or she labels pictures –beginning and ending sounds.

Wausaukee's Therapy Team

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Jennifer Hammes

Speech Therapist

715-856-5151 Ext 269

hammesj@wausaukee.k12.wi.us

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Maria Knepel

Occupational Therapist

715-856-5151 Ext 285

knepelm@wausaukee.k12.wi.us

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Page Lewandowski

Physical Therapist

715-856-5151 Ext 285

lewandowskip@wausaukee.k12.wi.us

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Sarah Primakow

Early Childcare Teacher

715-856-5151 Ext 285

primakows@wausaukee.k12.wi.us