Saturday, March 29, 2014

More Fine Motor!

So every once in a while, I will browse through the lovely ideas on Pinterest! I haven't been visiting quite as much lately because it seems like I usually end up leaving with some type of anxiety attack or new cause! As wonderful as Pinterest is, I'm always left feeling like I need to do more with the Monster or should focus on whatever the flavour or cause of the week is! Aghhhhh!

So anyways, the last few weeks we have been focusing on OT fine motor activities because Pinterest told me to do so!! Hahahaha! Here is a little bit of what we have been up to!

Yules got these fancy wooden toys for Christmas that I finally let her play with!

We have been using them to work on wrist rotation. But you can use anything that twists on and off! Yules has a drawer full of containers with lids that twist on and off in varying sizes! Twisting the lids on and off can seriously occupy the monster for a decent amount of time! Once that gets old, I give her a handful of things (cheerios, pasta etc.) to fill and empty using the containers. Other things that you can use to promote wrist rotation can be nuts and bolts, and pad locks and keys... but that might be for older kids as it requires quite a bit more hand eye coordination! Anyways, Husband is not pleased that we have a giant collection of containers that should be in the recycle and that NOW the monster can open EVERYTHING!! Haha!

We have also been working on hand strength! A simple idea I came across was sticking toothpicks into Styrofoam! Well that sounded easy and I like easy! I gave Yules a Styrofoam plate and a couple toothpicks. It was easy and she seemed to enjoy it but it looked kinda dangerous and sharp. So I abandoned that idea. Husband found the plate with the sharp toothpicks sticking out and asked if it was some type of death trap I was making! Haha it is definitely a keep-your-eye-on-them-at-all-times kind of activity... which I didn't like very much! So I modified it a bit by giving her a thick piece of Styrofoam and plastic party toothpicks! Same thing but with no sharp pointy sticks! I wanted to draw a picture of a person on the Styrofoam and see what she stabs at first... but Husband said that was a little morbid... but I still might do it!

I've also been pushing the puzzles hardcore!! Did you know that shape recognition is the first step to reading!! No need to know the names and how many angles/sides etc. but just to be able to recognize and match. So we do puzzles lots!! Thank goodness she likes them!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Water play + Dish Soap

Yules got a special treat in her water table today... soap!! Haha cheap thrills!!

Okay first here are a couple tips for water play [inside] with the littles. Only give them a little bit of water. Seriously, about an inch of water is like the best thing ever to them and it's really all they need. To keep water spilling on the floor to a minimum, give them lots of toys with holes! Think funnels, slotted spoons, strainers, colanders etc. By the time they move it away from the table, most of it will have fallen back into the table and not on the floor!

So anyways, to soup-up her water play I gave her a little sponge with a squirt of dish soap. I was fully anticipating her to wash the little cups and spoons since she always "helps" with dishwashing!


Look at that sweet little Kalbster napping away on the stairs!!

Anyways, back to water play... Yules made a different connection with the soap! She realized that soap is for washing hands... so she washed her hands!

Then she felt the need to wash her face!!


What the heck she thought... might as well wash my hair too!! Haha!

Haha I intervened before she decided to give herself a full on sponge bubble bath!! LOL

No more SNOW please!!

Ughhh... wasn't I just saying that it's Spring? I've seriously had enough of the white stuff! One day I'm whipping out the summer dresses and the next Yules is bundled up from head to toe!

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's Spring!!

It's officially Spring!! Well the calendar says it is at least... not sure if mother nature agrees or not!
To celebrate Spring, Yules and I are planting flowers! Okay that's kind of a lie because we have zero backyard and are in need of some major landscaping this year. So the next best thing is of course some dramatic play mixed in with some sensory in the garage!! Haha! The sand table is now a flower garden growing some lovely faux flowers. Yules had so much fun planting flowers, watering them with sand and selling bouquets to me!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Contact Paper Collage

We whipped out the contact paper again a little while ago and let the little monster get her art on. This project is super easy for your little ones. Just find some wall space and see where they take it! It's something that can be left up for a long time! The best part about art projects like this is that it is open-ended. There's no one way or right way to do it and there are no expected results. Their brilliant little minds can take it anywhere they want it to! Let me know if you try it and if your kiddo likes it!!

At first Yules was super excited and was really into it! This is what her collage looked like after day 1:

And that's what it pretty much looked like for a couple weeks! I remember doing projects like this with the kiddos at school and it took a really looooooong time! One day they would be really into it and the next day they could care less. Just leave it and let it be is key! All too often we assume they aren't interested and move on to something else. Most of the time it takes little kids a while to really get into things! Yules would put a couple things on and peel a couple things off each day or else didn't even touch it at all. Then one day I introduced some new materials (ie. colored popsicle sticks) which reignited her interested. She must have felt inspired because she worked feverishly to complete her collage!!
This is what it looks like right now! We'll leave it for a little while and see if she takes it anywhere further or if it's done with!!

Monday, March 17, 2014


Okay here is a super random topic... PENCILS!!

I had this one classroom long ago that had one of those old fashioned pencil sharpeners that was bolted to the counter! It has a dial so you can choose your pencil size and then you had to crank the handle! If you know what I'm talking about, then you must be ancient like me!! Hehehe!

Anyways, this thing is loud, makes a mess and pretty much chews up your pencil if you don't use it properly. The kids were naturally OBSESSED with it! It became so disruptive that I pretty much banned it and made them use a regular pencil sharpener if they needed to sharpen their pencils. That plan didn't work out too well either because I figured out that most of the kids just pretended to sharpen their pencil so they could get out of their desks and not have to do work. Soon the pencil sharpening area was the hottest place in town and all the kiddos wanted to hang out there! It was pretty much like the water cooler at work where people gather to chit chat and be unproductive. It was driving me nuts!!!

So I had to come up with a super aggressive plan!! I collected ALL their pencils... even the new ones from the school supplies that parents sent at the beginning of the school year! I sharpened a whole jar of pencils and made a "communal" pencil jar! If you needed a pencil you could take one. If your pencil needed to be sharpened then you would have to place your pencil in the "need to be sharpened" jar and take a sharpened pencil. This plan worked GREAT and productivity increased and pencil sharpening related distractions decreased dramatically! The only problem with my super awesome plan was I was spending a good 10 mins+ sharpening pencils at the end of everyday! AIYAH!

Anyways, since I was spending so much time sharpening pencils I became quite the pencil connoisseur! The dollar store pencils are CRAP! Do not buy your kids pencils from the dollarstore! They do not sharpen well and always break or the lead isn't perfectly centered. So which pencil should you be buying? Well, there was ONE pencil that was for sure my pencil of choice. I saw it the other day at Walmart and it caught my eye and made me reminisce about my good ol' pencil sharpening days... hence this super awesome random post about pencils! It is called the MIRADO!

This pencil writes ultra smooth and sharpens like a gem! It's also only 2 bucks for a pack so not expensive at all! It's black, so super easy to spot among the sea of different pencils! So next time you are school supply shopping, do your kiddos (or their teacher) a favour and buy them THIS pencil!!