How to Make Good Use of Your Time While School Is Closed

by Sandy Masayko

READ with your child! 

The most important thing is to have fun.

  • Take time to talk about the pictures and ask questions of your child. What do you think is going to happen? Who is doing what? Where are they? What are those? Do we have some of those? What do you think is going to happen next?
  • You don’t have to read the story word for word.
  • Make your own books. Make up stories about your child, your family and pets.  Use family photos or draw simple stick figures; download pictures from the Internet.

Here’s a great website for guidance on reading with a young child:

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/304-how-to-introduce-toddlers-and-babies-to-books

SING with your child!

Your voice is the most beautiful voice in the world to your child.  You don’t need be Beyoncé to sing with your child.

And, do you know that singing rhyming songs helps to get your child ready to read?

  • All the old favorites, from ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle, Wheels on the Bus, Happy Birthday, Old MacDonald to BINGO are good. Think of songs you liked as a child and sing those.
  • Personalize songs by putting your child’s name in the song instead of the usual name.
  • Spell out your child’s name by singing it to a favorite tune. For example, sing the Happy Birthday song with your child’s letters.

Here are some more ideas:

http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Fun-Activities/How-to-Sing-with-Babies-The-Hanen-Way.aspx

COOK with your child!

Cooking can be play—show your child how you make foods.  This will take some planning for safety, and you don’t want to be in a rush.

  • Show your child how you open, pour, chop, cut, slice, stir, bake, fry & more. Talk about these things as do them.
  • If your child can help stir or participate in any way, let them help.
  • Make Jell-O and see what happens if you leave some outside of the refrigerator, and what happens if you put some in the freezer. Talk to your child about the changes that happen.  This is food science!
  • Have taste tests: try out new tastes and talk about sour, sweet, bitter, salty, crunchy, smooth, soft.

Here is a website with more ideas:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Cooking-With-Your-Children.aspx

Have fun and let us know about your favorite activities. We will be waiting to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

Music Therapy with Sabrina

For so many of the kids, and in all honesty, most of the adults, music therapy is one of the most favorite parts of the day! As a result, it is one of the things we are missing most, so we are so grateful that Sabrina put some music therapy online for us.

In this series, she takes us from “hello” to “goodbye”, they are in order of a music therapy session, so that might be a fun way to start. If you really want to get the full experience, make a shaker to go along with the shaky song. Sabrina recommends a plastic container filled with something from around the house that will make a shaking sound. Her example is one with oats and one with lentils. Have fun with it a get creative!

Hello Song / Old Oak Tree

Body Rock

Shake, Shake

Breathing Song

Goodbye Song

Apps kids can play with to work on cause/effect and fine motor manipulation:

by Bianca DelVecchio, OT

Kids on devices as we all find ourselves at home is pretty much inevitable. The positive to that is that they can actually be a wonderful resource!

The following apps can help the child who is learning about cause and effect; all that is required of the child is to touch the screen for something to happen:

  • Furry friend: a free app, the child meets Leonard, a monster who will repeat what you and laugh when you ‘tickle’ him! The child can tap any part of his body for a reaction, and choose from images of objects below to see how he reacts to them (which further works on visual perception as the child has to scan left to right with their eyes to select a picture to touch).
  • Fireworks Arcade: a free app; all the child needs to do is touch the screen for fireworks to go off, with sizzle noises and all! The child can also work on pressing and dragging in this game to draw a long stream of fireworks across the screen.

Apps for fine motor development

In these apps, the child will be working on reaction timing, visual perception, and motor control:

    • Dexteria Jr- 3.99- This app has a variety of levels to work on touching targets (non-moving and moving). Harder levels include having to pinch the target using the index finger and thumb.
    • Fruit Ninja a free app; the object of the game is to use your index finger to slice fruit with a fast, linear motion. Targets move fast, which targets a child’s reaction time, and some targets explode if you touch them (which works on the child’s visual discrimination between objects).

 

Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) Parent Video Series Part 1

As we all find ourselves at home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, Easterseals would like to help provide some helpful resources.

Our Director of Behavioral Support Services, Danielle Franchini-Muir, MS Ed., BCBA, is developing a video series to help families implement positive behavior intervention supports at home.

In this first video, Danielle gives an overview of what positive behavior intervention supports (PBIS) is and how you can begin to implement this helpful tool at home.

Activities from a Speech Therapist

by Molly Fischman, MS, CCC-SLP

As you now know, Easterseals programs and community-based therapies are closed until March 27th in correspondence with the school district and state policies regarding the outbreak of Covid-19.

In the meantime, if you find yourself at home looking for therapeutic games or activities for your child, here are some ideas of things to do while keeping everyone healthy and safe.

Activity Ideas

  • Make a sensory bin by putting dried beans or rice in a tupperware bin with other small objects/figures like the ones here. Have your child dig through and name what they find.
  • Make slime with your child. Here is a recipe with items you might have. If you don’t have those ingredients, make “Oobleck” with cornstarch and water.

  • Tape pieces of paper together and create a mural with your child using paints, crayons, or markers.

  • Work on sorting shapes: Put tape on the floor in the form of different shapes and have your child sort objects from around the house into piles according to shape. Or, have your child sort small items by color into muffin tins. If you have a printer, here is a free printable that targets the same skill. (If your child is able, they can cut out the pictures with help!)

  • If you have access to a printer, print some worksheets and have your child name pictured objects, practice making circles and Xs, and work on visual attention with search-and-find or connect-the-dots worksheets.

  • Bake cookies with your child. Talk about and name the ingredients, help your child measure the ingredients and count scoops. Here is a simple cookie recipe with ingredients you might have around the house.

  • Go on a scavenger hunt around the house. Work on vocabulary for different rooms of the house, furniture, clothing, appliances etc. Run around and see who can get to each item first.

  • Read, read, read! With the books you have, read to your child as much and as often as they will attend.

Preschool Learning Games

  • Zingo: Have your child name and match the pictured objects. Practice saying “I got a [object]”, asking “Do you need a [object]?”, and answering Yes/No questions in response.

  • Pop The Pig: Roll the dice and match the color burger to the color on the dice. Practice recognizing and naming numbers 1-4 and then counting the target number when you press down Pop’s head.

  • Zimbbos: Work on saying “[color] + elephant” and fine motor dexterity as you stack elephants.

  • Uno Moo or Uno: practice matching and naming colors/animals or matching colors/numbers.

  • Memory Match games: flip over two cards per turn and say if they are the same or different. If they’re different, flip them back over. If they’re the same, you got a match!

  • If you have a deck of cards and your child is able, teach them to play Go Fish or a modified version.

Stay safe, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your child during this trying time!

At Home Activities

by Suzanne Gladstone, Occupational Therapist

Last week, I worked with Occupational Therapy student Bree Lipowski to create a list of at home activities.  There are lots of good ideas for sensory play, fine motor activities, chores around the house to do with kids and quiet time suggestions. Be healthy, be safe and take time some time to smile with loved ones:).

Easterseals Activity List_Page_2

Easterseals Activity List_Page_4

Shout Out to our Physical Therapist Alex

by Nequetta Alfred

Pediatric Physical Therapists (PT) are aware of the joy they bring to children and families who achieve great strides even under difficult circumstances. Pediatric PT’s find creative ways and techniques to work with our kiddos who struggle with walking, running, or even jumping. Alex is one of our amazing PT’s at Easterseals who invests her sessions into each child by developing that one to one relationship with the goal of reaching maximum potential. She is patient with our children and consults with all team members involved including our teachers, teacher assistant’s, personal care assistants (PCA’s), behavior therapists, nurses, and the entire team at Easterseals.

Every week she is on time for classroom meetings which start as early as 8:15 am and she is consistent in reaching out to the team to assure an holistic approach. She works well with anyone who comes in contact with and our kiddos love the fun and joy she brings to each session. We see positive results when our therapist are just as excited to work with our kids. If you see Alex please give her a high five or hug for a well done job on simply being amazing at what she does.

During the session in the picture the student received a ride from the PT room back to the classroom while stretching her muscles which was quite funny to the student. The PCA (Tama) was very helpful in assuring safety and consistency with the sessions. One thing we know at Easterseals is a framework that’s built on teamwork surely gets results with the kids who are near and dear to our hearts. It’s so cool to see kids return to class happy and ready for their next session. The student transitioned straight to music and had a great day throughout the remainder of the day. The students day may have started with her teacher or PCA, but clearly ends with understanding it takes a village to keep those beautiful smiles in place while assuring our therapeutic goals are being met.

 
Health conditions that pediatric physical therapists address include:
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cancer
  • Scoliosis
  • Developmental delays and movement disorders resulting from premature birth
 
Resources for parents with kids with PT’s: