Tag Archives: Easterseals

Create Fun and Engaging Activities with Common Household Items

by Megan Guthrie

Don’t throw out the trash just yet. You can use common household items to create fun and engaging activities for your kids. Plenty of us have stocked up on common household items such as toilet paper, and paper towels. You might even have sponges, Q-tips, dish soap, eggs, milk, oatmeal, rice, sponges, napkins, Popsicle sticks, shoe boxes, cotton balls, tape, markers, pasta, cornstarch, and food dye. What if I told you that if you had all of these items, even some of these items that you could create some pretty awesome home activities for you and your preschooler to engage in together. See the list below:

Colored Milk Art

Pour some milk on a plate, use 1-2 drops of food coloring, dip the Q-tip in the dish soap and then in the milk, watch what happens! You will need:

-Milk

-Food coloring

-Q-tip

-Dish soap

Dish Soap Silly Putty

Mix together 2tbs. of corn starch and 1.5 tbs of dish soap, stir for 10 seconds. You will need:

-dish soap

-corn starch

What to do with tape

-Create hopscotch

-Create a racetrack on the floor

-Create a sensory path

What to do with napkins

Have your preschooler draw a picture on one side of the napkin, then fold it over so that you cover the picture. Place in water and watch the drawing appear.

What to do with rice/oatmeal

Place some rice on a place, then have your preschooler practice drawing shapes, letter, and numbers in the rice.

What to do with a shoebox and Popsicle sticks

Cut small slits in the top of the shoe box, enough to place a Popsicle stick through. Under each slit write letters/ numbers/ shapes/ colors. On the Popsicle stick write letters/numbers/colors. Have your child match.

What to do with sponges

Cut your sponge into different shapes and use it as a tool to paint. Paint too messy? Don’t worry, you can have your child dip their sponge in some water and “paint” making shapes with their sponge outside on the sidewalk or driveway.

What to do with an egg carton and cotton balls

Work on counting with 1:1 correspondence, have your child place one cotton ball in each egg place and count as they go.

What to do with empty milk containers

Set up empty milk cartons (at least 3) in a triangle formation, then get a ball or something round. Roll the ball towards the milk cartons and try to knock them down. Have fun bowling!

What to do with empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls

-Tape the empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls to a wall to create a large funnel. Have your child place cotton balls in the tube at the top and watch the cotton ball trickle through them, all the way to the ground.

-Make binoculars by taping two together and play I Spy around the house of outside.

-Cover and tape one side of the empty paper towel or toilet paper roll closed with paper or another material, fill the roll half way with rice, then cover and tape the other side of the roll with paper. Now shake. You have a maraca, make some music!

What to do with uncooked pasta

Get out your strainer. Get out your uncooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta. Have your child use their fine motor skills to place the pasta through the holes in the strainer. (You can also do this with pipe cleaners)

What to do with an empty oatmeal container

-Take the top off and use the container as an easy put in activity.

-Keep the top on and cut a slit in the top, practice fine motor skills with coins by placing the coins through the slit in the top.

Circle Time

by Megan Guthrie

This video of Circle Time was created to hopefully bring a sense of normalcy and calmness to our students. In the video we review our Circle Time schedule: Review Rules, Say Hello, Review Emotions, Read a Book, Engage in a Music and Movement Activity, and lastly say Goodbye. The goals for Circle Time are to establish expectations and create structure, review social and emotional skills , as well as cognitive skills.

 

Music Therapy on Soundcloud

Music therapy is fun for everyone and familiarity can be soothing in a time of uncertainty.  That’s why we are so excited that Easterseals music therapist Amanda is sharing some of her songs on Soundcloud. The songs can be played through the website or app and she has made them available for download.

Grab the kids and have fun with a little music therapy!

 

 

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

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: