Available for the iPad and iOS on the App Store for $4.99 the “Wet Dry Try” app follows the curriculum of Handwriting Without Tears allowing children to “virtually” practice their letter and number formation by first “wetting” the letter with a virtual sponge, then drying the letter with a virtual towel, then forming the letter for themselves with virtual chalk.
Bugs and Buttons is a collection of games that helps children learn a variety of skills. This app has games that help with pinch, color sorting, letter recognition, counting, eye hand
coordination and much more. Plus it is a fun and engaging collection of games that kids will enjoy.
It is available here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bugs-and-buttons/id446031868?mt=8
~Brent- T.E.A.M 4 Kids Occupational Therapist
Primitive Reflex Integration for Successful Learning and Development: Part 2 (Palmer Grasp Reflex)
If your child presents with three or more of the following symptoms, make an appointment for an occupational therapy evaluation.
- Difficulty with fine motor skills
- Sticks out tongue while writing
- Poor manual dexterity
- Messy handwriting
- Poor pincer grip between thumb and forefinger
- Immature pencil grip
- Over sensitivity to touch on the palms
- Poor spoon, fork and knife grasp
- Difficulty with cup handles
The above symptoms are indications of a retained Palmer grasp primitive reflex.
What are Primitive Reflexes?
Primitive Reflexes are automatic movements that begin to occur in utero and last through the early months of a child’s postnatal life. With typical development, the nervous system matures and naturally replaces the primitive reflexes (survival reflexes) with higher level postural reflexes (reflexes required for balance, coordination, and sensory motor development). Retained primitive reflexes can lead to developmental delays related to ADHD, sensory processing disorder, autism, and many other learning disabilities.
Palmer Grasp Reflex
The automatic flexing of fingers to grab an object. This reflex is stimulated when an object is placed into a baby’s palm. This reflex emerges 11 weeks in utero, and is typically inhibited by 5 months of age.
A retained Palmer grasp reflex is 1 of 6 primitive reflexes treated by the occupational therapy team at Team 4 Kids.
See link below for more information on Primitive Reflexes:
Melissa – Occupational Therapy Team
App of the Week: Ready to Print https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ready-to-print/id513780564?mt=8
This app teaches visual perception and motor coordination of prewriting strokes that are a necessary foundation prior to learning to write ABCs and 123s in a developmentally sequential manner. Although this app is more pricey than most, $9.99, it is so worth it in that there are 10 different categories of play and within each category it has many activities that are graded from easy to more challenging to meet a variety of levels of learning. If you want to add a hand strengthening and coordination component to using this app, have your child pinch a ½” x ½” square piece of cellulose sponge and use this as an alternate to interacting with the app using their isolated index finger! http://yourtherapysource.blogspot.com/2012/10/pincer-grasp-on-ipad.html
Lisa, Occupational Therapy Team
Children are showing interest in drawing at a younger age today than children even 10 years ago. This piqued interest is attributed to many variables, some of which include companies developing toys that are introducing drawing to toddlers, educational video games, and preschool/daycare programs implementing accredited curriculum. However, this is causing toddlers to hold and use writing utensils before the muscles in their little hands have fully developed and become coordinated. The result is children starting Kindergarten with inefficient and maladaptive grasps that make writing challenging and sometimes a non-preferred task. Occupational Therapy can evaluate a child’s writing grasp and help correct the grasp to decrease hand fatigue, hand pain, stress on finger joints as well as increase fine motor coordination and writing speed.
There are many fun ideas of how your toddler can enjoy and explore art and drawing, but also work on strengthening and coordinating the muscles in their hand at the same time. Provide close supervision of the following suggestions if your toddler still puts objects in their mouth. Instead of handing your toddler a standard skinny crayon, which most will automatically use a “fisted grasp” to hold, try offering crayon rocks, finger crayons, or crayons broken in half. Be creative in finding alternate materials to create drawings such as using a 1”x1” piece of sponge dipped in water and draw on a chalk board, while in the bathtub have child use finger to draw in shaving cream, finger tip paint brushes, and dipping rocks/empty thread spool/wheels of a toy car in paint instead of using a traditional paintbrush. When your child is not drawing, encourage activities that are going to strengthen the muscles in the hand such as rolling and squishing playdoh, climbing at the playground, crab walking or other animal walks with hands open flat on the floor, have a sponge race where your child squeezes water out of the sponge into a bucket, and crumpling paper (junk mail taken out of the envelope) in hands and throw into a large container such as a laundry basket. Incorporating purposeful, but fun hand strengthening activities throughout your young child’s day, every day, will build a strong foundation for higher level fine motor skills to be learned.
Lisa-Occupational Therapy Team
Team 4 Kids Occupational Therapy Team