Super Simple Recycled Sensory Jar

There are so many ways to make sensory bottles.  Today I wanted to share a super simple sensory bottle idea that is perfect for those calm-down moments we all crave.  You know the times we all have when a child (or mom!) is just needs to refocus and calm down.  It’s a time when many of us fidget, bite our nails, or seek out sensory input.  This sensory jar is an easy way to calm down and it’s an easy recycled jar to make, too.

Use a recycled mason jar to make an easy sensory calm down jar

Recycled mason Jar Sensory Calm Down Jar



This post contains affiliate links.


For this sensory bottle, we used items that we had on hand.  
Mason jar
Glitter glue
Yarn in various colors
Water
Glue


Use a recycled mason jar to make an easy sensory calm down jar

To make this sensory jar, cut the yarn into 6 inch lengths.  Pour a glob of glitter glue into the bottom of the mason jar.  Add the yarn and fill the jar with water.  At this point, you can add extra loose glitter, but if you don’t want that added cost, it’s an easy step to skip.  


Use a recycled mason jar to make an easy sensory calm down jar

Be sure to add glue to the jar lid at this point to secure the lid.  Close the jar and give it a shake.  


Use a recycled mason jar to make an easy sensory calm down jar

Watch the falling glitter from the glitter glue and the swirling yarn as you and your child calms down.


Use a recycled mason jar to make an easy sensory calm down jar

**We used a glass mason jar for this activity.  You can substitute the glass for a recycled plastic jar for safety reasons.  Use your judgement regarding what is best for your individual children.


Want to see more ways to use recycled jars in creative crafts and learning activities? Try these ideas:
Jars
DIY Snow globe by Kidz Activities(not shown) 
Recycle Plastic Pendant by Our Whimsicle Days 
Calm Down Sensory Bottle by Sugar Aunts 
Easy Teacher Appreciation Gift by Crafty Mama in ME 
Chalkboard Lid Jars by Play and Learn Everyday 
Photo Jar Luminaries by Mum in the Madhouse 
 
Sea Glass Suncather by The Gingerbread House 

Edible Sand Jars by Playdough & Popsicles 
Fairy Lights Recycle Jars by Peakle Pie 
Washi Tape Photo Jars by Teach me Mommy
Nature Gifts by Nemscok Farms


Use a recycled mason jar to make an easy sensory calm down jar

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More sensory bottle ideas you will love: 


Valentines Day Sensory Bottle with Waterbeads



Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita Universal Jug Cooler Filtration System for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.


Things have been a bit hectic in our house recently. When you have four aged 8 and under, every day has it’s moments of hecticness. But with the warmer weather we’ve been having, we, we are outside a lot more. School routines are going strong with the addition of spring field trips and planning for the end of the school year.  
There is one thing that is new to our routine.  And is keeping us on our dirty, busy toes.  
Three kids are playing ball.  
We have a softball player, a baseball player, and a T-ball player. They love it and Mom and Dad love watching them love it.  But with all of that ball-playing, we’re spending a TON of time at the ball fields.  We are prepared to spend weekends for the next couple of months running from game to game and dusty field to dusty field.


Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family
As a mom of four, I try to be prepared.  I mean, you have to be. One of the four always needs something, all of the time.  It usually happens like this: The four-year-old spills an entire drink all over her clothes, minutes before two others are suddenly SO. THIRSTY. It just helps to have that extra change of clothes and another drink ready to go.  So, when I was invited to try out the Brita Universal Jug Filter, I jumped at the chance.  With all of those weekends at the ball fields, we need a system to keep us sane (and a way to keep kids from dumping their last drops of water all over themselves!)
Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water
The Brita Jug Filter system fits into your favorite jug coolers and filters out the chlorine taste and odor from typical tap water. I was excited to fill a big water jug with tap water and ice for dusty ball game after dusty ball game. The icy water in the full water jug cooler is inviting for the kids and the Brita Jug Filter system makes the water taste better too.  
Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water
We put the water jug into the back of our mini van so that all four of the kids could fill up their reusable water bottles and stay hydrated all day long.  This was the perfect solution to throwing away hundreds of disposable water bottles this summer at baseball, softball, and T-ball.
Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water
I added another organization strategy to our baseball-induced hectic days:  A plastic bin filled with family essentials.  This is a bin we can keep in our van and have everything we need for a day at the ball fields: extra sweatshirts, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks, coloring books, little toys for my toddler and preschooler, and a big blanket for sitting on.  It’s a sanity saver in a bin and it’s got a new home in our trunk! 
Along with the plastic bin, I’ve got the Brita Jug and Filter System ready to go for each game day. 
Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water
We tried the Brita Jug Filter system on a five gallon Coleman jug cooler, but the filter system works great on Igloo and Rubbermaid jug coolers, too. I especially love the filter replacement sticker that we stuck right onto the cooler.  It’s an easy way to remember to change out the filters every two months. You can find the Brita Jug Filter system at Home Depot online at homedepot.com or visit the website to purchase.
Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water
Are you spending a lot of time at the ball fields this season?  Try the Brita Jug and Filter system to hydrate your family with better tasting water!
I have great news for you. Because the Brita Jug Filter system is an unsung hydration “hero”, Brita is asking for submissions for people to nominate their unsung hero via a photo submission on BritaJugFilter.com and H2Ohero. Just like the Brita Jug Filter is hidden, unseen in the jug cooler, an unsung hero is a person who makes other people’s lives a little bit better. 
The Brita Jug Filter is an unsung hero for making water taste better. Heroes that help others may not wear capes or masks, but they are doing their best to make the lives of other’s better, too!  
Do you know someone that is an unsung hero? Celebrate them by uploading a picture or video at Be a Brita Hero or by sharing on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #H2Ohero.  Ask your friends to vote for your unsung hero nomination.  They just might make it to the final four round and have a chance to win a trip to Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas!

Submissions are being accepted through May 8th and the official winner announced on May 28th.


Visit Sponsors Site

Ultimate Guide to Teaching Kids to Get Dressed

Kids grow up fast.  They are snugly newborns one day and before you know it, they are heading off to preschool (I don’t want to think about those older years!).  Those first few years of childhood are loaded with learning and growth. One area of independence is when kids learn to dress themselves.  Many parents have questions about when kids learn to get dressed on their own, how to help their child in this area of self-care, and what might be stopping their child when there are difficulties.  


Read all of our Functional Skills and tips for creating childhood independence here.


This month’s post in the Functional Skills for Kids series is all about teaching kids to get dressed on their own.  If you’ve been following along with this series, you know that each month ten Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists are joining together to cover functional skills of childhood.  You can catch up on all of the posts in this series here.

How to Help Kids Get Dressed on Their Own: Childhood Independence with Dressing Skills

Tips from Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist bloggers on how to teach kids to get dressed on their own with modifications to prerequisites for independence with self-dressing skills.

Tips to help kids to get dressed on their own
Be sure to stop back to see what the Functional Skills for Kids team covers next month!

Easy Omelet Recipe

When you are cooking with kids, easy and healthy recipes are key.  We’ve covered a bunch of recipes here but it seems like there is always a household favorite.  This Easy Omelet Recipe is one that my kids request for breakfast (and Breakfast for Dinner!) all the time.  They are kind of big egg recipe fans. I love that it’s so easy.  My kids and I made up an omelet one day and had to share the recipe with you.

Kids love this omelet recipe and it's so easy to make. Add healthy ingredients for an easy kid-favorite breakfast idea.



Easiest Omelet Recipe


This post contains affiliate links.

Kids love this omelet recipe and it's so easy to make. Add healthy ingredients for an easy cooking with kids favorite breakfast idea.



This recipe calls for just a few ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup diced ham
1/2 cup spinach 
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

*The ingredients that we used can be substituted for other items.  Use what you’ve got in the house.  Other ingredients that can be added or substituted to your omelet include: green peppers, red peppers, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cooked onions.


Kids love this omelet recipe and it's so easy to make. Add healthy ingredients for an easy cooking with kids favorite breakfast idea.



Kids love this omelet recipe and it's so easy to make. Add healthy ingredients for an easy cooking with kids favorite breakfast idea.

I loved seeing my eight year old make this dish.  She’s getting so big! 


To make the omelet, crack whisk the eggs.  Stir in the milk.  Add the butter to a large omelet pan.  Let the butter melt slightly and then pour in the egg mixture.  Let the egg mixture cook for a few minutes and then add the chopped ingredients.  Using a wooden spoon, gently lift the edge of the omelet.  Cook the eggs/ingredients 3-4 minutes and then, using a spatula, fold one third of the egg toward the inside.  Turn the other outer 1/3 toward the inside of the omelet.  Allow the omelet to cook 1 minute more. 


Kids love this omelet recipe and it's so easy to make. Add healthy ingredients for an easy cooking with kids favorite breakfast idea.

Carefully slide the omelet out onto a plate. 


Enjoy!


Looking for more kid-made breakfast ideas? Try these:


Mother’s Day Breakfast | CraftCreateCalm
Eggs Benedict | Royal Little Lambs
Tex-Mex Migas | The Gifted Gabber
No Bake Energy Bites | Mess for Less
Cheesy Chive Scrambled Eggs | Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Easy Omelet Recipe | Sugar Aunts


If you liked this recipe, then you will love these cooking with kids recipes:


           Quinoa Lettuce Wraps  

Q is for Quinoa: Quinoa Lettuce Wraps | R is for Rice: Vegetable Rice | S is for Spaghetti: Leftover Spaghetti Cups | T is for Tomatoes: Hidden Veggie Crockpot Marinara Sauce

Fine Motor Precision Math Engineering Activity

This fine motor activity is one that works on the super small motor skills of the hands.  We’ve shared tips and ideas for building precision of grasp and release before, and this is one more way to build those skills, with a math and engineering twist.  If your kids are anything like mine, then they love blocks.  If I pull out a bin of blocks, then we’ve got ramps, castles, and houses all over the living room floor.  They are an imagination booster and it really is so much fun to see where the creativity goes with just a bin of blocks.  The OT in me loved this activity for it’s creative math twist and for it’s fine motor power punch!

Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

 

What is precison of grasp and release?



(This post contains affiliate links.)

 
Precision handling of very small items with controlled movement is necessary for dexterity in functional grasp.  To manipulate items with small motor motions, the hand needs to be in a functional position.  The index and middle digits must oppose the thumb with tip-to-tip finger contact and interphalangeal joint range of motion.  opening and closing the grasp on items with control is precision and allows the hand to grasp small objects from a refined area and enables the hand to release objects in a specific location.  



Precision in of grasp and release allows us to pick up a specific colored bead from a tray of many colors and place it on a string.  We used foam blocks and small balls of clay to practice precision of grasp and release.

 

Fine Motor Precision Activity

Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

Rolling balls of clay develops the intrinsic muscle strength of the hands.  It opens up the thumb web space and encourages flexion of the interphalangeal joints in the fingers.  Once we had rolled a collection of small clay balls, we used them to work on precision grasp and release with the foam blocks.

Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

One area that my kids have discussed in both kindergarten and second grade this year is the term vertices.  We talked about the number of vertices on different shapes and placed a small clay ball on each vertice.  Carefully placing the clay on each corner required precision to pick up the clay and to place it precisely on the corner.

Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

Math Engineering Activity

Once we had each corner covered with clay, we thought it would be fun to engineer a tower.  It was fun to explore the different ways we could build the towers using graded controlled movements to prevent the whole tower from falling.  


This was such a fun exercise in fine motor skills and one we’ll be doing again!

learning activities using foam blocks



Looking for more learning activities with foam blocks?  Try these:


Foam Block Process Art Exploration from Life Over C’s



Roll a CVC Word Game from Mom Inspired Life


Sticky Foam Blocks from Teach Me Mommy


Making Ten Math Activity from School Time Snippets


Foam Blocks Stacking Activity from Something 2 Offer

Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.



If you liked this activity, you’ll love these:

 Motor Planning Fine Motor Maze hand strengthening activity

Calming Nature Sensory Bottle

We love to share creative ideas for sensory bottles.  They are an easy way to explore the senses with so many different themes.  This month’s sensory bottle is Nature themed and it’s a calming sensory tool that kids will love.  We made our calming nature sensory bottle with items we had in our backyard but this idea could be adapted to include so many different nature-made materials.  





Try this calming nature sensory bottle for proprioceptive and auditory sensory input using nature items from your own backyard! Kids will love to help make it while working on fine motor skills.

Calming Nature Sensory Bottle



This post contains affiliate links. 


Usually, our sensory bottles are made with recycled bottles.  Some of our favorites were made with spice containers, peanut butter jars, and even popcorn containers.  This sensory bottle is a little bit different because it has a handle, making it perfect for calming proprioceptive input.  We had ours in the house, but you can grab a similar container here.  


Try this calming nature sensory bottle for proprioceptive and auditory sensory input using nature items from your own backyard! Kids will love to help make it while working on fine motor skills.

Inside the paint can party favor container, we added small pebbles and sticks from our backyard.  I broke sticks into various sizes and had my Toddler drop them into the container.  She loved this activity so much that we’ll be doing this easy eye-hand coordination activity again.  The tin bottom made a satisfying “clink” sound when she added the sticks and the stones.  Once our nature sensory bottle was full of nature, we popped the lid on and it was done!


Try this calming nature sensory bottle for proprioceptive and auditory sensory input using nature items from your own backyard! Kids will love to help make it while working on fine motor skills.

Calming Sensory Bottle Idea 

Try this calming nature sensory bottle for proprioceptive and auditory sensory input using nature items from your own backyard! Kids will love to help make it while working on fine motor skills.

This was such a simple way to create a proprioception sensory tool.  My kids could haul the sensory bottle around, using a hook grasp to hold the handle.  The weight of the sensory bottle adds proprioception input through the carrying arm.  This was a fun sensory bottle to turn over and over again as we watched the small pebbles roll and drop down between the sticks.  The metal bottom of the container added auditory input.  Watching those pebbles fall was very relaxing and mesmerizing!


Try this calming nature sensory bottle for proprioceptive and auditory sensory input using nature items from your own backyard! Kids will love to help make it while working on fine motor skills.

Looking for more nature themed sensory bottles?  Try some of these:

Desert Flower Discovery Bottle | Preschool Inspirations
Simple Spring Nature Sensory Bottles | Lemon Lime Adventures
Sea Shells Sensory Bottle | Rhythms of Play

Citrus Themed Nature Discovery Bottle | Where Imagination Grows

Try this calming nature sensory bottle for proprioceptive and auditory sensory input using nature items from your own backyard! Kids will love to help make it while working on fine motor skills.
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Recycled Materials STEM Lever and Fulcrum

I love reusing recyclables in crafts and activities.  One thing my kids might love even more is science and STEM activities.  We decided to use some materials we had in the recycle bin to make a lever and fulcrum.  This is a perfect STEM activity to do with the kids over the summer to promote learning, creativity, and problem solving.  The Summer Slide is a real thing and simple, easy projects like this one are fun ways to build skills as a family.  Our Lever and Fulcrum STEM activity led to cheers with all four of the kids.


And when the kids are cheering for science, engineering, and math, it is perfectly OK for Mom to do an inner cheer, too.
Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

Recycled Materials Lever and Fulcrum STEM Activity


There are so many items found in your recycle bin that can be used in STEM activities.  Today, we pulled out a few materials to build a lever and fulcrum.  We used a recycled chopstick, a toilet paper tube, and two coffee pods.  

Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

To make the lever and fulcrum:  Poke a hole in each of the coffee pods.  We used a sharp skewer to do this.  you will want the holes to be at the same height on each pod.  Insert one end of the chop stick into each pod.  Finally, fold the toilet paper tube into a triangular shape. The cardboard tube will be the fulcrum and the chop stick can rest evenly on the tube and act as a lever. 
Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

Now for the fun part:  It was time to play and learn with our STEM activity!
  • We added crafting pom poms to each cup and counted how many were needed to keep the lever even.  
  • We talked about the distance between the ends of the chop stick and how the fulcrum needed to be in the center in order for the lever to be even.  
  • We tried moving the fulcrum and measured the distance between the ends of the chop stick and the fulcrum.  
  • When the fulcrum was off center, we counted how many craft pom poms were needed to make the lever even again. 
I was kind of amazed at how much all four of my kids were totally absorbed by this STEM activity.  It was enough to make me smile (and cheer some more, on the inside!) for their love of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

STEM Summer Camp


Recently, I was invited to join a few other bloggers in a Twitter party to talk about Camp Invention, the only nationally recognized summer program focused on creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving and infused with the spirit of invention.  Camp Invention is a week long adventure that is sure to turn ordinary summer days into extraordinary memories.  I know my kids would love this type of summer camp program and so I was excited to spread the word to other families. 

Camp Invention’s is a day camp for kids in grades 1-6 and includes a curriculum with a variety of fun and dynamic hands-on activities concentrated on the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  It’s programs were developed by some of the nation’s most brilliant and experienced educators, including Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Each year, Camp Invention updates it’s programming to provide returning camp attendees with unique learning experiences.  This year’s curriculum is called Epic™  and features hands‐on modules like:
  • CrickoBot™, where Campers construct 
    and personalize a DIY solar‐powered cricket with a unique habitat
  • Epic Park ™, 
    where Campers work in teams to design an eco‐adventure park
  • I Can Invent:Maker Studio™, where Campers brainstorm product ideas and build original prototypes using real tools and components 
  • found in everyday devices
  • The Lab: Where Pigs Fly™, where children can discover the 
  • science of slime, 
    demolition, electronic sound, giant squid and coding.
What kid wouldn’t love to explore all of that STEM fun??

Local educators facilitate and teach at Camp Invention.  With almost 1,400 camps across the nation, over 94,000 students have attended Camp Invention day camps. Find a camp near you.

Does this sound like a camp that your kids would cheer for too?  

Register your child for Camp Invention today. The 
first 20 people to forward their registration 
confirmation email, along with the name 
of my blog, to communications@invent.org 
will get a $25 refund.

Full disclosure:  This post is brought to you by Camp Invention and The 
Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Independence with Self-Dressing and Fine Motor Skills

“I can do it myself!”  


It’s a phrase that most parents hear at one time or another as their child begins to develop the skills needed for independence in self-care.  Sometimes, however, there are factors that interfere with appropriate development of function.  Parents may wonder when their child will begin to pull on their shirt or don shoes and socks with independence.   The ability to dress one’s self with independence requires the development of many fine motor skills.


This month in the Functional Skills for Kids series, we are exploring Dressing as an activity of daily living. Stop by to see all of the posts in the series here.

Fine motor skills needed for independence with dressing. Kids and parents will like these ideas to build independence. Part of the Functional Skills for kids series by Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy bloggers.

Dressing Tasks that Require Fine Motor Skills

Pulling on socks, managing buckles, and tugging on a hat.  There are many portions of self-dressing that require fine motor skill development;

  • Pulling socks off requires a pinch grip, strength in the hands, and bilateral coordination.
  • Putting socks on requires arch development, opposition of the thumb, intrinsic hand strength, bilateral coordination, wrist extension and ulnar deviation.
  • Pulling pants up requires eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, and wrist and hand stability.
  • Fastening snaps and pulling up zippers on pants (Clothing fasteners will be addressed in another month’s topic)
  • Donning and doffing undergarments requires pinch grasp
  • Threading a belt through belt loops requires bilateral coordination, prehension grasp, pincer/tripod/functional grasp and wrist positioning
  • Fastening a belt buckle requires tripod grasp and bilateral coordination, hand dominance or preference, extended wrist and ulnar deviation.
  • Donning and doffing a shirt requires bilateral coordination, crossing midline, extrinsic and intrinsic muscle strength of the hands, and forearm supinaton and pronation.
  • Donning an doffing a coat requires bilateral coordination, crossing midline, extrinsic and intrinsic muscle strength of the hands, and forearm supination and pronation.
  • Clothing fasteners such as buttons, zippers, snaps, buckles, and ties require intrinsic and extrinsic muscle strength, prehension grasp, in-hand manipulation, hand preference and bilateral control and eye-hand coordination.
  • Pulling on boots requires a hook grasp of the hand, strength, and proximal stability.
  • Donning a winter cap requires precision grasp, bilateral coordination, and motor planning.
If it seems as though every step of dressing requires fine motor skill development, that is because it’s true!  Each step of each dressing task requires many fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills needed for independence with dressing. Kids and parents will like these ideas to build independence. Part of the Functional Skills for kids series by Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy bloggers.

Fine Motor Manipulation Skills that are Necessary for Independence in Self-Dressing

Let’s break down these fine motor skills a bit to see how they are helping a child complete tasks independently.  
Fine Motor Skills Needed in Dressing: 
  1. Extrinsic Muscle Strength: The extrinsic muscles move the fingers and thumb in full flexion and extension.  They enable a power grasp on functional items. The extrinsic muscles are essential for cohesive work alongside the intrinsic muscles of the hands during dynamic grasp patterns.
  2. Intrinsic Muscle Strength: The intrinsics allow us to use graded movements, shape the arches of the hands, and enable dexterity and precision.  They control the flexion and extension of the Metacarpophalandeal joints and power movements such as finger adduction, finger abduction, thumb abduction, thumb adduction, thumb flexion and thumb opposition.
  3. Prehension: There are three types of prehension grasps-static grips, gravity dependent grips, and dynamic grips. 
  4. In-Hand Manipulation: This fine motor skill typically develops around two years of age.  Between 2-3 the child progresses in palm-finger translation and shift.  However, at this age, they may prefer to manipulate objects between two hands instead of within one.  Read more about in-hand manipulation skills here.
  5. Hand Preference and Bilateral Control: From the age of 2-3, a child will switch hands to avoid crossing the midline,  They may show use of a preferred hand, but it may switch between activities.
  6. Eye-Hand Coordination:  Eye-Hand Coordination is accuracy of reach and control of the arm in space, guided by vision.  During dressing tasks or any funcional skill, the reach should be accurate and controlled, and directed by the shoulder’s stability and mobility.  In reaching for items, the hands and eyes should work together with smooth visual tracking of the hand and with the eyes guiding the hand. 
  7. Precision of Release: There should not be immature releasing patterns noted during dressing tasks.  These might include flinging or dropping objects.  Rather, the child should be able to release items while their arm is positioned in space and with controlled motions.  Read more about precision of release.
  8. Motor Planning: During functional tasks, there should be coordinated movements with appropriate positioning and posturing.  Read more about motor planning here
  9. Separation of the Two Sides of the Hand: Separation of the two sides of the hand allows for stability and power with precision of the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger. 
Fine motor skills needed for independence with dressing. Kids and parents will like these ideas to build independence. Part of the Functional Skills for kids series by Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy bloggers.

Biomechanical Postural Control of Fine Motor Movements

Before the fine motor skills can be used in functional tasks, such as dressing, there are biomechanical skills that are prerequisite.  These are proximal stability skills that enable distal precision and control.
  • Postural Control- Proximal to the arm is the upper body.  Postural instability will effect the use of the forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers and complicate the motor planning and use of the hands in functional reach.  When we reach with two hands, we shift our weight and move our body’s center of gravity.  Without dynamic control of one’s posture, shifts in weight will result in over or under reach of distal motions.
  • Shoulder stability with motion- Fine motor use of the hands requires stability of the shoulder joint.  The joint needs to maintain stability even during motion and in all planes for controlled arm positioning.
  • Control of the forearm- The arm between the elbow and wrist moves in supinated and pronated motions.  Supination is essential for many precision tasks and allows us to see what our fingers are doing in tool or fastener use.  Pronation is typically used for power grasps and hook grasps in functional tasks.
  • Wrist Position-  A functional wrist position is essential for precision grasp and manipulation. Extension of the wrist controls the length of the finger flexor muscles to an optimal positon for grasp and precision.  Positioning the wrist in 40 degrees of wrist extension allows for efficient muscle function.  The wrist also moves with radial and ulnar deviation.  A position of 15 degrees of ulnar deviation promotes stability and force in the ulnar side of the hand.
  • Palmer Arches- While palmer arch development is a component of fine motor skill development in itself, it is also a proximal stability source for precision of the distal fingers.  Appropriate arch development provides positioning and stability to allow for fine motor dexterity of the fingers.  
Fine motor skills needed for independence with dressing. Kids and parents will like these ideas to build independence. Part of the Functional Skills for kids series by Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy bloggers.

Tips to Promote Independence in Dressing Skills


When fine motor skills are the problem area behind decreased independence in self-dressing, it is helpful to build individual skills.  Children should be provided with many repetitions of self-care skills in environments where dressing tasks are happening naturally. 
  • Dressing practice happens at the beginning and end of the day but there are many opportunities for working on the fine motor skills needed in dressing tasks.  
  • Donning shoes and socks can happen before going outdoors and when coming into the home.
  • Toileting is a way to practice lower body clothing management throughout the day.  
  • Children can further build independence with dressing through pretend play by using dress-up clothes.  
  • Repetition can be a strategy for increasing opportunities for practice.  
  • Provide various dress-up clothes in different social roles for many ways to practice dressing skills. 
  • Encourage role play as a technique to build fine motor skills in dressing: Children can dress a baby doll.
  • Provide alternate opportunities to practice fine motor skills needed for dressing such as toys to help kids practice dressing skills.
Stop by to see what the other Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists have to say about dressing:

Fine motor skills needed for independence with dressing. Kids and parents will like these ideas to build independence.
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Develop fine motor skills needed for functional tasks with these activities: