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Need to Wiggle? Teacher Tips

Tips for those kids who need to wiggle to stay alert but should not leave their seat:

1. Chew gum or suck on sour candy (if allowed in school; allow at home if no problem with choking or swallowing)

2. Tie a stretchy exercise band around the front legs of the chair.  Place your legs and feet behind the band.  When the need to get out of the chair arises and you should not, push against the band to help release the “wiggles”.

3. Try a “Sit and Move Cushion”. This has bumps on one side and air inside which allows “wiggling” without getting out of the chair.  Purchase at or

4. Place tennis balls on the back legs of the chair to provide gentle rocking movements.

Other tips you can think about?

Just a thought: For I know the plans I have for you….Jeremiah 29:11


Teacher Tip for Those Needing to “Fiddle”

For those children who need to fiddle with something while they are listening, this tip may be just what they need.  Mrs. McNabb, a first grade teacher shared this hint with us:

Place a piece of adhesive backed velcro (both pieces: hook and loops) inside the desk.  Press on it to make it stick. This will allow the  student  to pull on it, rub it, and play with it without bothering any other student.

GREAT TIP!!!! Thanks! Do you have a tip you would like to share?

Seating in a Classroom

Seating placement in a classroom can have an impact on a child’s learning success!  Here is a list of “ifs” that could help you optimize your child’s placement in a classroom. Other modifications may be necessary in conjunction to these suggestions.

If your child is sensitive to light, move him closer to natural light (sunlight) and away from overhead flourescent lighting.

If your child gets visually easily distracted, move him away from busy bulletin boards and encourage the teacher to stand in front of empty spaces rather than in front of bulletin boards.

If your child is sensitive to noise, move him away from the wall or doors adjacent to the hallways and away from other children who talk more.

If your child is sensitive to touch, encourage placement at the end of the line of children or on the end of a half circle of children (“the circle of children listening on the floor”).

If your child is short or tall for his age, make sure the desk and table are appropriate for his size: table/desk top should be 2 inches above his bent elbow and chair should allow feet to be flat on the floor.

If your child is sensitive to smells, move away from fragrances: perfumes, hand lotions, flowering plants, open windows, smells from the cafeteria.

Just a thought: Zephaniah 3:17: God rejoices over you with singing!

Tying Shoes

There are many videos and websites with pictures and diagrams about tying the various knots for shoes!  Here are some tips I have learned as I have taught my clients over the years:

Flat shoes laces are easier to tie than round ones. Make sure they are an easy length to tie: not too long and not too short!

Begin teaching using two laces of different colors.  Children who have visual perceptual issues often can’t see white laces on a white shoe.  The laces “fade” into the shoe.

Be consistent with the same verbal instructions each time you teach.  Have the child repeat back the instructions. This is really important with children who have motor planning problems.  They need to “hear” the instructions plus model your movements!

If the loop on the lace is made at the end of the lace rather than close to the shoe,  place (with the child’s permission: some children do not want their good laces marked.  Use an old pair for practice!) small dots on the lace using a marker where the laces should come together to make the loop.  “The dots should touch each other”

If the child resists, try practicing the knots using a  favorite game.  Play the game but allow the child to have an extra turn if they will practice the knot.  Children usually can’t resist an extra turn!

Any other suggestions?  Lyn

Back Packs: Beware!!!!!

The American Occupational Therapy Association has these helpful hints for preventing back injuries by carrying too heavy or too large back packs!

Loaded back packs should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s weight

Load the heaviest items closest to the child’s back

Distribute weight evenly by using both straps.  One strap slung over a shoulder can cause the student to lean to one side, causing the back to curve and creating discomfort

Bottom of the pack should rest in the student’s low back curve.  The bottom should never be more than four inches below the student’s waistline.

Select a back pack with padded straps to help prevent tingling or numbness from pressure to the neck, shoulders, or arms.

For more helpful information check out their website at!

“Homework Place” Good Furniture

As you prepare a “homework” place for your child, please consider the right size furniture.  Our bodies need a chair that allows our feet to be on the floor and promotes good posture.  For the children who do not have good posture and need to lay their heads down on the table/desk or to hold onto the chair with one hand or like to sit on their feet in the chair, the chair may need arms to provide more postural stability.  The table/desk should be two inches above their bent elbows.  Good posture allows us to reach forward to write, color, uses scissors without subconscious fear of falling out of our chairs!  So please use child fitting furniture rather than adult fitting furniture if you want the very best writing, coloring, cutting from your child!

Alphabet Game: Memory and Go Fish

Alphabet Flash Cards can be used in different ways!  Hope you had fun with last week’s Battle game! Oh! I forgot to tell you that for your older kids who are into cursive, its great fun to mix a deck of upper and lower case printed alphabet cards with a deck of upper and lower case cursive cards together to play Battle with!  More cards, more fun! (if you don’t have cursive cards to play with check out my decks of printed and cursive playing cards!)

Here are 2 more fun ways to use a deck of upper and lower case cards (either print or cursive).

Memory:  Lay out the decks face down in rows.  Take turns turning up 4 cards to see if they match.  If two of the cards are the same letter, the person keeps that pair and has another turn  turning up another 4 cards.  No match? Its the next person’s turn.  The game ends when all the cards are gone. The person with the most matches wins! If there are too many cards, decrease the number just making sure there are pairs of cards.

Go Fish:  The dealer passes out 7 cards to each person.  Then lays down the remaining deck on the table.  Each person places the 7 cards in his hand and looks to see if there are two cards alike (a and A).  If there are matches, he lays them down on the table and is given two more cards.  The person to the dealer’s left, begins play by asking if a person has a specific letter.  If that person does have the letter, he must give it to the person asking for the letter.  The person asking for the letter takes the letter, places it with its matching partner, places the pair on the table and asks again for a specific letter.  If the person being asked does not have the letter, he says “Go fish” and the person must draw a card from the deck. Then its the next person’s turn to asked for a specific letter.  When a player has matched and played all of his cards, the game is over.  The person with the most matches wins the game.

Do you all have new ideas?


Handwriting Questions

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R