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Help Children to Develop Motor Maps of Their Surroundings

Many pediatric occupational and physical therapists work with children who exhibit decreased sensory processing such as decreased body awareness, motor planning and proprioception. These difficulties of sensing where a child is in space can interfere with motor skill development, peer interaction and safety. We are all familiar with therapy sessions that focus on proprioceptive input, […]

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Listen for The Code Movement Game

Purpose: Encourage listening skills, following motor commands, self regulation skills and left right directions. Materials: small object i.e. toy car, small doll, etc. Activity: Before you start establish what the movement pattern will be.  Try to write it down so the children can refer to it if necessary.  For example a pattern could be the […]

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Want to Improve Motor Learning? Go to Sleep.

  Researchers from the University of Montreal taught a group of subjects a new sequence of piano-type finger movements on a box.  Using functional MRIs, the subject’s brains were analyzed during their performance of the task before and after a period of sleep. In addition, the same test was performed by a control group at the […]

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Motor Planning and Execution in Cerebral Palsy

Child Development and Neurology has published research on using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine the neural oscillatory responses of the sensorimotor cortices during the motor planning and movement execution stages of 13 children with typical development and 13 children with cerebral palsy (CP). The children had to perform knee extension while MEG recordings were acquired. The […]

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Mini Sponge Blocks

Make these mini sponge blocks to encourage strengthening in the fingers, visual spatial skills, visual motor skills and grading of movements.  The bonus is that they are super light to carry around from school to school if you are a therapist who travels from school to school or a parent who needs to bring along […]

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3 Motor Control Variables to Check On When Teaching New Motor Skills

As pediatric therapists, we learn a significant amount of information on motor control theory.  Do you always put it into practice?  When teaching new motor skills, do you stop and think about the theories and research you have studied?  Here are three motor control variables to check when teaching new motor skills:1.  What is the child’s […]

Changes in Fine Motor Control Through Teenage Years

The Journal of Neurophysiology and the Journal of Neuroscience published research on 130 typically developing children ages 4 to 16 using a new tool to precisely measure fine motor control.  The findings indicated that even the 16 year old teenagers were continuing to improve fine motor skills.  This ability was not only tied to brain […]

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Strengthening, Body Awareness, Motor Control and More

Looking for a fun, novel activity that encourages muscle strengthening, body awareness, motor control, timing and more?  You have to check out the Stretchy Band™ from BearPawCreek.com.  I was given a free medium size Stretchy Band™ and a Connect-A-Band to use for this blog post.  Each Stretchy Band™ comes in a drawstring bag making it […]

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ADHD and Overflow Hand Movements

A recent study published in Neurology compared 25 boys and girls with ADHD and 25 boys and girls without ADHD. All of the children were right handed. They were asked to perform left handed finger tapping. Using video and a recording device measuring finger movements, the children with ADHD exhibited more mirror overflow movements with […]

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Motor Planning and Graded Movement Activity Idea

Here is a new activity video to encourage grading of movements, motor planning and eye hand coordination. You will need balloons, cardboard tube or soft bat, and old box to do the activity. Reminder: Balloons can be hazardous to children. Do not allow children under 8 years old to use balloons unsupervised. The child pretends […]