Getting the family study area ready for the fall. In addition to the usual academic stuff, we've got three kids who need either fine or gross motor activities.
I need more fine motor activities... most of my stuff seems to have disappeared over the last year since we stopped doing OT. In one "mysterious" case, someone took an entire box of plastic heart counters and HOT GLUED THEM TOGETHER in a massive flower sculpture. Or rather, two dozen smaller flowers that then were randomly glued together to form a pile :( Seriously, do not leave a glue gun unsupervised in my house.
I have two full boxes of preK-1st grade workbooks and almost nothing for 2nd-5th grade. How does that happen?
For gross motor and balance I've got Wii Fit, a tunnel and a big exercise ball; any other ideas that are small and usable indoors?
What do you do to prepare for the fall?
Oh, I can't WAIT for school to start next week. I am so sick of my children. And I mean that in a loving mommy way. :)
I just signed both kids up for their after school sports. I want to start teaching the 6 y.o. piano. I'd like to get them both into something arty as well. And now I have to organize birthday parties. Le Sigh.
I had great luck with workbooks I found at Costco. A small trampoline?
I stocked up on liquor.
Kidding. I can't drink that much anymore. *sigh*
I tried to get the Little Miss into stringing beads back in the day, when she was still without a dominant hand, but it was met with complete and utter failure in that she ignored the string, but played with the beads a lot. So I guess she was still working on the 'pincer' grip at least. She also liked weaving and sewing type activities, but didn't stick with them long. Luckily, she has since made up for her late start by having better utensil using skills than her older brother, and being able to tie her shoes better.
Aside from the booze, I just order them bigger clothes and shoes and then wait to see what complaints the school sends home.
For gross motor, people in our dark and drizzly city buy indoor trampolines (the enclosed kind with a tall net around them) or gymnastics lessons.
For fine motor, stringing beads is good, clay work (if you're trying to strengthen, a stiffer clay is better than playdoh), legos, weaving projects, etc.
That's all from my special ed teacher career, though - the little man is in preschool/all day daycare yearround so we don't do anything to get ready for fall. :)
I'm still pretty new to the fall back to school things as Mr. Questions is just going into Kindergarten this year. I stocked up on new socks and gitch for him and ordered a few novel new t-shirts to add to his wardrobe. He doesn't really need new clothes as he doesn't seem to have grown much since last fall. For fine motor skills, Questions mostly likes art projects and building sets, but he's going to be so busy this year that I don't see him getting too much time to do this kind of stuff during the week. Do you homeschool Wookie? Is this why you are looking for activities in the fall?
This week we have two children's birthdays (with accompanying celebrations), first day of homeschool for which I am totally unprepared, first Camp Fire (scouts) meeting which I run, second week of soccer, first week of Tae Kwon Do, and, oh, I'm starting a business which I need to keep moving forward on lest I fall down and fail completely.
What made us think it was a good idea to conceive at the December holidays? TWICE? And then to have parties to celebrate our poor timing? Good lord.
No, no homeschooling here. Just three kids with different needs. I work full time, solo parent most of the time, and often pick up contract work as well, so if I don't schedule and prepare for them to be practicing these skills that they struggle with, it simply wont get done. That was last year. I am determined that this year should be a year where we make some headway.
That sounds hard. I don't solo parent, but still find that I can't get half of what I want to do done. Questions is a great but complicated kid. He can do some fine motor thing great but still can't tie his own shoes (and gets frustrated doing up zippers etc.). It's mostly a matter of wanting to do something with him. Sometimes I feel lie I don't push him hard enough and sometimes I think that he'll just get stuff when he's ready. I dunno...
I bought workbooks for El D based on what I thought he need to work on (rhyming and letter sounds for example), bought new easy reader books, uniforms, new shoes, haircut, lunchbox, backpack, $100 worth of school supplies (list provided by school, yay public schools), had his dental procedure/cleanings done, reorganized his clothes drawers for the uniforms, stocked up on school lunch stuff, put him through TV detox, and started drinking way too much coffee.
Nope, not a flashcard or academic sort of thing, but all my kids have "areas of exceptionality". Isn't that lovely and politically correct? It means delayed. All my kids have delays that have been diagnosed outside the classroom and are interfering with their success in the classroom or with their peers.
Ergo, we gots "practice" to do at home to make sure that whatever help they get from the OT/SLP or other sundry therapists that they deal with are as effective as they can be :-) It's very play oriented... I used to have a barrel of monkeys that we used to work on that whole body perception, fine motor, gross motor stuff but I think the dogs got into them and they are now seriously chewed monkeys. We also torture my sensory child with the balance ball periodically, and cruelly make my middle child use SCISSORS (she's 7). Some days, we torture all the children by making them get on bicycles.
After a year where I didn't have the headspace to do it, it's back to the salt mines :-/
Hah! Seriously chewed monkeys. :) Can you remind me generally what grade level your kids are in and what their delays are? If so, I might have game suggestions that target those things and would be of use to you. :)
Oldest is 5th grade, she's dyslexic and has some academic weaknesses but also still struggles with activities that combine balance and speed (still struggling with the bike). Her fine motor is normative. Ish.
Middle is 2nd grade but has the fine motor closer to a 5 year old range. Still can't use scissors or a knife and would prefer to eat with her hands than use a fork. Really struggles to bring her whole body together in coordinated fashion... it's hard to describe. It's part balance, part 'left side can't tell what the right side is doing'. Waiting for the formal assessment on that.
Youngest is 4, sensory and stubborn as hell. Need to get him more in the habit of those pre-printing activities, and work on balance... I'm not kidding I say rolling him around on the balance ball terrifies him, as does going on a swing. He likes his control goddamnit and those activities do NOT make him feel like he is in control.