School is fast-approaching and you’re certainly not alone in taking these last few weeks of August to prepare for the year ahead.
There are actually two separate skill sets you can work on to help your child get into ‘school-mode’; the first, which I will focus on this week, are motor-related while the second are learning related and I will cover those more in depth next week.
Motor abilities include skills such as balance, planning and spatial organization. Strengthening a child’s motor base is vital for achieving balanced sitting for long periods of time, encouraging efficient time and spatial organization, and developing good motor control which helps improve abilities such as holding a pencil and writing.
To work on motor aspects using Timocco, you should choose games that involve motor accuracy and control such as the ones I’ve outlined below. You can also sometimes challenge the child to play with the hands elevated (by placing the camera in a higher position) to further develop the child’s motor base.
The best way to begin is to try some of the games and see which ones your son likes best:
- Bull’s Eye – Motor control and position fixing for upper extremities strengthening and bi-lateral work.
- Bubble Bath – Recommended settings: Bi-Lateral coordination. Bi-lateral work and balance.
- Falling Fruit – Mid-line crossing, motor planning and accuracy.
- Beach Ball – Timing, sequencing, and motor planning.
- Cookie Mania – Spatial organization, motor control, mid-line crossing and reaction time.
- Car Game – Motor planning and control.
All of these games help accelerate the development of motor control, regulation, timing, balance and planning because your son will use his upper extremities while playing the games. Moreover, the games will also strengthen his upper extremities.
As I mentioned, improving these abilities will allow your son to focus on learning the material at hand when he’s at school, especially when he will need to sit for long periods of time, take notes or be aware of the amount of space he has to complete a task.
Next week I will focus on developing the second skill set – activities that build learning foundations – letter recognition, number recognition, quantity perception, sequencing, memory and more.
Hope this helps & until next week,
Sarit Tresser, OT