Occupational Therapy News from Ms. Sherwin for March, 2020
For the month of March, I would like to discuss the benefits of coloring. I came across this article that describes the benefits of coloring for children. Coloring is not only a classic and favorite pastime for most children, but it is also a simple activity that helps children to develop cognitively, psychologically, and creatively. Coloring can spark imagination, and gives children and adults an opportunity to express themselves. Listed below are some benefits of coloring for children:
1. Improve Handwriting - children need both hand strength and dexterity to manipulate a pencil on a paper with proper pencil grasp. Coloring with a small, 2” crayon helps to develop an appropriate grasp on writing implements. You can start with simple coloring pages.
2. Improve Focus and Hand-Eye Coordination - the act of holding crayons, choosing colors, using 5-8 different colors to color in shapes/characters, help develop hand-eye coordination.
3. Focus, Boundaries, Structure and Spatial Awareness - It has been proven that children that spend time coloring have better concentration and focus skills. The exposure to boundaries will assist with learning and spatial awareness during printing skills.
4. Language Development - Coloring and discussing their creation gives children an opportunity to learn new words and sentences. Children use descriptive words to talk about their feelings when they see different styles of coloring sheets. Engage your child to talk about their drawings. Please remember that every person expresses themselves differently and there should not be a “right” or “wrong” during coloring and expression times.
5. To make coloring a bit more challenging, tape the coloring pages to a wall or refrigerator, and have your child assume a high kneeling position to work on shoulder strength and grasp/grip.
Check out some advantages of coloring pages for your child’s development:
Amy Sherwin, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
Ms. Ferris’s Speech and Language Update for March, 2020
Hello MSKC families! In March, we will begin to transition to activities based on the theme of spring, which is very exciting! We will be finishing up lessons on following the “group plan,” what that means, and why it is important for various activities at school. Other pragmatic language concepts covered this month include “thinking with our eyes,” focusing on the idea that what someone is looking at is usually what he/she is thinking about. We will discuss how noticing what someone is looking at will help us start conversations and interact with others.
This month, we will read There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover, by Lucille Colandro.
Sample targeted vocabulary/concepts will include: clover, daisy, pot (of gold), leprechaun, fiddle, and rainbow.
Home activity: The weather is changing! Get outside if you can and notice the changes that are taking place. What is different? What is the same? Play a game where your child guesses what you are thinking about, based on what you are looking at. You can also reinforce other concepts that they are learning in school. For example, “I see something that begins with the letter t”. Our students get so excited to show you what they know.
Email me anytime at with any questions or concerns!
Lisa Ferris, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Therapist
Physical Therapy News from Ms. Dillon - March, 2020
Physical Therapy: What is balance?
Balance is the ability to maintain good control of a body position while performing a task. We need to be able to maintain control of our body position during both static (or stationary, such as standing on one foot) activities, and dynamic (during movement such as jumping, skipping, climbing stairs or kicking a ball) activities. Good balance control reduces the amount of energy required to maintain body control, while minimizing fatigue.
Balance is a complex system, requiring coordination of three separate systems.
Proprioceptive: In the neck, trunk, arms, and legs are sensors the send information to the brain about where the body is in relation to space.
Eyes: The eyes send signals to the brain about what is being seen. Each eye gets a slightly different image of the same object, which aids depth perception (how far away an object is) and is vital to maintaining balance.
Ears: Not only do we hear with our ears, there is a complex balance system in the ears with tiny hairs and liquid. When we turn our heads rapidly, this liquid moves the hairs which sends messages to the brain about the movement. In less than seconds, the brain will send messages to the muscles needed to maintain balance and help the eyes stay focused.
At home, there are many activities that can be done to help support balance development:
*Set up an obstacle course using obstacles with unstable surfaces such as pillows, couch cushions, air mattress, and thick blankets.
*Play games such as Twister and hopscotch.
*Play a game of Simon Says - perform tasks such as stand on one foot, close your eyes and stand on one foot, hop on one foot, jump from side to side, hop from side to side, etc.
*Play with toys like trampoline, pogo sticks, hippity hop balls, jump ropes, etc.
*Participation in activities such as riding a bicycle, ice skating, rollerskating, etc.
*Participation in dancing, karate, and gymnastics programs
*Go to the playground and the park - run through the sand, climb on the playground equipment, try climbing up the slide, etc.
From Our School Psychologist: Ms. Kidd’s Corner - March, 2020
We have been busy during the month of February at MSKC! February lunch bunches have been focused on managing disappointment, and patience with others. Thank you for your support, and for sending your children to school with peanut free lunches for lunch bunch.
Our friends Puppy and Snail modeled how to respond to disappointment, and we shared some stories about handling disappointment. We also started to work on being patient with others, and had some fun playing games and doing crafts together, exploring how we all learn and grow at different rates.
Accurately identifying the “size of a problem,” and sometimes more importantly, the size of our reaction to the problem, can be a daunting task for our kindergarteners. It can be a challenge even for us as adults! Luckily, in the course of our day, it is not unusual to have opportunities to practice our problem solving, and this can be very helpful for our children. This topic can make for a great family conversation, where we are able share different perspectives on both the size of the problems we encounter, and the size of our reaction. Taking the time to identify if a problem is small (I can solve it myself), medium (I need a little to some support from an adult), or big (this is a problem for grown-ups to work together to solve) in these conversations, can aid our kindergarteners to be successful and independent problem solvers.
In March, we will be working on learning to identify the size of the problem, and our reaction size. We will also explore different ways we can welcome friends to play. It is such a pleasure working with your children. Please feel free to reach out at any time with questions or concerns.