Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Looking for pieces
In Kindergarten, we worked on some paper puzzles.  Each child found pieces numbered 1-4 and then worked to put them together.  After they discovered all the pieces and organized them on paper, the students then glued them on the blue construction paper.  We talked about putting glue on the back of the white paper (not on the blue paper), so that we use just the right amount.
Making sure to get glue
 in all of the corners!
There was a lot of gluing to be done!

Time to color and decorate!

Then the children were allowed to decorate their gingerbread men.  Some used "rainbow frosting", some colored them brown...one even made his black - or "burnt"!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Relaxation Bottles

I've had requests for more information on the relaxation bottles the preschoolers made earlier this year, so I will do my best to explain how they were made.

Here is where I got most of my information.  There was some trial and error involved to find the best combination and ratio, but this site helped a lot.

First, I took some glitter glue that I bought in the scrapbooking section at Wal-Mart.  I squeezed about half of the bottle of glue into a bowl with hot water.  I used a whisk to break down the glue until it looked like sparkly water.  I did get some foam, but just used a spoon to get rid of it.  I didn't put a lot of hot water in, since I only used a 10 oz. bottle for the preschoolers.  At this point, I also found it easiest to add in some clear gel glue (either tacky glue or Elmer's clear glue works).  Since the water was still hot, I whisked the water to melt the glue. 

After it cooled slightly, I poured this combination into the water bottle.  Make sure the water isn't too hot or it will warp the bottle!  I poured some ultrafine glitter (also found in the scrapbooking section at Wal-Mart - make sure it's ultrafine or the glitter will just sink) into the bottle and shook.  Again, you will get foam!  Just pour it off the top and add more water if needed.

After you have the color combination you want, you need to make a decision.  Do you want this bottle to be a "timer" with a specific set time or are you happy with the way it looks and falls?  ***As the water cools, it will fall more slowly***

If you are satisfied with the way it looks, add enough water to fill the bottle and allow it to cool. When cool, give it a test shake.  If it still passes the test, then super glue the lid closed and you're finished!

If you want this to be a timer:  adding more clear glue will increase the time it takes to settle.  You can melt additional clear glue in hot water and add slowly to the bottle to make a timer.  Wait until the bottle is cool to check the time.  When satisfied and the water is cool, make sure the bottle is full, super glue the lid closed ,and you're finished!

If you're having any trouble, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to help you figure it out or add some pictures to the mini-tutorial :)  The kids love them and I'm so happy that people are using them!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Big Green Monster Visits Preschool

The Big Green Monster strikes again!  This time, he visited preschool.  We listened to the story and created our own Big Green Monsters as the pieces were discussed.

We started by coloring the center of the small paper plate green

Then adding two yellow eyes, a bluish-greenish nose, and a scary red mouth with sharp white teeth!

Go Away Big Green Monster!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Go Away Big Green Monster!

We read Ed Emberly's Go Away Big Green Monster! using the iPad app.

As each page came up, the children saw another piece of the monster's face.  They colored their page to match the monster.

The students loved seeing the animations in the app.  After the activity was done, we listened to the song available within the app and watched the illustrations come to life!

Sorry for the blurry pictures - these kids are always in motion!

Go Away Big Green Monster!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Roll A Monster

Most of my students love dice games and I've found many "Roll A..." games online.  It gets even the most reluctant pencil user to draw.  Since it's Halloween season, in some individual and group OT sessions, we've been playing "Roll A Monster".  

The students roll a die, then call out the number represented by the number of dots on the die.  This ability is called "subitizing" (to perceive at a glance the number of items presented) and is a wonderful math skill!  Then student then finds the intersection of their number and the part they are working on.  

Together, we focus on the detail in the drawings, the proportion of the pieces, and the orientation and location of the body parts.  We are also working on pencil pressure and drawing lightly enough to fully erase our lines.  The students love seeing the goofy monsters they come up with!  I've included some of the monsters I've rolled (as models) so you can see a few of the possibilities.

Monday, October 28, 2013


In individual OT sessions, some students have been working on weaving spider webs and creating spiders to live inside!  First, we used pipe cleaners, yarn, and pony beads to make our spiders.

Then the students cut out the center of a paper plate and used a hole punch to make one hole for each number written on the plate.  After they had 16 holes, they needed to lace the black yarn through each hole, creating their spiderweb.

It took a lot of yarn!

Then the students attached their spiders by threading the spider's yarn through a hole and tying a knot (or using tape, for the younger students).

Some wanted their spiders arranged in their new homes, while others wanted them to hang down and scare someone!
A scary entrance to the OT room at NDS!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


The preschoolers made some very scary ghosts this week!
First, they looked for two eyes
in the pile of pieces
 scattered on the rug.
Then they looked for a mouth!

I have my eyes and mouth glued on!
How about some arms?

Now we need the spooky strips! 
Gluing down the arms

How does it look?

Very scary!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Lacing

In OT group this week, we used yarn, paper plates, and paper to make pumpkins.  Two mini paper plates were taped together with 6 to 8 holes pre-punched (depending on the age of the child).  They worked so hard to lace the orange yarn through BOTH paper plates!  We used a blanket stitch, meaning the yarn was always going down, instead of a typical "up and down" lacing pattern.  

Then we needed to make our pumpkins orange!  The 3-year-olds used colored printer paper to practice ripping, while the 4-year-olds used orange construction paper.  We practiced "one to you and one to me!" as a reminder to move their hands in opposite directions to rip front to back, rather than trying to rip side to side.  After ripping the paper, they then glued the pieces on both sides of the pumpkin.  Some children decided they weren't orange enough and elected to work on them again next week :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Paper Pumpkins

Today, we "colored" pumpkins with paper.  The kids used their "alligator fingers" (first two fingers and thumb, with the last two fingers curled into the palm) to rip orange paper and glue it to a pumpkin template.

We danced along with some music as well!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spider Webs!

Today, we made spider webs from paper plates and yarn!  Each student received a paper plate with numbers 1-6 on it.  They used a single hole punch to add the holes next to the numbers.  The kids were so excited when they were able to make the hole on their own!  In this activity, we only laced down into the paper plate, following each number in order.  When they got to number 6, they were given a small spider to add into the web.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Color by Number

We worked on our coloring skills by completing a color by number.  Each student received a paper with their name on it and followed the group direction to find a single crayon and identify the number to color. 

While some students struggled with the concept in the beginning, they all had the hang of it by the end of the group.  Many of the students laid on their stomachs while coloring to help strengthen upper body muscles.

 They did a wonderful job staying in the lines!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Relaxation Bottles

Today, the preschoolers made relaxation bottles!   They were presented to the kids as bottles to use when they are angry or upset.  They should shake the bottle until they are no longer angry, then set it down and watch the glitter fall - it should be a calming visual tool (try it!).  When the glitter has settled to the bottom of the bottle, it is time to rejoin the activity/group/etc (approximately 3 minutes).  There is one available in the preschool room, but the children wanted one to take home!

First, they peeled the labels off their bottles.  They then picked what color they wanted their bottle to be.  Using both hands, they squeezed the glittery water into their bottles.

Then they used their fingers to "pinch and sprinkle" some additional (and different colored!) glitter into their bottles.  There was as much glitter on us as in the bottles!

Great job!