Are birthday parties a challenge for your child? 6 Tips to make the next party run smoothly

Birthday parties are a wonderful chance to celebrate, look back over your child’s milestones from the previous year and create wonderful memories with family and friends.

However, for many of the children I work with, birthday parties can often be a very overwhelming experience.  It can be an environment that is noisy with singing, music, laughing and balloons popping and visually busy with bright colours, decorations and lots of people around.

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Parties can also be very socially demanding with lots of people and the expectation to participate in party games that require the ability to listen to instructions, follow rules, wait their turn, self-regulate and cope with losing.  Planning ahead can assist to make the next birthday party go more smoothly.

6 tips to assist your child:

  1. Don’t feel that you have to stay the entire time, maybe aim to stay just for a short while or go for the parts that you know your child can cope with. Going either a little early or later in the day, where there are less people in attendance, can be a good strategy.
  2. Have an escape plan for if things start to get too much. This could be to go to a quite room of the house or a quiet place outside.  It could be to go for a short walk and come back or it could be to retreat to the car and head to the safety of home.  It can be helpful to have some of your child’s favourite toys or activities on hand that can help to distract or calm them down if needed.
  3. Make a short story about the party. Stories are a great way to show kids the types of things that they can expect e.g. saying “Happy Birthday”, playing party games, singing Happy Birthday, party foods.  It can be helpful to discuss the escape plan as well so they know what they can do if they need a break.
  4. Use play to reinforce what might happen at the party e.g. Use puppets and figures to play out the steps in the social story.
  5. Model Me kids DVDs are simple educational videos that can help your child to be ready to cope with typical birthday party situations.

I hope that with these strategies you can work towards making the next birthday party that your child attends a success!kate headshot

-Kate Kleinau, Occupational Therapist

Please feel free to ask questions or give me your feedback.  I am always more than happy to answer any emails personally.


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Building Good Eating Habits For a Lifetime

In today’s world, choosing healthy foods for yourself and your family has become very complicated. We are constantly being told to ‘eat this!’ or ‘avoid that!’, which can take the focus away from what is truly important in raising good eaters and establishing good eating habits as a family for life.

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Many families today are time-poor, which can often lead to eating on the run, meals in the car on the way home, feeding in front of the iPad or TV and many other examples of time-saving strategies to get the family fed. Although this helps make sure meals and snacks are provided regularly (which is a good thing!), if we often eat when we are distracted, stressed, tired or just because it’s a meal time, it can make it much more difficult to stay in tune with our ‘internal’ cues for eating.

‘External’ cues for eating are abundant in our society. Food is everywhere – at the petrol station, the chemist, the sporting field, and unfortunately the healthy choices are not always the easy choices to make when having to rely on foods purchased away from the home. The old saying, ‘you have to finish what’s on your dinner plate’ to either avoid food waste or to earn dessert is another common example of how we may override our ‘internal’ appetite cues to eat past the point of comfortable fullness. Not only does this make it harder to recognize and respond to our own appetite cues, but it can also set up unhelpful beliefs around some foods being worse or better than others.

So how can we become more aware of and respond to our ‘internal’ appetite cues and teach our children these valuable eating skills too?

  • Make time to sit at the table to eat together. Kids learn and gain so much from meals when eaten and enjoyed together with parents. If eating dinner together every night isn’t feasible, aim for one or two nights each week or try having breakfast or lunch as a family on the weekend.
  • Avoid distractions when eating. Turn of the TV and all electronic devices, to shift the focus back on to the meal or the snack in front of you.
  • Avoid rushing through meals. Take time to chew and enjoy each mouthful and recognize when you are comfortably satisfied, rather than just finishing what’s been served.
  • Provide meals and snacks at regular times through the day. This helps children to learn how to regulate their appetite by providing predictable and consistent opportunities to satisfy their hunger.
  • Offer only water between meals and snacks.
  • Trust your children to know when they are hungry or full, and to decide how much food they are hungry for, at each meal and snack time.
  • Keep eating times enjoyable and relaxed. When children (or parents) are stressed, appetite and digestion are both affected.
  • Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding is a fantastic resource with many more tips, information and research on establishing good eating habits in children.

-Steph Young, Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), On Point Nutrition.steph young

If you would like more information or help with building good eating habits and skills for yourself or your family, contact Steph Young at On Point Nutrition. Steph specialises in helping individuals and families get back in touch with their appetite and build healthy eating habits and skills for life. She has clinics in Jindalee, Springfield, Ipswich and Karana Downs.

To find out more or to book an appointment, contact Ph: 0419 676 324 or email: info@onpointnutrition.com.au

6 Simple Strategies to Teach Social and Emotional Learning Skills for Kids: The Key to Positive Mental Health

Children are expected to use social and emotional skills continuously every day, however for some children these skills can be quite challenging to understand and learn.  Social and emotional learning is “the process through which children and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.”

kids happy calm self control

Having age appropriate social and emotional learning skills allows children to be successful in their relationships and play situations with others. Some of these skills include communication, cooperation, sharing, problem solving, anger management and conflict resolution. Good social and emotional skills also assist children in holding positive perceptions of themselves.

What are social and emotional learning skills?

When considering social and emotional learning skills, there are 5 key components that allow us to be successful in our day-to-day interactions with others:

  • Self-awareness: recognising our own emotions and triggers for emotions, as well as understanding our strengths and limitations
  • Self-management: managing our emotions and behaviours in order to persist and achieve our goals
  • Social awareness: recognising the emotions of others and understanding how to respond positively to others
  • Relationship skills: forming positive relationships, working with others in teams, managing conflict effectively
  • Responsible decision-making: making positive choices about personal and social behaviour

The target of social and emotional learning is the prefrontal cortex of the brain, or what we like to call “the breaks”. “The breaks” of the brain is responsible for executive functioning which assists with organisation and regulation. One of the main jobs of “the breaks” is to communicate with the limbic system, which we like to call “the accelerator”. “The accelerator” is responsible for managing emotions and reactive and impulsive behaviour. By working with children to develop their social and emotional skills, we are working on making “the breaks” stronger and more affective at communicating and controlling “the accelerator”.

When developing a child’s social and emotional skills, it is important that we remember to prepare the child for the world around them, rather than trying to protect them from challenges that might come their way. Providing children with strategies so they can tolerate low levels of stress can actually help them build their executive functioning and resilience skills.

If your child is displaying difficulties in any of the above areas, some of the following strategies may be beneficial to their social and emotional development.

6 strategies to assist your child:

  • Understanding the difference between ‘bumps’ (tolerable stress) and ‘hazards’ (toxic stress) and applying the right ‘tools’ (strategies) for the situation
    • Bumps: friendship issues, teasing, minor learning difficulties, coping with disappointment, coping with loss etc.
    • Hazards: social isolation, bullying, anxiety, depression, significant learning difficulties, big left events etc.
  • The Thinking-Feeling-Behaving Loop
    • Event – thinking – feeling – behaviour – outcome – (loop)
  • The Thinking Traffic Lanes
    • Supa Thinkin vs. Straight Thinkin vs. Stinkin Thinkin
    • Children have a choice about what lane they take and what response they have to a social situation. We can also teach them that they don’t always have to take the lane that they first think of. They can learn to be strong enough to choose another and more appropriate lane instead!
  • De-catastrophising
    • How big is the problem? Is it little, medium or big? We can help children to learn to scale their responses and try and get away from the first impulse ‘all or nothing’ response. Improving executive functioning helps with this, as we can train the brain to help manage thinking patterns and exhibit impulse control.
  • Calming down bubble breathing
  • The Triple B’s Calming Down
    • Breathing in and out slowly
    • Helping our Brain do Supa Thinkin
    • Identifying how out Body feels and continuing until our brain and heart feel calm and our arms and legs are soft and floppy (not tense)

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think your child would benefit from any of the above strategies or if you would like to learn more about social and emotional leaKattMatthewsOccupationalTherapist-smallrning.

-Katt Matthews, Occupational Therapist

DIY Lycra Swing

By far the most popular piece of equipment in our gym is our layered lyrca swing.  Not only do kids love to swing in it like a hammock, they also love to explore and climb through the layers.

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Therapeutic Benefits:

Lycra swings are a great resource for providing calming sensory input. The resistant stretch of the lycra provides soothing deep pressure touch and slow swinging side to side or forwards and back provides calming movement input.  This is a great activity for kids to use at all different times of day:

  • Use it before school or homework to get your child’s body calm and ready to learn.
  • Use this after a long day to provide calming input to recharge their nervous system or even get them ready for bed.
  • Use as a calming strategy if you can tell that your child is starting to become upset and may need assistance to settle down.

How to make your own at home:

You will need:

  • 2 or 4 snap hooks (ours came from Bunnings)- In our space we have 4 hooks to suspend the swing from, however you can also suspend from 2 hooks if needed.
  • Rope cut into either 2 or 4 pieces depending on how many hooks you are suspending from (It is recommended to select rope that has a breaking strength of a minimum of 150kg+)
  • 3 pieces of lycra to fit you space (we used 3m and sourced ours from East Coast Fabrics).
  • A secure place to attach the hooks (either secure eyelets or load bearing beams).
  • Reasonable matting underneath for safety (our mats come from HART sports).

Steps:

  1. Lay out the lycra, one piece on top of the other.
  2. Tie off the corners.
  3. Fasten the rope underneath each knot.
  4. Fasten the rope to each snap hook (length will vary depending on your space- remember that lycra will stretch a lot so keep this in mind when selecting what height you will attach them).  It took me two goes to get the length of my ropes right! Please ensure that your knots are safe and secure and seek advice if you are unsure. A helpful guide can be found here: http://www.netknots.com/rope_knots/figure-eight
  5. Attach to your eye bolts and put safety matting underneath.
  6. Let the kids have a blast!

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Safety disclaimer!

Please ensure that children are supervised by adults at all time to ensure safety.  Ropes, hooks and materials should be routinely checked to ensure safety is maintained over time.  We only recommend using this for children up to 40 kg maximum. This information is provided with the intent that readers will use reasonable judgement to ensure that the equipment is safe.  Synchrony OT are not responsible for any injury incurred.kate headshot

-Kate Kleinau, Occupational Therapist

Please feel free to ask questions or give me your feedback.  I am always more than happy to answer any emails personally.

The Truth About Stuttering

I receive many enquiries from parents who have noticed their child stuttering and are unsure about whether or not they should be worried. There is a great deal of information out there about stuttering and unfortunately, a large amount of it is out of date or inaccurate. As a result, many parents come to me with misconceived ideas and worries about their child’s fluency. So in this article it is my mission to provide parents with some ‘truths’ about stuttering and some clear advice about when to seek help.

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Firstly, it is important to recognise that all children have ‘disfluencies’ in their speech. Normal disfluencies happen occasionally and may come and go over time. They are usually a sign that the child is going through a period of rapid language development. Not surprisingly, stuttering is most common in children aged 3-4 years of age as they learn to use new words, tell short stories and build longer, more complex sentences.

Effortless repetitions of sounds or words (‘A-a-a big snake!’) is considered to be the ‘healthiest’ form of stuttering. Tension and struggling behaviours, such as eye twitching/closing, head movements, neck tension, ‘prolongations’ of sounds (e.g. ‘a ssssssssnake’), and pausing or appearing to hold the breath during speaking (called ‘silent blocking’) are indicators that the stutter may be more severe and more likely to persist.

Research tells us that around 75% of kindergarten children who stutter will naturally grow out of it. However, some children will not recover without necessary intervention from a Speech Pathologist. Treatment in early childhood aims to resolve or ‘get rid’ of a stutter. Intervention for adolescent and adult stuttering, however, aims to teach ways of coping with and reducing the severity of the stutter. It is therefore important to predict if your child’s stutter is likely to continue, and to seek help early if necessary.

So how do you know when to seek help, or when to ‘wait and see’? There are a number of questions that Speech Pathologists will ask when assessing a child’s ‘risk’ of persistent stuttering:

  1. Does your child have any signs of tension or struggling when they stutter?
  2. Does your child have a parent, sibling or other family member who stutters?
  3. Did you child begin stuttering after the age of 3 ½ years?
  4. Has your child been stuttering for longer than 6 months?
  5. Has your child experienced difficulties with delayed speech development? e.g. poor speech clarity or difficulty saying sounds clearly.
  6. Is your child male (boys are up to four times less likely to recover naturally)?
  7. Does your child become self conscious or frustrated when they stutter?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, my best advice is to seek advice from a qualified Speech Pathologist. We can assess the risk factors, recommend appropriate timeframes for monitoring the stutter, and provide resources such as a fluency diary to help you keep an eye on how they are progressing (and keep your mind at ease!)

For information about stuttering, check out my website: LEARN-AND-GROW-IN-BUBBLE_RGB.pngwww.learnandgrowtherapy.com.au/stuttering/
Brooke O’Brien

Speech Pathologist and Business Director

Learn and Grow Speech Pathology

Setting your child up for handwriting success: The developmental stages of drawing

Drawing is a big part of child development in the pre-school years.  It is a necessary foundation skill that allows children to develop their visual and fine motor skills prior to writing letters and numbers.  Every child develops at their own rate, however there is a general developmental sequence that all children follow.

Stages of drawing development:

Stage 1:  Exploration and Scribbling (15 months- 2 ½ years)

At this stage you can expect your child to make dots and scribbles on the page.  They will likely use a cylindrical or fisted grasp and use large whole arm movements when making pencil strokes.  Helpful activities include drawing with thick crayons on large pieces of butcher’s paper, painting at an easel, using thick chalk on driveway or using stamps on a Magna Doodle.

pencil grasp Erhardt 1982

Erhardt, 1982

Stage 2: Lines and Patterns (2 ½ – 3 ½ years)

At this stage you can expect your child to start making more controlled strokes such as circles, horizontal, vertical and curved lines.  They will now have the hand strength to start to transition to grasping the pencil between their fingertips and thumb, however their pencil strokes are still generated using large arm movements.  Activity ideas for this stage include simple colouring in books, drawing through large pathways and adding missing parts to pictures (e.g. put the legs on a caterpillar or the wheels on a car).

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Stage 3: Representational Drawings (3 ½ -5 years)

At this stage you can expect your child to start using basic shapes and lines to form recognisable pictures.  Drawing recognisable pictures develops their cognitive planning and spatial skills. They will now have the ability to use a refined tripod grasp and gain increased control over their pencil strokes, keeping their shoulder and forearm steady whilst making small movements with their hands and fingers.  This additional pencil control will allow them to develop skills for colouring neatly within the lines.  Activity ideas at this stage include using stencils, completing dot-to-dots, copying pictures step by step and decorating paper craft creations.

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Stage 4: Letters and numbers (4 ½ – 6 years)

Once children have been practising their drawing skills for a number of years, their planning and pencil control are at a level that is supportive of learning number and letter formations!kate headshot

-Kate Kleinau, Occupational Therapist

Please feel free to ask questions or give me your feedback.  I am always more than happy to answer any emails personally.

How to get your child to carry out daily routines: 3 tips for creating independence for your child

Mornings can be tough! One of the most common frustrations from parents is getting their kids ready and out the door on time.

3 Tips for making morning routines run more smoothly:

1. Make a visual schedule or checklists for the morning routine
A visual schedule is a list of photos or pictures that outline what needs to be done each morning. It helps to create structure and predictability so that the expectation is clear of what needs to be done each morning. Many kids respond well to ticking off tasks as they go and having a few minutes set aside at the end to play a motivating activity if they get all of their jobs completed in time.

Pictured (below left) is an example of visuals that can be freely downloaded from a fantastic website called Visual Aids For Learning

Pictured (below right) is an example of a ‘First and Then’ chart.  This can useful for younger children who may need more regular reinforcement to complete non-preferred activities.

visual aids for learningfirst and then chart

2. Use timers
For many children, the concept of time and how long things take, is very hard to grasp. Timers can provide a clear visual indication of how long they have until it is time to pack away.  They can make it easier for kids to stay on task and also help to make transitions smoother.

Pictured below are two examples of timers that we regularly use with kids. Bomb Timer App is free to download.  Time Timers come in a range of sizes and can be purchased from a number of online stores, however we purchase ours from Sue Larkey’s website.

timers

3. Create homemade stories or comic strips
Homemade books are a great tool for teaching kids about new routines and outlining what is expected of them.  It is always helpful to involve your child in the process.  Get them to draw pictures of the sequence, work together to Google and select pictures online or get them to pose for photos of them completing each step in the routine.

Super Duper Story Maker is a free app where kids can draw, customise or upload photos to generate their own story.  They can even record the audio for each step in the routine.

Homemade Books to Help Kids Cope is a wonderful resource that provides step-by-step examples or how simple stories can be used for a whole range of different situations.

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I hope that these tips assist in making your mornings run more smoothly!

-Kate Kleinau, Occupational Therapist

Please feel free to ask questions or give me your feedback.  I am always more than happy to answer any emails personally.

A reminder to prioritise your self-care as a parent: Sent with high importance!

Today, like most days, I woke up to my 1-year-old screaming the house down at 4:30am. I burst out of bed to pat his back in an effort to keep him quiet so his screaming didn’t wake up my 3-year-old in the next room – to no avail. My 3-year-old clambers out of bed and the day begins…”Mummy, I want porridge”, “Where’s my racing car?”, “I want to watch TV!” (persistent 1-year-old screams in the background), all before I’ve barely had a chance to rub my eyes and tame my bed hair. Sound familiar?

Never has there been a more demanding role than that of a parent. It takes more patience, energy, sacrifice and unconditional love than anything I’ve ever experienced. And of course, at the end of the day, we love our children and they are totally worth every bit of effort we can afford them. But are parents super-humans? Robots? Inbuilt with a never ending ability to be anything and everything for our kids and everyone else?

The answer is no – a huge, resounding no. We are just mere mortals who eventually run out of patience, energy, selflessness and sometimes even the feeling of love when we are pushed to our limits. But our kids need us. This is why it is just so important for parents to find ways to care for themselves so that they can reboot their ability each day to care for their children. We need to fill our own emotional cup so that we have the capacity to continue to care, love, and nurture our children, even when things get hard.

But how do we do this? Especially when we feel as though we have no time in our day to go to the toilet, let alone to focus on our own physical and emotional needs?! Simply put, as parents we need to practice and prioritise our own self-care. The operative word here is practice. Many self-care techniques are learned skills that we must practice often in order to reap the benefits. The more we practice self-care, the easier these skills will become and the greater impact we will see in our ability to cope and be present as a parent. Self-care is also different to ‘stress management’, where we engage in activities to help us calm down once we are already feeling stressed. Self-care is a much more proactive and preventative approach, equipping ourselves to be more resilient to handle stress when it inevitably comes our way.

parent self-care.jpgThere are many ways through which we can practice self-care, and they can be quick and easy to do. One of the most talked about approaches to self-care in modern psychology is the practice of ‘mindfulness’. This refers to our ability to bring conscious, moment-by-moment awareness to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and environment around us. Once aware of our internal and external experiences, mindfulness then encourages us to simply accept these experiences instead of applying judgement, that there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to think or feel. Mindfulness brings us back to the present, provides clarity, removes negative judgements and allows us to choose our responses rather than reacting automatically to a given situation. This sounds complicated, but with practice, mindfulness can be as simple as stopping, taking a slow, deep breath, and then bringing awareness to how you’re thinking and feeling in that moment. Once you’re calmly observing your own thoughts and feelings, you then have the opportunity to choose how you will continue to think, feel and respond. You will find lots of information about simple mindfulness practices online, if you’re interested to read more.

Another popular area of modern psychology, that it closely linked with current mindfulness research, is the practice of gratitude. Try thinking of at least one thing you’re grateful for each day, as research shows that cultivating gratitude is associated with an increase in energy, optimism, and empathy (and we all know how much we need these qualities as parents!). Some other well-known ways of practicing self-care include incorporating some light exercise into your day, remembering also to eat well and rest when you can. Try stimulating your mind (especially after you’ve played trucks or tea parties all morning!) by listening to a podcast in the car or while you wash the dishes. Try reading, creating art, or whatever works for you. These activities help to give a sense of self apart from your identity as a parent. And finally, it’s so important to talk and debrief how you’re feeling with your partner, friends, or even seek professional counselling if needed. You will feel more supported and less isolated in your feelings, allowing yourself to gain a sense of reassurance that you’re not alone and this too shall pass.

So, when it comes to parental self-care, try starting with something small and manageable, and to make self-care a daily habit. Go easy on yourself if you forget or don’t find the time here and there to practice self-care, but notice the difference in your mood when you do. By looking after your own needs as a parent, you’ll be so much better at looking after the needs of your children. So, what can you try today to fill your emotional cup?

-Victoria Gibbs, Psychologist from Carers Connectioncarers connection.jpg

Carers Connection offer in home psychology services to children, parents and carers. Whether you are struggling to understand your child and their behaviour or feeling stressed and out of your depth as a parent or carer, our highly skilled team of psychologists are here to help. We are approved HCWA, Better Start, and Medicare providers. To make a booking you don’t need a referral and are welcome to call our office on 0451 377 455 or email connect@carersconnection.com.au

Happy Kids, Happy Families! Giving Your Child a Positive Outlook

Being a kid is tough, especially when things don’t come easily. Parents often comment that their kids don’t want to go to school, that they find trying new things really challenging and that homework is a constant battle.

We regularly use the Class Dojo: Big Ideas Growth Mindset Series to assist primary school aged children to build a positive mindset.  The Class Dojo team have linked up with a research team at Stanford University to create an animated series of videos that are engaging for kids.

The series was originally designed for teachers to implement with their students in the classroom when tackling school work, however I have found this a fantastic tool that can be applied to so many areas at home too such as getting dressed, learning sporting skills, coping when things don’t work out and completing homework.

Check out Episode 1 below which teaches kids that their brain is like a muscle, in order for it to grow you have to practice tricky tasks.

Later episodes in the series cover helpful topics such as “It’s OK to Make Mistakes” and “It’s OK to ask for help”.  These are the beginnings of teaching kids how to manage failure and build persistence skills.  Ultimately, the goal of teaching a positive mindset is to assist kids to build their self-esteem so that they can be life-long learners and display confidence in the face of challenges!

This series of videos links in particularly well with the Zones of Regulation Program, check out our previous blog post for more information: Teaching Kids Self-Regulation: The Zones of Regulation Program

Kate Kleinau- Occupational Therapist

Are My Child’s Skills on Track? Developmental Milestones for Pre-School Years

One of the most common queries from parents of pre-school children is wanting to know if their child’s skills are progressing typically. Whilst every child develops at their own rate there is a developmental progression for skills.  The lists below can provide a broad guide for typical milestones for 3, 4, and 5 year olds in relation to gross motor, fine motor and self-care skills.

home games

 

3 year olds:

  • Gross Motor :
    • Run with coordination
    • Jump with both feet leaving the ground
    • Throw at a target
    • Kick confidently
    • Catch a large ball against their chest
    • Walk on tip toes
    • Manage stairs independently
    • Pedal a tricycle
    • Balance on one foot for short periods e.g. 3 seconds
  • Fine Motor:
    • Complete easy puzzles
    • Grasp a pencil with their thumb and fingers
    • Draw vertical and horizontal lines and circle
    • Make continuous cuts with scissors
    • Build a tower 10 blocks high
    • Open and close containers independently
    • Use tools e.g. spades, fork, hammer, pencils, paint brushes, scissors.
    • Make simple forms with playdough e.g. snake, ball
    • Show a well developed hand preference
  • Self-Care:
    • Toilet independently except for wiping
    • Use a fork and spoon well
    • Spread with a knife
    • Pour a drink
    • Pull on pants
    • Find arm holes on shirts
    • Know front from back when dressing
    • Put on shoes
    • Brush teeth with assistance
    • Wash hands

boy puzzle

4 year olds:

  • Gross Motor:
    • Propel themselves on a swing
    • Walk across a balance beam
    • Walk heel to toe along a line
    • Manage stairs without having to hold on to the railing
    • Balance on one foot for over 5 seconds
    • Complete actions to songs
    • Climb up rungs of ladders
    • Complete a forward roll
    • Ride around obstacles on a tricycle
    • Bounce and catch a ball multiple times
    • Sit with legs crossed
  • Fine Motor:
    • Tripod grasp on pencil
    • Draw a cross, a person with head and 4 recognisable features, a recognisable house
    • Colours mostly in the lines
    • Cut on the line
    • Mange buttons
  • Self-Care:
    • Seldom have toileting accidents
    • Wash and dry hands independently
    • Shoes on correct feet
    • Dress with little assistance
    • Brush teeth
    • Swallow before taking another bite when eating

girl tying her shoes

5 year olds:

  • Gross Motor:
    • Sit with legs cross and upright posture for at least 15 mins
    • Balance for 10 seconds
    • Complete 10 hops on one foot
    • Jump over obstacles
    • Begin to be able to jump with a skipping rope
    • Clutch catch tennis balls
  • Fine Motor:
    • Mature tripod grasp
    • Draw a square and a triangle
    • Include complex details in drawings
    • Write their first name
    • Use squeeze toys e.g. spay bottle, tweezers, water pistols
    • Use keys to unlock and open
    • Cut around square with scissors
    • Spread with a knife
  • Self-Care:
    • Make a snack e.g. simple sandwich or cereal
    • Dress independently including fasteners
    • Independent toileting
    • Use a knife and fork for easy food
    • Blow nose
    • Attempt to tie shoes

If you feel like your child might be displaying difficulties with their gross motor, fine motor or self-care skills, Occupational Therapy can assist to ensure that their skills are developing on track!

Kate Kleinau- Occupational Therapist