Welcome to our link up series, March Links: Articles to Read for Parents and Educators. I like to begin each month by sharing links to support and engage parents, teachers, and SLP’s alike.
We will kick off the month with a book list for little ones and their not-so-little emotions. Talking about feelings doesn’t have to be complicated. This booklist keeps it even simpler by taking the guesswork out of book hunting.
Also, we will discuss why we should no longer force boys to sit still. You’ll learn how to embrace boy’s fidgety nature and catapult that energy into good use.
Last, we have a little something for the SLP’s out there. We will discuss why it’s a good idea to incorporate OT strategies into our therapy sessions, and how to do so. These tips are fun and will help amp up the energy in future therapy sessions.
Help Preschoolers Conquer Emotions With These Books
Emotions are often tough to harness, even for adults. But young children especially need our guidance on feelings. That’s what makes emotions such a great subject for children’s books. Wondering which books to choose? This handy list of books on emotions for preschoolers is your time saver! Make a list of your favorites to find at the local library, or click for a direct link to order via Amazon.
Help boys succeed: Stop forcing them to be still
Sometimes, boys get into trouble when the expectation is they will sit still at school. A big part of this is that when some children can’t sit still, teachers see it as disruptive. But let’s not pretend, here. Teaching a classroom that is half full of fidgeting and restlessness is distracting! So, what’s the solution?
Based on a global survey, a good approach is welcoming the energy that children have, rather than fighting it. Of course, learning through physical activity is an obvious choice. Also on the list are competitive activities, teamwork, and teaching their peers. The result is a more natural and positive learning experience for everyone! This article is several years old, but I stumbled upon it recently. It’s certainly still just as relevant now as when it was published in 2013. You can read the complete Atlantic article here.
OT in the Spotlight: Tactics Speech Therapists Will Love
You might ask, “Why would speech therapists use OT strategies?” As you doubtless know, some clients see physical and occupational therapists, too. So, why not maximize our time by incorporating these techniques into our sessions? You don’t need to have extensive knowledge in occupational therapy for these techniques.
In my own clinic, it’s been a goal of mine to add more movement and tactile play into sessions for my clients. I’ve worked hard to increase my opportunities for movement at my clinic, such as the activities I mention in this blog post. On the Crazy Speech World blog, Jenn takes this one step further. Jenn incorporates specific sensory input, movement, and activities of daily living in her speech sessions. I loved her ideas, which will challenge me to keep increasing these opportunities in my own sessions.
fine motor activities using sensory bins
daily living activities like tying shoes (great for sequencing)
fun movement, like Simon Says (great for high repetition, following directions).
I’m positive you’ll find something that will make you say, “I need to try that!”
Wrap Up of March Links
I hope you have found something enjoyable to read in this month’s link up series.
I’ll bet you have found some new activities via the OT strategies link that you can use. I enjoy using Play Dough in my sessions, for proprioceptive input. I’m challenging myself to try a few of Jenn’s suggestions this month for even more sensory opportunities.
Book lists always save me so much time and guesswork, and I’m hoping it will do the same for you. My favorite on the list is Todd Parr’s The Feelings Book. Kids enjoy his colorful illustrations and silly yet honest perspective (ok, and so do I).
Reconsidering how we teach boys left me thinking, why did it take so long to come to this point? Still, I am optimistic that we can change our approach and help boys reach their full potential.