Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cut and Number Puzzle

Cut and Number Puzzle

Here is a simple, no prep Cut and Number puzzle.  Cut out the picture at the bottom of the page.  Assemble it in number order, 1-5, and glue it back on to the top of the paper.  Download your FREE Cut and Number puzzle below.

Need more scissor skill activities?  Check out:

  1. Cut and Paste
  2. Cut and Fold
  3. Kirigami for Kids
  4. Cutting Cards
  5. Cut, Create and Play
  6. Step By Step Circle Animals
  7. Hair Cutting Sticks


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Yoga and ADHD

Yoga and ADHD

Yoga incorporates breathing techniques, postural control, muscle strengthening, flexibility and cognitive control which can help promote self-control, attention, body awareness, and stress management. These are all skills that are beneficial for children with ADHD to practice.

Recent research analyzed the benefits of yoga in 49 children (average age 10.50 years old) with ADHD. The participants were assigned to a yoga exercise group for an 8 week exercise intervention, 2x/week x 40 minute sessions or a control group. All subjects were evaluated with the Visual Pursuit Test and Determination Test prior to and after the intervention.

The Visual Pursuit Test is used to assess visual perception involving sustained attention and the Determination Test is used to evaluate the ability to determine multiple-choice reaction requiring inhibitory ability and selective attention.

The results indicated the following:

  • significant improvements in accuracy rate and reaction time of the two tests were observed over time in the exercise group compared with the control group.

The researchers concluded that yoga exercises can be beneficial as a behavioral intervention for children with attention and inhibition problems.

Reference: Chou C, Huang C. (2017) Effects of an 8-week yoga program on sustained attention and discrimination function in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. PeerJ 5:e2883

Check out some of our amazing yoga resources for kids!

Yoga CardsYoga Moves Cover YTSYoga for Every SeasonScooter & Me Bundle – 9 Videos & 16 Self-Regulation Flash Cards


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Motor Skills and Executive Function

Motor Skills and Executive Function

Mental Health and Physical Activity published research on the relationships between physical activity, aerobic fitness, and motor skills to executive functions and academic achievement in 697, ten year old children.

The results indicated the following:

  • no relationships were observed between moderate to vigorous physical activity and executive functions or academic performance.
  • sedentary time was related to executive functions and academic performance in English in boys.
  • aerobic fitness was associated with executive functions and academic performance in boys only.
  • motor skills were associated with most measures of executive functions in both girls and boys and academic performance in girls.

The researchers concluded that the strongest independent associations were observed for motor skills to executive functions. Sex-specific associations were observed for aerobic fitness and motor skills. Programs that increase both aerobic fitness and motor skills may positively affect executive functions and academic performance.

Reference: Aadland, K. N., Moe, V. F., Aadland, E., Anderssen, S. A., Resaland, G. K., & Ommundsen, Y. (2017). Relationships between physical activity, sedentary time, aerobic fitness, motor skills and executive function and academic performance in children. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 12, 10-18.


Need activities that include aerobic fitness and motor skills?  Check out 25 Bilateral Coordination Exercises.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Manual Motor Skills, Daily Living Skills and Autism

Manual Motor Skills, Daily Living Skills and Autism

Developmental Science published research examining the longitudinal development of manual motor skills and daily living skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Longitudinal grip strength and finger tapping, along with the relationship to current and future daily living skills, was evaluated in 90 individuals with ASD and 56 individuals with typical development who ranged in age from 5 to 40 years old.

The results indicated the following:

  • the participants with ASD exhibited atypical motor development, characterized by similar performance during childhood but increasingly poorer performance from adolescence into adulthood.
  • grip strength was correlated with current adaptive daily living skills.
  • Time 1 grip strength predicted daily living skills eight years into the future.

The researchers concluded that individuals with ASD may experience increasingly more pronounced motor difficulties from adolescence into adulthood and that manual motor performance in ASD is related to adaptive daily living skills.

Reference:  Travers, B. G., Bigler, E. D., Duffield, T. C., Prigge, M. D., Froehlich, A. L., Lange, N., … & Lainhart, J. E. (2016). Longitudinal development of manual motor ability in autism spectrum disorder from childhood to mid‐adulthood relates to adaptive daily living skills. Developmental science.

Life Skills Checklists

Life Skills Checklists  help track progress towards routine life skills needed to succeed in the school, home and community.  The checklists have been created in Microsoft Excel.  When you record a score for each life skill, it automatically enters into the graph for a visual representation of progress.  If you are using the document in PDF format you will have to hand write in the score and the graphing information.  This is a great resource for tracking quarterly progress and establishing goals.  

The 14 life skills checklists include:
  1. Dressing Skills
  2. Personal Hygiene
  3. Mealtime
  4. Food Preparation
  5. Chores
  6. Safety Skills
  7. School Routine
  8. Before and After School Routine
  9. Personal Health
  10. Interpersonal
  11. Transportation
  12. Self Advocacy
  13. Community Life Skills
  14. Pre-Vocational


The post Manual Motor Skills, Daily Living Skills and Autism appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

New Ways to Play Candyland Including Exergaming

New ways to play candyland

Playing board games with children offers learning opportunities to develop counting skills, color recognition, fine motor skills, self regulation and social skills.  Candyland is an all time classic.  It was created in 1948 by Eleanor Abbott, while she was recovering from polio and was tested by the children in the polio wards in the hospital.  The game was submitted to Milton Bradley and the rest is history!  Children seem to love this game and will play it over, over, over and over again……  You get it.  It gets a bit boring after awhile.  Here are new ideas to change up Candyland:

Use the cards only –  Use the cards for a scavenger hunt.  Turn over one card.  See if the child can race to touch an object in the room that is the same color.  Hide some of the cards around the room, gym or playground.  How quickly can the child find all the blue cards, all the red cards, etc?  Add in handwriting practice.  Turn a color card over.  Write a sentence with that color word in it.  Turn over three cards.  Write a sentence with all three color words included.  Make a category game.  Turn over a random color card.  Write down as many items as you can that are that color.

Adapt the board game to add a tactile component for children with visual impairments.  Read about how to do it at Paths to Literacy – Adapting Candyland for Players Who are Blind or Deaf Blind.

Add in exercise and physical activity – some “exergaming”.  Candy Game Exercises sneaks in some exercises and physical activity while practicing turn taking, color identification and visual perceptual skills. This download includes 30 exercise cards, 30 regular color cards and the special cards (6 for the older version and 7 for the new version). Use these cards instead of the traditional color cards that come with the Candy Land® game.  If you don’t have Candy Land®, there is a Candy Trail game included that you can print and use with the cards.  Find out more information.

Candy Game Exercises


Reference: National Toy Hall of Fame.  Candyland. Retrieved at on 2/16/17.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fingerprint Bees

Fingerprint Fun Bees Freebie

Check out these fingerprint bees!  I love fingerprint art because it is easy to follow the directions and the end result is adorable!  This freebie is from Fingerprint Fun.  There are simple, step by step directions on how to create these buzzing bees.  Print out the page and complete the picture with your own fingerprint bee to create a work of art that is refrigerator ready!  This activity encourages children to practice visual motor skills, fine motor skills and creativity.

Download the Fingerprint Bees activity page.
Fingerprint Fun



Fingerprint Fun is a no prep, digital download of 25 fingerprint activities with step by step directions. Each page includes step by step directions, a picture prompt and space to complete the fingerprint artwork picture with your own adorable, fingerprint friends.  FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Math, Movement and Motor Skills

Math, Movement and Motor Skills

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience published research on math, movement and motor skills.  The participants included 165 children, average age 7.5 years old, who were randomized into three groups for 6 weeks of mathematical instruction: a non motor group, a fine motor math group and a gross motor math group.  The gross motor group performed inter-limb gross motor movements that alternated between dynamic and static movements and involved a large range of movement (e.g., skipping, crawling, hopscotching, throwing, one-legged balance) while solving mathematical problems throughout all lessons.  The fine motor group manipulated LEGO® bricks supporting the mathematical principles.  Each child completed a standardized mathematical test before, immediately after and 8 weeks after the intervention.  In addition, the researchers examined whether motor-enriched math was accompanied by different effects in low and normal math performers and the potential contribution of cognitive functions and motor skills on mathematical performance.

The results indicated the following:

  • all groups improved their mathematical performance on test scores before and immediately after.
  • improvement on test scores was significantly greater in the gross motor group compared to the fine motor group
  • no significant differences in mathematical performance were observed 8 weeks following the intervention.
  • normal math-performers benefited from gross motor math compared to both the control group and the fine motor group although these effects were not observed in low math-performers. The effects were partly accounted for by visuo-spatial short-term memory and gross motor skills.

The researchers concluded that motor enriched learning activities (particularly gross motor math instruction) can improve mathematical performance.

Reference:  Beck, M. M., Lind, R. R., Geertsen, S. S., Ritz, C., Lundbye-Jensen, J., & Wienecke, J. (2016). Motor-Enriched Learning Activities Can Improve Mathematical Performance in Preadolescent Children. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10.

Want to incorporate gross motor movements into your math lessons?  Create some Movement Flashcards.

Movement Flashcards

Movement Flashcards digital download includes 10 aerobic exercises with flash cards templates. Students can get physical activity while reviewing material. The 10 aerobic activities include: run in place, jumping, hopping, squats, lunges, skipping, twists, cross crawls, jumping jacks and marching. Each page includes a picture image of the aerobic exercise along with a blank template to type in 18 flash cards. You choose what to work on for academic material.  FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.

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