Thursday, September 14, 2006

Easels...not just for reading

Tabletop easels are one of the greatest tools to increase upper arm strength and stability, hand and wrist positioning, and fine motor control.

When you use an easel to write or paint on, your body calls upon a whole different set of muscles than if you did the activity flat on a desk.

TRY IT OUT... Hold a book or clipboard up on an angle (45 degrees or so) with the base of the book/clipboard resting on the table. Now write something.

Next, put the paper flat on the table and write the same thing. See how different that feels?

Do it again and pay attention to which muscles you are using and how your hands, wrists and upper body are positioned differently. These differences are precisely the aspects we want to target when developing upper arm stability and control!

Tabletop easels not just for propping up materials to read. Use them for a variety of activities. Try wikki stiks, magnetic letters, pegboards, magnadoodles, and small chalkboards. The ideas are endless!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Family Corner - preparing for school

The start of school is an exciting time, but it can also cause anxiety for some youngsters. Follow these simple tips to make the transition from summer to school a little easier.
Get enough sleep: Remember, elementary age children typically need 9 - 11 hours of sleep each night.

Eat a good breakfast: Provide fuel for an active mind.

Get moving: A little exercise prior to school goes a long way. Walking to school or arriving 10 minutes early for playground time will prepare your child for the day.