Blog

Happy weekend: Some Links

Dear Garden Club,

It was great to see you and I wanted to follow up with how to care for your chive/herb penguin planters.  I wanted to remind you that the planters do not have drain holes.  So when you wet your planter, just use about 1/3 of the volume of the planter in water.  If you already put in too much water, the solution (no pun intended) is quite simple: place your hand over the dirt and planter and turn upside down.  The water should drain through your fingers while keeping the dirt inside*.

If you do poke holes in your planters, I recommend poking the holes on the sides (near the bottom) with a push pin.  You shouldn’t need to water the planter for the 7-10 days it takes for the seeds to sprout if you wrap the planter in a plastic bag.  The one you used to carry the planter home works well.  Simply make sure the soil is thoroughly wet, wrap the entire container in the plastic bag, and leave for 7 days. 

UCLADon’t forget to unwrap once the seedlings start poking out!**

I wanted to take this time to not only wish you a happy weekend, but to forward you a few links.  I also included an attachment for the 100th anniversary of the Master Gardeners.  The event and parking is free.

Here are the links about Gardening–

Gardening in southern California:

http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8504.pdf

Integrated pest management (i.e., minimizing dependence on pesticides):

http://ucanr.edu/blogs/UCIPMurbanpests/index.cfm

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/FAQ/natural-enemies-poster.pdf

And of course, a cartoon about gardening with family and kids:

http://crappypictures.com/garden-growing-food/

Green-thumbWhile a home garden can substantially subsidize your food bill, it requires an enormous amount of work (or $$) at the beginning before you become efficient.  My first year tomatoes were probably $50/tomato plant, but now in my 3rd growing season at the house, the only expense for tomatoes this year is water.  It takes awhile to figure out which vegetables do well in your garden and which vegetables are better off being bought at the farmer’s market.  The good which comes from gardening is of course, not only the food, but the sun exposure, being outdoors with Nature (even the Nature bits which wants to eat your garden down the stub), and peace from connection to the earth.  It’s always fun to watch your child eat strawberries, broccoli or tomato at the source.

There is no such thing as a black thumb, only the wrong conditions or giving up too early.  The garden club can help you overcome both of those issues!

Pin-pin

*The compost for your seeds is: Bu’s Biodynamic Compost.  I’m a big fan of the compost.

**PLEASE tell me whether a project worked or if anything horrible went wrong.  I do the projects alongside you, but it’s really useful for future repeating projects to know if something just absolutely doesn’t work so we can change it so it does work.

Read more...

Our Favorite Books – Sensory Integration and Child Development

In celebration of OT Month, here are some of our favorite books on Sensory Integration and Child Development:

Sensory Integration and the ChildSensory Integration and the Child Understanding Hidden Sensory Challenges
By A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D.

Written by the Occupational Therapist who brought awareness to sensory challenges. This book is great place to start when learning about Sensory Integration. Dr. Ayres explains how the sensory system works and paints a clear picture of how this disorder can affect a child. She also provides solutions and examples.

 

The Out-of-Sync Child Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder
Out of Sync ChildBy Carol Kranowitz, M.A.

Another great resource for parents! This books is reader friendly. It does an excellent job explaining the different ways we process and integrate sensations through our nervous system. The first part of the book educates the reader about the sensory system and the second part provides solutions for parents.

 

The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun Activities for Kids with Sensory Integration Dysfunction
Fun IdeasBy Carol Kranowitz, M.A.

This book is full of entertaining activities to do at home, at school and in the community. It’s a great way to find new ways to have fun with your child while working on some of his/her sensory processing skills.

 

 

The Child with Special Needs
By Stanley Greenspan, MD and Serena Wieder, Ph.D.

GreenspanA wonderful resource about a child’s unique development. Describes how to navigate challenges to improve a child’s abilities to communicate and participate in meaningful, developmentally appropriate activities. Emphasize working with a child’s strengths and motivation to encourage growth.

Read more...

April 4: This Week in Garden Club

Dear Garden Club,

Playing in DirtHappy first week of April!  A huge thanks for all of your help in cleaning up the inner and outer garden.  Attacking the garden early in spring is not only more pleasant in the cool weather, but helps keep weeds from becoming established.  Your help definitely helps CDI and getting a little bit of our pesticide-free, herbicide-free organic dirt under your nails is not only good for your mind, but also good for your child’s developing immune system.  Once everyone is covered in dirt, plain soap and water are all that needed to clean up afterwards.

This week we are going to sow some chive seeds in our garden and make a little planter for chives for you to take home.  Chives are extremely suitable for growing in small pots or other mini-gardens. They don’t need full sun, but they do fine in full sun, and don’t need much watering once they get established.  Best of all, they don’t require much fertilizer and almost no pests will touch them.

ChivesChives grow in clumps, so you don’t need to thin unless you are dividing plants.  I see people plant society garlic, which is also part of the Allium family as border decorations.  You might as well substitute chives!

See you this Friday at 9:30AM!  Try to come a little bit early, as our art project uses glue, which needs a little bit of time to dry before we add our soil!

Pin-pin
ELC Mom, Master Gardener, Parent Ambassador & Garden Club Coordinator

Read more...

CALMING SENSORY ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR CHILD

 CALMING SENSORY ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR CHILD
 – Alexa Brett, COTA/L, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Each child is unique. Here are some sensory strategies that may work for your child. Try one to two at time. If a strategy does not work, it might at a later date. For community outings, put a sensory kit together with your child favorite activities.

Fuzzy Balls – Fidget Toys: stress balls, putty, fuzzy balls, gel balls, Velcro, plastic figurines, Rubber Gumby bendable,  soft squares of fabric, textured squares of fabric, bag of dried pasta or beans (make sure your child does not put items in mouth), small paint brush, skin brush or toothbrush, popping beads or tubes.

 – Lycra hug:  get a piece of Lycra fabric from the fabric store big enough for your child to wrap it around his body for a self-squeeze

 – Bucket of dry beans, and pasta: let child run his hands through, put beans in small cup, listen to sound the beans make when they fall down. Make sure your child does not put these dried food items in his mouth.

 – Music: some children really respond and organize with music.

 watching-fish-300x300– Bath or shower: let child play with the water and enjoy the many sensations this activity provides.

 – Bean bags: great for the wrap around feel it provides. A child can use them to sit on, lay on, or as a blanket. Some children really enjoy being sandwiched in between two bean bags with parent giving some targeted squeezes on the top bean bag for extra input and regulation. Always make sure the child feels safe during this activity and that your child can safely breathe.

 – Swinging or rocking: linear swinging or rocking in a rocking chair or glider can be calming for some children.

 – Fishes/aquarium: Many children seeking visual input are mesmerized by a fish tank. Before investing in one, take your child to a pet store or an Aquarium and see how he/she responds.

 – Play the breathing game with your child: 

Weighted Vest– Teach your child that his/her tummy is a balloon 

– Slowly take a deep breath through your nose to make the balloon inflate

– Slowly breathe out through your mouth to make the balloon deflate

– Repeat slowly

 – Vibrations: vibrations can be calming for some children. Try a vibrating pillow or a handheld toy massager

 – Deep pressure massage or joint pressure

 – Weighted vest or lap pillow

 – Play the hugging game: go around the house finding things to hug

 – Create a safe hideout for your child, a small space…their own little fort

 – Reduce strong inputs such as TV or screens (computers, ipads, radio or lights)

 – Use white noise music or rhythmic soothing music to help your child calm down

[notice]More information: Child Development Institute is available to answer any of your questions about occupational therapy and to listen to your concerns about your child’s development. For more information on Occupation Therapy, email Director of Clinical Services, Tessa Graham or call 818-888-4559.[/notice]

Read more...

OT Activities: Auditory Input

OT Header

kids-and-musical-instrumentsActivities You Can Do At Home
 – From CDI’s Occupational Therapists

Auditory Input
What we hear and is neuroanatomically connected with the vestibular sense.

Activities:
– Encourage your child to play with musical toys: whistles, party favor blow toys, plastic microphone

–  If a child is fearful of loud noises, let him control the volume on the stereo, exploring soft vs. loud music

–  Use a white noise machine, tabletop rocks-and-water fountain, or aquarium for background sound

[notice]More information: Child Development Institute is available to answer any of your questions about occupational therapy and to listen to your concerns about your child’s development. For more information on Occupation Therapy, email Director of Clinical Services, Tessa Graham or call 818-888-4559.[/notice]

Read more...

OT Activities: Tactile Input

 OT Header

BEan Tray Activities You Can Do At Home
 – From CDI’s Occupational Therapists

Tactile Input
The sense of touch and includes texture, temperature, pressure, and more.

Activities:
 – Play with foamy soap or shaving cream, add sand for extra texture
 – Use finger-paint   
 – Mix cookie dough and cake batter, and so on
 – Use the playground sandbox or create your own at home  
 – Fill a bin with dry beans and rice or other materials and hide objects inside
 – Use clay such as play-dough   
 – Dress up in fun costumes to get used to the feel of unfamiliar clothing
 – Garden and/or repot indoor plants   
 – Play with make-up and face painting

[notice]More information: Child Development Institute is available to answer any of your questions about occupational therapy and to listen to your concerns about your child’s development. For more information on Occupation Therapy, email Director of Clinical Services, Tessa Graham or call 818-888-4559.[/notice]

Read more...

OT Activities: Vestibular Input

OT Header

Activities You Can Do At Home
 – From CDI’s Occupational Therapists

Monkey BarsVestibular Input
The sense of movement, centered in the inner ear, can be obtained by spinning and swinging, and to a lesser extent, any type of movement.

Activities:
 – Swing on playground swings, trying various types of swings and movements, such as front and back and side to side

 – Spin on a Sit n’ Spin or office chair                            

 – Hold your child’s arm and legs and spin him around like an airplane

 – Hang upside down from monkey bars    

 – Roll down a grassy hill

 – Run in circles

[notice]More information: Child Development Institute is available to answer any of your questions about occupational therapy and to listen to your concerns about your child’s development. For more information on Occupation Therapy, email Director of Clinical Services, Tessa Graham or call 818-888-4559.[/notice]

Read more...

OT Activities: Proprioceptive Input

OT Header

Activities You Can Do At Home
 – From CDI’s Occupational Therapists

Proprioceptive Input

TugSensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that lead to body awareness can be obtained by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects as well as by engaging in activities that compress (push together) or distract (pull apart) the joints.

 Activities:
– Tug of war    

– Make a “sandwich” by firmly pressing on your child’s arms legs and back with pillows

Burrito

– Make a “burrito” by rolling child up in a blanket   

– Push a stroller or cart filled with weighted objects such as groceries

– Jump on a mini-trampoline    

– Wear a backpack or fanny pack filled with toys (not too heavy!)

 

[notice]More information: Child Development Institute is available to answer any of your questions about occupational therapy and to listen to your concerns about your child’s development. For more information on Occupation Therapy, email Director of Clinical Services, Tessa Graham or call 818-888-4559.[/notice]

Read more...

OT Activities: Pre-Writing Skills

OT Header

Finger PaintingActivities You Can Do At Home
 – From CDI’s Occupational Therapists

Pre-Writing Skills

Here are some great activities to help develop your children’s pre-writing skills:

– Finger paint letters on paper   

– Paint with colored soap in the bathtub

– Trace letters in the sand with finger or stick  
Chalk

– Write letters on the sidewalk with chalk

– Form letters out of play dough or clay  

– Use a flashlight to make letters on the wall

– Use an easel to encourage wrist activity against gravity 

– Have your child lay on the floor while drawing to encourage forearm stability  

[notice]More information: Child Development Institute is available to answer any of your questions about occupational therapy and to listen to your concerns about your child’s development. For more information on Occupation Therapy, email Director of Clinical Services, Tessa Graham or call 818-888-4559.[/notice]

Read more...

OT Activities: Fine Motor Skills

 OT Header

Activities You Can Do At Home
 – From CDI’s Occupational Therapists

Fine Motor Skills
Hand skills are crucial to successful handwriting. Small movements of the hand are referred to as fine motor skills. There are many fun activities you can do at home to encourage fine motor skills.  These activities often involve playing with toys that contain manipulation of small pieces.

Activities you can do at home with your children to build fine motor skills:

-Squirt water on plants with a spray bottle
 
Spray Bottle
 
-Play with play dough: roll it, use cookie cutters, make shapes, cut it with a  plastic knife or scissors. Hide small objects in play dough or silly putty and have your child find them
 
 
play-dough_shutterstock_44043907
 
 
-Use chopsticks, ice tongs, or tweezers to pick up cotton balls or other small objects
 
 Chopsticks

 

– Insert coins into piggy bank

Piggy Bank

[notice]More information: Child Development Institute is available to answer any of your questions about occupational therapy and to listen to your concerns about your child’s development. For more information on Occupation Therapy, email Director of Clinical Services, Tessa Graham or call 818-888-4559.[/notice]

Read more...
  • Child Development Institute
    818-888-4559

  • Early Learning Center
    818-712-0453

  • All Rights Reserved.
    Site proudly powered by six6one