First, I MUST share this video. It's the John McGivney Awareness Video, the facility where Hazel's therapists work. LOVE!!!
This post is a medley of old and new(ish) Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT). I am working on a new post of activities from 12 months and up.
YIKES!!! Time fly's...Hazel grows and then we start new activities.
Hazel started to do these activities when she was 9 months. She is still working on some and has mastered others. As with all of my PT and OT posts, these activities have been approved by Hazel's therapists for Hazel, please check with a therapist in your local community before trying any of these activities with your children.
1. In & Out
Hazel is working on putting objects in a bowl and taking them out. We use any big bowl available. I think maybe a metal one would be better so that when she drops something in, it makes a louder noise. Sometimes when I am feeling brave, we use a huge metal pot (side note: holy it's loud!!!) Any little toys work to drop in, links, cubes, pegs, balls. Hazel often has a hard time hearing anything drop in because she is constantly talking and babbling while playing. What is that saying - "you can't talk and listen simultaneously" - wait...did I just make that up? Oh, either way, you know....
She takes toys out of her bin, not so much put them back in. That's my job. I think she just wants to make sure my position as maid is secure. She's so kind and thoughtful.
We are always working on eating and drinking. Hazel practices drinking out of a cup and a sippy-cup everyday. We try to encourage self-feeding by giving her pieces that she can pick up herself and put into her mouth. Her pincer grasp is not finessed enough for her to pick up really little objects like Cheerios, but she does well with penne noodles, crackers, bread and bananas (to name a few). Poor girl still has no teeth, so taking bites is difficult. When she gets the pieces into her mouth, she can't bite a piece off. Frustrating!
Put them on. Take them off. Put them on. Take them off. Put them on...
So that's that one.
Oops...that's cheating! You can't just dump them all, Hazel!!!
Oh yes...bang them together is another game she likes to play.
(these activities are not all we do, just some)
1. Weight Bearing on Arms
This one is a precursor to crawling. Here is one of the positions that works for getting her ready to push herself up in a 4 point. It is also encouraging her to weight bare on her arms. We try to get her to go from one side to the other. I find it easier if you hold a toy out for her to see, however, it feels like I need another hand to support her and hold the toy. You have to find what works for you.
When I move the toy in front of her, she follows along with it and sits looking forward and then I drag it to the other side and she leans to reach it. It's a tricky one!!! This was also great for getting her comfortable with putting herself in the sitting position. She would push herself back into a sit.
She would often shift her weight and would be in a 4 point stance for a couple of seconds, which was great to get her used to the crawling position.
2. High Kneel
This was my favourite PT activity (now she does it all the time on her own while she's playing)
It is easy and efficient for mommies and very effective in teaching backing in to a sit. It is also perfect for strengthening her arms by encouraging her to weight bare on them for a extended periods (by this I mean about a minute...maybe more if she was really into the toy that day). When backing into a sit she just pushes off the toy with her arms, leans to the side and goes down.
I would often switch up the tools we used to get her into a high kneel. Here she is leaning on a pillow or nursing pillow that is on top of the foam piece we have. Works perfect. Sometimes I would put her mirror in front of her so that she would stay there and talk to herself for a while.
At some point, she started going into this position and rocking. Crawl prep...
Turns out this is the best PT there is. So, we just encourage her in which ever way motivates her that day to crawl around the house. Under the advisement of her therapist, we are not working on walking with Hazel. She is gaining so much strength in her arms, legs and core by crawling that we are just content to keep her doing that.
1. READ! READ! READ!
Lots and lots of reading. The same books over and over. We make sounds of animals, we point to the text. We start again...
Girlfriend is obsessed with books. She will sit forever with me and read. I LOVE IT!!!
Sometimes, she can't decide, speech or OT??? Decisions...
We have since added a bunch of new activities to our daily routine. I will share in a later post. Hope this helps to give some ideas!