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Let your kids get messy and other advice from an OT

Today I was lucky enough to chat with Kasey Dutra-Ley, M.S., OTR/L, an experienced pediatric occupational therapist and the director of Enrich Play Learn which is a supplemental enrichment program for children in San Francisco.

Kasey discussed easy activities for parents to do with their children to develop their sensory processing skills which is the basis for all learning and development.

1. Get Messy! Having your children get messy and use their hands to explore different textures helps them develop their tactile system. You can do this through using shaving cream, finger painting, water play, play-doh, and being outside in nature.

2. Cook at home with your child. Preparing a sandwich, cutting and stirring are all amazing ways to help your child develop fine motor and gross motor skills. Having your child participate in household chores also helps with with executive functioning skills as well as developing feelings of capability and independence.

3. Animal parade. Use stuffed animals, puppets or figurines to teach animal sounds as well as practice walking like each animal to develop their gross motor. Then, use paper with different colored lines (curvy, straight, etc) to help develop their knowledge of colors and understanding lines and curves. This is the premise for introducing letters. Have the child follow directions to put the animals on a certain line behind another animal. This helps with fine motor and following directions.

Please reach out if you have any questions! Thanks again, Kasey!

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