Child Development Tips, Tools, and Strategies
Encourage your child to reach their fullest potential through hands-on play and developmentally appropriate activities.
My mission is to provide developmental tips, tools, and strategies to help you grow hands-on kids. Whether you are a parent, educator, therapist or other professional, this site is for you.
Free Sensory Systems Email Series
Discover how all 8 sensory systems are connected and are the building blocks of child development. Also, get an 8 Sensory Systems Handout with signs of sensitivities and activity suggestions.
Free Fine Motor Email Series
Not sure where to start with fine motor skills? This Fine Motor 101 email series is a great place to start. Get a Fine Motor Skills Checklist, plus activity suggestions for all ages and levels of ability.
Free Pre-Writing & Handwriting Series
Understand the importance of pre-writing lines and strokes, how pencil grasp develops, and ways to promote handwriting success through hands-on activities.
Visit the Growing Hands-On Kids Shop
Digital products to help you create hands-on and developmentally appropriate activities for your children and students.
Why are pre-writing skills important for handwriting? In this brand new ebook, Heather takes a look at the research on why pre-writing skills are crucial for your child’s future handwriting.
You’ll discover the foundational skills needed for future handwriting like sensory processing, gross motor, fine motor, and visual-motor skills. Plus you will get specific hands-on activity ideas for each of these developmental areas, including ways to introduce pre-writing lines and shapes to your child.
This ebook is ideal for any person who has or works with a child ages 2-6.
Sensory Processing Explained was written by an Occupational Therapy Assistant and mom of seven children. They use their unique experiences as a parent of children with sensory processing disorder and working in the classroom setting with children of various sensory processing challenges.
This book is three books in one so that you will get exactly what sensory processing information is right for your situation. It was written with easy to understand terms and language so that you can feel confident in explaining your child or student’s sensory processing struggles with parents, family, friends, or co-workers.
“Basics of Fine Motor Skills is a comprehensive breakdown of the fine motor skills needed for development and function. Heather has provided a valuable resource that describes each underlying skill under the vast term, “fine motor skills”. This book is a great compliment to individualized goal areas for children. Therapists can use this resource for activity development and planning. Parents and educators will appreciate the clear and concise breakdown of skill areas and “red flags” that provide education in an easy to understand manner. The engaging activity lists are designed to target necessary skills while supporting the healthy development of children at all levels.” – Colleen Beck, OTR/L – The OT Toolbox.
get this free checklist
We've all seen the news articles that state children entering Kindergarten are coming with minimal fine motor skills. Many teachers and Occupational Therapists are noticing this trend not just in Kindergarten, but all age groups and grades.
It's important as parents, educators, and therapists to realize what skills are age-appropriate and what a child really needs to be able to do when getting to school age. These fine motor skills checklists were created to help you do just that.
Hi there, I'm Heather.
I’m Heather, a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA/L) turned homeschool mom of two. I believe that all children can reach their fullest possible potential through hands-on play and developmentally appropriate activities.
New on the blog…
Spring is here! We love spring here as it's a chance for us to get outside more in warmer weather. Use this spring senses scavenger hunt to get outside and explore the spring weather with all 8 senses. For this…
Today we are going to take a look at a part of child development that you may not be familiar with. What is visual perception? Why is it important? What can you do to help your child who may have…
My 4-year-old little guy is starting to show an interest in writing. This may seem early based on typical pre-writing line development, but he has an older sister who is writing. Before I start formally introducing letters to him, I…
You've probably seen the videos or pictures on social media of “sensory walks” or “sensory paths” that many schools are putting in their hallways. When I was working at one of our local schools, I created these sensory-motor walk activities…
Are you looking for some themed winter fine motor activities for your school day or just to have fun at home? Today I am sharing some of my favorite winter fine motor activities for kids that work on a variety…
Does your child struggle with handwriting, particularly with pencil grasp or being able to move their hand across the paper while printing? Or maybe they are in Kindergarten and have not chosen a dominant hand for fine motor activities including…