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.
Get My Free Fine Motor Checklist for Ages 0-6!
Get my FREE Fine Motor Checklist for Ages 0-6 when you subscribe to Growing Hands-On Kids. Put your email in the box below to get yours now! You'll also get my weekly child development tips newsletter. Join 50,000 others and get these free weekly tips.
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.
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.
Visit the Growing Hands-On Kids Shop
Digital download products to help you create hands-on and developmentally appropriate activities for your children and students.
get this free checklist
Find out exactly what is age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate for your child to do when it comes to fine motor activities. These fine motor skills checklists were created to help you do just that.
Perfect for therapists, educators, or parents to use as a quick reference guide.
Hi there, I'm Heather.
I’m Heather, a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) 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…
The holidays are coming up and this is the perfect time to add some toys and games for heavy work to your child's gift list. Today I'm going to share some of the best toys and games for heavy work…
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I always love doing Thanksgiving-type crafts or activities. When I was working as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in the schools, we always had a writing activity each year that had to do with…
We've been focusing on scissor skills with my 5-year-old daughter lately and I wanted to create some fun themed cutting practice pages for her. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I created these Thanksgiving-themed cutting practice pages as a free…
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in children. It can be caused by a variety of factors, such as stress at school or home, peer pressure, and traumatic events. When kids are feeling anxious or stressed,…
A common challenge that you might see in handwriting is the difficulty in keeping letters on the line. This is often referred to as line orientation in Occupational Therapy. Today, we're going to take a look at typical development for…
Lacing cards and activities are a great way to get some extra fine motor and visual motor practice in your child's day. Grab these outer space lacing cards as a free printable to set up in your fine motor stations…