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 products to help you create hands-on and developmentally appropriate activities for your children and students.
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) 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…
Is your child or student sensitive to certain smells? Maybe they can smell something that you can't, or they can't be in certain environments because of the smell. Today I want to share some of the best activities for the…
For a special Christmas activity at work, I had one of my behavior/special needs classrooms make some handmade cinnamon Christmas ornaments. I always enjoy doing something special during Christmas that is fun, but still working on some great skills that…
You may have noticed your child or student does not like loud, sudden noises, or struggles in different environments because of the noise. Today I want to share some of the best activities for the auditory system. What is the…
I-Spy pages are a great way to work on visual perceptual skills with your child or student. With many of us in the middle of virtual and telehealth services or school, it's also a great activity during screen sharing activities…
If your child is struggling with visual input throughout the day, whether at school or home, there are some strategies you can try to help. Today I want to share a little about the visual system and some of the…
After the summer break, I noticed my daughter was reversing some numbers again while writing. Writing has never been something she enjoys, ironically since I write about handwriting all the time. Since she just turned 8, I knew we needed…