Tag Archives: Play

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What Is TKidsTime?

TKidsTime

TKidsTime   is an exceptional program guided by the principle that learning occurs best when children are engaged socially, emotionally and intellectually by creating opportunities for learning that are natural, meaningful and purposeful.  

Our program is a program for children under the age of 6, who need support with social interactions, language and communication, sensory processing abilities/managing behaviors  to get ready for a traditional school setting.

TKidsTime   focuses on understanding each child’s unique strengths and needs to design an individualized plan to maximize their participation and learning.

Schedule and Group Size

  • Monday through Thursday
  • Three hours per day
  • Groups size: 3-5 children
  • 1:3 adult-to-child ratio

Informed And Inspired By The following Practice Models:

  • DIR/Floortime
  • HighScope and Reggio  Emilia
  • Play Project
  • Social Thinking

How Can TKidsTime Help Your Child?

TKidsTime   gets children “school ready” by focusing on:

  • Following consistent daily  routines
  • Participation in group activities  and semi-structured tasks
  • Play that offers rich sensory  experiences for learning through the senses
  • Experiences that encourage  curiosity and problem solving
  • Fostering creative play and pre- academic skills
  • Increasing independence with  toileting and self-care
  • Building social skills by targeting  communication of wants and  needs, turn taking, attention to  others
  • Improving attention span,  frustration tolerance and ability  to follow directions
  • Increasing comprehension  and expression in a  variety of contexts

TKidsTime   is run by Occupational  Therapists and Speech and Language Pathologists to strengthen developmental skills in the following areas:

  • Executive functioning (self control,  attention to tasks, problem solving,  and more)
  • Interest and attention to play
  • Anticipation and curiosity
  • Improving engagement with adults and peers
  • Communication
  • Listening and comprehension
  • Social interactions
  • Imitation of movements
  • Imitation of actions
  • Symbolic and pretend play
  • Sensory processing
  • Gross Motor – Movement control
  • Fine motor
  • Pre-writing
  • Self-care

 

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Life Skills Outing: Brunch!

Everyone loves sharing a meal with friends! Setting time to eat together with friends and family is therapeutic and good for our well-being. It gives us the opportunity to talk, reflect, joke and share our experiences with each other as we build and strengthen relationships. Whether we share a meal at home or at a restaurant, the experience should always be an enjoyable one full of good interactions and flavors! We know; however, that many times eating out becomes a difficult experience for our families. With this in mind, The TkidsT team took advantage of this past teacher planning day to share a meal with our kiddos, using the occasion to work on important life skills as well as social/pragmatic abilities.

During this session, our 9 to 12-year-olds had the opportunity to practice these skills in a real-life setting. As a group, they planned for the outing: picked a date, searched for restaurants, perused menus, discussed methods of transportation, problem-solved what clothes were appropriate to wear, discussed how much money to take and went over safety and behavior expectations. Needless to say, they were very excited and counting the days for this special event.

The day arrived, and our kids came ready with their wallets and appetite! We met at our facility to prepare. Each of them was responsible for bringing appropriate clothing for the event and many were able to work on specific dressing skills; from simple things like buttoning their shirts and donning them using correct orientation, to more advanced skills like getting ready within an allotted time frame to meet the time constraints. Others needed support with skills such as grooming and brushing their hair. Once they were ready, we walked as a group to a nearby restaurant for a delicious brunch! On our way there, we worked on plenty of safety awareness precautions such as: staying with the group, stopping and checking before crossing a street, staying on the sidewalk and following directions.

Once at the table, the kids had to calculate what was an appropriate menu choice based on their own specific budget. Some of the kids needed support to deal with the frustration of not finding exactly what they were hoping for. Therapists modeled and assisted the children in developing the social skills necessary to interact and communicate with the waiter. After ordering the food, we were able to engage in conversational exchanges. Everyone was attentive and in their best behavior. We talked about the importance of taking turns, maintaining topic of conversation and incorporating others’ ideas. As we ate, we worked on the fine-motor coordination skills necessary to use the utensils appropriately. It was a beautiful and fun experience for these kids, that allowed them to learn new skills and connect with each other as group. After all that’s what TKidsT is all about: supporting child’s development through relationships. 

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Occupational Therapy
Speech Therapy
Social Groups
Parent Coaching

TKidsTime

TKidsTime   is an exceptional program guided by the principle that learning occurs best when children are engaged socially, emotionally and intellectually by creating opportunities for learning that are natural, meaningful and purposeful.  

Our program is a program for children under the age of 6, who need support with social interactions, language and communication, sensory processing abilities/managing behaviors  to get ready for a traditional school setting.

TKidsTime   focuses on understanding each child’s unique strengths and needs to design an individualized plan to maximize their participation and learning.

Schedule and Group Size

  • Monday through Thursday
  • Three hours per day
  • Groups size: 3-5 children
  • 1:3 adult-to-child ratio

Informed And Inspired By The following Practice Models:

  • DIR/Floortime
  • HighScope and Reggio  Emilia
  • Play Project
  • Social Thinking

How Can TKidsTime Help Your Child?

TKidsTime   gets children “school ready” by focusing on:

  • Following consistent daily  routines
  • Participation in group activities  and semi-structured tasks
  • Play that offers rich sensory  experiences for learning through the senses
  • Experiences that encourage  curiosity and problem solving
  • Fostering creative play and pre- academic skills
  • Increasing independence with  toileting and self-care
  • Building social skills by targeting  communication of wants and  needs, turn taking, attention to  others
  • Improving attention span,  frustration tolerance and ability  to follow directions
  • Increasing comprehension  and expression in a  variety of contexts

TKidsTime   is run by Occupational  Therapists and Speech and Language Pathologists to strengthen developmental skills in the following areas:

  • Executive functioning (self control,  attention to tasks, problem solving,  and more)
  • Interest and attention to play
  • Anticipation and curiosity
  • Improving engagement with adults and peers
  • Communication
  • Listening and comprehension
  • Social interactions
  • Imitation of movements
  • Imitation of actions
  • Symbolic and pretend play
  • Sensory processing
  • Gross Motor – Movement control
  • Fine motor
  • Pre-writing
  • Self-care

 

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Our Thinkering Kids Summer Explorers Camp Update

Week 2 – Our Safari Week!

 

What a fun week we had with our Safari theme.  We all had fun exploring different animals and where they live in so many different ways. Not only did we do lots of learning and playing,  but we created fun crafts such as binoculars and vests using recycling materials, such as binoculars and vests,  that we used during other activities throughout the week.  We did yoga activities based on animal movements, and experienced food by creating giraffes, snakes and other animals using different fruits, bread and other food items. Great way to explore food for those who love it, and for those who tend to avoid new food items. Scavenger hunts where all about fostering thinking and problemsolving skills. Our exploratory campers had to figure out clues to figure out what animals were hiding for them to rescue. Activities about animals were a great motivation for our explorers to engage in writing and coloring activities. What a blast we had with this jungle safari adventure!

 

Week 3 – Celebration Week!

Last week it was all about celebrating our 4th of July.  In preparation of all the excitement and overflow of sensory activities our campers were going to be exposed to during the Independence Day celebration, our explorer campers engaged in many activities aimed at giving them opportunity to prepare them to what was coming up, and to practice self-control.  On Thursday, after the 4th of July, our older campers planned and organized a celebration party we were having on Friday, while our younger campers practiced dancing songs and created sensory firework and ornaments for the party. Friday came and we all had so much FUN! Seeing our explorer campers just having such a great time playing with their friends, dancing, playing with balloons, being kids! After all, research indicates that children learn best in an environment which allows them to explore, discover, and play

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Summer Is Officially Here!

In just a few days, school will be closing. Parents will not have to be thinking about homework or after school activities. What a relief!  Most children are looking forward to playing outside, going to summer camp, staying up later, and having free time at home. Unfortunately, for some children, the transition from school routine to Summer time can be difficult. Their schedule and routine will dramatically change.  Adjusting to new schedule and routine, or lack of, can be difficult and can trigger anxiety and explosive behaviors that can result in challenges not only for the children, but for their parents too.
Children who have difficulty being flexible tend to rely on the structure and routine that schools provide.  During school time, they pretty much can anticipate what will happen during the day. They know that from Monday to Friday they will go to school and they will have pretty much the same schedule each day.  They know the routine, including how to interact with their peers and teachers, do their classwork, participate in after care activities and, at the end of their day, they will go home. Once school is over, they will spend time having to adapt to either a new routine, or no routine at all.
During the Summer, those children who will be staying at home or with their grandparents, more than likely will have little or no structure during the day. They might have less opportunities to play with other children, and they will probably be immersed in watching TV or playing with electronics. For the children who will be enrolled in Summer camps, they will be facing a new routine, change of environment – having to adapt to a louder and busier setting, a change of the children and adults they will be seeing and interacting with, and a change of activities they will be participating in. 
For both, those who will be staying at home and those who will be attending camps, the changes in their routines might end up resulting on children having occasional tantrums or meltdowns. They may sometimes lash out if they’re frustrated or be defiant if asked to do something they don’t want to do. But when kids do these things repeatedly, or can’t control their tempers a lot of the time, it may be more than typical behavior. It is useful to see behaviors as a red flag that indicates something is happening, your child might be needing help in one or more areas to adapt to the  Summer changes.  All kids are different, but here are a few tips that may help ease the transition into summer:
  • Communication:  Talking with your child, as early as possible, about changes that will occur in their schedule during the summer.  This will help your child to prepare for what will be happening, minimizing the amount of stress these changes could cause.  If “behaviors” are already happening, it’s helpful to understand that behaviors are communication. Outbursts of unpleasant behavior may be caused by frustration over trying to communicate what they feel or a product of a routine change.
  • Being overwhelmed usually unable to handle frustration or anger in a more effective way and reduces the child’s ability to manage his feelings and express them in a more mature way.  If this is happening, it is useful to stay calm, talk to your child to find out what can be overwhelming him (sensory overload, challenges participating in activities, meeting new friends, feeling trapped or bored at home)  and help him to  come up with solutions to conflicts before they escalate more.  Breaking tasks down into one-step directions (“first, take off your shoes”), and talk to your child to prepare her for situations she is encountering (“you can let your counselor know you do not like to ….”) can all help avoid tantrums and meltdowns.
  • Recognize the warning signs. It’s important to know the signs that your child is getting overloaded to know what you can do to help them.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is to step back and observe your child or talk to her about her day. What is causing him to develop a temper tantrum every morning, or when you pick her up from camp?
  • If your child spends the day at a Summer Camp, it helps to engage in conversations with your child about his day.  You can ask about the new “friends” from camp, activities they did, what he liked and what was not so fun. If your child has a difficult time engaging in the conversation, you can obtain information from the camp counselors about activities they did during the day and ask your child questions such as: “I wonder what you did today…. Did you play soccer, or did you go in the pool?  Many times, if you give your child a little support by mentioning something they engaged in, your child will have an easier time to “tell” you what happened during that day.
  • Create either a calendar or a list of the new daily schedule to give your child a cue of how to move through the day. Visuals assist children in knowing exactly what they can expect (e.g., having breakfast, going to the park, swimming).
  • Talk to your child about sudden changes on schedule. By teaching your child that it’s not the end of the world when plans change, you can help him learn how to remain calm when their plans must change.
  • If your child will be attending  Summer Camp or specific new summer activities, introduce your child to the new activities or places beforehand to make the transition easier. It is a good idea to take your child to get familiar with the Summer Camp location, and to talk about what your child can expect, including the kind of activities your child may be involved during camp.
  • Setting up your home in a way that will create an engaging environment for your child will be helpful. For example, set up a water play area outside with a sprinkler, or a water table with different cups, funnels, and pool toys. Ask your child to help you set up an obstacle course that might include your swing set, or a soccer field. Inside you can create a sensory area for your child. Examples of things that are helpful to have in your house include a bean bag chair, a trampoline, a home-made tent, and bins of sensory toys that your child will enjoy. You can have bins full of sand, rice, corn, little pebbles. Your child can be looking for hidden objects, pouring from one container to another, burring their hands, filling up containers. These bins can provide your child with many hours of entertainment. 
  • Whether your child goes to Summer Camp, or stays at home, Summer brake brings time to be outdoors.  Your child might be swimming, riding bike, or going to the park.  Spending time outdoors can be fun and beneficial. As a parent, you will need to talk to your child about important safety behaviors, including wearing sun screen, and water and bicycle safety.
  • Avoid developing bad habits during the Summer. Going to bed very late at night because it’s Summer time, or spending hours and hours of screen time can be habits that will cause a lot of problems once school starts again. Screen hours will also decrease the amount of time your child can use to just actively  PLAY.   
  • Play dates with peers are a critical to social development. Reach out to your neighbors, friends and family, or to the parents of your child’s classmates, and plan some playdates.
  • Encourage your child to explore new things, create new games, play with new friends, and have as much FUN as they can.  In the morning, on your way to camp or grandma’s house, talk with your child about the possible games and friends he might be playing with that day,  or any other activity or field trip she might be engaging into.  
  • Summer can be a wonderful time for growth in all areas. Summer activities  allow children to become independent and selfconfident, while socializing and making new friends and learning new things in a positive environment.
  • Summer time is a great opportunity to find ways that you and your child can play together. For more information about how important PLAY is, please visit us at The Power Of Play  to get more information about it.  
 
From the Desk of: Veronica Cabrera, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist  
Founder and Owner of Thinkering Kids Therapy