30 Nov 2012

Some favorite occupational therapy toys aka popular Christmas gifts :)

I know there are a lot of toy posts floating around out there, and I’m sure they are all way better than mine. But I did want to share three of my favorite things – play visions, safari, and zinkies. I use all of these quite a lot in occupational therapy with my kids and I am a big fan and my kids always want to keep them too.

Nobody is (unfortunately) paying me to say any of that either. 🙂 I can probably put together a more thorough post with more favorites soon, but this is just a quickie. As always use with caution, remember choking hazards, blah blah blah insert common sense disclaimer here. 🙂

NOTE: All these toys are intended for children who do NOT put things in their mouth anymore!! I’m thinking at least preschool age, I use it for elementary school aged kids.

I LOOOVE my play visions stretchy mice and cheese, although all my kids only know it as “Monster cheese” 🙂 I don’t use the mice that come with it, I just use tiny creatures (Zinkies, Safari figurines, etc) and the cheese eats it all up then “throws it up”. 🙂 This is a great toy that works on bilateral coordination, motor planning, fine motor skills, etc. I attached an Amazon affiliate link but if you want to go straight to the original source, here it is:

If you just check out playvisions.com in general they have some pretty neat stuff. I’m the biggest fan of their stretchy hyperflex stuff, but they have a lot of cool products.


“Goodluck Mini Fun Pack” by Safari LTD
This is another one of my favorite things. I attached a convenient Amazon affiliates link where you can get a little pack, but if you want to go straight to the source:


My kids beg me to get these as prizes all the time (but I say no because they are a tiny bit expensive to give away one by one!) They are beautifully made and while they seem a little expensive considering how tiny they are, they are high quality and cherished. It’s surprisingly hard to find high quality tiny items. I use them all the time in games whether its to work on lefts, rights, centers, or following directions, or manipulating, putting into “bed” (ice cube trays), putting them into monster cheese etc.

Zinkies! These are baby squinkies. They are super cute and tiny. Kids love these too.


This is an Amazon affiliate link (one for girls one, one for boys one, but there are lots of other ones if you just search for Zinkies on Amazon.com) because frankly I don’t know about the original source, I just found them at a Michael’s. 🙂 I looove my Zinkies. Great for in-hand manipulation skills, imagination, etc etc. 

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

30 Nov 2012

Adapted Physical Education (APE): Truly Awesome APE activity


Last week an APE teacher brought in a little student she was working with into the learning center to say hi during the girl’s break (so we can all lavish some attention on that sweet girl!), and somehow we brought up nail polish and how it could be a relay (ie run, paint a nail, run back), then we all laughed about it and I forgot about it.

Today, the APE teacher (who is amazing), came walking in with that same student and check out those nails!!! They did the nail polish relay (they got permission from Mom in advance). The little girl was glowing with happiness and happy to show off her nails to all of us!

LOVE it. Now THAT is a great meaningful activity. 🙂
PS/Update: I got a text from the APE teacher with a picture of her own nails – the next week, the little girl got to paint the APE teacher’s nails on the relay, and she was so happy! 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

28 Nov 2012

IEP meetings: the snarky side


Bummer when I stay up until midnight or later preparing for a meeting that gets canceled at the last minute. I know that’s how the real world works and it’s not always preventable (whether it’s a parent or an educator) but still. 🙂 A little bit of snark makes it more bearable!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

27 Nov 2012

"I'm lonely"


This comic from the link above made me laugh/cringe/feel sad all at once. It reminds me sometimes of the social skills we see in some of our children, especially those with proprioceptive awareness issues. They want to have friends, but aren’t always sure how! Luckily most schools are now much more aware of the importance of social skills and pragmatics. 🙂  
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

27 Nov 2012

OT Quote of the Day

Kindergarten boy: Tie my shoes!

OT: What’s the magic word?
Kindergarten boy: iPad?
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

26 Nov 2012

Duct tape your eyeballs into your head, quick.

If you ever see TL;DR it stands for “Too Long; Didn’t Read” and usually people who realize they have written WAY TOO MUCH will write that and then summarize. Except they usually summarize at the bottom. I’ll summarize at the top for those of you who have sensitive eyeballs.

TL; DR: I’m figuring out how to transition my blog, I have a new website rolling out very soon, and I’m rambling to myself. The End.
I haven’t actually written much on this blog in a while, but I’ve had a lot “scheduled” so it looks like I have. I do, however, think of it constantly, because to me, learning is wasted when not shared. When I learn something cool (and I do, every single day, somehow), my first thought is how to share it. So that others can learn, or benefit, or make it better, or give feedback, or whatever.

Blogging definitely requires at least a TOUCH of narcissism if not a lot, but I also think that (depending on your blog type) it requires a lot of generosity. I know my blog is often nothing but a rambly stream of consciousness, and I do have a monthly crisis over that fact, but I’m also not making a dime off of it. Sometimes I use it for my own therapeutic self-reflection but often I do spend a lot of time writing stuff up for the purpose of others benefitting. It’s now been 1,800 posts and almost six years later. I currently get around 12,000 page views a month, have had close to 350,000 page views now, and I’m in a transition mode for this blog. As many of you may know it started as otstudents.blogspot.com (which made sense in 2006-2009) as a student, lol. It did not make sense after that. 🙂 But I recently started calling it Days of Our OT Lives and switched it to blog.missawesomeness.com, although I bought the domain name www.missawesomeness.com so if you go there, it links to it as well. Any of those three methods work.
So ANYWAY. I recently worked with a great website developer, Lawrence, who helped turn Miss Awesomeness into a real website, although I have yet to see the great unveiling – hopefully this week? When that happens I’ll give you a heads-up so you can check it out, please (those of you on RSS feeds)! It should be pretty. 🙂 But really it will still just be my blog for now, with a lot of categories for things I’d like to add or am working on. One thing someone suggested I do and I REALLY NEED TO is to put labels on posts. 
I also started reading a book (I just wrote bog instead…), on blogging which had some great tips, none of which I am currently utilizing in this post, such as being concise and using bullet points, haha. But it gave me some good food for thought that I will be exploring further when my brain isn’t quite so tired. It’s 945pm – I’m going to bed at 10pm for sures. But things that just make sense. Many of you who have followed me for most of the last six years have gotten used to my um…wackiness. But I’m probably not very attractive to the random person who finds me on Pinterest. 🙂 (www.pinterest.com/funkist)
To some extent, I don’t care enough, meaning that I only have so much time and energy to devote to making this blog for others versus myself. But since I do eventually want to have Miss Awesomeness be a force, I guess I do need to start the process of catering to a larger OT audience that doesn’t like their eyeballs falling out every time they read my posts. What can I say. Well actually. I can say a lot. AHAHAHAAHA
The point is…well the point is I am kind of thinking out loud. Being transparent. 😉 Apparently being transparent is a good strategy for many, and all I can say is this blog is made out of saran wrap, cuz y’all have definitely watched the OT process from student to practitioner which is not always perfectly smooth. 🙂
So I’m working on getting Miss Awesomeness more established, while trying to keep on top of my “day job” (cough and night job cough) and personal life. Trying to balance my occupations (remember that occupations are not just JOBS but our meaningful daily activities). 
By the way, when you fill out forms as an OT and it says Occupation: do you ever want to just like, write in ..al Therapist” instead of having to rewrite occupation? No? Just curious. Not that I ever have…. 😡
The original reason I popped onto Blogger tonight was to respond to some comments and check on my stats but also because I actually wanted to write a little about gifts/strengths/talents. I’ve lately really come a long way in being kinder to myself. I no longer (as often) agonize over my weaknesses and what I am NOT doing, like feeding the homeless. Instead I try to embrace my strengths and what I AM doing, like holding drug-addicted babies at the hospital. I don’t tell myself (as often) that I’m weird in a bad way for needing things like socks on my feet at night in bed. I just understand it’s part of who I am and what I need, that I am lucky to know what I need and have the resources to meet my needs, and that I should move on and focus on bigger fish to fry. 🙂 That is kind of a ludicrous example but still a true one for me. We are all our harshest critics! If we could only treat ourselves as kindly as we treat others. 
A few other things I want to address soon or in more detail..
1. therapeutic sense of self/our gifts
2. road rage
3. OT in everything/the OT filter
4. teaching advocacy
5. empowerment (i cant help that its my favorite topic of the year)
6. new website
Well I know I also shortly need to review some awesome shoelaces I recently got from http://www.tyingisasnap.com/ as well as two contributor articles – one from a WebPT lady and one about writing your graduate school essay. And I can’t remember what else right now but that’s why I have 200+ new emails in my Gmail box, right? 🙂 It’s officially 10:00pm so I said I would go to bed. I’m so tired that I’m dreading this week ahead, my brain is so fuzzy. Unfortunately I have a lot of sleep problems and so there is literally zero percent I will wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to face the week. But I can try, because some sleep is better than no sleep.
Good night….
If anyone reads this and wants to comment…..would love to hear what’s on your mind in OT land as we face the holidays, and/or anything you’d like to see covered that can not be answered by a simple google search….if in doubt, ask anyway. 😉 I’m going to try to do a better job of responding to comments as one of my new goals!
PS: Good job Cheryl of the blog OT Notes on learning to just let it out!! 🙂 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

24 Nov 2012

I've been in healthcare too long…


I’ve been in OT too long. I read this warning “May cause excessive leg circling” and was like WHAT KIND OF NEUROLOGICAL SIDE EFFECT IS THIS?!!! (ie the leg itself moving in circles). Turns out, of course, it meant the cat moving around your leg happily. Whoopsiedoodles 🙂 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

22 Nov 2012

Official Miss Awesomeness Club Member


These were sooo cute. One of the instructional assistants made them for my birthday 🙂 Some of my OT kiddos were wearing them….I saved a few! Two are going in boxes going out to Cheryl (for winning the Miss Awesomeness toy giveaway) and Tonya (TherapyFunZone.com, because she has sent me several things so I owe her!!) 🙂 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

20 Nov 2012

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

20 Nov 2012


I’ve been meaning to post this monkey video for a while now on Youtube so I can show some of my OT kiddos!! 🙂 
PS: What kind of key can’t open a door? A monkey 🙂 (One of my favorite cartoons shows that joke being told, then the next panel shows a monkey bursting through the door shouting LIES!!!) It makes me laugh….
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

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