Sharks, Fish, and Oceans in a Bottle!
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Preschool Playtime:Ocean Theme: May 16, 2012

To watch a Windows Media Video about Preschool Playtime, Click Here. To watch a YouTube Video version, Click Here.

Each session of Preschool Playtime has a fun theme which distracts the children enough to not realize all the hard work they are accomplishing with their large muscle, fine motor, and sensory work.

Today’s theme was The Ocean!

We met at our circle time to discuss different ocean animals and things we like to do at the ocean. We then read a story about the ocean.

We transitioned to the gym for our ocean adventure! We started by getting into our boats (swings) which used vestibular input, core strength keeping upright sitting posture while swinging. We then threw food into the shark’s mouth (weighted balls into a target) which used eye hand coordination and hand/arm strength to pick up balls and throw them. Once the sharks were fed, we used fishing rods to go fishing! This worked on our bilateral hand coordination (crossing midline –making both hemispheres of the brain work). Retrieving the fish required fine motor coordination to use the appropriate grasp and force to carefully remove the fish from the swaying fishing line.

Then we went to the fine motor room to do ocean crafts. First, we made an ocean in a bottle by putting sand, rocks, jewels, glitter, a sea creature, blue dye, oil and water in bottle. The fine motor skills we used included finger strength (twisting off cap of water bottle), pincer grasp (to pick up items), tactile input (touching sand and rocks) and pinch strength (using eye dropper to put blue dye and oil in water).

At the water table, we used tactile input (touching water and sand), fine motor coordination (moving boats in water and filling and dumping water in cups), pinch strength (squeezing sea animals to squirt water).

Home Program Idea:
Make bath time fun! Provide sponges to work on hand strength and to provide great tactile input and deep pressure when used on body. Cut the sponges into different sea animal shapes. Straws can be used to make bubbles in the water and work on oral motor control and provide great oral input. After the bath, be sure to wrap your child tightly in a blanket to provide proprioceptive input that will be calming, especially before bed. Placing the towel in the dryer a few minutes before they get out is a great way to make it feel even cozier.

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