Motivating and stress-free beginner scissor skill activities. When my son was young, I remember lamenting about our weekly visits to the library’s story and craft sessions. Why am I bothering? He just wants to get hold of the scissors to cut up the books rather than sit and listen to a story. Since then, I have discovered that my gorgeous then 3 year old scissor-slashing boy innately knew what took me years of study to truly appreciate. Scissor skills matter. […]

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At Jump Up Outdoors there is a hill. The Hill is the quickest but not the easiest path to our play area and to the ovals and paddocks where we venture to explore. The Hill is steep, has loose dirt coupled with patches of long grass. Over time, the grass on The Hill has been worn down, foot holes have been dug and a rope has been tied to the tree branch at the top of The Hill to help […]

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How to support our children during the term to reduce the likelihood of task avoidance, sensory shut down and overwhelming feelings. We have just enjoyed the busy beginning of what will be another busy school term. For some of us parents, the return to routine and a little more peace (ok, a lot more!) in the house was welcome. But what about the children? As Occupational Therapists, we have observed that most of the children we have worked with after […]

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Waiting anywhere with children can be a challenge, particularly if there is an expectation that they will be quiet. Often it is tempting to pull out the ever popular tablet or phone which is a sure fire way to keep little people busy and quiet (until it’s time to ask them to stop & put it away). We are all increasingly aware though of how much time our children can end up in front of screens throughout the day and […]

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Why screen based activity should not be part of a child’s morning routine Whether your children are up at the crack of dawn or you have to drag them kicking and screaming from bed, getting ready for school is a busy time of the day. It can be tempting to pop on a screen to give yourself time (& peace!) to get through ALL those things that need to be done before getting out the door. But does being inactive […]

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Here they are … the long awaited summer holidays. A time to rest, replenish and revive our minds, bodies and souls. Everyone I talk to, adult or child alike, say that this has been a fast and very busy year. Many are saying it has been an unprecedented year in terms of demands on time, busyness and stress. In the past, it was reasonably common for adults to say that time speeds up, the older they get. But children talking […]

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Many of us are eagerly counting the days until the long summer holidays. Longer days, great weather, trips to the beach, summer fruit and Christmas and New Years celebrations are certainly something to look forward to. However with Australian children having up to fifty-six days break from school, all us parents know there is a dark underbelly of the long summer holidays – the inevitable cry of “I’m boooooooored!” These two words can make us nervous, have us frantically googling […]

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When we are at school, holding and controlling a pencil to write words and sentences is the most complex motor task we will have to learn. Learning to use a relaxed, efficient pencil grip can make the world of difference in the amount and quality of writing, not to mention the comfort of the person writing. So let’s look at some of the questions parents commonly ask about pencil grips, along with my top tips for improving your child’s grip. […]

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If you’ve read my previous blogs or visited our Jump Up Outdoors program then you know I am a big fan of children playing with sticks. Today I’d like to focus on a different type of sticks to the ones I usually mention… pick up sticks. As a paediatric Occupational Therapist, I am ashamed to say that two of my three children only played pick up sticks for the first time this last weekend…what have I been doing the last […]

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I remember as a child in primary school, one of my favourite forms of writing was to write “The day in the life of a…..” stories. I authored many a classic tale, such as “A Day in the Life of a Coin” or “A Day in the Life of a Shoe.” So today, it brings a smile to my face to be reigniting the “Day in the Life of…” series! I bring you, ladies and gentleman… “A day in the […]

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