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OLDER POSTS
 
You might have seen a recent post here on the blog that shared the importance of an extended wrist in fine motor activities.  If you check out that post, you'll see why it's important for kids to position their wrist in a functional position.  

Today, I'm adding a simple fine motor activity for improving an extended wrist. This is a low-prep busy bag type of activity that kids can play with at home or at the OT clinic while building fine motor skills needed for tasks like handwriting, scissor use, clothing management, tool use (like spoons, knives, and forks), and so much more.
Super easy fine motor activity for improving an extended wrist and tripod grasp for kids, using household items like a colander and toothpicks.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cool Whip. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have your kids ever had a case of the blahs?  You know the blahs, right?  The kids mope home from the school bus, tired and snapping at their siblings.  (It happens too often!) They've been sitting in school all day long, and they are in a mood

Or maybe you've got a kiddo crew who have been working hard to keep their room clean, or have played a great t-ball game and deserve a fun little treat.  (We are in full-on ball season right now, are you?)

Cool Whip made one one of our recent blah-filled days a little more extraordinary.  

We're nearing the end of the school year and it is a rough time on the kids and their mom.  They are ready to be done with school after months and months of the same school routine.  My kids had a four day weekend in their school schedule recently and getting back into the school routine that Wednesday was hard to say the least!  I decided it was a day that needed a little after-school treat.

These Cool Whip Brownie Pops are the cure to mopey kids and an easy treat.  They were a HUGE hit with my crew and they've already been begging me to make another batch.  

My preschooler absolutely loves to cook with me.  There isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't ask to help with meal prep or to cook something special together.  I love the together time we share flipping through cook books together and seeing her develop a real hobby is so much fun as a mom. When I told my mini-chef that we would be making a Cool Whip after-school treat for her big brother and sister, she might have started jumping up and down.

Cool Whip Brownie Pops are easy to make and are an fun after school treat for kids!

Cool Whip Brownie Pops

Cool Whip Brownie Pops are easy to make and are an fun after school treat for kids!

These treats are super easy to mix up.  You'll need just a few ingredients:
2 cups Cool Whip
1 cup confectioners sugar
4 cups cubed brownies (We had a batch of brownies made from a box mix already whipped up and cool.  To make this recipe even easier, just use store-bought or bakery brownies.)
2 cups chocolate chips, melted
Sprinkles
You'll also need lollipop sticks for the brownie pops.

To make the Cool Whip Brownie Pops:

Cool Whip Brownie Pops are easy to make and are an fun after school treat for kids!

Start by whipping the Cool Whip and confectioners sugar in a mixer. Slowly mix in the confectioners sugar at first, then turn up the speed on the mixer.  Allow the Cool Whip and sugar to mix for a few minutes.  You want a thick and fluffy, icing-like consistency.

Carefully stir in the cubed brownies.  Turn up the mixer speed again to thoroughly combine the brownies.

Cool Whip Brownie Pops are easy to make and are an fun after school treat for kids!

Use a spoon to scoop the mixture.  Roll 1-2 inch balls and place them on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.  When the cookie sheet is full, place the brownie balls into the freezer for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips.  Once the chips are melted, pull the brownie balls out of the freezer and add the lollipop sticks.  Carefully cover the brownie pops in the melted chocolate.  
I found that tilting the saucepan of chocolate and twirling the brownie pops in the chocolate worked better than dunking the pops into the chocolate. 

Cool Whip Brownie Pops are easy to make and are an fun after school treat for kids!

Place the chocolate covered brownie pops on the wax paper covered cookie sheet and spread the sprinkles over the pops.  Allow the Cool Whip Brownie Pops to harden.

Cool Whip Brownie Pops are easy to make and are an fun after school treat for kids!

This is an easy recipe that makes an ordinary day a little more extraordinary and one we'll be making again very soon!  

Cool Whip Brownie Pops are easy to make and are an fun after school treat for kids!

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Kids love to move and wiggle.  They also need the strengthening that occurs as a result of all of that moving and wiggling.  Today, I've got fun ways to build the core body strength using music and movement songs and rhymes.  These are childhood classics that are fun to pass on to kids!


When children have a strong core (or trunk), they are able to sit up at a desk, play on the floor without drooping or slumping, write with a functional position, and even dress themselves more easily.  Strength of the core body is essential for every childhood function, and even allows the child to pay attention more easily. 

Core strengthening with movement and music rhyming songs for kids

Core Body Strengthening with Music and Movement Songs

This post contains affiliate links.

Think back to your childhood.  Are there games or activities that you recall doing in carefree childhood play?  Some of those music rhyming games can be used to work on strength and stability of the body's trunk. 

Try these core body strengthening ideas. I love all of the creative exercises and activities for building strength in the trunk.

Core strengthening with movement and music rhyming songs for kids

Music and Movement Rhymes for addressing core body strength:
I'm a Little Teapot
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around
If You're Happy and You Know It
Hokey Pokey
The Wheels on the Bus


Try these rhyming games to work on the strength of the upper body with your kids, all while having fun and inducing giggles!

Want to know more about Core Body Strength, how it affects your child's development, and creative activities and exercises to improve core body strengthening?  Get your copy of the Core Strengthening Handbook.

Core strengthening with movement and music rhyming songs for kids

Do you have any favorite movement and music rhymes from your childhood?


There are so many ways to make sensory bottles.  Today I wanted to share a super simple sensory bottle idea that is perfect for those calm-down moments we all crave.  You know the times we all have when a child (or mom!) is just needs to refocus and calm down.  It's a time when many of us fidget, bite our nails, or seek out sensory input.  This sensory jar is an easy way to calm down and it's an easy recycled jar to make, too.
Use a recycled mason jar to make an easy sensory calm down jar

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita Universal Jug Cooler Filtration System for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.


Things have been a bit hectic in our house recently. When you have four aged 8 and under, every day has it's moments of hecticness. But with the warmer weather we've been having, we, we are outside a lot more. School routines are going strong with the addition of spring field trips and planning for the end of the school year.  

There is one thing that is new to our routine.  And is keeping us on our dirty, busy toes.  

Three kids are playing ball.  

We have a softball player, a baseball player, and a T-ball player. They love it and Mom and Dad love watching them love it.  But with all of that ball-playing, we're spending a TON of time at the ball fields.  We are prepared to spend weekends for the next couple of months running from game to game and dusty field to dusty field.

Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family

As a mom of four, I try to be prepared.  I mean, you have to be. One of the four always needs something, all of the time.  It usually happens like this: The four-year-old spills an entire drink all over her clothes, minutes before two others are suddenly SO. THIRSTY. It just helps to have that extra change of clothes and another drink ready to go.  So, when I was invited to try out the Brita Universal Jug Filter, I jumped at the chance.  With all of those weekends at the ball fields, we need a system to keep us sane (and a way to keep kids from dumping their last drops of water all over themselves!)

Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water

The Brita Jug Filter system fits into your favorite jug coolers and filters out the chlorine taste and odor from typical tap water. I was excited to fill a big water jug with tap water and ice for dusty ball game after dusty ball game. The icy water in the full water jug cooler is inviting for the kids and the Brita Jug Filter system makes the water taste better too.  

Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water

We put the water jug into the back of our mini van so that all four of the kids could fill up their reusable water bottles and stay hydrated all day long.  This was the perfect solution to throwing away hundreds of disposable water bottles this summer at baseball, softball, and T-ball.

Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water

I added another organization strategy to our baseball-induced hectic days:  A plastic bin filled with family essentials.  This is a bin we can keep in our van and have everything we need for a day at the ball fields: extra sweatshirts, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks, coloring books, little toys for my toddler and preschooler, and a big blanket for sitting on.  It's a sanity saver in a bin and it's got a new home in our trunk! 

Along with the plastic bin, I've got the Brita Jug and Filter System ready to go for each game day. 

Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water


We tried the Brita Jug Filter system on a five gallon Coleman jug cooler, but the filter system works great on Igloo and Rubbermaid jug coolers, too. I especially love the filter replacement sticker that we stuck right onto the cooler.  It's an easy way to remember to change out the filters every two months. You can find the Brita Jug Filter system at Home Depot online at homedepot.com or visit the website to purchase.

Weekend Kit for the Sports Team Family with a Brita Jug Filter system for filtered water

Are you spending a lot of time at the ball fields this season?  Try the Brita Jug and Filter system to hydrate your family with better tasting water!

I have great news for you. Because the Brita Jug Filter system is an unsung hydration “hero”, Brita is asking for submissions for people to nominate their unsung hero via a photo submission on BritaJugFilter.com and H2Ohero. Just like the Brita Jug Filter is hidden, unseen in the jug cooler, an unsung hero is a person who makes other people's lives a little bit better. 

The Brita Jug Filter is an unsung hero for making water taste better. Heroes that help others may not wear capes or masks, but they are doing their best to make the lives of other's better, too!  

Do you know someone that is an unsung hero? Celebrate them by uploading a picture or video at Be a Brita Hero or by sharing on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #H2Ohero.  Ask your friends to vote for your unsung hero nomination.  They just might make it to the final four round and have a chance to win a trip to Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas!

Submissions are being accepted through May 8th and the official winner announced on May 28th.


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Kids grow up fast.  They are snugly newborns one day and before you know it, they are heading off to preschool (I don't want to think about those older years!).  Those first few years of childhood are loaded with learning and growth. One area of independence is when kids learn to dress themselves.  Many parents have questions about when kids learn to get dressed on their own, how to help their child in this area of self-care, and what might be stopping their child when there are difficulties.  

This month's post in the Functional Skills for Kids series is all about teaching kids to get dressed on their own.  If you've been following along with this series, you know that each month ten Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists are joining together to cover functional skills of childhood.  You can catch up on all of the posts in this series here.

How to Help Kids Get Dressed on Their Own: Childhood Independence with Dressing Skills

Tips from Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist bloggers on how to teach kids to get dressed on their own with modifications to prerequisites for independence with self-dressing skills.