On The Go Fun!

adminarts and crafts, executive functioning, fine motor, graphomotor, grasping skills, kid made modern, Legos, on the go, ooly, visual motor, visual perceptual, wikki stix Leave a Comment

It’s hard to believe that the end of another school year is quickly approaching.  Being the mother of a second grader, the countdown to the last day of school has begun (27 school days left as of today).  For us, the summer means being on the go quite a bit.  I think that is the norm for most families, right?  It is during the summer months, that many of the kids I work with go on vacations and miss more therapy than they do during the school year.  Many of the parents panic a bit about this and are looking for ways they can make sure their kids don’t regress.  They are also looking for things to take on the go….things they can throw in a beach bag or in a backpack when traveling and need to keep their kids entertained for long periods of time.  They want hands-on things so their kids don’t spend time on some kind of device.

In today’s blog, I share a dozen of my favorite on-the-go craft sets and activity sets and books that you can throw in your bag and easily take with you wherever you may be going.  They are things that can work towards a variety of occupational therapy goals but your kids won’t even know it because they are super fun and the “therapy” piece is hidden from them. 

On-The-Go Jewelry Making Kit-this is a great activity set for your little craft lovers.  It contains 102 multicolored beads and  2 different colors of cords.  It comes in a convenient little carrying case making it a perfect on-the-go kit.  Making jewelry is great for working on improving hand-eye coordination, visual motor skills, increases grasp strength and manipulation skills and encourages bilateral coordination.  It is also great for helping kids become more creative as there is no right or wrong…it’s just what you put together.  

    Playfoam Go-if you have a little sensory seeker, this is a great on-the-go set for them.  Educational Insights Playfoam is a non-toxic molding dough that never dries out.  It can be molded into anything the imagination comes up with.  One of the best things about it is that it won’t stick on anything
    This set contains 8 blocks of different colored Playfoam in a portable carrying case.  The top of the case has 4 shapes on top so you can turn your Playfoam into a star, triangle, circle or square 

    Melissa and Doug Water Wow-I’ve been a fan of these Water Wow books for ages and are great for younger children.  What I love about it is that each of the books comes with a water brush you fill up before use.  Kids use this water brush to color in pictures, learn how to write numbers, letters and shapes and complete a variety of different activities (dot-to-dot, mazes, etc.).  Perfect for car or plane rides as you don’t have to worry about markers or crayons getting all over the place.  Great for working on introducing younger children to graphomotor skills (drawing, coloring and handwriting), improves hand-eye coordination, visual motor and perceptual skills and and can increase focus and attentional skills. 

    Take-Along Games-this set by Peaceable Kingdom is great for keeping kids entertained while in a car/plane, at a restaurant or those down times at the pool or beach.  The set comes with 4 games that use reusable stickers (think Colorforms): Tic-Tac-Toe, Four-in-a-Row, Memory Match-up and On-the-Go Bingo.  In addition to keeping kids entertained, these are great for working on improving grasp strength and manipulation skills, improves hand-eye coordination and visual motor and visual perceptual skills and works on executive functioning skills.   

    Little Travelers On-The-Go Magnetic Play Set-this tin contains 25 magnetic pieces that can be mixed and matched to create different people who are ready for some kind of travel adventure.  The tin not only acts as storage, the inside has two scenes printed on the inside where the characters can be displayed.  This open-ended toy encourages creativity in children as there is no right or wrong way to make the characters.  Kids use their imagination to come up with all kinds of characters.  This set is also great for improving hand-eye coordination, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and helps in developing fine motor and grasping skills.  You can help encourage language in kids by having them talk about their characters and what they are doing in the scenes.  
    Glow Friends Neon Colouring Set-sometimes my daughter is perfectly content with the coloring pages that you may get a children’s menu on at restaurants but most of the time she wants more than a couple of crayons and whatever they give you to color.  This coloring set by Tiger Tribe is a perfect for throwing in your bag, whether you are going out to eat or about to hop in a car or a plane for a long trip.  Each set comes in a sturdy box with a magnetic top and contains 36 coloring pages, 2 storage drawers, 3 sheets of stickers and 3 double sided markers.  Great for working on improving graphomotor skills, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and encourages creativity.  

    On-The-Go Coloring Kit-another great on-the-go kit by Kid Made Modern.  This Coloring Kit contains a 24-page coloring book, 10 markers and  a dozen hexagon crayons (awesome for encouraging a proper grasp).  All of these awesome tools come in a super convenient canvas storage tote you can throw in any bag.  Perfect for improving graphomotor skills, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and encourages creativity while working on increasing focus, attention and organizational skills.  

    Scratch and Sketch Games and Puzzles Ocean World-I am a longtime fan of the the Scratch and Sketch books by Peter Pauper Press.  I recently saw this book filled with a variety of games and puzzles and snatched it up immediately for my own daughter for our next trip out to California.  It includes games like crossword puzzles, complete the pictures and connect-the-dots.  In addition to the 20 pages of scratch paper activities, there are also 20 pages of activities like Tic-Tac-Toe, the Dot Game and Sudoku.  This book is great for working on improving graphomotor skills, visual motor and visual perceptual skills 

    My Brick Case: Travel Lego Box-my daughter is obsessed with Legos and insists on taking a bag full of them whenever we travel.  I love Legos because they not only keeps her entertained for hours on end, it is one of the things I recommend to all my families to help build grasp strength an in-hand manipulation skills.  This travel Lego box by ModFamily is a perfect storage case for your Lego fan.  What I love about it is that it can hold hundreds of pieces and has two base plates built onto each side of the box so kids can build and create while on the go.  **I suggest putting all your Lego pieces in a Ziploc bag and placing it in the case so when they are ready to build, they can just grab their pieces from the bag.  In addition to improving grasp strength, building with Legos encourages creativity, works on improving bilateral coordination, hand-eye coordination, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and executive functioning skills such as focus, attention and organizational skills.  

    On-The-Go Stationery Kits-I have all of these stationery kits by OOLY!  I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted for my daughter so just got them all.  During the summer months, I am going to encourage (actually going to force) my daughter to keep in touch with friends and family via old-fashioned snail mail.  This is a good way to work on her spelling and writing with it being a bit more fun than just practicing.  These sets by OOLY are definitely motivating her to write some letters, especially the Unique Unicorns set!  Each set comes in a sturdy plastic case and contains: 8 letter sheets, 4 postcards, 4 envelopes, a notebook, a sheet of stickers, a multi-colored pen, a mechanical pencil and an eraser.  In addition to working on improving graphomotor skills, it is a great way to work on improving executive functioning skills such as focus, attention and organizational skills.  

    Wikki-Stix Traveler Set-another one of those awesome toys that I have been pushing on parents for years.  I was first introduced to Wikki Stix when at a restaurant.  The wax covered yarn kept my daughter (and husband) entertained the entire time we waited for our meal.  Wikki Stix are .  This set contains 144 Wikki Stix in 16 different colors, a 12 page activity book with different ideas for the kids to make, 2 activity sheets with games like tic-tac-toe and connect-the-dots and is all stored in a sturdy carrying case.  This set is great for working on improving fine motor and grasping skills, hand-eye coordination, visual motor and visual perceptual skills. Kids can work on creativity by building their own designs.    

    Mad Libs-this is one of my families favorite things to do when we are in the car.   We all take turns being the writer (except for whoever is driving!) and take turns coming up with words.  Mad Libs are a sure fire way to make kids laugh hysterically as they read the completed story.  They are also an amazingly motivating way to teach kids about parts of language, how to spell and expand their vocabulary.  In addition to the aforementioned, Mad Libs are good for encouraging creativity and working on executive functioning skills such as focus, attention, planning and organizational skills.  Warning: depending on your child’s sense of humor, you may want to come up with some family game rules before you start such as forbidden kinds of words!  There are now dozens and dozens of different editions of Mad Libs so if you have a kid who may be resistant to writing, you can probably entice them with a Mad Libs books of their favorite characters, tv shows or sports.  

    I could keep going and making more suggestions for On-The-Go fun but I think there is plenty here to choose from.  While many people rely on an iPad or some other kind of tablet to keep their kids happy and entertained, there are many who prefer to keep their kids busy doing something instead.  Do you have anything that you rely on for long trips or keeping your kids occupied without a screen when at a restaurant?  I would love to hear about some of your favorites and I am sure my readers would love to as well.  I am only a click away and love hearing from all of you!

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