Archive for category Occupational Therapy

OT – Playing With Shaving Cream (soapy foam)

If your child is not putting everything in their mouth for sensory input, or can tell the difference between something they can eat or not eat, then shaving cream or soapy foam can be used to help your baby with tactile stimulation, learning to open their index finger (pointer finger) and practice drawing. The whole body is engaged in this kind of play and opportunities for language development abound, too.

A typical baby’s index finger begins to “unfurl” and become useful to them around the age of  8 to 9 months. At this time, they can pass an object from hand to hand and use their index finger and thumb to grasp objects (pincher’s grasp) such as small bites of food. In a baby with low muscle tone, or with cognitive delay, this interaction between brain and finger comes later. It is important that it is encouraged early on in their development since it is the basis for the vast majority of finger and hand operations regarding self-care. Just think about how you use your pointer finger every hour! For a child, they can begin to push buttons, point out what interests them, poke holes in playdough, touch things for sensory input, feed themselves and a long list of other things.

In the video here, 22 month old Arabella is trying an activity that will encourage her to draw with shaving cream if she opens her fingers and (hopefully) uses her index finger to draw in the shaving cream. She is not using her index finger fully, and we are trying to get her brain’s awareness of that finger and its control heightened.

Watch how Tad Bruneau, OTR/L, introduces Arabella to playing with shaving cream. She has played with it before, when it was safely encased in a Ziplock bag, but this time she has the full sensory experience of smell, touch, taste and visual reaction to the foam on her play table. Read the rest of this entry »

OT – 6 Feeding Techniques

This series of seven videos was designed to give you some creative ideas about how to get your child to taste, hold (self-feed) eat and drink using a variety of tools. The series covers the following:
– Cut-Away Cup (2 parts)
– Flat spoon
– Honey Bear Bottle
– Straw Feeding
– Baby-safe Feeder Bag
– Food on Cloth

1.) This Cut-Away Cup is also referred to as a “Flexi-cup” or “nosey cup” –since one side of the cup is cut out so it won’t touch the nose of the child drinking from it. It was designed to promote drinking without neck extension. The transparent plastic allows parents to see the contents being delivered by the cup and to controll the amounts. The soft plastic of the cup allows the parent to squeeze it in such a way that it conforms to the shape of the child’s mouth.

When using the cup, gently hold a finger under the chin to give support to the jaw and another finger under the lower lip to help facilitate closing the lips on the cup when drinking.

The cut-away cup is available at

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