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Friday, May 26, 2017

Scooter Board Activities By Trisha Roberts

A scooter board is an excellent toy for promoting exercise.  It is fun!  It is versatile! Activities can be done individually, in teams, racing against individuals, or timed. A scooter board is light weight and portable. It can be used inside or outside on a smooth surface.

Scooter Board activities are great for strengthening and motor planning!

Get a Scooter Board today!  Build Strength!  Improve Motor Planning!     Have Fun!


  • Improved core (trunk) strength
  • Improved leg strength
  • Improved arm strength
  • Increases endurance
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Improved Motor Planning Skills

Some ways to use a scooter board:

  • Sitting, using heels to propel forward
  • Sitting, using heels to push backward
  • On Tummy (Prone), using arms to advance
  • On Tummy (Prone), using arms and legs to advance
  • Using 2 inexpensive (clean!) plungers to move forward in sitting or prone
Obstacle course on scooter board

  • Obstacle course
  • Place blocks or other small toys on one end of the room and a container on the other end.  Have child race on scooter to pick up the toys one at a time and place them in the container.
Scooter Board ideas

  • Place a coloring sheet or puzzle on the floor.  Scatter crayons/markers/puzzle pieces around the room and have your child maneuver the scooter board to get the next colored marker or the next piece for the puzzle.
Scooter Board and Puzzle assembly

  • “Body Bowling”—set up stuffed animals, small boxes, stacked blocks, etc. on one end of the room and have child zoom down and knock them over.
  • Scooter board soccer—have 1 or more children sitting on scooter boards and kicking a ball toward a goal (2 chairs 3-4 feet apart, a large card board box on its side, etc.)
  • Have child hold a hula hoop or the end of a rope (tying a knot in it will help them get a better grip) and then pull them around the room.
Rope pull on scooter board

  • Tie a long rope to a door knob and have the child pull themselves hand over hand along the rope.
  • Have the child draw a line (zig zag, square, circle, etc.) on the sidewalk or driveway and then scooter board around the form or line.
  • Place 4 or more pool noodles in parallel, spaced 3-4 feet apart.  Have child “drive” down each lane, executing the turns without touching the pool noodles.
  • Use a pool noodle to bat a ball or balloon from one end of the room to the other—fun for one and exciting for several children!
  • Incorporate some imaginary play!  Pretend your child is running errands and the scooter board is their car.  Where do they need to go?  What will they bring home in the “trunk” of the car?

Fun on a scooter board

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Digital Addiction (Part 2) By Trisha Roberts

Digital Technology can be addicting

There is a way out of digital addiction

Digital Addiction can be overcome, but it takes work

Last week we discussed what Digital Addiction is and how pervasive screen usage has become. Research and anecdotal information is showing that early exposure to this form of stimulation can be more detrimental than helpful.

Let’s be honest.  After a long day at work, it is much easier to hand a child an IPad than engage them in a family activity.  A video game is often cheaper than a babysitter.  Planning creative play takes time.  It is easy to rationalize with, “It’s educational”, so it must be good.  Many parents struggle with staying off their devices themselves and feel guilty denying their children when they are frequently distracted by technology. 

Early screen use should be limited

There seems to be an urgent desire or need to "check in" with our social media. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a new term that has surfaced to describe this.  Wikipedia defines it as,  "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent".  This social angst is characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing"."  The problem with this type of behavior is that a person is no longer actively participating in life!  Instead of focusing on their present situation with all of its potential pleasure and enjoyment, they are worried about what others might be experiencing without them! We become "glued" to our screens!

Preoccupation with screens causes us to not be available in the here and now

From a Physical Therapist’s point of view, frequent use of electronic devices is very unhealthy.  First of all, children are being encouraged to participate in sedentary activities rather than the activities that lead to better strength, balance, and motor control needed for a lifetime of good health. Kids are at risk for “repetitive use” injuries to their fingers, wrists, and hands.

Healthy development involves imaginative play, creativity, social interaction, engagement with nature. Children need to develop healthy relationships with parents, peers, and siblings. Conversation doesn't develop when looking at a screen--it develops with time spent one-on-one, face-to-face!

Make time to talk with your kids!


  • Keep your children from getting addicted in the first place! 
  • Don’t buy a tablet for your child until they are at least 10 years old. Remember, you are the parent and you hold the purse strings!!  (You would not buy a 6 year old a Corvette just because they pleaded for one--they are not old enough to reach the pedals nor responsible enough to drive!)
  • Limit screen time to 15 minutes per day for younger children and adjust for older children
  • Sit and play and educational game WITH your children then turn the screen off and put it away.
  • Tie Internet use to completion of homework or chores.
  • When you have a quiet moment, write out a list of fun, active things to do.  Put them on slips of paper and put them in a jar.  Let kids pick a slip every day and do the corresponding activity.  (This could be very helpful when you are arriving home from work and trying to get supper on the table!)
  • Try a "Token" System:  Issue a set number of tokens that correspond to minutes of Internet use per week. Add additional minutes for stellar behavior or let children earn more minutes by completing additional chores.  Take away minutes for poor behavior or uncompleted homework/chores.
  • Discuss with your children why you are limiting their access to electronic devices.
  • Play a card game, board game or puzzle inside, take a walk outside, or kick a ball around.
  • Don’t buy a smart phone until your child is a teenager.  (If they need a phone to stay in touch with parents, arrange after-school activities, etc., consider a “non-smart” phone with the ability to make a phone call and nothing else!)
  • Place computers in public areas of the house rather than in children’s bedrooms.
  • Require that all devices be placed outside of bedroom doors at a set hour of the night.
  • Set a timer on the modem to limit Internet access to given hours of the day/night.
  • Eat meals without any devices, including television.  Concentrate on conversation! Read our article on, "Making Meal Time Great!".

If you suspect that your child is already "addicted", contact your pediatrician and plan a course of action!

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Digital Addiction (Part 1) By Trisha Roberts

Digital Addiction is becoming very prevalent

What is Digital Addiction?  Why are we seeing more and more problems of this type? Should we be concerned?  What can we do to reduce the risks?

Digital addiction is the preoccupation with and compulsive participation in online activities that can include issues with video games, smart phones, and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram, Imgur, Reddit, etc.

Addiction to technology is a real threat to this century

There are many parallels between excessive digital-age technology use and the “classic” addiction to drugs, gambling, and alcohol.   Studies indicate that people with these types of addictions experience increased levels of “feel good” chemicals in the brain. (The four main chemicals being serotonin, endorphin, oxytocin, and dopamine).  As these chemicals are released, there is a “high” or feeling of euphoria and a desire to repeat the experience.  In a true addiction, the brain becomes dependent on these artificially boosted levels to maintain normal function.  Similar brain changes have been observed in Internet addicts, leading to increased dopamine in the brain and boosted blood flow to reward and pleasure centers in the brain. The hyper-arousing technology raises the level of dopamine leading some experts to call screens “digital heroin” or “electronic cocaine”.

Behaviors that are typical with Digital Addiction include:

  • Preoccupation with being online or playing a video game. 
  • Compulsion to engage in the activity.
  • Inability to curb or control the action. 
  • Poor attention span when children aren’t receiving the high-level stimulation provided by devices.
  • Frequent hiding or lying about the amount of time spent in the digital activity.
  • Agitation or anxiety when not engaging in the behavior.
  • Psychotic-like stupor exhibited during activity.

Children can experience a psychotic-like stupor during screen time

  • Loss of touch with reality when gaming—living in a digital “fantasy world”
  • Boredom, apathy, depression, or lack of interest when not “connected” to the screen.
  • Interference with day-to-day life.
  • Losing interest in sports, reading, hobbies, etc.
  • Aggressive behaviors when devices are removed from use.

Screens are ubiquitous! They are an integral part of our 21st Century and digital use is on the increase, as is Digital Addiction.

Children are exposed to digital technology in school and at home

Quoting from the article, “Digital Addiction:  This is Your Brain Online” posted by on September 26, 2015:

An American study focusing on gaming addiction found that among kids between the ages of 8 and 18, around 8 percent could be classified as addicted. Other research from the U.S. and Europe has suggested that rates of Internet addiction range from 1.5 to 8.2 percent (although estimates vary due to unclear definitions). In some parts of Asia, the rate may be as high as 26 percent, and China has identified Internet addiction as one of its main public health risks.

Many parents think that they are doing their children a great service by getting a “jump start” on technology for their children by starting them early on electronic devices. Schools are starting children in younger grades on technology--from computer screens to tablets. There seems to be an epidemic of this type of addiction be it to video games, the Internet, smart phones, or social media. Many children are playing with tablets before they are talking!  

Infants and toddlers are exposed to digital technology

Watch a group of teenagers or even younger children--very rarely are they talking together or playing a game.  More often they can be found clumped together, each one attached to an electronic device! Children are getting less and less exercise and are developing 'over-use' injuries to fingers, hands, and wrists.

Social skills don't develop when kids are addicted to digital devices

 “According to a 2013 Policy Statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 8- to 10 year olds spend 8 hours a day with various digital media while teenagers spend 11 hours in front of screens. One in three kids are using tablets or smartphones before they can talk. Meanwhile, the handbook of “Internet Addiction” by Dr. Kimberly Young states that 18 percent of college-age internet users in the U.S. suffer from tech addiction.”

This is HUGE!  And it is a problem that is not going away soon!

We will continue next week with Digital Addiction Part 2 and discuss how parents, teachers, and care providers can intervene to decrease the use of addicting technology.

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Suggestions for Summer Fun by Trisha Roberts

Now is the Time to Plan your Summer Family Activities!

How can you engage your children in meaningful activities this summer that will develop character and teach them to care for others?

Don't fall into the trap of plopping your children in front of the television or handing them an "electronic babysitter" in the form of a tablet or other tech-screen.

Is it possible to keep your kids active, make memories, develop compassion, teach altruism, and encourage acts of kindness?  Yes! The following are ideas and suggestions that might make a hit with your family. This is by no means an exhaustive list!  Talk with your kids and ask them what they think would be a fun way to help people they know.

Make and Delivery Cookies. 

 Make a double batch of cookies, letting your children participate to the level that their age, attention span, and skills permit. (Check out our "Little Baker Package" at our Retail Website)  Place 6-12 cookies on a pretty paper plate or inexpensive platter (readily available in dollar stores).  Let your kids decide who might like or need a special treat.  Assist them in making a special greeting card and then play delivery man! Your children might want to make this a weekly event!

Making cookies together as a family

Making Cookies as a Family
Making Cookies is ALWAYS fun!

Child visits nursing home

Visit a local Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.

If your children are musically inclined, play an instrument, or can sing to music on your CD Player, you might want to encourage them to select several songs that could brighten an elderly person’s day!

Singing at Assisted Living Facility

 You might want to play a simple, interactive game with several residents like, "Roll the Ball around the Parachute". 

Kids and Elderly Playing Parachute Games
Simple Parachute Games to Engage Children and the Elderly

Call the facility administrator in advance to get permission and discuss what you would like to do.  Ask what time would be good for a visit and whether you could visit several residents individually, address those eating in the Dining Hall, or perform for a group. If this will be the first time your children visit a nursing facility, you might want to discuss the fact that some of the people in the home may be in wheelchairs, have difficulty hearing, or be bed-ridden.

Make up Your Own Dance Routine and “Flash Mob” the park!

Pick a lively song and practice a series of dance moves that coordinate with the music. (You can get ideas from You Tube if your dance skills need some help!)  Enlist the aid of neighborhood children, friends, or relatives—the more, the better! 

Flash Mob Dance

Kids Flash Mob Dance
Children Flash Mob Dance Pick a location where other children gather--a local park, community swimming pool, shopping mall, playground, YMCA, grocery store (talk to the manger first!)  Map out starting positions and any movement patterns you want to incorporate and then make sure to practice your routine before staging your performance.  Have someone on hand assigned to video record the event!

Food Bank VolunteeringVolunteer at a Food Bank.  

Most Food Banks or Shelters need a steady supply of volunteers to help with unloading donations, shelving supplies, packing grocery bags, cleaning off labels, removing dented cans, etc.                                           
Food Bank Volunteers

Call to see what your specific local food bank needs and any age restrictions they might have.

Make "Goody Bags". 

 If you know any students leaving for college in your neighborhood, church, synagogue, or Parrish, it could be fun to put together a bag of special treats for them to take when they leave home.

Goody Bags for College Students

Inexpensive items can be purchased from dollar stores or found on sale: shampoo, candy, gum, deodorant, pens, notebooks, lotion, picture frame, lip gloss/chap stick, desk calendar, etc.

Weed a Garden

 Do you know a neighbor who is elderly or someone who is having difficulty keeping up with yard work due to unusual circumstances in their life? 

Planting flowers

kids weeding flower garden

Why not donate a few hours one morning or evening to weeding, hoeing, or mulching their flower beds?  If they don’t have flowers, buy a flat of annuals and plant them near their porch or walkway. 

Model an unselfish attitude and caring spirit.  Raise children who are less self-absorbed. Demonstrate the joy of giving, expecting nothing in return! You’ll be surprised at how much your children will learn and grow!

Author:  Trisha Roberts  (Reprinted from 6/18/16)

Copyright © 2017 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.