In This Issue:
  • Summer Camp
  • Why Crawl?
  • Summer Sensory Play
  • First-Time Camper tips  

May 2017

154 South Livingston Ave., Suite 204,  Livingston, NJ, 07039 
Summer is quickly approaching and 
the school year is winding down.  
It's time to plan...
Pediatric Potentials proudly announces our  


August 1, 2, 3
August 8, 9, 10
August 15, 16, 17
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
10 am - 11:30 am

Open to children of all abilities, ages 4-6 yrs.
  • Sensory Motor Gym
  • Fine Motor Play
  • Writing and Pre-writing skills
  • Gross Motor Play
  • Crafts and Snacks
  • $75 per day

All groups led by a NJ licensed OT and/or PT

 Space is limited, call now to reserve a spot!

(973) 535-5010




Crawling is a stage of physical development that typically occurs around 9 months of age.  In 1994 the American Academy of Pediatrics started to encourage parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome, (SIDS).  SIDS has decreased by more than 50%, but according to several recent studies, an inadvertent result of this campaign has been that more children are meeting their motor milestones later or bypassing them.  So is crawling really important? Yes! Crawling can develop core muscle strength, strengthen arms, shoulders, hips and legs, improve bilateral coordination and body awareness, improve postural stability and head control as well as positively impact binocular vision. 
The following are some ideas to encourage crawling in children of all ages and stages.
  • toss pillows or couch cushions on floor to crawl over 
  • tunnels
  • have crawling races- set up a track
  • pretend to be various animals
  • safely encourage going up and down stairs on hands and kneels
  • crawl up a slide or wedge
  • model crawling for your child- get down on their level


Summer Sensory Play 
by Amy Ladetsky


Sensory play provides children with an opportunity to learn via tactile, auditory, visual and movement input. Here is a list of super FUN activities to keep the family busy this summer. The list is broken down into the various sensory systems with a brief description of each system for your convenience. 

Proprioceptive System: This system tells the brain about the body position and movement. Proprioceptive input also improves body image, muscle tone, and strength.
Examples of  Proprioception (deep pressure) include

- Jumping on a trampoline

- Baking activities (ie. kneading dough for cookies or pizza)


Motor Planning: the ability to plan and execute an unfamiliar or complicated motor task or novel experience in a coordinated way. 

- Pumping a swing in the playground

- Skipping, galloping, jumping rope


Visual Motor Integration (VMI): the ability of the eye to direct the hand and requires combined perceptual and motor skills. VMI skills affect a child's ability to write letters, copy figures, cut with scissors, complete mazes, stack blocks and be successful in most sports activities.

- Cutting out shapes/ pictures on various textures (paper, cardboard, play dough, etc)

- Playing Frisbee


Fine Motor:skills that involve a refined use of the small muscles controlling the hand, fingers, and thumb.

- Card games: practice shuffling, dealing or flipping cards

- Use Spray water bottles for watering plants, for pincer strengthening

- Tug of War for upper arm and hand strengthening  


Bilateral Integration: the ability to coordinate both sides of the body for a purposeful action.

- Jumping jacks

- Rolling play dough with a rolling pin


Vestibular System: The receptors in the inner ear tell us where our head is in relation to gravity. Vestibular input plays an important role in helping to maintain a calm and alert state, and keeping the level of arousal in the Central Nervous System balanced


For Movement:

- Bounce on a large therapy ball

- Using Playground equipment (slide, climbing jungle gyms, swings)

- Scooter board    


For Tactile:

- Finger painting

- Shaving cream or funny foam


For Visual:

- Play target games such as ring toss, bean bags, etc.

- Balloon volleyball


For Oral Motor:

- Blow bubbles

- Drinking through a sports bottle


Click here for a complete list of Summer Sensory Play   


10 Tips to Prepare your First-Time Camper 

With barely a month left until the first day of Camp,you want to make sure you prepare your child for the experience. Here are some of our tips for getting your first time camper ready AND excited for camp (you may even get excited too!)

  1. Expectations -Talking about camp in the weeks leading up to the summer will build your child's enthusiasm about it.  Learn about the camp program and discuss it with your child so the child knows what to expect.
  2. Camper get-together - Most camps host pre-camp events for all campers and parents. This is a great way to meet other children and gives them a chance to get to know the camp director and other staff.
  3. Successful activities for day camp -If this is your camper's first experience, make sure you schedule some activities and time away from your child before camp starts. If your child has special needs, consult with the child's therapist and focus on where your child will thrive in the camp experience, and be able to partake in activities that interest her/him while addressing their needs.
  4. Bus preparation for day camp - For children heading to day camp for the first time, it may be their first time to take the bus. Talk about what the ride will be like and what your child can expect.
  5. Pack for camp with your child - Discuss what items will be needed for camp and pack together with your child. They will feel more secure if they know what they are bringing to camp and you can use the time packing together to talk about how much fun camp is going to be. Mark or label everything, and use something that won't come off If your child takes medication, make sure you leave all of the doctor's contact information with the camp. Talk to the medical staff about your child's medication needs, dosage, frequency, etc.
  6. Visit the website & speak to other parentsVisit the camp's website together and look at the activity list, photos, videos and the camp map to give your child a feel for what camp will be like and the daily routine. You can also ask the Camp to connect you with other families who live in your area that will be in your child's group.
  7. Don't make "pick up" deals but assure them that you'll be checking on them regularly. Before camp begins, assure your child that you are confident in his or her ability to have a wonderful summer camp experience.  Don't make "pick up" deals with your child. This will send your child the message that you don't feel he or she will be successful at camp.
    You don't want to fill your child's head with dire warnings, but it's important for them to know you are only a phone call away if needed.
  8. Questions - Keeping an open dialogue about what camp will be like, and if he or she has any questions or concerns. This will help your child feel comfortable about going to camp for the first time.
  9. Call the camp director - If you sense your child is nervous about camp, you can always call the camp director for their advice.  They have a lot of experience with first time campers and will be able to offer you some ways which you can help your child get over any worries about the first day. Good camps WANT to know your concerns. The more information they have on your child, the more they know about triggers or behaviors or calming activities, the more likely your child will have a great camp experience.
  10. Start a countdown -   set a countdown to         THE BEST  SUMMER EVER!

Sometimes camp is most difficult for moms and dads! The urge to call the camp to check on your child is a feeling that won't go away so easily. First times are especially hard! Don't be rough on yourself. Process the change in routine, then have some fun too!


Sour Patch Grapes

Healthier than candy, these colorful and refreshing snacks can be a great sour candy fix for your family.


1 1/2 lb green grapes
1/2 lemon
1 package cherry jello
1 package orange jello
1 package lemon jello
1 package lime jello
Place each jello flavor in a separate zip lock gallon
size bag
Remove and refrigerate


by Elisha Cooper
Age: Pre-school-Gr. 3  

Award-winning author Elisha Cooper uses his renowned soft yet lively watercolors to celebrate the cherished act of visiting the beach.

"Away to the beach! Away to sand and salt water, to rolling dunes and pounding waves."

A day at the beach supplies any child with a lifetime of memories. In this picture book by award-winning author Elisha Cooper, the simple magic of building sand castles, collecting seashells, and running from the waves is brought to life through poetic text and lively illustrations. Together, readers will be able to visit the beach year-round as they share this delightful book.


Spray Chalk

Easily turn outside surfaces into playing fields, games, signs or outdoor masterpieces with Testors Spray Chalk. Just shake and spray. Spray Chalk instantly turns to powder as it comes out of the can creating cool sidewalk chalk looks with a spray can effect. Spray on grass, asphalt, snow and more! The pet and vegetation friendly formula dissolves naturally in the rain.  

Goes where sidewalk chalk can't, including grass, asphalt, snow and concrete. 
Not recommended for freshly sealed asphalt. 
Color fades to white naturally in 7 days; washes away with water

Easy to use, ready to spray 6 oz. aerosol can with comfort spray tip
Layer multiple colors when wet to create new colors
For outdoor use and temporary markings only 
Sprays up to 80 linear feet

Available in your local craft stores. For more project inspiration go to...         



Thanks to the launch of the Autism Theater Initiative in 2011, many performances are now adapting to the needs of children and adults on the autism spectrum. Autism/ Sensory friendly performance are often performed in a friendly, supportive environment for families with children who are have sensitivity concerns. Slight adjustments to the production are made, including reducing any jarring sounds or strobe lights. You may find a "quite area" in the lobby, or autism specialists who can help out if a child needs to leave their seats during a performance. 

Do you know that the first ever autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show was Disneys' Lion King in 2011!

Paper Mill Playhouse
22 Brookside Drive 
Millburn, NJ

Shows in June:

Sunday, June 11 at 10 am

Pete the Cat is sent to live with the Jimmy Biddle's family to learn his manners-and boy are they square!
But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up, so the minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking. Join Jimmy and Pete on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus. 

Friday, June 23 at 1:30pm

Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and a little bit of magic. The show that received nominations for nine Oliver and seven Tony awards, including best musical. 
It's a supercalifragilistic-expialidocious musical adventure!