About Develop Learn Grow

Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Helping Children Thrive Through Proper Developmental Experiences Using OT Activities

Hi, I’m Amy – I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a pediatric occupational therapist and mother who created Develop Learn Grow to help more adults help more kids.

This site shares easy to use sensory activities, brain breaks, OT activities and exercises, and fine motor activities for kids. You’ll find my strategies, tricks and tips that I’ve tucked in my back pocket over the years. These tools will help you keep your kids on the right track developmentally.

You can use the information on Develop Learn Grow to help kids develop a strong foundation for learning, attending and skill development.

Throughout my parenting and work careers, I’ve often found that the OT activities and exercises I use for work actually benefit ALL kids!

The play activities, games and exercises that are needed for my OT-work-kids also helped their peers and/or siblings. The strategies I share with teachers help ALL kids in the classroom. (And I used them all at home with my own children to help maximize their development.)

It’s always been enjoyable being an OT and helping kids with whom I work. But I’m finding it so much more enjoyable to share my strategies to help a greater number of kids through this site! Children’s bodies are not developing as they used to due to many changes in our society.

But YOU can help undo these changes to help children get back on the right track. You can help provide your kids with simple activities and exercises that they need in order to have a strong foundation for their bodies and brains.

OT Activities on Develop Learn Grow to Help Support & Guide You

As I’ve watched the shifts and changes in society and changes in play experiences, I realize that sharing what I know is more important now than ever before!

It has been so incredibly exciting watching hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world read my blog posts. How rewarding it is to share resources and information globally to parents, teachers, and administrators. My dream of helping more kids thrive is coming true!

Life is busy for parents and educators (I get it) so I keep my activities practical and easy to use. Many of the activities and exercises that I create and/or recommend are quick and simple. I want them to be easy for you to plug into your kids’ current learning and play routines.

Develop Learn Grow consists of three main categories:

1) Sensory Learning Activities and Brain Breaks for Kids,

2) OT Activities and OT Strategies for Kids, and

3) Fine Motor Skills, Pre-Writing Skills and Writing Skills for Kids.

The default blog section lists all of the articles on the blog… with additional posts that don’t fall into the 3 main categories. There are posts that I threw in for fun. They were written as a result of challenges I’ve come across and questions I’ve heard. Or for needs that I’ve seen as an occupational therapist and mom.

(For example, you’ll find Tips for Dealing with Behaviors, How to Enhance Memory and Focus, and some fun posts, like 60 Great Positive Quotes on days when you need something positive to keep you moving.)

The Evolution of This Mom & Occupational Therapist

I’ve been an occupational therapist since 2002. I absolutely love what I do. My successes and failures in my career AND as a mom have added to my experiences in order to better help other parents and professionals.

My daughter (first born) was a 3 pound, 3 ounce preemie. A sweet, fierce, driven, beautiful little angel. She was born with a very small structure connecting the two sides of her brain. She had feeding challenges and growth concerns for her first couple of years. With my background as an OT I felt prepared to help, but I was also navigating my role as a first-time mom.

Then came my two sons. The first a very, very busy little guy! My full-of-life, extra twinkle in the eye “sensory” kid. Two years later came my second son, my sweet, laid back little old man of a boy. With auditory processing difficulties and speech delays.

All three absolutely AMAZING children! Each with their own sets of unique strengths and needs. I have loved and enjoyed every second with them. ESPECIALLY when they were little… I knew how important those early years were.

My background as an OT enabled me to help support each of my kids’ development. And I even learned from them which in turn helped me grow in my career.

The Creation of Develop Learn Grow

While working with families in the homes in 2018 and 2019, moms kept telling me, “You should start a blog.” And to be honest at that time, I didn’t even really know what they meant! Or how I would even begin to start…

My husband joked with me: “You can’t even get our printer to work, how are you going to build and run a website?!” Game on.

So I created Develop Learn Grow! My mission is to share my experiences as a mom and OT with more professionals and parents in order to help more kids.

(And maybe, just maybe also to prove that I CAN AND I WILL do this!)

It was a bit challenging at the beginning but I’ve learned more than I ever thought I could. I really enjoy sharing what I know and creating resources to help more parents and educators.

The list of ideas I have for Develop Learn Grow keeps growing.

As adults, we are navigating parenting and teaching. We develop, learn and grow every day to help guide our children.

With changes in play, increased screen use for kids, and the pandemic, child development has been impacted negatively. Together, we can easily add some fun and therapeutic activities to help kids continue to develop, learn and grow.

How You Can Use Develop Learn Grow

There are three categories of activities on the site to organize the blog post articles for you. I keep activities, exercises and strategies simple so that they are easy for YOU to add to your current routines.

  1. Check out the blog posts that interest you in each of the categories. Many posts have links to related information. Some have free printables that you can sign up for via email. (After you receive the email, you’ll be automatically signed up for the email updates. )
  2. Another option, if you don’t want any of the freebies, you can sign up below to follow the blog. You’ll get an email when there’s new content on the blog or if I have something pressing to share! (You can unsubscribe at any time, however, I won’t flood your inbox.)
  3. Share articles with others… the more you and I spread helpful information, the more children we can help.
  4. Feel free to email me in the contact form (at the top) with questions, challenges or concerns. 
  5. Follow me on  Teachers Pay TeachersPinterestInstagramLinkedIn, and/or Facebook.

I hope you enjoy the info on this blog. Kids’ brains develop so rapidly when they’re little. We can work together to make the most of their play and learning experiences!

Develop Learn Grow OT Activities for Kids

All the best,

Amy Hathaway MOT, OTR/L

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