We finished our first National OT Conference in St. Louis, MO, April '07 and
met a lot of great Pediatric OTs! We have since added NAEYC conferences in several states and the NJEA conferences. We hope to meet you at one of these conferences soon!
OT to Go is the creation of one Occupational Therapist with over 38 years in the field, and one Outstanding Teacher with a background in Autism and Early Childhood Development.
Both of us have worked for various school districts in several states
over the years. We both found that curriculum would dictate
goals--but the products to support the implementation of those goals
were not always there--or were not on the developmental levels of the children we
were servicing. Finding the appropriate products that elicited
the response we were looking for from the children, took a lot of our
own personal time and legwork (not to mention our own $$$$$--latest stats say
the average elementary school teacher spends upwards of $539 (01-07 USA Today) a year of their own
money for classroom supplies).
Over the years we have found
what works--and what does not. To start with, we have assembled
products in basic themes that we know will work for your
children. We would suggest you purchase one of those 18-22 gallon
storage boxes to store your "goodies" when the theme is not in
use. Themes like ABC's and Community Helpers will be used on a
weekly basis, but themes like Dinosaurs, Farms or Zoos may be only a day a week, a
week a month or a month a year.
One classroom we serviced had
"Dinosaur Fridays"--and all the activities that happened that day were
dinosaur related. The children loved it and really looked forward
to Fridays. This is why one of our first themes is Dinosaurs. We
have had a few comments about how it is "too much work" to take items
out for one day and then put them away. To this we say--let your
children do it for you! On Thursday afternoon, right before the
children leave, bring out that storage
container. Hand out the items and have the children put them in
the various areas. This will heighten their anticipation for the
next day. Then at the close of the next day have the children
gather up the items that were put out the day before and store them in
the container until the next time.
Upcoming themes as we get
rolling will be All about ME (the child)-which is currently being
developed and then we will be on to Numbers, and Under
the Sea. By
the time we are fully developed, we should have over 40 themes to
service your classrooms! Since INCLUSION is the word of the hour,
you will note that we have included items that will address most levels
of developmental functioning you see in your classroom.
you would want a "hands-on reference" on how well our theory about
central themes work to meet curriculum goals--let me relay two actual
experiences that have happened as a result of incorporating themes into
the classroom setting.
The first example is when I had "Tea Party Fridays"( this is our
Foods theme) with many of my pre-school disabled classes. As an
occupational therapist, I was concerned about the students abilities to
perform basic ADLs
(Activities of Daily Living). Watching the children play in the
"kitchen" area, they would literally throw the food and dishes on the
table, not appropriately playing with the pretend food items or dishes.
So every Friday, for 30-45 minutes
I would meet with the whole class and we would prepare a simple snack
and try a new fruit tea--with everyone doing their own preparation,
serving and clean-up. This activity also highlighted manners and
socialization. The experience went very well for both the students, and
the teachers (who loved it--they saw carry over on a daily basis).
A few years later, when I was working in one of the elementary school,
I walked into a mainstreamed classroom and several former PreK students
jumped up and with grins on their faces asked "Are you here to have a
Tea Party with US?"
The second experience came at a Six Flags Amusement Park. As my
family seated themselves on a bench ferris wheel ride, five children
slid in to the bench behind us. One boy, around 8 years of age
peered at me. He stated "I know YOU! You came into our
classroom and did crafts on frogs, we made frog Krispie
treats to eat and we played frog games and did frog dot-to-dot pictures
and word searches." He proceeded to tell my family what he had learned
that day. I did not remember this particular child, as he was not
one I was treating for therapy--but I would often pop into a classroom
at the teacher's request and do some activities that related to the
current curriculum. The lessons I chose to present allowed me to
observe all the students in the class and then give feedback to the
teachers if I noted any difficulties with a particular child.
Needless to say, my family was impressed--and I knew I was on the right
Our ideas have won over 7 National First Place honors in the Annual Maddak
Awards held at the National Occupational Therapy Conferences. We have
had "winning" ideas in the Mailbox Publications and the Advance for
Occupational Therapist Publications. We want to share with you what we
We know school budgets are tight, and your
personal expendable income is not what it used to be, due to rising
energy prices, etc. So, we have done the legwork and the product
testing with our children and students,and we offer you our
results. We hope you will find what you are looking for on our
We will only have this web site catalog, to save on
costs--and offer you the best products for the least amount of
money. For schools that insist on a "paper" catalog we have one you can
download, or hopefully you got our one and only print catalog at one of the conferences. We do have a NJ business license if you are a NJ
school. We have applied for the Chicago School Systems Vendor #, and are now listed there, Garwood TX and NYC public schools. If your district needs us
to register as a vendor, please let us know. If you ever have
any questions or comments, please feel
free to contact us. As you can see, we have our shelves stocked-and
will be adding new items to our site as they come in, so check back
with us to see what is new.
Our backgrounds in the school system tells us that teachers, and
therapists both have their own budgets--so "confer and
collaborate" with your staff and related services, so you can provide
at least one product in each classroom area! (ie.--Physical
therapy takes a floor puzzle or gross motor item, occupational therapy takes a costume or fine motor task,
speech therapy takes puppets, teachers take puzzles,etc.) That
way you will have all "bases" covered!
You may need to click on a product category several times to get all
the items to come up--but it will be worth the clicks! Now go
check out our products!