mr bounce

Mr. Bounce

Title:   Mr. Bounce (Mr. Men and Little Miss)

Author:  Roger Hargreaves

Age:  preschool, elementary school

Description:  One of the “Mr. Books” that outright speaks to those overly active, well-meaning, but tough-to-manage kids.


  • Self-regulation
  • Body awareness
  • Motor planning
  • Perspective taking
  • Good intentions
  • Understanding consequences of actions
  • Accepting help from an adult

Why I like this book:  First of all, this is a series that I used when I was teaching in the late 70’s, and it is adorable.   Even though it’s “old”, kids respond to the characters and story.  There are few books that specifically address those bouncy kids and, as an OT, I am happy to use this one.

Ideas for use:  

  • Before reading, discuss times when you moved too quickly or moved without looking which caused a problem for you or others.  For example, knocking over a coffee cup or tripping over a pair of shoes.  Have the kids offer suggestions of times their high activity level caused bad things to happen.  This helps “normalize” the situation without pointing a negative finger at the “Bouncers.”
  • As you read the story, have the kids anticipate what will happen.  There are lots of opportunities for visualization.  For example, “… you can guess what happened next, can’t you?” and “As you can imagine, that made things very difficult.”  Taking time to think about and discuss these concepts helps kids with ideation and planning.
  • Discuss feelings as you read.  How did Mr. Bounce feel about falling in the water?  The simple line drawings actually have very expressive faces.  Have the kids work on mimicking the expressions.
  • Young kids may not know they need help from adults to manage their high activity level.  They may be disciplined for accidents they cause and feel that they need to figure it out on their own.  I love that Mr. Bounce seeks help from an adult in this book.  Talk with kids about how we, as adults, are here to help them, not punish them.
  • Play a variation of the Silly-Calm body game from the Social Adventures App after reading this book to help kids recognize they can have control over their bodies.  When you say, “Bounce” kids can move, dance, or bounce around the room.  When you say, “Red Boots” (the shoes that were given to Mr. Bounce to help him be more grounded) the kids will freeze their bodies or pretend to sleep, or go back to their seats and remain still.

Check out their great website for lots of fun stuff

Submitted by:  Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

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freeze tag

In the Moment

by Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L
I’d like to start a conversation about the social impact of sensory processing challenges.  We see how poor balance, body awareness, and touch sensitivities alienate kids with sensory and motor difficulties from their peers.  I treat children with these issues individually and provide sensory diets to families and teachers all the time.  However, the question that is often posed to me is, “What can we do about this in-the-moment?”

Even with therapy and frequent opportunities for sensory and motor breaks, it takes a long time to help kids through these issues.  In the mean time, they are annoying friends and siblings and effecting negative impressions on adults.  Although there are no magic answers, I have found that working on sensory processing issues in the context of a small group to be extremely helpful.

While kids are engaged in a highly motivating movement activity, we call out “freeze-frame” to stop an offensive action or exaggerated response.  We then talk about what just happened and what we can do to change the action and reaction, re-wind, and start again.  Once kids know this is part of our group process, they are open to “freeze-frame”, “rewind” and “start again” and become more aware of how their sensory challenges impact others.  What do you find helpful in your homes, therapy, classrooms, and play grounds?  

Image by Paul Sableman


Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch

Book: Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch

Author: Mary Peterson and Jennifer Rofe

Age:  preschool, early elementary

Description:  Two young piggies explore their world by sneaking around the pumpkin patch while their mama sleeps.  Their adventures bring them under, through, over, across, between… (you get the picture), objects around the farm until they land safely in the pumpkin patch.


  • Sequencing
  • Motor planning
  • Sensory modulation
  • Motor exploration
  • Body awareness
  • Understanding positional words and concepts

Why I like this book:  Adorable illustrations make this simple story appealing for adults as well as children…AND it’s a fun book to act out.

Ideas for use:

  • Read the book through once and see how many piggy adventures the kids can remember.
  • Ask kids to retell the story using temporal markers such as first, then, next, etc.
  • Have kids use objects around the house, in the yard, on a playground or in a gym to set up an obstacle course that represents the actions of the piggies.
  • A nice map in the front of the book can be used to help the kids re-tell the story and help them set up the course.
  • Emphasize positional words such as under, over, between as kids move through their pumpkin patch obstacle course.
  • Use deep breathing exercises to lower arousal levels as the “piggies” fall asleep in the pumpkin patch at the end of the story.

Submitted by: Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

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*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.


Personal Space Camp

Book: Personal Space Camp

Author:   Written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Carrie Hartman

Age:   Preschool, Early Elementary, Upper Elementary

Description:   Louis is sent to Personal Space Camp in the Principal’s office.  When he discovers that “personal  space” is different than “outer space”, his disappointment abates as he learns how to better manage his body and space.


  • Body/space awareness
  • Body language
  • Spatial relations
  • Perspective taking
  • Tone of voice
  • Friendship

Why I like this book:  The story and illustrations grab kid’s attention as they watch Louis crash into others.  Once they are immersed in this book, kids find the concepts easy to learn.

Ideas for use:

  • Read before a play date to get kids ready to manage their bodies.
  • Read after a play date to help lower arousal levels and process body and space awareness.
  • Practice some of the activities described in the book that Louis does in his “Personal Space Camp”.   They are easy to do and fun.
  • Discuss the importance of tone of voice when Louis talks about his teacher’s “cranky voice.”
  • Spend time looking at and discussing facial expressions and body language depicted when Louis crashes into others.
  • Have children demonstrate some of the facial expressions seen in the book and have others predict what they are feeling and why they might feel that way.
  • Talk about why managing personal space is important for friendship.
  • Discuss various strategies that can be used to help kids maintain their personal space in various situations.
  • Have kids practice what to say to others when their personal space is invaded.

 Submitted by:  Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

Please support books4all and order this book from  Thank you!

*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.