• Occupational Therapy

    Pre-K through Second Grade Brain Breaks:
    ⦁ Have child draw a hopscotch pattern on the sidewalk or driveway–play with both feet jumping into each square–forward and sideways. Progress to one foot as able.
    ⦁ Place pillows on the floor with a small puzzle next to the first pillow. Have child pick up one piece of the puzzle, and jump from one pillow to the next, increasing the length of distance between the pillows while completing a small puzzle at the end.
    ⦁ Sitting on the floor in tailor sitting (crisscross applesauce) stack larger items such as blocks, books, boxes or large marshmallows as high as you can on a coffee table or hard surface.
    ⦁ Using index/pointer finger, make lines and shapes in salt, sugar or sand on a paper plate, while kneeling at the coffee table or furniture of similar height.
    ⦁ Flick n' Follow: Crumple a small sheet of paper into a ball. Flick it as far as you can using your index or middle finger and thumb. Crab walk (walking on hands and feet facing up) to follow it. Repeat.
    ⦁ Clothespin Fun: decorate 8-10 wooden clothespins with marker (i.e.- draw flowers, faces, letters/numbers, etc.) clip them on a plate edge or rim of a container using one hand to clip and one hand to hold container. Drop clothespins one at a time in standing (up tall) from chest level into a container placed on the floor by toes. Use a container with a 3-4-inch opening.
    ⦁ Gather rocks from outside and paint or draw on them to decorate your front garden/yard or make rock pets and draw animals on them.
    ⦁ Chalk obstacle course on the ground-can include walking on straight line, staying in between 2 lines, jumping, tip toe walking, jumping jacks, etc. https://handsonaswegrow.com/super-simple-sidewalk-chalk-gross-motor-obstacle-course/ more for the littler kids but you could do older ones too.
    ⦁ Homemade puzzle: Color a page from a coloring book. cut it out and put it back together.
    ⦁ Shadow tracing: If you are inside, grab some paper and go near a window or use an overhead light, line up your favorite toys and trace/draw/color them! This can also be completed outside using chalk or mud! Afterward, you can turn it into a hopscotch game or obstacle course! Stack the shadows side by side, pyramid style, or in a row! You can also go for a treasure hunt and collect objects outside to trace!
    ⦁ 5 Senses Scavenger Hunt: Taste-something that makes a crunch (hop to the kitchen). Smell-smells good/bad (bear walk to locate smell). Touch- find something soft/hard (crawl to locate). See-find something white/black (crab walk to find). Hear-something loud/animal sound (slither like a snake to hear). Draw a picture of all items located!

    3rd-8th Grade Breaks:
    ⦁ Have child draw a ladder on the ground with chalk, challenge them with different ways of moving into and out of each box one foot, two feet, jumping, hopping, side stepping. Get creative!
    ⦁ While on your stomach, propped on your elbows, use the hand you write with to stack smaller objects such as various coins, mini marshmallows, water bottle or soda caps onto a hard surface.
    ⦁ Using index/pointer finger, write the alphabet one letter at a time in salt, sugar or sand on a paper plate, while kneeling at the coffee table or furniture of similar height.
    ⦁ Line up a row of coins, placing the child at the center (on stomach) propped on elbows. Flip coins one at a time with the same hand from one end to the other.
    ⦁ Clothespin Fun: decorate 8-10 wooden clothespins with marker (i.e.-draw flowers, faces, letters/numbers, etc.) clip clothespins together to build a structure or create an animal, robot, etc. Drop clothespins one at a time in standing (up tall) from chest level into a container placed on the floor by toes. Drop into a container with a 1 1/2-2-inch opening.
    ⦁ Write 2-4 sentences on something you have done during quarantine or write what you are missing while staying home. School? Friends? Family?
    ⦁ Put letters or numbers or anything you want the kids to identify on a blank wall or areas on your house. Call out an item and the kids either have to throw a small bean bag, use a flashlight, or use a nerf gun to hit the object asked for.
    ⦁ Gaining independence and grip strength: If your child presents challenges with grasping objects, build up utensils using napkins/paper towels/shelf liners/towels/yarn/tape/ fabric to improve graded control during coloring/ handwriting/feeding/daily living tasks. If needed, utilize tape or glue to help secure the utensil in place.
    ⦁ Salt dough-eggs: https://www.designmom.com/diy-salt-dough-eggs/
    ⦁ 5 Senses Scavenger Hunt: Taste-something that crunches, hop to locate Smell-smells good/bad (bear walk to locate smell). Touch-find something soft/hard (crawl to locate). See-find something white/black (crab walk to find). Hear-something loud/animal sound (slither like a snake to hear). Make-up and write a story including all senses located!

    Fine Motor Practice

    Pre-K through 2nd Grade:

    Finger Dexterity
    ⦁ Press cookie cutters into dough or putty
    ⦁ Play pick-up sticks games
    ⦁ Screw and unscrew small lids, nuts or bolts
    ⦁ Practice buttons and zippers on clothing around the house.
    ⦁ Fold paper (i.e. origami, airplanes etc.)
    ⦁ Hold a handful of marbles, transferring one at a time into a container with just the index finger and thumb.
    ⦁ Draw shapes and write words in a variety of mediums (shaving cream, finger paint, hair gel etc.).
    ⦁ Draw designs on an Etch-A-Sketch board
    ⦁ Lace beads, lace string or pipe cleaners through holes in colander/strainer.
    ⦁ Playing card games and learning how to hold (fan) the cards in one hand.

    Bilateral Coordination
    ⦁ Roll baking dough/play dough with a rolling pin.
    ⦁ Build with building blocks.
    ⦁ Trace patterns on paper.
    ⦁ Draw a picture using stencils.
    ⦁ Spread icing on cookies, cakes, etc.
    ⦁ Wheelbarrow walking with someone holding child's feet and child walking on hands.
    ⦁ Movement games: Simon Says, Hokey Pokey, Follow the Leader.

    Pinch Strength
    ⦁ Peel stickers off surfaces
    ⦁ Spin Tops
    ⦁ Play with wind-up toys
    ⦁ Tear paper for art projects
    ⦁ Build with small blocks
    ⦁ Pick up small objects with fingers and place into containers (beans, cereal, corn kernels)
    ⦁ Place coins into a bank or small slit in a lid.
    ⦁ Pop bubbles on bubble wrap
    ⦁ String beads to make a necklace -Pinch clothespins (laundry, games etc.)

    Scissor Skills/Hand Separation
    ⦁ Simulate cutting motions by transferring objects with bubble tongs or tweezers
    ⦁ Squeeze a spray bottle to help water plants, only use two or three fingers to squeeze.
    ⦁ Cut straws into small pieces and string to make a necklace
    ⦁ Cut play dough/putty/clay
    ⦁ Cut shapes out of foam
    ⦁ Cut pictures from magazines or cereal

    3rd-8th Grade Fine Motor + Handwriting Practice

    ⦁ Have the child write each letter of the alphabet on a piece of paper or index card and have the child race to put in alphabetical sequence
    ⦁ "Sign in" and/or schedule to incorporate writing
    ⦁ Example: Write full name and date to "sign in" on piece of paper each day or creating lists/schedules for the day (i.e. categories of favorite food, holidays, etc.)
    ⦁ Draw pictures and/or write letters to send to relatives or nursing home settings
    ⦁ Keep a journal of daily activities to share upon returning back to school
    ⦁ Make a story about objects or visual from your home
    ⦁ Example: Cut out magazine pictures and write a 2-3 sentence story about said visual or pick an object to create a story about
    ⦁ Take turns "ghost writing" letters or short words on each other's backs to attempt to guess what was written
    ⦁ Think of a word and attempt to write with eyes closed for visual memory practice
    ⦁ Practice typing on the free popular website used for typing in OT: www.typing.com
    ⦁ You can use freely without creating an account or students can access their current account if they can recall username and passwords
    ⦁ Website includes typing lessons, visuals, typing tests, typing games, etc.
    ⦁ Memory game: Place objects of any kind on a tray, review objects for 10 seconds and attempt to recall objects on tray without looking
    ⦁ Puzzles of any kind, word searches, mazes, collages are always beneficial activities
    ⦁ Roll marbles or small objects across tabletop surface and have student catch object in cup to address visual tracking exercises
    ⦁ Write one word per each letter of the alphabet on regular lined paper pretending you're going on a trip:
    ⦁ Example: A apple, B brush, C cat, D donuts, etc.
    ⦁ Encourage writing on various surfaces such as paper, Magnadoodle, Etch-a-sketch, dry erase surfaces, salt trays, etc.

    Helpful writing strategies
    ⦁ Awareness of Margins: Highlight the left margin green (for go) and right margin red (for stop)

    ⦁ Teach child to "finger space": place his/her left index finger (if right-handed) after each word they write
    ⦁ Have child make his/her own finger spacer: decorate a popsicle stick or tongue depressor, Call it a "spaceman"
    ⦁ To increase awareness and also for fun, challenge your child to read sentences that don't have spaces in between words. Have him/her rewrite the sentences correctly.

    OT & PT Website Resources (Same as on PT page)


    Fine motor and Sensory activities:

    Movement activities:

    Visual motor exercises:

    Gross Motor: