Mature and refined grasp patterns, as well as in hand manipulation, require use of the small finger muscles, and they use the two sides of the hands separately. It can be challenging learning how to coordinate the pinky finger side of the hand separately from the index finger side of the hand.  Similar movements are used with chopsticks as are used in writing with a mature dynamic grasp. Many therapists recommend using tongs or tweezers to work on fine motor {Read More}

Meaning and Mindfulness: Occupational Therapists as Mindful Mentors

  April brings with it tulips and daffodils, Spring showers, and National Occupational Therapy Month.  But to be fair, April also shines as an honorary month for other special causes as well.  This is the month to spread the word about Poetry, Child Abuse Prevention, Autism Awareness, Minority Health, Stress Awareness, and Humor…just to name a few.  As an occupational therapist, with an eye toward collaboration and community, it isn’t difficult for me to recognize the intricate way that all {Read More}

Cursive Clubs: Moving Handwriting from Fine Motor to Functional!

There’s no question that cursive handwriting has taken the leading role on the stage of forsaken fine motor skills.  Its glamour has paled and its loops have sagged, that’s for sure.   Cursive debates have been making their rounds throughout the country.  But notwithstanding their clamor, the curly cues have retained their share of the billing.  And the casting crew still considers it a key player in the penmanship circuit.  Cursive has undergone a makeover and has reappeared in a new {Read More}

Motor Planning Made Easy

Take a moment to play along with me.  Think about your daily routine – at home or at work.  Walk yourself through a typical day starting from the moment after you are dressed and ready to go.  Let’s say you are leaving for work.  You know the route, how long it will take, where you’ll park and the door you’ll enter to go inside your building.  Your desk, station or locker are all just where they were when you left {Read More}

Jelly Fishing With Two Butterfly Nets

This activity evolved from another activity, and the child who was doing it thought it was so much fun. We had been playing with plastic bugs, so I got out the butterfly nets, but it was too hard to catch the bugs or the balls in the nets when they were thrown, so we had all of these balls all over the floor. We then started scooping the balls up off of the floor with the nets, and I incorporated {Read More}

Play Doh Cake With Candles for Fine Motor

Of course, playdoh is a great toy for strengthening, but if you add candles, it can be good for in hand manipulation too. Make a cake out of playdoh, model magic, or any clay of your choice. Put some candles in the cake. They can be real or fake. Toothpicks would work in place of candles.  On the one that we made, they put play doh flames on the ends of the toothpicks too. To work on in-hand manipulation, take {Read More}

Practice Buttoning with Felt Sandwich

I was inspired by making the buttoning pizza to make more food that requires buttoning. I see a whole line of fun button food in my future. Here is a sandwich that I made. It is very similar to the button snake and button oreo that I made, but it has more layers like a sandwich. The layers that it has are bread, meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and bread on the top. The kids enjoy making the sandwich by buttoning {Read More}

Paper Toys Website

With higher level kids, I look for activities that will challenge them mentally as well as physically.  Paper folding can be challenging visual-perceptually as well as the difficulty with fine motor and manipulating the paper in the right way.  A cute website that has different toy patterns to print, cut, and fold out of paper is called The Toy Maker.  She has a whole page of free printables, and she has a book on amazon too called The Toymaker’s Christmas: {Read More}

Low Tech solution from OT Tools

Another OT Blog that I enjoy reading is OT Tools for Public Schools.  She recently posted about using scrabble tiles for a student to write his name and do his spelling words.  She added velcro to the back of the tiles so that the student could stick them to felt. Looking to find printable activities? You can find them in the shop Get weekly updates: Subscribe to our mailing list **** I often will link to things on Amazon. These {Read More}

Balloon Volleyball

Balloon Volleyball is such a simple game to play that is fun for young and old. It can be played standing up or sitting down, although when sitting down, someone will need to retrieve the balloon when it is out reach. I don’t think I need to say this, but will, just in case. The balloon needs to be blown up by lung power, no helium, or the balloon will fly away. The objective of the game is to keep {Read More}