Voice Recognition

Occupational Therapy Resources

Fun Tips from the Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapy (O.T.) is concerned with improving a persons’ ability to perform their “occupation” and daily life/personal skills. In the school setting, a child’s occupation is to be a student and a developing child. They must be able to learn to attend; to use classroom tools (pencil, scissor, glue sticks, and such); to participate in games; to work in both groups and independently; to help in their personal care; and many other areas. 

You can help your child to be ready for his/her “occupation” by making sure they address all areas of development when they play.


We cannot stress enough the importance of large motor play, as being the basis for fine-motor and visual skills. Body coordination develops in a progression from first from the trunk; then the arms/legs/neck, and finally the hands/feet/eyes.


Mix-it up: go forward...go backwards...go up...go down...go sideways

If you engage your child in a variety of typical child play, household chores, and adventures, you will supply a good variety and intensity of these motor needs.

Activities to Improve Visual Perceptual and Visual Motor Skills

  •          Completing dot-to-dots
  •          Mazes
  •          Complete the drawing
  •          Look at an item and try to draw it
  •          Hidden pictures
  •          Word searches
  •         Jigsaw puzzles
  •          Copying and making patterns
  •          Games – Memory, Chutes and Ladders, Perfection, Connect Four, Boggle, Scrabble, Kerplunk, Uno, Upwords
  •          Show a shape that is not complete and have student draw what shape he/she thinks it could be.
  •          Search for items in a telephone book, map, dictionary, or encyclopedia
  •          Copying information from a book (i.e. recipe, definitions, etc.)
  •          Pegboards – different shapes. Vertical, horizontal, square, rectangle, diamond, cross, hexagon, octagon and parallel.
  •          Etch-A-Sketch

Writing Skills

  •          Drawing within the lines
  •          Tracing patterns
  •          Solving a maze
  •          Completing geometric designs
  •          Completing capital letters
  •          Matching pictured objects
  •          Drawing/Imitating vertical, horizontal, cross, circle, square, diagonal, triangle, and rectangle.
  •          Rubbing: Tape small cardboard cut out figures or forms to table in front of child. Place paper on these and use crayon or colored pencil using even, slanted strokes from lower left to upper right.
  •          Aluminum Foil Painting: Put hand lotion, shaving cream or pudding on foil. Have child copy letters in the hand lotion
  •          Finger Painting
  •          Sand or salt trays – trace letters
  •          Pegboards – different shapes. Vertical, horizontal, square, rectangle, diamond, cross, hexagon, octagon and parallel.
  •          Clay, putty or play dough
  •          Complete drawings and writing on an inclined surface.

Fine Motor

  •          Travel size games
  •          Marbles
  •          Pick up sticks
  •          Stringing beads
  •          Placing coins and beads into containers with small openings
  •          Snack such as Cheerios, raisins and other small snack foods
  •          Puzzles
  •          Craft projects
  •          Lite Brite
  •          Etch-A-Sketch
  •          Coloring books
  •          Perler bead (fuse bead) activities
  •          Scissor activities
  •          Hi-Ho Cherrio
  •          Operation
  •          Kerplunk
  •          Multiple games with small parts to manipulate

Hand/Arm Strength

  •              Rolling, pinching and building with clay and putty
  •              Squirting items with a squirt bottle
  •              Picking up items with tongs
  •              Squeezing a stress ball (can be made using a balloon and play dough)
  •              Making cookies and other baked goods that need to be kneaded by hand
  •              Crab walking
  •              Wheelbarrow walking
  •              Animal walks (student can make them up)
  •              Swimming

Shoe Tying

  •          Use two different colored shoelaces for practice
  •          Select one method and make sure that everyone teaching your child uses this method. Once learned, alternate methods can be taught.
  •          The two-bow method is effective because it is repetitious, as both strings do the same. However, when making the final tuck, there are 4 strings to keep in position.
  •          The single bow and then wrap the string method may take a bit longer to learn because the two strings are handled differently, but once learned it is quicker.
  •          To keep laces tied, use flat cotton laces rather than round ones.
  •          New on the market are laces with bumps. They look like a long string of pussy-willow buds! Amazingly they don’t come untied!

Additional Resources

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