School-based Occupational Therapists sometimes have trouble getting kids to pay attention and focus. That’s when the novelty of playful activities can make your job much easier – by making learning fun! Read on for some awesome crafts and games from various OT blogs that you can DIY in a snap.
Cara Koscinski of The Pocket OT has these adorable Paper Tree Crafts. All you need is craft paper, scissors, and glue! Along with being colorful and lovely to look at, these trees are perfect for working on fine motor coordination and kinesthetic learning.
Claire Heffron and Lauren Drobnjak of The Inspired Treehouse share tons of simple, engaging games for children to play. One of them is called Feed the Elephant. For supplies, you just need some peanuts, tongs, and a bowl or other container. This is another great activity for developing fine motor skills.
Have some spare pool noodles? The mysterious pediatric Occupational Therapist of The Anonymous OT knows just what to do with them. Check out their DIY Pool Noodle Fishing Game, requiring a pool noodle, plastic clothes hanger, jump rope, and pipe cleaners. This activity is awesome for improving balance, hand-eye coordination, motor planning, and upper limb coordination.
Kids just love pirates! Colleen Beck of the OT Toolbox shows how to create a Pirate Puppet Craft from start to finish. You’ll need poster paint, red cupcake liners, jumbo craft sticks, glue, tape, and colored cardstock. Puppets help children learn social skills and hand-eye coordination.
Cindy Chuan of the Australian-based Your Kids OT has a neat tutorial for a Color Shape Path. You’ll want to have a contact paper strip, scissors for the kids, colored paper, crayons, and shapes to trace. Tracing and cutting encourage bilateral coordination of hands, as well as, you guessed it, fine motor skills. Later, your students can jump from shape to shape, which advances their gross motor skills. This activity was originally written for preschoolers, so depending on the age of your students, you won’t need to help them quite as much.
What other fun DIY activities have you tried with your students? Let us know in the comments below!