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Kids struggle with impulse control.  It's natural.  In the classroom, impulsive actions can mean trouble for kids.  When kids act out in school, attention lags, peers are distracted, and learning suffers.  Recently, I shared some strategies to help kids improve impulse control.  There was a nice list of strategies to help with self-control in the classroom.  It has been well-received with readers so I wanted to share even MORE strategies to help kids with impulse control in the classroom.  

Strategies to help impulse control in the classroom


It's my hope that these strategies can help teachers who are struggling to keep kids on task and focused when impulses are interfering with learning. 

Be sure to grab the free printable (Click Here to Get the Free Printableso you can use these strategies in the classroom or hand them off to teachers and parents of children with impulse control difficulties.

Strategies to Help with Impulse Control


Ask for help
Pair up with someone who has good impulse control
Use a timer for activities
Count to 3 before answering
Reduce visual distractions
Act out appropriate behaviors
Use timer apps
Tell someone else your goals
Work on problem solving skills
Use a daily schedule
Prioritize important tasks
Work on anger management skills
Make a schedule
Reduce clutter
Play impulse control games like Red Light, Green Light and Simon Says
Create a list of rules and post them where they can be seen
Break big tasks into smaller portions
Provide positive feedback
Use a goal tracker
Teach listening skills

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Strategies to help impulse control in the classroom

Taking the learning outside can make a big difference.  As the weather warms up, it can be hard to keep the attention in the classroom.  The birds are chirping, trees are blossoming, and the muddy lawns are calling!  So, when kids want to be nothing more than outside playing, how do you keep them focused and learning?  Try taking the learning outside!  These kinesthetic learning activities are perfect for the outside play this time of year and all year long.  Add some movement and outdoor play and facts are sure to stick when kids are out of the classroom and outdoors!

Try these kinesthetic learning activities for outside to help kids who need to move while learning.

Kinesthetic Learning Activities for Outside

I recently shared a post on tactile learning with a sight word sensory tray. I talked a little bit about kinesthetic learning and how some kids just seek tactile input in their learning.  Tactile learners and kinesthetic learners are a lot alike.  Kinesthetic learners need to move their bodies, manipulate materials, and really interact with learning materials.  These children tend to fidget, wiggle, slouch, or get up out of their seats when in the classroom setting.  This site has a lot of great information on kinesthetic learning. 

Try taking the learning outside to really get some space and movement into the learning experiences.  You could try these activities when practicing math facts, spelling words, vocabulary, memorization, or many other areas.  

Outdoor Learning Activities that Use Kinesthetic Movement

  • Balance Beam Adventure-  Use a jump rope or a board to create a balance beam maze on a driveway or sidewalk.  With sidewalk chalk, draw fish in a pond.  Kids can walk on the balance beam without falling into the "water".  When they are on the balance beam, ask kids to hop while stating facts or other learning tasks.  Try a bean bag toss game when on the balance beam.  Kids can toss a bean bag into a target while spelling words.
  • No Peeking Simon Says- Play Simon Says outside in the backyard.  This version requires kids to keep their eyes closed when they perform the actions.  As they play, ask them questions.  You might ask them to touch their nose for "true" facts or to touch their shoulders for "false" facts.  Get creative with movement and learning with this one!
  • Backyard maze- Create a maze in the backyard by placing obstacles around the lawn.  Kids can look at the simple maze and then walk with their eyes closed as another person "guides" them with verbal directions around the obstacles.  Set up stations around the obstacle course where they need to answer questions.  This can be as simple as a printed out sheet of questions.  They just may recall the answers later by thinking about where they were in the obstacle course when they learned about those facts!
       This pre-reading obstacle course is perfect for kinesthetic learners. 
  • Backyard Yoga- Try yoga in the outdoors with kid-friendly yoga games like found in this book.  Try having your child close their eyes during yoga moves to incorporate position of body in space.  Add deep breath spelling or math facts while breathing in and out for several counts.
  • Hopscotch Math-  Practice math facts like addition or multiplication with a hopscotch game on the driveway.
  • Sidewalk Chalk Learning- Kids can use sidewalk chalk in so many ways!  Write out spelling words.  Do math homework on the driveway.  Write out vocabulary words.  Use patio pads or bricks to work on perimeter, area, or geometry.  What would you add?
  • Take a Walk-  Go on a stroll while reviewing information.  What a great way to learn in nature!
Try some of these outdoor lawn games with the kids. 

How can you add learning and movement to the backyard to better serve your kinesthetic learners?

outside activities for kinesthetic learning for kids










I've got a bunch of freebies coming your way and this flower theme free visual perception worksheet is one of them.  Kids need to work on visual perceptual skills for many reasons. Skills like handwriting and scissor use are often times, a result of difficulties with visual perceptual skills.  This visual perception worksheet can be part of a set of activities that help address those needs.  This Flower themed Visual Perception sheet helps kids develop and build skills such as visual discrimination, spatial reasoning, visual motor skills, and motor planning.  

This free printable sheet is much like our space theme visual perception puzzle which is also a freebie for you!

Kids can work on pencil control and motor planning to connect matching flowers by making their pencil go around the other flowers that are in their path. 


Flower theme free visual perception worksheet to help kids work on visual perceptual skills like visual discrimination, visual memory, visual attention, and pencil control needed for handwriting.

Click the button to download the free printable sheet.  You will be directed to a page with all of our free visual perception worksheets that you are welcome to download as well.  



Flower Theme Free Visual Perception Worksheet


There are many skills that this sheet can help to address:

Visual Discrimination- Noticing and identifying subtle differences in shapes, colors, direction, and forms is a necessary skill for functional tasks like matching socks or silverware.  Visual discrimination is a skill that is essential for handwriting, reading, and math.  CHildren who struggle with visual discrimination may not notice small details or may confuse letters or numbers that are similar like b, d, 2, and 5. 

Spatial Reasoning- This skill is what allows us to walk around objects in our path with enough space.  Spatial reasoning is needed for handwriting when determining if a word will fit in a given space or if we need to write smaller or move to the next line at the end of the right margin.  Encourage kids to draw pencil strokes around the planets so they don't touch the other planets with their pencil.  Visual spatial relations is a spatial reasoning skill. 

Visual Motor Skills- Coordinating visual information with movements of the hands is a skill that is needed for handwriting.  Use a writing utensil to connect the matching planets and moons while working on visual motor skills needed for written work. 

Visual Memory-  Children need visual memory for handwriting, reading, math, and many tasks during the school day.  Visual memory is a skill that allows us to store a visual piece of information or a form in our mind and recall the characteristics of that form.  


Try these other visual perception activities:

Wacky Wednesday Visual Perception Activity



Visual discrimination is a skill that kids need for so many skills.  From identifying and matching socks when getting dressed and doing laundry to recognizing subtle differences in multiple choice problems, visual discrimination is a visual perceptual skill that allows kids to excel in reading, writing, and math activities or struggle!  This space visual discrimination free printable is an easy way to work on those skills with a space theme.

This space themed visual discrimination free printable sheet is great to help kids develop visual perceptual skills.


Space Theme Visual Discrimination Activity

Use this space theme visual discrimination free printable over and over again.  You can laminate it or slide it into a page protector and write with a dry erase marker.  This is a quick activity that really boosts the skills needed to distinguish small details between objects.  



Grab your free printable by clicking the button above.  Print it off and use the sheet over and over again to address visual discrimination skills.  

Looking for more visual perceptual skill activities?  Try these:



Use this space themed visual discrimination free printable page to help kids develop visual perceptual skills.
This visual perception space puzzle is a fun one for kids who love all things outer space!  Sometimes a fun puzzle is just the way to make to therapy fun.  This Space Visual Perception Puzzle helps kids develop and build skills such as visual discrimination, spatial reasoning, visual motor skills, and motor planning.  

Kids can work on pencil control and motor planning to connect matching planets and shapes, but be sure to go around the planets that are in your way!  
Use this space visual perception puzzle to work on visual motor and visual perceptual skills needed for handwriting, reading, and math.


Space Visual Perception Puzzle


When completing this visual perception puzzle, kids are working on several skills:

Visual Discrimination- Noticing and identifying subtle differences in shapes, colors, direction, and forms is a necessary skill for functional tasks like matching socks or silverware.  Visual discrimination is a skill that is essential for handwriting, reading, and math.  CHildren who struggle with visual discrimination may not notice small details or may confuse letters or numbers that are similar like b, d, 2, and 5. 

Spatial Reasoning- This skill is what allows us to walk around objects in our path with enough space.  Spatial reasoning is needed for handwriting when determining if a word will fit in a given space or if we need to write smaller or move to the next line at the end of the right margin.  Encourage kids to draw pencil strokes around the planets so they don't touch the other planets with their pencil.  Visual spatial relations is a spatial reasoning skill. 

Visual Motor Skills- Coordinating visual information with movements of the hands is a skill that is needed for handwriting.  Use a writing utensil to connect the matching planets and moons while working on visual motor skills needed for written work. 

Visual Memory-  Children need visual memory for handwriting, reading, math, and many tasks during the school day.  Visual memory is a skill that allows us to store a visual piece of information or a form in our mind and recall the characteristics of that form.  

This printable sheet can be used over and over again if you laminate it or slide it into a page protector.  Just use a dry erase marker to erase the lines and re-use the puzzle again. 

The best news is that this space visual perception puzzle is FREE!  




Grab your free download by clicking the button below.  You'll be directed to enter your email address and will be directed to the download.

There are a lot of other visual perception and visual motor activities on this site that you will love.  


Try some of these visual motor activities: 


 Visual motor integration activities using paper visual processing and visual efficiency problems

Click on the images below to find many more ways to develop visual perceptual skills:

 Visual discrimination activities

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Oculomotor function refers to the six muscles surrounding each eye.  These muscles work together to produce controlled eye movements.  When there is oculomotor dysfunction evident, a child may have difficulty with depth perception, visual attention, visual memory, visual perceptual tasks, visual scanning, spatial disorientation, eye-hand coordination, balance, or reading and writing tasks.  You can see how these difficulties closely resemble problems that result from vestibular or proprioceptive dysfunctions.  Likewise, kids with oculomotor dysfunction often times have difficulty with visual motor skills.  If ocuolomotor dysfunction is suspected, children should see a developmental optometrist for assessment.

Once a diagnosis is made, there are many things you can do to improve oculomotor dysfunction in occupational therapy.

Try these activities to improve oculomotor function with kids.

The activities below are ones that challenge the muscles of the eye in coordination with movement changes.  Looking for more movement activities? Try these:

Childhood development and action rhymes

Farm theme brain breaks

Try these activities to improve oculomotor dysfunction:


Affiliate links are included. 
  • Balance board- This is a great price for a child's balance board.  THIS ONE is great for older kids or children who seek more movement or challenging movement patterns.
  • Directional Jumping
  • Hopscotch
  • Write the letters of the alphabet in random order on a small ball (a softball works!).  Ask the child to hold the softball and rotate the ball to spell words.
  • Experience movement and direction changes with sequencing arrows.
  • Crawl through an obstacle course with a bean bag or pillow on the child’s back.  They can crawl along a masking tape course while keeping the object from falling from their back.
  • Hit a soft ball/balloon/crumbled paper with a tennis racket or paddle.
  • Zoom ball-as kids to keep their eyes on the ball.
  • Toss a large beach ball with letters or words written on it.  When they catch the ball, they should look at and say one word that is closest to their hands.
Movement activities to help improve oculomotor function

Click on the images below to find more creative movement activities that will improve oculomotor dysfunction:

Ooobleck recipe and sensory play with a marble run! This is awesome sensory play and creative fine motor work when kids scoop and pour the oobleck into the marble run.  Watching the oobleck slowly run down the marble run is so mesmerizing and calming!


Water table activity for kids: use a marble run and water beads for scooping and pouring fine motor and sensory fun this summer!


Working on Handwriting?