The OT Toolbox

Bilateral Integration Activities

Bilateral Integration is an area that kids need for so many tasks...but it's not a developmental milestone that stands out unless a problem is necessarily noticed. From writing and holding the paper, to holding a art project and cutting with scissors, to zippering a jacket, coordinating both sides of the body in an efficient manner is a skill that is necessary for almost everything we do. Bilateral coordination develops from a very young age. When babies begin to bring both hands together a…


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THE SENSORY LIFESTYLE HANDBOOK
Adding movement breaks to the classroom can be a tool for helping kids focus and learn. Read below about some research related to classroom breaks and behavior, learning, and focus in the classroom. These are brain breaks that can be used as classroom breaks to take a short break from learning...OR used as a strategy to incorporate movement into learning activities!



Classroom breaks add an opportunity to boost learning skills and reduce behaviors that interfere with academics. These movement activities and classroom breaks can be incorporated into the classroom and are evidence-based.

I was thinking about the cold weather we've been having recently. My kids have been cooped up in school and when they get home from school, it's been FREEZING. Sure, we can bundle up and run around the yard for a bit (and I try to get all the kiddos to do this)...but it is downright cold out there. We can't last too long when the wind chill is -4 degrees F!

Not only that, but many schools aren't having outdoor recess when it's this cold. Some are getting their kids bundled up and outside, but for the most part, it's been indoor recess for many kids.

So when the school day is an indoor affair all day long, kids can become antsy!

Research on Classroom Breaks


Research tells us that activity breaks in the classroom can improve classroom behavior and can increase students' overall physical activity.

We know as therapists, that behaviors are just the tip of the iceberg. They are the sign that something bigger is causing the behavior we see. It might be anxiety, worries, sensory needs, communication issues, emotional concerns, social situations, or a myriad other underlying areas that lead to the behavior we see. 


So, to know that science tells us that a brain break can help get out of that rut of behaviors is huge! It's a strategy to help reduce the behavior and move toward focused learning and attention. In fact, there's been some findings indicating physical activity during the school day improves attention-to-task in elementary school students. 


The evidence suggests that increasing physical activity may improve academic performance, in the forms of recess, physical education class, and physical activity in the classroom. But if indoor recess is the only option this time of year, and gym class occurs every one day out of 6 in a classroom rotation schedule, or even one day/week, where does this leave us? Movement and learning and classroom breaks seem to be the option left!


In my research of the available evidence-based practice scenarios out there, I found some interesting points related to learning and specifically executive functioning skills and overall cognitive functions related to learning. 


Here is some more information on physical activity and brain structure such as brain white matter and brain function. 


Executive function is related to learning

It seems that executive functioning skills play more into learning that just having a neat and tidy desk space or remembering homework. 

In fact, executive function plays very much into the use of those mental skills in learning and classroom tasks. These skills can play a big role in attention levels and impulse control of kids in the classroom. They play a part in learning in many ways. Here are just a few examples:

-Arriving to class on time
-Staying on task in an assignment
-Staying focused when completing minor tasks such as retrieving a pencil. Here's a scenarios you may have seen before: A student drops their pencil. They bend to retrieve that pencil and then get distracted and lose focus on the assignment they are working on. Sound familiar?
-Visual attention in order to scan a math worksheet and going through the assignment part by part without skipping sections or getting distracted or overwhelmed

Activity and Learning

  • Evidence suggests that mathematics and reading are the classroom subjects topics that are most influenced by physical activity. These academic areas depend on "efficient and effective executive function, which has been linked to physical activity and physical fitness".
  • Executive function and brain health are the basis of academic performance. The cognitive functions of attention and memory are essential for learning. These executive function skills are enhanced by physical activity and higher aerobic fitness.

Physical activity and behaviors

It seems that when physical activity is used as a break in the classroom, whether as a brain break or , during gym class, recess time, or during active learning, attention, on-task behavior, and academic performance  improves as well. 

How to add more physical activity to the school day 

Some ideas for adding physical activity into the classroom in order to improve behaviors include:

1. Offering physical activity breaks within the curriculum or learning activity

2. Allow students to stand at the student's discretion. This strategy should be used with a training period and even a contract signed by the student that says they will not move away from their desk and that they will perform the work that's asked of them while standing at their desk.

3. YouTube Videos- Here are our recommendations for YouTube brain breaks that can be added into classroom breaks. Some of these would be great for an indoor recess dance party, too. 

4. Print off a collection of brain breaks and pull them out at different times during the day or as a transition activity. Here are some printable sheets of brain breaks: Bear brain breaksSquirrel Themed Brain Breaks apple themed brain breaks

5. Add a beach ball or bean bag to group activities. Toss while naming the answer to questions. 

6. Jumping Jack Spelling Words- This is a whole-class exercise drill that gets the brain and the heart moving!

7. Make indoor recess an active time. Here are indoor recess ideas to get the kids moving. 

Use these classroom movement ideas to help with behaviors, learning, and to promote academic skills like math and reading.

References:

Grieco LA, Jowers EM, Bartholomew JB. Physically active academic lessons and time on task: The moderating effect of body mass index. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2009;41(10):1921–1926. 

Mahar MT, Murphy SK, Rowe DA, Golden J, Shields AT, Raedeke TD. Effects of a classroom-based program on physical activity and on-task behavior. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2006;38(12):2086.

Donnelly JE, Lambourne K. Classroom-based physical activity, cognition, and academic achievement. Preventive Medicine. 2011;52(Suppl 1):S36–S42. 
Here, you will find a variety of information on executive functioning. These are resources curated from around the internet designed to improve executive function. I wanted to create a space that has information on executive functioning skills that can be accessed all in one place. It is my hope that this space is one where you can find strategies and tools for addressing problems with attention, organization, task initiation, planning, prioritization, and many other mental skills that cause so many individuals to struggle. Use these tools, tips, and information to work on executive functioning by starting at the beginning!

Depth perception is a pretty amazing thing. It allows us to see the world in three dimensions; for us to crawl, navigate stairs, play catch with a ball, drive and many more activities. But what happens if our depth perception is impaired? These activities become exponentially more difficult, and may be even impossible. Read more about visual problems here.




Need information on depth perception? This visual skill is important for reading, moving, and completing tasks. This article explains what depth perception is and how to improve this visual skill.


What is Depth Perception?

Depth perception is a visual processing skill that allows us to perceive visual input in multiple dimensions. The American Academy of Ophthalmology describes depth perception as the ability to see things in three dimensions (including length, width and depth), and to judge how far away an object is. Read here for more information to understand this visual skill


When Does Depth Perception Develop? 

We are not born with the ability to perceive depth. In the beginning, we are only able to see two dimensions, making everything appear flat, for the first 6 months of life. During this time, our eyes are not yet working together and monocular vision is predominant. 

Around 6 months of age, our eyes begin to work together, and binocular vision, the use of the eyes together, becomes a dominant pattern.  Binocular vision patterns is what allows our brains to perceive depth and view the world in a three dimensional way.  This is because both sides of the brain are receiving input, and interpreting that information in synchrony. 

However, our depth perception must grow and develop over time as new challenges are presented.

As we move through gross motor development from rolling, to sitting, crawling and walking, our depth perception and binocular vision is constantly challenged to meet our gross motor needs. 

As the left and right sides of the brain begin to strengthen communication through the reciprocal motor patterns of crawling and walking, our binocular vision, neck strength and neck control is also then indirectly developed. 


Impact of Impaired Depth Perception

Impaired depth perception can leave a child with significant challenges in life. Individuals with impaired depth perception may struggle with sports, navigating familiar and unfamiliar spaces, and may even struggle with driving. These are just a few areas that may be impacted, but in reality, all areas of a person’s life are affected by impaired depth perception. 


Signs of Impaired Depth Perception

The signs of impaired depth perception are often very subtle and may be missed at a young age or passed off as “slow” to develop, with serious concerns being caught at an older age. 

Signs of impaired depth perception include: 

 Late to crawl or walk 
 Hesitancy or fear of surface changes 
 Resistance to going up and down stairs 
 Exaggerated stepping over lines in the floor or parking lot
 Frequent falling 
 Inability to catch/hit a ball—early anticipation or late response 
 Runs into furniture, walls or items in a familiar environment that have not changed position 
 Difficulty anticipating turns or space needed to navigate playground equipment and use ride on toys 
 Overshoot or undershoot when reaching for an item 
 Heavy footsteps or stomping up down stairs and over items/changes in floor surface 
 Frequent falling up or down stairs


How is Depth Perception Assessed? 

Due to the complexity of monocular and binocular vision, your therapist may recommend an evaluation with a developmental optometrist if they note any of the signs of depth perception impairment above. Chances are that your therapist has also noted other vision concerns during a vision screening that has lead them to suspect poor or impaired depth perception. 


Depth Perception Treatment

Depth perception impairments are treated in vision therapy as directed by a developmental optometrist or an occupational therapist with special training in vision therapy. Treatments provided by either professional utilize special equipment, lenses and activities that challenge binocular vision directly. 


Final Note on Depth Perception

Poor or impaired depth perception can be identified and addressed at any time throughout childhood. Like many vision impairments, there are a wide variety of presentations and levels of severity in which your child may present with. If left unaddressed, your child may continue to struggle with self care, sports, driving, and many other tasks later in life. If you have concerns, ask your OT for a vision screening and to discuss your concerns. 


What if you suspect vision problems? 

Now what?  When vision problems are suspected after a screening by the OT, it is best practice to refer the family to a developmental optometrist.

A developmental optometrist will complete a full evaluation and determine the need for corrective lenses, vision therapy or a home program to address vision concerns.

As occupational therapists, it is imperative that we rule out vision problems before treating handwriting or delays in visual motor integration, to ensure the best possible trajectory of development and success for the child.

Occupational Therapy Vision Screening Tool

Occupational Therapists screen for visual problems in order to determine how they may impact functional tasks. Our newest Visual Screening Tool is a useful resource or identifying visual impairments. Visual screening can occur in the classroom setting, in inpatient settings, in outpatient therapy, and in early intervention or home care. 

This visual screening tool was created by an occupational therapist and provides information on visual terms, frequently asked questions regarding visual problems, a variety of visual screening techniques, and other tools that therapists will find valuable in visual screenings. 

This is a digital file. Upon purchase, you will be able to download the 10 page file and print off to use over and over again in vision screenings and in educating therapists, teachers, parents, and other child advocates or caregivers.





A little about Kaylee: 
Hi Everyone! I am originally from Upstate N.Y., but now live in Texas, and am the Lead OTR in a pediatric clinic. I have a bachelors in Health Science from Syracuse University at Utica College, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Utica College. I have been working with children with special needs for 8 years, and practicing occupational therapy for 4 years. I practice primarily in a private clinic, but have experience with Medicaid and home health settings also. Feeding is a skill that I learned by default in my current position and have come to love and be knowledgeable in. Visual development and motor integration is another area of practice that I frequently address and see with my current population. Looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you all! ~Kaylee Goodrich, OTR

Wondering what is depth perception? This article explains information about depth perception and includes strategies to help with visual processing skills.
Visual Impairments such as convergence insufficiency, impaired visual saccades, or other visual problems like blurred vision can present as a problem in the classroom. Students with visual impairments will flourish with effective classroom accommodations for visual problems. Below, you will find strategies that school-based occupational therapists can use as accommodations for addressing visual needs while meeting educational goals.

These classroom accommodations are strategies to accomodate for visual impairments that limit learning or interfere with classroom participation.




Visual Impairment Accommodations for the Classroom

The fact is, vision impacts learning. When visual problems exist, it can be be helpful to next address what to do about those problems to maximize learning. Often times when vision is discussed as a concern, a parent or caregiver may push back saying that the child has had their vision checked, and that they can see fine. Despite education, and handouts, the parent still resists getting a more in-depth vision evaluation for their child. Now what? Good news is that there are some accommodations that can be made in the classroom to assist the child. These strategies are also great for kiddo’s who already have glasses but are still struggling.

What are accommodations for visual problems?

Accommodations are strategies set forth that allow a student to change the method of how learning happens. Accommodations for visual problems can address visual needs through changes in seating, presentation of visual information, test information, or classroom activities without modifying what is tested, completed, or taught.

The visual accommodations listed below are means for addressing visual problems without changing classroom expectations for learning.

Preferential Seating

Preferential seating means a lot of different things to every professional. Typically, it mean that the kiddo is placed at the front of the room, closest to the teacher where they can receive an increased level of support from the teacher. However, this is not necessarily the best for a child with vision deficits. There are a few keys points to preferential seating for kiddos with vision deficits that should be considered.

Proximity to the board
Direction in which the child is facing in relation to the board or main work area
Level of visual distractions around the room including posters, boards and other children
Is the goal of seat work and need for use of board to achieve completion of work?

Proximity to the Board


Being closest to the board is not necessarily the best position for a child facing vision challenges particularly if they are not acuity based in nature.

For instance, a child that is struggling with saccades and tracking may not succeed in a front and center position. This would challenge their eyes constantly to look in all directions for information. A better position for them would be to the left or to the right in the first 2-3 rows. This would limit the amount of tracking to either side that would need to be completed.

This position would also benefit a child with who struggles with filtering visual information and needs information to be limited on one side.

When recommending a seat based on proximity to the board, it is important to think about what challenges the kiddo is facing visually and to recommend a seat that promotes success.

Face the Front

Is the Child Facing the Board?

There are a lot of classroom set-ups these days that have children not facing the board or at an awkward angle. This is okay if the child is not expected to copy work from the board or utilize information from the main learning space.

When it doesn’t work, is when the child needs to utilize this information. It is best to have the child facing the board straight on or with a slight angle if they are not seated in the center. Limit turning of the head over 45 degrees to prevent eye strain and an increased chance of the child losing their place when copying.

There are times that it is appropriate to have the child’s back to the board and main learning space. I will get to that in just a moment.

Reduced Visual Distractions


Limiting visual distractions and over stimulation is a large part in helping kids with visual deficits. If there is too much information in front of them or around them, they are more likely to get lost visually, leading to more time needed to complete tasks and increases in errors when copying or missing written steps.

This is one of the few times that it is okay to have a child’s back to the board or main work area. Especially, if the child does not need to see the main area. Typically, this is the case for lower levels of education such as kindergarten through second grade, or when the curriculum begins to focus on board directed teaching.

Other ways to limit visual distractions are to keep the main learning space clear of extraneous posters, charts or decorations, along with conscious choices for seating the child. Having the child’s back to busy walls and a large portion of their peers can be helpful.

Most people think that windows are distractions for kiddos, but for a child with vision deficits, sitting near or facing a window can give a much needed visual “break” from stimulation. So don’t rule out a window seat yet!

Use these visual impariment accommodations to help kids with vision problems flourish in the classroom.

Increased White Space 


Worksheets can be very overwhelming for a child with a visual deficit. They may have a hard time reading a busy worksheet, completing a math worksheet or miss parts of multi-step directions.

One way to help avoid this is to provide increased white space. White space refers to the amount of blank or void areas on a piece of paper. The higher the amount of white space, they less likely a child with vision deficits is to struggle.

This means limiting the number of math problems on a page from 6 to 3 for example. Or utilizing the Handwriting Without Tears lined paper versus traditional triple lined paper.

Sometimes changing the handout or worksheet is not an option and other strategies need to be utilized. The use of an extra sheet of paper to block out extra information can be helpful in creating the white space that is needed.

Decreased Visual Distractions


I touched on this in preferential seating section in regards to the overall placement of the child in the room. However, visual distractions can also come from items in the child’s work space. Distractions may include name tags, behavior systems, letter lines, a peer across from them and even work to be completed. These visual distractions may cause the kiddo to feel visually unorganized leading to the appearance of sloppy work and poor time management, and even signs of anxiety.

One way to help eliminate visual distraction within the workspace is to limit what is on the child’s desk. Keep the kiddo’s work space limited to a name tag and one other item. If other items are needed on the desk or workspace, have them arranged so that they are not in the child’s direct line of sight while working.

For instance, crayon boxes and utensils may be shared at a table or grouping of students. Have the items place to the left or right of the child so that their direct line of sight is clear.

Also limit that amount of ‘work’ that is place in front of the kiddo. I say ‘work’ lightly as most ‘work’ for kids are worksheets and craft projects. By presenting one item at a time, it can help the child’s visual space remain clear and help them stay visually organized and on task.

Visual Structure for Reading and Writing


Sometimes limiting visual distractions is not enough support for visual organization. Sometimes, the child needs even more structure to support successful learning patterns and work completion.

One strategy is to provide the child with graph paper to write on. This is very structured and provides concrete boundaries for letter orientation, sizing, and spacing. It also provides visuals for completing math problems in straight lines.

Other forms of visual structure include colored lines to indicate top and bottom of the lines for writing, along with highlighted “spacer” lines for completion of longer work.

Color coding can also be a helpful tool in providing visual structure for older children. It be as general as a different colored folders/notebooks for each subject to allow the child to quickly scan and find what they need, to as complex as writing parts of a math equation in different colors. Or even going as far as to writing the parts of a paragraph in different colors.

Visual structure can be as simple, or as complex as it’s needed to be to meet the kiddo’s needs.

Use these classroom accommodations to help kids with visual problems succeed in the classroom.

Final Thoughts on Visual Impairment Accommodations


Each child is different and finding the right visual supports is a trial and error process that takes time and patience to work through. Evaluating the child’s weaknesses will help to determine the best supports and path for success in the classroom despite their visual challenges.

More resources that can help with understanding and advocating for visual impairments:

What is Visual Processing and Visual Efficiency?

Visual Saccades and Learning

What is Visual Tracking?

What is Convergence Insufficiency?

What if you suspect vision problems? 

Now what?  When vision problems are suspected after a screening by the OT, it is best practice to refer the family to a developmental optometrist.

A developmental optometrist will complete a full evaluation and determine the need for corrective lenses, vision therapy or a home program to address vision concerns.

As occupational therapists, it is imperative that we rule out vision problems before treating handwriting or delays in visual motor integration, to ensure the best possible trajectory of development and success for the child.

Occupational Therapy Vision Screening Tool

Occupational Therapists screen for visual problems in order to determine how they may impact functional tasks. Our newest Visual Screening Tool is a useful resource or identifying visual impairments. Visual screening can occur in the classroom setting, in inpatient settings, in outpatient therapy, and in early intervention or home care. 

This visual screening tool was created by an occupational therapist and provides information on visual terms, frequently asked questions regarding visual problems, a variety of visual screening techniques, and other tools that therapists will find valuable in visual screenings. 

This is a digital file. Upon purchase, you will be able to download the 10 page file and print off to use over and over again in vision screenings and in educating therapists, teachers, parents, and other child advocates or caregivers.





A little about Kaylee: 
Hi Everyone! I am originally from Upstate N.Y., but now live in Texas, and am the Lead OTR in a pediatric clinic. I have a bachelors in Health Science from Syracuse University at Utica College, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Utica College. I have been working with children with special needs for 8 years, and practicing occupational therapy for 4 years. I practice primarily in a private clinic, but have experience with Medicaid and home health settings also. Feeding is a skill that I learned by default in my current position and have come to love and be knowledgeable in. Visual development and motor integration is another area of practice that I frequently address and see with my current population. Looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you all! ~Kaylee Goodrich, OTR 

Visual accommodations like preferential seating, facing the board, and other visual accommodations can help a student with vision problems succeed in the classroom.
We've been talking a lot about executive functioning skills here on The OT Toolbox recently. There's a reason why: so many kids struggle with executive function disorder or just are challenged by sills that make up the executive functions. Planning and prioritizing tasks is a big concern for many kids who struggle. These skill areas are essential for initiating tasks and following through with projects.

Here, you will find fun mindfulness activities to help kids with creative mindfulness exercises that can help kids feel better, reduce stress, address anxiety, and have a greater awareness of their body and mind. Mindfulness activities for kids can be used as a self-regulation tool or a coping strategy. The sky's the limit!

Looking for more ways to teach mindfulness? Here are winter themed mindfulness activities that kids will love. 


These FUN Mindfulness activities are helpful self-regulation tools for kids.






Fun Mindfulness Activities


First, let's talk about what mindfulness means.


Mindfulness activities for kids can help kids with attention coping, learning, self-regulation, and more!

What is mindfulness?


Mindfulness is the ability to bring your attention to the events happening in the moment. It allows us to carefully observe our thoughts and feeling, to develop a sense of self awareness.  Mindfulness can be done anywhere. It does not require special equipment. It can be as easy as sitting and thinking or visualizing a place in your mind.


Who is mindfulness good for?


Mindfulness is great for any age, including kids. School can be a very overwhelming experience with expectations, rules, noises, crowds. Being able to do fun mindfulness activities can be a good way for children to self-regulate, focus and feel better emotionally and physically. Learning how to self-regulate (being able to manage your own emotions) is an important skill to learn at a young age.

Mindfulness is a helpful tool in addressing executive functioning skills needs in kids.



Mindfulness activities for kids


Listed below are some easy, beginning mindfulness activities to try with kids.
Looking for more ideas? Here are some mindfulness videos on YouTube.


Mindfulness Activity #1: Mindful Breathing- 

Taking deep breaths is so important in relaxation it brings awareness to your body. There are many different ways to teach kids to take deep breaths and then blow out. Using a pinwheel, blowing bubbles, blowing out candles, picturing a balloon opening and closing with breath. Even having your child breath in while you count to 5 and then breath out.


Mindfulness Activity #2: Body Scan- 

Have your child lay on his/her back. Tell them to tense up all muscles from head to toe and hold for 10-15 seconds. Then have them release and relax, ask them how they feel. This exercise helps kids to recognize how their body is feeling in a tense vs. Calm state.


Mindfulness Activity #3: Visualization or Guided Imagery–

This is a relaxation technique that is used to promote positive mental images. You can find guided imagery scripts online, pertaining to many different subjects from nature to emotions. Start by having your child close their eyes, while seated or lying down. Slowly read the script and have them visualize the image in their minds, then have them draw a picture of that place and keep it in their desk or at home as a reference to a calm place for them.


Mindfulness Activity #4: Take a Walk- 

Being outside and taking a walk is a great way for your child to be present in the moment. Point out the different sounds heard from birds chirping to leaves rustling. Notice the smell of the fresh cut grass or flowers. Feel the different textures of sand and rocks. Notice the sun, wind and clouds. Bring a blanket and lay on the grass, look up at the trees, look at the clouds.   Walk over to a pound and listen for frogs, look for fish and throw rocks in to make a splash.


Mindfulness Activity # 5: Stretching/Yoga- 

Taking deep breaths and stretching can be a very calming and teaches you to be aware of how your body is feeling.  Turn the lights down, put on relaxing music and help guide your child through bedtime relaxation stretches for kids.

Use these mindfulness strategies for kids as a coping strategy, to help with attention in the classroom, to impact learning, or to address self-regulation needs. What's very cool is that each awareness activity could be themed to fit classroom or homeschool lessons, the curriculum, or seasons. Make these mindfulness activities fit the needs of your classroom, clients, and kids!

Mindfulness is a coping strategy used in The Impulse Control Journal.

The Impulse control journal is a printable journal for kids that helps them to identify goals, assess successes, and address areas of needs. The Impulse Control Journal is a printable packet of sheets that help kids with impulse control needs.

Read more about The Impulse Control Journal HERE.

The Impulse Control Journal has been totally revamped to include 79 pages of tools to address the habits, mindst, routines, and strategies to address impulse control in kids.


More about the Impulse Control Journal:
  • 30 Drawing Journal Pages to reflect and pinpoint individual strategies
  • 28 Journal Lists so kids can write quick checklists regarding strengths, qualities, supports, areas of need, and insights
  • 8 Journaling worksheets to pinpoint coping skills, feelings, emotions, and strategies that work for the individual
  • Daily and Weekly tracking sheets for keeping track of tasks and goals
  • Mindset,Vision, and Habit pages for helping kids make an impact
  • Self-evaluation sheets to self-reflect and identify when inhibition is hard and what choices look like
  • Daily tracker pages so your child can keep track of their day
  • Task lists to monitor chores and daily tasks so it gets done everyday
  • Journal pages to help improve new habits
  • Charts and guides for monitoring impulse control so your child can improve their self-confidence
  • Strategy journal pages to help kids use self-reflection and self-regulation so they can succeed at home and in the classroom
  • Goal sheets for setting goals and working to meet those goals while improving persistence
  • Tools for improving mindset to help kids create a set of coping strategies that work for their needs

This is a HUGE digital resource that you can download and print to use over and over again.  









These fun mindfulness activities for kids can help kids in so many ways!


About Christina:
Christina Komaniecki is a school based Occupational Therapist. I graduated from Governors State University with a master’s in occupational therapy.   I have been working in the pediatric setting for almost 6 years and have worked in early intervention, outpatient pediatrics, inpatient pediatrics, day rehab, private clinic and schools. My passion is working with children and I love to see them learn new things and grow. I love my two little girls, family, yoga and going on long walks.
Wondering about what are executive functioning skills? Today, I'm very excited to share a mini course that I've been working on behind the scenes. This Executive Functioning Skills Course is a FREE, 5-day email course that will help you understand executive functioning and all that is included in the set of mental skills.

Executive functioning skills course for understanding executive function skills in kids.


So often, therapists are asked to explain executive functioning. Parents are looking for insight and how to help kids who struggle with the underlying areas that play a part in attention, organization, working memory, impulse control, and the other executive functioning skills. Teachers are looking for strategies to use in the classroom while understanding exactly what makes up executive functioning and how to help disorganized kids in the classroom.

Does any of these scenarios sound familiar?



This executive functioning skills course will cover all of the above and describe strategies to help.


Executive functioning skills are a set of mental skills that work together in learning, safety, and functioning through self-regulation, self control and organized thoughts.

Executive Functioning Skills Course

If you have ever wondered how to help kids who struggle with:

  • Disorganization leading to impulsive actions and inattention in the classroom
  • The child that struggles to plan ahead and be prepared for the day
  • The child that lacks insight to cross a busy street without looking both ways
  • The student that loses their homework and important papers every day
  • The kiddo that just can't get simple tasks done like cleaning up toys on the playroom floor
  • The child that focuses on other kids rather than a classroom assignment and then doesn't finish in a given time
  • The kiddo that is constantly late because he can't prioritize morning tasks like brushing teeth, eating breakfast, and getting dressed.


Do any of THESE scenarios sound familiar?
Easy strategies to help with executive functioning in kids in this free executive functioning course

So often, we KNOW kids are struggling with mental tasks that limit their functioning, safety, and learning. Here's the thing: executive functioning skills develop over time. Kids aren't instinctively able to organize, plan, prioritize, or use self-control. These skills occur with age, time, and use.

But, for the child that struggles in any one area, so many tasks that require executive functioning skills suffer. As a result, we see problems with social-emotional skills, self-consciousness, frustration, anxiety, or more!

Executive functioning skills course for understanding executive function and strategies to help

Information on Executive Functioning Skills, right in your inbox!

So, if you are wondering about executive functioning skills...or want to know more about how executive functioning skills work together in learning and everyday activities...join us in the free 5-day executive functioning skills email course!

Understand executive functioning skills with this free executive functioning skills course.

A little more information on the executive functioning skills email course:


  1. This course is entirely email-based. All you have to do is open your email and read!
  2. You'll discover the "why" behind executive functioning, what to do about impulsivity, tips and tools, and loads of resources related to executive functioning skills.
  3. We'll cover impulse control, including how we use all of the executive functioning skills along with self-control and self-regulation strategies to "get stuff done".
  4. This email course doesn't have homework or tests. This mini-course is informative and low-key.


Take this free executive functioning skills course to understand self-control, attention, working memory, and more.

Click the link below to confirm your subscription to the email course and you'll be on your way.


Know a child who struggles with impulse control, attention, working memory or other executive functions?
Let's talk about what's going on behind those impulses!

FREE Email Mini-Course

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Disclaimer: This email mini-course does not provide continuing education units or professional development units. The course is not intended to treat or evaluate any executive functioning or impulse control needs. This mini-course is intended for information purposes only. The reader is responsible for any action or consequence as a result of strategies listed in the email mini-course or on this website. The OT Toolbox and it's author are not responsible for any results of actions taken as a result of reading this website or it's email or social media outlets.

    Know someone who would be interested in this free executive functioning skills course? Share the images below and let them know!

    Free email course on executive functioning skills

    Understand executive functioning skills with this free email course for parents, teachers, and therapists

    Take this free executive functioning skills course to understand attention, self-control, and other executive function skills

    Improve executive functions with easy strategies after understanding what's happening behind behaviors and actions.

    Classroom Breaks and Behavior
    Classroom Breaks and Behavior

    Adding movement breaks to the classroom can be a tool for helping kids focus and learn. Read below about some research related to classroom breaks and behavior, learning, and focus in the classroom. These are brain breaks that can be used as classroom breaks to take a short break from learning...OR…
    How to Improve Executive Function
    How to Improve Executive Function

    Here, you will find a variety of information on executive functioning. These are resources curated from around the internet designed to improve executive function. I wanted to create a space that has information on executive functioning skills that can be accessed all in one place. It is my hope t…
    What You Need to Know About Depth Perception
    What You Need to Know About Depth Perception

    Depth perception is a pretty amazing thing. It allows us to see the world in three dimensions; for us to crawl, navigate stairs, play catch with a ball, drive and many more activities. But what happens if our depth perception is impaired? These activities become exponentially more difficult, and ma…
    Classroom Accommodations for Visual Impairments
    Classroom Accommodations for Visual Impairments

    Visual Impairments such as convergence insufficiency, impaired visual saccades, or other visual problems like blurred vision can present as a problem in the classroom. Students with visual impairments will flourish with effective classroom accommodations for visual problems. Below, you will find st…
    Executive Functioning Skills- Teach Planning and Prioritization
    Executive Functioning Skills- Teach Planning and Prioritization

    We've been talking a lot about executive functioning skills here on The OT Toolbox recently. There's a reason why: so many kids struggle with executive function disorder or just are challenged by sills that make up the executive functions. Planning and prioritizing tasks is a big concern fo…
    Fun Mindfulness Activities
    Fun Mindfulness Activities

    Here, you will find fun mindfulness activities to help kids with creative mindfulness exercises that can help kids feel better, reduce stress, address anxiety, and have a greater awareness of their body and mind. Mindfulness activities for kids can be used as a self-regulation tool or a coping stra…
    Executive Functioning Skills Course
    Executive Functioning Skills Course

    Wondering about what are executive functioning skills? Today, I'm very excited to share a mini course that I've been working on behind the scenes. This Executive Functioning Skills Course is a FREE, 5-day email course that will help you understand executive functioning and all that is inclu…