The OT Toolbox

Easy Pencil Grasp Trick

Pencil grasp is a tricky thing! You can remind kids over and over, try all of the pencil grasp tricks and tips, but if a child struggles with fine motor skills, they revert right back to the inefficient and non functional pencil grasp. This is especially true in handwriting problems when kids are rushing to write or holding their pencil inefficiently, and legibility suffers. The easy pencil grasp trick described below is one that provides a frugal option for ensuring a functional pencil grasp …


Read More
THE SENSORY LIFESTYLE HANDBOOK
Wondering about oral motor skills development or where to start with oral motor therapy? Below you will find information related to the development of oral motor skills. This oral motor development information can be used to guide oral motor exercises and oral motor skills for feeding. This article was written by The OT Toolbox contributor author, Kaylee Goodrich, OTR.

Use this guide on development of oral motor skills to address oral motor skill therapy and as a guideline to develop oral motor exercises in oral motor therapy.

Development of Oral Motor Skills


Oral motor skills are the finest of the fine motor skills we develop as human beings. It begins in the womb, and is fully developed and established by 3 years of age. Like many other skills we learn, oral motor development is supported by primitive reflexes, postural control and other physiological milestones developing in synchrony. When the synchrony is broken, problems arise.

Oral Motor Skills: Where it all Begins


Oral motor skills start in the womb with the development of primitive reflexes that support feeding at full term. It is important to note that these reflexes develop in the 3rd trimester between the 28th week and the 37th week gestation. When working with a pre-term baby, these reflexes have not developed and successful feeding will require higher levels of support from an outside source.

Reflexes Established by Term:

* Gag reflex
* Rooting reflex
* Transverse Tongue Reflex
* Non-nutritive sucking
* Nutritive sucking
* Coordinated suck/swallow/breath
* Swallow reflex
* Phasic bite reflex
* Palmomental reflex
* Sucking patterns are non-volitional

A full term infant is ready to breast or bottle feed with the above supports in place.

Oral Motor Skills Birth to 3 Months of Age


As reflexes begin to integrate, feeding becomes more and more voluntary, and less of a non-voluntary response to stimuli from the breast or bottle. This occurs in a full term infant around 6 weeks of age. This is important to note, as unsuccessful feeding in the first 6 weeks of life, can set the tone for developing eating patterns throughout life.

Oral Motor Skills and Feeding at 3 - 7 Months of Age


By 4 months of age, most infants have gained fair head control and are able to remain in an upright position with support, and parents are beginning to introduce puréed foods. As they have grown, the anatomical structure of their jaws and tongues have dropped forward to support munching patterns. They also may open their mouth when a spoon is presented and are able to manage thin purees with minimal difficulties.

Oral Motor Pattern 3-7 Months


* Munching patterns
* Lateral jaw movement
* Diagonal jaw movement
* Lateral tongue movement

The development of these patterns allow infants to be successful with thin and thick purees, meltables and soft foods such as banana and avocado.

Oral Motor Skills and Feeding at 7-9 Months of Age


Between 7 and 9 months of age, infants are now moving into unsupported sitting, quadroped and crawling. This development supports jaw stability, breath support and fine motor development for self feeding skills. Infants at this age now begin to be able to successfully manage “lumpy” purees, bite and munch meltables and softer foods with assistance and the development of rotary chewing begins.

Oral Motor Patterns 7-9 Months of Age


* Lip closure
* Scraping food off spoon with upper lip
* Emerging tongue lateralization
* Movement of food from side to side

The above skills are clearly noted during the 7-9 month age range. If these skills are missing, eating a larger variety of textures will become difficult.

Rotary Chewing

Rotary chewing is broken into stages. The first stage being diagonal rotary chewing, and the second being circular rotary chewing.

Diagonal Rotary Chew

Diagonal rotary chewing is when the jaw moves across the midline in a diagonal pattern and comes back. This type of chewing often looks like an X from a frontal view.

Circular Rotary Chew

As the child develops, a circular rotary pattern emerges. In this pattern, the child’s jaws line up, slide across, jaws line up, and slide across again, looking like a circle from a frontal view.

Rotary Chewing Supports

Rotary patterns begin emerging around 10 months of age. The child at this time is also developing dissociation of his head from his body. This supports increased independence with biting pieces of food, lateralization of a bolus across the midline, and decreased spillage from the lateral sides of the mouth.

Oral Motor Skills at 12-15 Months of Age

By 12 months of age, the child has developed the oral motor basics to support feeding. As time goes on, the child will practice these skills resulting in less messy eating and the ability to handle more challenging foods. At this age, a child is able to manage foods with juice, and chew and swallow firmer foods such as cheese, soft fruits, vegetables, pasta and some meats.

Oral Motor Skills at 16-36 Months of Age

Between 16 and 36 months of age, the child continues to develop their jaw strength, management of a bolus, chewing with a closed mouth, sweeping of small pieces of food into a bolus, and chewing ‘harder’ textured foods such as raw vegetables and meat. A full circular rotary chew should also be developed at this time to support eating all varieties of foods.

Impact of Delayed Oral Motor Skills

Oral motor skills play a large role in a child being a successful eater and having a positive experience with food. When a skill is missing, feeding becomes difficult and stressful for everyone involved. By assessing where the delay in skill is, new skills can be developed successfully, leading to an efficient eater.

Read here about oral motor skills and the sensory components that play into picky eating and problematic feeding.

Looking for more information on oral motor problems? You'll love these oral motor skill resources: 

   





Oral motor skill development in kids and how development of oral motor skills translates to feeding problems

This blog post by contributor author Regina Parsons-Allen describes a cute dragonfly-themed craft that can be used to address a variety of occupational therapy activity areas including: fine motor skills, visual motor skills, crossing midline, bilateral coordination, dexterity, and more. 

Looking for a creative and crafty occupational therapy activity that is easy to prepare and packs big punch in addressing a variety of skills?  This dragonfly occupational therapy activity and craft creation may be just what you need!  It’s fun, versatile, easy to implement, and addresses a large variety of skills and multiple skill levels while also being cheap!!  It's a great activity that can be easily upgraded or downgraded to provide the “just right” challenge. While this dragonfly craft is perfect for the pediatric and school-based occupational therapy practitioner, but would make a great classroom center or take home activity too.


Create dragonfly crafts to work on occupational therapy goals with this occupational therapy activity that kids will love, using a dragonfly theme.



These dragonfly crafts are so versatile they could be used as a simple occupational therapy craft activity, an assembly activity, a game-like activity, or any combination.  Take a look at all of the crafty fun that can be had with these fun flying creations.





Kids will love this dragonfly craft occupational therapy activity that works on skills like fine motor skills and visual motor skills.






Dragonfly Craft - A Fun Occupational Therapy Activity

Using the dragonfly as a take home occupational therapy craft encourages skill development during the making process with the end product being used for play or display.  

The child could make one dragonfly or a group of dragonflies with the focus of the activity being on coloring and cutting which addresses a child’s fine motor coordination, manipulation and grasp, distal control, bilateral coordination and visual motor skills
  
This cute dragonfly craft uses clothes pins and a variety of craft materials to work on skills like bilateral coordination, visual motor skills, and fine motor skills in this creative occupational therapy activity.

How to make a dragonfly craft: 

Affiliate links are included below:

Color the clothespins with either a marker, crayon, or a colored pencil working on grasp patterns and distal control.

      Use tacky glue to glue on the googly eyes working on precision skills.

Cut the wings from selected tactile material working on scissor skills, including scissor grasp, bilateral coordination, and eye-hand coordination.

Possible materials that can be used for dragonfly designs could include felt, sandpaper, sticky sticks, chenille stems, paper straws, plastic straws, foam, Velcro, craft sticks, and plastic canvas.

Place the wings that are cut into an X pattern and pinch the clothespin to insert the wings. This process addresses fine motor strength, manipulation, pinch, and visual perceptual skills.


Use craft materials like pipe cleaners, craft sticks, wikki sticks, straws, and other materials in this dragonfly occupational therapy craft for kids.


Dragonfly Occupational Therapy Activity- Assembly Activity

To use the dragonflies as an assembly activity requires the dragonfly materials to be prepared prior to the session. 

The therapist pre-assembles the clothespins, having the googly eyes glued on and the wing materials are already cut. 

Having these pieces ready prior to the session allows the focus of the session to be on targeted skill development directed by the therapist addressing individual goals. 

Activity focus areas might include fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, tactile tolerance, isolated or intersecting diagonal line practice, visual scanning, motor planning and problem solving.


Work on fine motor skills and other occupational therapy goals with these cute dragonflies made from clothespins.


To set up the dragonfly craft as an occupational therapy assembly activity:

·     1. Place the wing materials scattered on the tabletop and have the child visually scan the table top for matching pieces.

·    2. Have the child take the matches and create an X pattern for wing assembly.

·    3. Have the child pinch clothespins open to insert the wings.

·    4. Continue this process until all dragonflies are assembled with matching wings.


Dragonfly occupational therapy activity that kids can make.

Dragonfly occupational therapy activity that kids can make.

Dragonfly Occupational Therapy Activity or Game 


To use the dragonflies for fun game-like activities, the dragonfly materials would be prepared prior to the session with one set of wing materials inside of a bag.

·       Game 1: Have the child reach into the bag, feel for only one wing, pull it out and locate its match on the table top for dragonfly assembly.

·       Game 2: Have child reach into the bag and feel the texture of one wing inside of the bag and while keeping their hand in of the bag, use their other hand to locate its match on the table top and assemble the dragonfly.

Activity focus areas might include the same as simple assembly, but with this game-like approach tactile perception is more actively targeted.


Use this dragonfly craft to work on occupational therapy goals like handwriting with this occupational therapy activity idea.

Dragonfly Occupational Therapy Handwriting Activity

A bonus would be to couple this activity with some handwriting practice. Take a look below at how easy it is to toss in some quick handwriting work.


Use this dragonfly craft to work on occupational therapy goals like handwriting with this occupational therapy activity idea.

Dragonfly designs is a fun, cheap summertime activity that is easy to implement during therapy sessions and packs a big therapeutic punch.  What therapist doesn’t enjoy those elements for a therapy activity?   


This post was written by Regina Allen. Read about Regina in her Contributor Author Spotlight.
A themed sensory bin can be just the item needed to address fine motor skills through tactile sensory play and tactile exploration with a themed twist. This mini sensory bin does just that with a starry night theme. This miniature version of a sensory bin can be tossed into a therapy bag for a fresh sensory activity!

Make a mini star sensory bin and use it to address fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and other skills as part of an occupational therapy activity kit bin rotation system while addressing therapy goals with kids.

Mini Sensory Bin Activity 

Affiliate links are included in this post. 

We've done plenty of sensory bins here on The OT Toolbox. From water sensory bin play to tactile play using mediums like rocks, sand, or even clay...exploring various sensations through pretend play and exploration is fun in a way that encourages fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, graded grasp and release, crossing midline and much more!

Check out this sensory bin we made that is perfect for addressing stress and self-regulation.

Use star chain links to work on therapy goals like fine motor skills and sensory needs with a mini star sensory bin.

This mini sensory bin can be used for so many underlying goal areas: 


Pincer grasp- We used dry black beans as a sensory bin medium. Kids can explore and move the beans within the bin while building a pincer grasp as they hold and manipulate individual beans. Ask the child to pick up a single bean to count or to place within the star-shaped chain links.

In-Hand Manipulation- Use the black beans to boost the essential skill of in-hand manipulation as they hold and move a small handful of beans with in the hand. Ask the child to hold beans in their hand as they slowly drop one or a few beans at a time into the lid section of the bin. They can fill in the star chain links while working on this skill. 

Bilateral Coordination- Connect the star chain links together while addressing and improving tripod grasp, arch development, while allowing both hands to work together in a coordinated manner. 

Scooping and precision- Use a spoon or other utensil to refine the skills needed to move, scoop, transfer, and pour the beans into the lid section of the bin. Read more about developing and refining scooping, pouring, and transferring here.

Use star chain links to work on therapy goals like fine motor skills and sensory needs with a mini star sensory bin.

How to Make a Mini Star Sensory Bin

We used just a few materials to make this mini star sensory bin for tactile sensory input and fine motor play:
Spoon

This is such a versatile and easy sensory bin to put together. Just pour 1-2 cups of dry black beans into a bin. Add the chain links...and play! 

Add this sensory bin into a therapy bag or add it to a therapy bin rotation

Use star chain links to work on therapy goals like fine motor skills and sensory needs with a mini star sensory bin.

Looking for more sensory play that boosts underlying skills? Try these ideas:

 S Themed sensory bins sticks and stones sensory play Water Bead Pretend Tea Party Liquid Chalk Driveway Sensory Play Circus Sensory Bin





Looking for more occupational therapy kits that can be used in a bin rotation in therapy? Here are lots of ideas:






Make a mini star sensory bin and use it to address fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and other skills as part of an occupational therapy activity kit bin rotation system while addressing therapy goals with kids.





When it comes to legibility in handwriting, spacing between words makes all the! Addressing spatial awareness in handwriting can make a big difference in legibility fairly quickly given intervention, practice, awareness, and the tools to address spacing in written work. We've shared several handwriting spacing tools here on The OT Toolbox, like a cute DIY space martian spacing tool and this pipe cleaner spacing tool

Sometimes a simple visual cue like this craft stick spacing tool and pointer stick can make a big difference in handwriting spatial awareness and handwriting legibility.

Read on for another quick craft that kids can make and use to teach spacing between words...using a clothes pin for better spatial awareness in written work. 

This spacing tool is one that can be attached to a notebook or folder and used again and again...because any school-based OT knows that those spacing tools can get lost very easily!
One of our more popular posts here on The OT Toolbox is our post on classroom sensory strategies. For kids who struggle with attention challenges, general sensory processing needs, auditory processing, self-regulation, or other needs, a whisper phone can be a power tool when it comes to reading or processing auditory information. Below, you'll find information on how to make a DIY whisper phone for only $3 and how a whisper phone helps kids of all ages! Plus, we're sharing where we got this awesome idea to make a whisper phone that kids will love! 

Affiliate links are included in this post. 

Make a DIY whisper phone to address reading comprehension, letter sounds, and sensory processing needs.

DIY Whisper Phone

When it comes to therapy tools and equipment, finding the best deals is ideal. But even better is when you can make your own therapy tools at a fraction of the cost and still benefit from the therapeutic benefits. This DIY whisper phone is just the example. In fact, a whisper phone on Amazon costs more than $6 so when you are shopping to fill the needs of a classroom or caseload, the DIY version can be a fun alternative. 

What is a Whisper Phone

First, you may be wondering "What is a whisper phone"...read on to find out what exactly a whisper phone is and how they can be so beneficial to so many kids. 

Typically, a whisper phone is a tube shaped like a phone that can be held at the child's ear and mouth. They can whisper sounds and words and clearly hear individual sounds without background noise. 

They are a great tool for kids with auditory needs AND kids without auditory processing issues. Whisper phones can be so helpful in teaching any child to recognize sounds of letters! Kids can use a whisper phone to hear themselves read, which helps them with comprehension and fluency through auditory feedback.

A whisper phone is a tool that can be so helpful for kids with auditory processing needs or other concerns that interfere with a child's ability to focus on auditory input. These kids sometimes struggle with pulling out important information from auditory input. 

Other times, a whisper phone is used in reading to help kids recognize sounds in words, including pronunciation, fluency, and reading comprehension. This can be helpful for kids without auditory processing needs too! 

Make a DIY whisper phone to address reading comprehension, letter sounds, and sensory processing needs.

How to use a Whisper Phone to help with Auditory Processing

Auditory processing challenges can look like a variety of things: poor listening skills, difficulty with language comprehension, auditory sensory sensitivities, or other listening concerns.

Using a whisper phone can help with skills like:
  • Auditory discrimination
  • Auditory sequencing
  • Auditory memory
  • Auditory figure-ground discrimination
Here are more auditory processing activities that can help.

Make a DIY whisper phone to address reading comprehension, letter sounds, and sensory processing needs.

A whisper phone can be used in many ways:
Sound out letters to help kids recognize the sounds associated with each letter. This is SO important in kids whom we later see in therapy who can not associate letter formation and struggle with handwriting and formation!

Sound out words to identify parts of words.

Auditory feedback when reading.

Provide a calming sensory diet activity.

Improve self-confidence with reading skills.

Discriminate between sounds and background noise.

Identify tone and volume of speech.

So much more!

Make a DIY whisper phone to address reading comprehension, letter sounds, and sensory processing needs.

How to make a DIY Whisper Phone

We were inspired to make a DIY whisper phone when we saw a fun activity in the new STEAM Learn and Play Book. This whisper phone is not the traditional hand-held style, but more like the traditional can phones from the therapist's childhood! 

We made a whisper phone that can be used with two children and is a fun way to address the needs described above. 

To make a DIY whisper phone, you'll need just three items. We gathered these items at our Dollar store, making the DIY whisper phone a great deal! 
  • Two small funnels
  • One tube
To make the DIY whisper phone, just connect the funnels to a tube. The bendy tube that we used was long enough to reach between two friends. 

If the tube doesn't fit exactly, use a bit of tape to hold the tube in place. 

Then, play and learn! 

Make a DIY whisper phone to address reading comprehension, letter sounds, and sensory processing needs.

This whisper phone is so easy to make that kids can make it themselves. In fact, it would be a great group activity for a small group in a camp setting. 

STEAM Play & Learn Book

We got the idea to make a whisper phone from the new STEAM Play & Learn book written by Ana at Babble Dabble Do. What a fun book this is for hands-on activities that kids will WANT to do while learning and playing. 

Each page is full of colorful activities that teach.




There are so many fun ways to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math with this book. For parents or teachers looking for a complement to a specific curriculum, this book is it. Kid can explore so many areas while learning through hands-on play.

The OT in my LOVES the tactile experiences shared in this book! Check out some of the ideas below:





 Read more about the challenges of auditory processing disorders.

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.Auditory processing dominoes made with bells are perfect for a color matching activity, and can be graded to meet the auditory needs of all ages.Auditory processing sensory ideas for backyard summer sensory play, perfect for sensory diet ideas for kids.Baby Sensory bottles using recycled spice jars

 Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activity








Below, you will find a blog post on a bilateral coordination activity using Pop Toobs. This fine motor bilateral coordination activity can address a variety of fine motor skills in kids including those bilateral coordination skills needed for tasks like handwriting, scissor use, shoe tying, and much more. This article was written by The OT Toolbox contributor author, Christina Komaniecki, OTR.
Taking sensory diet activities and other sensory play activities into the outdoors is as easy as walking outside! There are so many opportunities for outdoor sensory experiences using the world around us. Add a few key components like water, chalk, playground equipment, toys, and tools and you've got a sensory gym right in your backyard. While we've shared a lot of outdoor sensory diet activities here on The OT Toolbox, there are so many sensory experiences that are just plain fun right outside. Today, we're talking about taking the sensory processing experiences up a notch using an outdoor sensory swing!F

We were lucky to try out the Harkla Sensory Pod Swing, and it has been a huge hit with my own children. The Occupational Therapist in me can't help but see how awesome this sensory swing is for addressing sensory needs right in the home...and in the backyard!

Use an outdoor sensory swing for the ultimate sensory experience for kids with sensory processing needs, self-regulation challenges, attention, and more.

Add an Outdoor Sensory Swing to your Child's Sensory Diet

Sensory diets play a huge part in the lives of so many children. Kids with sensory processing needs, attention issues, self-regulation challenges, and other areas. Read more about the goals of a sensory diet looks like in kids and how a tool like a sensory swing can play a part in addressing sensory needs.

In fact, there is much research on outdoor sensory play. The fact is, research shows us that some of the developmental and primary tasks that children must achieve can be effectively improved through outdoor play. These include: exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development, absorption of basic knowledge, social skills, self-confidence, attention, language skills, among others. 

So knowing the benefits of being outdoors when it comes to addressing sensory needs, taking the sensory tools used in a sensory diet outdoors can be the obvious next step. 

Use an outdoor sensory swing like the Harkla pod swing for calming sensory input when outside.

Why take a sensory swing outdoors? 

The outdoors offers so much to our senses naturally. Sights, sounds, tactile experiences, and even air pressure can have a bountiful sensory impact! 

A bright day can be alerting to the child who struggles with alertness. A warm and sunny day can have a calming effect.

A slight breeze can offer a brush with the nerve endings on the skin, alerting the child. It can be a calming change from indoor air.

The feel of grass on a child's toes can bring awareness and body perception. 

Background noises can be an opportunity to develop auditory processing skills. In fact, there are many ways to address auditory processing needs through backyard auditory processing activities

Ambulating to a sensory swing area is an opportunity to address balance and stability in a natural and functional environment. 

Swinging provides an opportunity for improved body awareness as a child learns how their body moves and responds to movement. Taking an indoor sensory swing into the outdoors provides a change in routine that can "wake up" the child's awareness about certain movements. 

The outdoors offers a vast tactile playbox! From the feel of a tree's bark to pebbles and stones, playing outside combined with needed sensory input a sensory swing offers can promote skills like fine motor strength, precision and graded grasp, separation of the sides of the hand, bilateral coordination, crossing midline, balance, endurance, core stability and strength, and so many other skill areas! 

Use this outdoor sensory swing for outdoor calming sensory input in kids with sensory processing needs.

Outdoor Sensory Swing 

When we received our Harkla pod sensory swing, the kids were eager to put it up in our home. After some time waiting for this to actually happen, because as we adults know, making changes to the home can sometimes take longer than expected, we finally decided to try it out in the outdoors. 

We took the sensory pod swing and the attachment components to a large tree in our backyard. After a quick installment, it was clear that the outdoor sensory swing was a success. 

Use a sensory swing outside as part of a sensory diet for calming sensory input.

What a calming experience this was! 

For the mom of four kids, it can be overwhelming during summer days when the kids are free from routine. All four of the kids swung in the Harkla sensory pod swing and were noticeably more calm and relaxed. 

The enclosed pod provides a calming nook where kids can relax or calm down. 

For the child with sensory needs who thrives after use of a sensory swing in therapy, taking the sensory swing outdoors can be a beneficial and therapeutic experience. 

I love that the swing can be used indoors or outdoors. Simple attachment mechanisms make this swing easy to install. The adjustable strap allow the swing to be attached at a preferred height for safety. 

Use a sensory swing to help kids calm down and organize sensory input for improved self-regulation with an outdoor sensory swing.

Since using the pod swing outdoors, we've used the swing several times outside on our big, shady tree. My older kids use the pod swing as a cozy reading nook. What a way to work on that summer reading list!

I did bring the swing in after we used it, just so it wouldn't get soaked in the next summer rainstorm. Putting it back up was easy, using the installment belt and clip. 

For those without a tree branch that would hold kids, a regular swing set can be an optimal placement for the sensory swing. Simply pull the regular swings to the side or remove the chains and attach the sensory pod using the belt and clip.

If you are interested in purchasing a harkla Sensory Pod Swing, check out the Harkla website. The price on the sensory pod swing is great for those looking for a sensory swing that can fit within a budget. 

As a therapist whose seen many therapy equiptment catalogues, this is a great price! There is a coupon on the website for saving 10% on your first purchase, along with free shipping in the US.

We will be using this outdoor sensory pod swing all summer and installing the swing indoors, too. When the swing is not in use, just unclip the belt!



Harkla sensory pod swing is great for calming sensory input at home.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat children with sensory needs, or other areas. Using a sensory swing can have a wide variety of responses on children. Also, recognize that every outdoor experience is different for each child as the environment is different in each experience. Consult your child's occupational therapist for individualized recommendations. The OT Toolbox provides educational information only and is not responsible for any issues. Reading information found on this website acknowledges your consent to this disclaimer.

This post contains affiliate links.

Disclosure: We received a Harkla pod swing but all opinions are our own.

Development of Oral Motor Skills
Development of Oral Motor Skills

Wondering about oral motor skills development or where to start with oral motor therapy? Below you will find information related to the development of oral motor skills. This oral motor development information can be used to guide oral motor exercises and oral motor skills for feeding. This article…
Dragonfly Occupational Therapy Activity
Dragonfly Occupational Therapy Activity

This blog post by contributor author Regina Parsons-Allen describes a cute dragonfly-themed craft that can be used to address a variety of occupational therapy activity areas including: fine motor skills, visual motor skills, crossing midline, bilateral coordination, dexterity, and more. 

Looking fo…
Mini Star Sensory Bin
Mini Star Sensory Bin

A themed sensory bin can be just the item needed to address fine motor skills through tactile sensory play and tactile exploration with a themed twist. This mini sensory bin does just that with a starry night theme. This miniature version of a sensory bin can be tossed into a therapy bag for a fre…
How to Teach Spacing Between Words with a Clothespin
How to Teach Spacing Between Words with a Clothespin

When it comes to legibility in handwriting, spacing between words makes all the! Addressing spatial awareness in handwriting can make a big difference in legibility fairly quickly given intervention, practice, awareness, and the tools to address spacing in written work. We've shared several ha…
DIY Whisper Phone
DIY Whisper Phone

One of our more popular posts here on The OT Toolbox is our post on classroom sensory strategies. For kids who struggle with attention challenges, general sensory processing needs, auditory processing, self-regulation, or other needs, a whisper phone can be a power tool when it comes to reading or…
Bilateral Coordination Activity Using Pop Toobs
Bilateral Coordination Activity Using Pop Toobs

Below, you will find a blog post on a bilateral coordination activity using Pop Toobs. This fine motor bilateral coordination activity can address a variety of fine motor skills in kids including those bilateral coordination skills needed for tasks like handwriting, scissor use, shoe tying, and muc…
Outdoor Sensory Swing
Outdoor Sensory Swing

Taking sensory diet activities and other sensory play activities into the outdoors is as easy as walking outside! There are so many opportunities for outdoor sensory experiences using the world around us. Add a few key components like water, chalk, playground equipment, toys, and tools and you'…