Christmas Fine Motor Activities

If you work with kids, you might be thinking about Christmas activity ideas that promote the development of fine motor skills. These Christmas Fine Motor Activities are creative ideas that boost dexterity, build fine motor strength, promote precision of grasp, enhance separation of the two sides of the hand, and enhance tripod grasp with a Christmas theme. 


Christmas Fine Motor Activities

These fine motor activities can be used in the classroom as a Christmas craft that doubles also develops the underlying fine motor skills that are needed for so many functional tasks.


Go through the activities below and find your favorite way to play and develop fine motor skills this holiday season!


Check out the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Help Facebook group for lots of handwriting resources.

Use these Christmas fine motor activities to develop skills like hand strength, grasp, endurance, prehension, bilateral coordination, visual motor skills, and more in order to help kids with pencil grasp, handwriting, scissor use, and more.


Christmas theme fine motor activities

When kids make crafts or holiday decorations, they are using and developing many skills. Manipulating tools such as scissors, glue, hole punches, tape, glitter, etc, kids experience various tactile experiences.


Creating with paper or other material requires visual motor skills (eye-hand coordination), fine motor manipulation and strength, dexterity,  bimanual coordination, visual perceptual skills, visual attention, prehension, midline crossing, and visual spatial awareness.



By using tools such as scissors or a hole punch, children can gain proprioceptive input that can be calming within the classroom environment. 



Here are Christmas themed Fine Motor Activities that can be used in the classroom, home, or clinic this holiday season:


Use this Christmas Tree Hole Punch activity to develop strength in the hands and more. This activity uses a hole punch to create lights for each Christmas tree. The bonus with this craft is the learning and math component. Add a colorful twist by adding colored tissue paper to the backs of the trees with glue. 



Use crumbled tissue paper to create this Fine Motor Christmas Tree from Crafts on Sea. Crumbling paper develops the arches and builds strength in the hands. 

Kids will love this Christmas Jingle Bell Sort activity and won’t even realize they are building skills they need for development. This activity can be used all season long to help kids develop in-hand manipulation and separation of the two sides of the hands as kids sort colored jingle bells.



Make these Fine Motor Lacing Christmas Trees from Happy Hooligans to develop skills like visual motor integration, bilateral coordination, tripod grasp, and more. 

Creating this Snowman Fine Motor Craft is a fun way to develop skills like bilateral coordination, pincer grasp and more. This craft is one that builds fine motor strength and precision while creating a fun holiday decoration. 



Boost fine motor skills like grasp, strength, and more when making these Craft Stick Christmas Trees from Easy Peasy and Fun. 

This Fine Motor Christmas Tree Craft addresses many skills needed for development and function. This craft has been very popular here on The OT Toolbox. It’s a way to recycle egg cartons while working on various skills: bilateral coordination, fine motor strength, visual attention, spatial awareness, arch development, wrist extension and stability, and more. 



These Fine Motor Christmas Trees from Stir the Wonder are fun decorations that promote bilateral coordination skills. 

Use recycled bottle caps to make this Bottle Cap Fine Motor Christmas Tree Craft. This fine motor activity can be a holiday decoration that boosts fine motor skills such as precision, in-hand manipulation, tip-to-tip pincer grasp, rotation and dexterity of the fingers needed for in-hand manipulation, and bilateral coordination.



You can find more Christmas themed play and fine motor crafts and activities here on this 25 days of Christmas Play series that we shared a few years back. 


 

Christmas Handwriting Activities

Writing out that Christmas wish list is a difficult task that brings out tears instead of holiday excitement.  I’ve got a solution for your kiddo with handwriting difficulties: a packet of modified paper for all of the Christmas handwriting tasks that come up each year.  Use this handwriting pack to help kids who struggle with handwriting to participate in holiday traditions while even working on and developing their handwriting skills!


Working on handwriting with kids this Christmas season? Grab your copy of the Christmas Modified Handwriting Packet. It’s got three types of adapted paper that kids can use to write letters to Santa, Thank You notes, holiday bucket lists and much more…all while working on handwriting skills in a motivating and fun way! Read more about the adapted Christmas Paper here






Use these Christmas fine motor activities to develop skills like hand strength, grasp, endurance, prehension, bilateral coordination, visual motor skills, and more in order to help kids with pencil grasp, handwriting, scissor use, and more.

 

Christmas Theme Handwriting

For more Christmas fine motor work, try paringin the activities in this post with Christmas handwriting. Use the modified paper to work on areas such as line awareness, spacing, letter size, and legibility with bold lines, highlighted lines, and color-coded lines.

Christmas modified paper for holiday handwriting for kids

SALE! Save 25% on Modified Christmas Paper NOW THROUGH CYBER MONDAY.

Coupon code is HOLIDAY25

Use the Christmas modified paper handwriting pack to work on handwriting, letter size, letter formation, and legibility with meaningful and motivating activities:

  • Letters to Santa
  • Wish List
  • Holiday To-Do List
  • Shopping List
  • Thank You Notes
  • Recipe Sharing
  • Winter Writing Prompts

Click here to get your packet.

Strategies to Address Visual Perception Needs and Handwriting

When visual perceptual skills interfere with handwriting, students can be limited in copying skills, placing letters and words on lines, and in given spaces on worksheets. There are other red flags related to visual processing and handwriting. These challenges really impact legibility, letter reversals, letter size, and overall neatness of handwriting.



While parents and teachers can be aware of these issues and the need for intervention in order to address underlying needs, it can be difficult to pinpoint exact strategies for improving problem areas.


Use these strategies to address visual perception needs for better handwriting.







Visual Perception Needs and Handwriting

Visual Perceptual Skills consist of several abilities that allow us to utilize the information we see visually. We process and use that visual information to interpret what we see. Visual perceptual skills include the following skill areas: 


Visual Memory

Visual Closure

Form Constancy

Visual Spatial Relationships

Visual Discrimination

Visual Attention

Visual Sequential Memory

Visual Figure-Ground



Each of these visual perceptual skills is described further in this post that shares helpful visual perceptual tools for improving on these skills. 


Visual perceptual skills play an important role in letter formation, copying words and letters, spatial awareness, left-to-right orientation and organization on a page, line use, size awareness. 


When visual perceptual skills coordinate and integrate with motor skills, a child demonstrates functional visual motor integration and is able to copy and form letters appropriately when writing.


Strategies to Help with Visual Perceptual Needs and Handwriting

Try these handwriting accommodation strategies to address a variety of handwriting challenges. 


A common tool for therapists is to use modified paper when visual processing issues interfere with handwriting legibility and functional use.


One way to work on handwriting legibility is to add bold lines to the paper.  This is just one easy way to help kids attend to the lines on the page, visualize a stopping point for letter formation, and draw attention to the writing space.  


Adding bold lined paper into the classroom can be a struggle as well. Given a variety of worksheets, a simple marker can be one way to address this need for creating a bold baseline. 



Adding a highlighted space to the lines can be a way for students to form letters of appropriate size. 



Using color-coded lines as visual tools for starting and stopping points can be a valuable strategy to help kids with placement on lines accurately. One of the most impactful areas to address when working on overall legibility is to address letter size and spacing. When these two areas are addressed, written work can be much more legible overall. 



Given these three strategies for improved legibility, can can be difficult to know what works best for each individual student.  



Having options to trial with each student can make a big impact in success of the student and motivation to try handwriting tasks.



Read about the Visual Perception, Tangrams, & Handwriting Workbook


For the student who struggles with handwriting, practice can many times be a source for stress low confidence.


Working on visual perception in handwriting? Why not start a handwriting club for kids? Kids can work on handwriting skills in a fun way. Here’s how to start a handwriting club kids will WANT to join!




Use these strategies to address visual perception needs for better handwriting.

Fine Motor Strength Piper Cleaner Activity

This pipe cleaner activity is a quick and easy hand strengthening activity that can be beneficial for developing the muscles of the hands needed for small motor tasks like manipulating objects, clothing fasteners, and pencil grasp. Activities like this one can help with fine motor skills that are necessary for so many tasks. 


Use this fine motor strengthening activity to develop the hand muscles, including the intrinsic muscles of the hands in order to promote a functional pencil grasp. The intrinsic muscles allow for a curved palm which is used for cupping the palm in order to hold items such as coins or beads. 

The intrinsic muscles are needed for pencil grasp and arch development, as well as endurance in tasks like writing and coloring. This pipe cleaner fine motor activity is a fun way to develop the intrinsic hand muscles and improve fine motor strength

This activity is perfect for addressing the underlying skills needed for a functional pencil grasp. It’s part of a new series we’ve got here on The OT Toolbox, all about pencil grasp. 



Use this fine motor strength pipe cleaner activity to help kids develop hand strength and the skills needed for a functional pencil grasp.
The Pencil Grasp Challenge will be debuting soon here on the website and on our Facebook page. Be sure to stop over there later today to see the video associated with this hand strengthening activity!

Did you miss our last fine motor activity in the Pencil Grasp Challenge? Check out how we improved fine motor strength using foil.  Stay tuned for more information coming soon on the Pencil Grasp Challenge!

Fine Motor Strength Activity

This pipe cleaner activity is a fine motor strength activity that promotes several underlying skills and fine motor skills:
Tripod grasp
Arch development
Wrist stabilization and strengthening
You’ll need just one item for this activity: pipe cleaners.
Use several different colored pipe cleaners for this activity. Cut the pipe cleaners into short 2-3 inch lengths. 
Next, show students how to gather the sections of pipe cleaners and hold them tightly with the assisting hand.
Then, use the dominant hand to tightly pinch and twist the pipe cleaners into a twisted unit. 
Remind students to tightly twist and to re-position their hand in order to achieve a tight twist. 
This activity promotes hand strength by twisting the pipe cleaners. Make it more difficult by adding more or thicker pipe cleaners.
Re-positioning the hand to twist the pipe cleaners promotes in-hand manipulation. This is a skill needed in pencil grasp in order to reposition the pencil for adjustments when writing and for manipulating the pencil within the hand. 

Fine Motor Strength Foil Activity

Strength in the hand muscles is a fine motor skill that is necessary for so many tasks. Strength in the intrinsic muscles of the hands allow for a curved palm which is used for cupping the palm in order to hold items such as coins or beads. 


The intrinsic muscles are needed for pencil grasp and arch development, as well as endurance in tasks like writing and coloring. This foil activity is a fun way to develop the intrinsic hand muscles and improve fine motor strength

Use foil to develop fine motor strength with this foil activity for kids, it's perfect for strengthening the hands for a better pencil grasp.

Use what you’ve got around the house to develop and strengthen fine motor skills. Using foil is just one way to do so. 

This activity is perfect for developing pencil grasp into a functional grasp by addressing the underlying skills. This is a new series we’ve got here on The OT Toolbox. 

It’s all part of The Pencil Grasp Challenge that will be debuting soon here on the website and on our Facebook page. Be sure to stop over there later today to see the video associated with this hand strengthening activity!


Fine Motor Strength Foil Activity


Affiliate links are included in this post. 

This activity is an easy one to set up. You’ll need just one material.

A small sheet of aluminum foil is all it takes! 

To make it easy, you could grab these pre-cut foil sheets and use them with the whole class or therapy caseload, using this activity as a fine motor warm-up.

Use foil to develop fine motor strength with this foil activity for kids, it's perfect for strengthening the hands for a better pencil grasp.

Next, cut the foil into small one inch squares. The student or client can do this job, addressing scissor skills. Simply draw lines using a permanent marker to create a cutting guide. The nature of the foil causes the marker to create a small groove in the surface of the foil, creating low guidelines for scissors to cut along.

Other students may need the foil cut for them. Cutting foil is a unique scissor practice experience and students may tear through the foil, especially if they are working on graded grasp or graded scissor cuts.

Use foil to develop fine motor strength with this foil activity for kids, it's perfect for strengthening the hands for a better pencil grasp.

Finally, show students how to crumble up the small pieces into balls of foil. They can use just the radial digits of the hand, rolling the foil into a small ball with the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger. 

This motion allows for strengthening of the intrinsic muscles while promoting arch development and a tripod grasp.

Students may be challenged to create very small foil balls by pinching the foil into a tight ball. They can then wrap the foil in another layer, extending the activity.

Use foil to develop fine motor strength with this foil activity for kids, it's perfect for strengthening the hands for a better pencil grasp.

If students are having trouble using the two fingers and thumb to roll the foil into a ball, show them how to tuck a small craft pom pom under the ulnar digits. 

Separation of the two sides of the hand can be beneficial for promoting a tripod grasp. 

Looking for more fine motor activities to develop pencil grasp? You’ll love these ideas:
Use foil to develop fine motor strength with this foil activity for kids, it's perfect for strengthening the hands for a better pencil grasp.

Toys and Tools to Improve Visual Perception

Visual perception is our ability to make sense of what we see. Visual perceptual skills are essential for everything from navigating our world to reading, writing, and manipulating items. Visual perception is made up of a complex combination of various skills. These visual perceptual skills are necessary together and in coordination with one another in order for use to see information and use that visual information to create responses or react with functional abilities like movement or processing.




Here is more information about strategies to address visual perceptual skills and handwriting.

Use these toys and tools to help kids develop and improve visual perception needed for handwriting, reading, and writing.




What are Visual Perceptual Skill?


This post contains affiliate links. 

Visual Perceptual Skills and how they are used to complete tasks like reading, writing, manipulating items, and functioning in everyday tasks:


Visual Memory– This is one’s ability to store visual information in short term memory.  This skill allows us to recall visual information.  When completing hidden picture puzzles, kids visually store images of items they are looking for when scanning to locate a specific shape or image.  This skill is necessary for handwriting tasks when copying information from a source, such as lists of words, homework lists, and copying sentences. 

Visual Closure– This visual perceptual skill allows us to see part of an object and visualize in our “mind’s eye” to determine the whole object.  When we see part of an item we use visual closure to know what the whole item is.  This skill requires the cognitive process of problem solving to identify items.  Visual Closure is used to locate and recognize items in a hidden picture puzzle.  In written work, we use visual closure to recognize parts of words and letters when reading and copying work.

Form Constancy– This skill allows us to visually recognize objects no matter their orientation.  When completing a hidden picture puzzle, children can recognize the missing object whether it is upside down or sideways.  In handwriting skills, we use this ability to read and know letters and numbers no matter which direction we see them. 

Visual Spatial Relationships- This visual perceptual skill allows us to recognize and understand the relationships of objects within the environment and how they relate to one another.

Visual Discrimination–  This visual perception skill enables us to determine slight differences in objects.  In hidden picture activities, this skill is needed to determine and locate different hidden objects.  When writing and reading, visual discrimination allows us to perceive the difference between “p” and “d”. Puzzles including ones like the wooden letter puzzle described below address visual discrimination. There are many puzzles on the market that meet different age and grade levels. Here are a variety of puzzles to consider.



Visual Attention- This visual perceptual skill allows us to focus on the important pieces or parts of what we see. When we “take in” a scene or image in front of us, we are able to filter out the unimportant information. In this way, a student is able to focus our eyes on the teacher when she teaches. Driving down a road requires visual attention to take in the road so we can drive safely. Visual attention is important in copy work as students copy information from a Smart Board or book onto a piece of paper. As they visually scan from one point to another, they attend to the place they left off. Visual attention is also important and very needed in reading. 

Visual Sequential Memory- This visual perceptual skill is the ability to visually take in and then later recall the sequence or order of items in the correct order. This skill is important in reading and writing. Visual sequential memory is important in spelling words correctly and recognizing that words are not spelled correctly.

Visual Figure-Ground–  This skill enables us to locate items in a busy background.  Finding hidden items in a hidden pictures puzzle works on this skill by visually scanning and identifying items within a busy scene.  In handwriting, visual figure ground is necessary for copying written work from a model and locating the place left off when shifting vision.

Toys and Tools to Improve Visual Perception

Highlights Hidden Pictures book set– Hidden pictures are a fantastic tool for helping kids develop and strengthen visual perceptual skills like figure ground, visual attention, visual discrimination, form constancy, and visual memory. This set of hidden pictures is a nice stocking stuffer that disguises “work” as a rainy day activity.




Self-Correcting Heads & Tails Animal Match Puzzle– Puzzles like this one helps kids address visual perceptual skills like visual discrimination,figure-ground, visual attention, form constancy, and visual memory. These are easy puzzles that can be used with younger children. Add this game to an older child’s visual perceptual activities by asking them to write stories or sentences based on the puzzle pieces while sneaking in visual perceptual skill work.


Self-Correcting Counting Puzzle– This puzzle is very similar to the previous match puzzle, only it uses math concept to match. Work on visual perceptual skills with a math component.

Uppercase & Lowercase Alphabet Help kids develop skills in upper/lowercase letter matching by addressing visual discrimination, form constancy, spatial discrimination, form constancy, visual memory, and visual discrimination.

Preschool Alphabet Animal Wooden Puzzle Visual discrimination is a skill needed for noticing differences in letters like letters b and d. It’s a skill that carries over to reading and noticing the differences between words like can and car.  visual discrimination skills enable the eyes to notice differences between the orientation and parts of letters and can promote a more fluent reading ability. This skill is also important in math and spelling.  Puzzles like this one also help with form constancy, visual figure ground, among other visual perceptual skills. 

Pixy Cubes -Noticing small differences in colors and direction is an important part of visual discrimination and reading, writing, math, and spelling. These skills are important for fluency as children age and need to complete reading and math skills at faster levels appropriate for grade advances. Matching and figuring out visual puzzles like this one address skills like visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, spatial relationships, and visual sequencing.

Learning Resources iTrax Critical Thinking Game– This visual perceptual toy allows children to copy and build designs using blocks of different sizes. Children can develop and boost visual perceptual skills such as visual figure-ground, visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, and spatial relationships in order to create the mazes that they see on the cards. There are various levels of mazes, allowing for development of skills.

Learning Resources Dive into Shapes! “Sea” and Build Geometry Set– This building set is a visual perception activity that develops various visual perceptual skills needed for skills such as handwriting and reading. Using double-sided activity cards, children can develop skills such as visual figure-ground, visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, and spatial relationships while they copy the three-dimensional figures they see on the cards. This activity is a powerhouse therapy tool as children can strengthen fine motor skills while building with the pieces.

Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run– This marble run building set is a visual perception activity that develops various visual perceptual skills needed for skills such as handwriting and reading. Children can copy different levels of marble run forms using activity cards while developing skills such as visual figure-ground, visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, and spatial relationships. The magnetic pieces can be used on surfaces such as a refrigerator or large magnetic sheet on the wall. It’s a great tool for strengthening the upper body, developing balance and core stability, and shoulder stability while working on a vertical surface.

Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set– Use the activity cards to copy maze forms while developing visual perceptual skills such as visual figure-ground, visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, and spatial relationships. The maze is a great self-confidence booster for children as they complete mazes for the battery operated mouse. This game provides an opportunity for developing and introducing coding skills. When watching the mouse as it travels through the mouse, children can enhance visual scanning skills.

Let’s Go Code! Activity Set– This visual perception game requires children to hop, turn, step, and move through a gross motor maze of directions. Children can develop visual perceptual skills such as visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, and spatial relationships. Directionality is enhanced with movement activities such as this one and is much needed in tasks such as writing and identifying direction of letters and numbers. 

Spot It– This game is a fun way to help children develop and strengthen visual perceptual skills like figure ground, visual attention, visual discrimination, form constancy, and visual memory. The game is small enough to be used as a busy activity while waiting at restaurants and appointments. It’s a game that boosts skills and can be used during family game night, too.

Q-bitz Jr.– Noticing differences in colors, forms, and directions are important skills needed in visual discrimination for reading, writing, math, and spelling. These skills are important for fluency as children age and need to complete reading and math skills at faster levels appropriate for grade advances. This game is a fun way to address skills like visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, spatial relationships, and visual sequencing.

Day And Night– This copying puzzle activity is a great way to develop skills like form constancy and visual discrimination. Children can look at the shaded image of the “night” scene and recreate the form using three dimensional blocks. It’s a nice way to develop visual perceptual skills like visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, spatial relationships, and visual sequencing.

Classic Tangoes– Similar to the Day and Night game, children can view the image on a card and use tangrams to re-create the picture in this classic game. This activity develops visual perceptual skills like visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, spatial relationships, and visual sequencing, form constancy, and visual discrimination, all needed for handwriting and reading. Read more about using tangrams in visual perception and handwriting.

Equilibrio Game– This building activity requires players to copy forms from a puzzle book while re-creating buildings that challenge balance and gravity! When copying and building the forms, kids develop and build eye-hand coordination skills and visual perceptual skills like visual attention, visual memory, visual sequencing, spatial relationships, and visual sequencing, form constancy, and visual discrimination.

Use these toys and tools to help kids develop and improve visual perception needed for handwriting, reading, and writing.



Occupational Therapy Daily Professional Self-Reflection Journal

There are a lot of free resources available online for Occupational Therapists. 
Imagine if as therapists, we were able to use those online
tools to advance our development and knowledge. 

Using online searches and tools like The OT Toolbox Community, we can apply
information to our practice of client’s, facilitating professional independent
development. BUT, what if we could self-reflect on these various online sources
using a tool that helps us to focus on
our own  professional needs as therapists? 


The Daily Professional Self-Reflection Journal for Occupational Therapists is just that tool. 
Occupational Therapy Daily Professional Self-Reflection Journal pages for supporting and encouraging self-development of Occupational Therapists.

Daily Professional Self-Reflection Journal Pages for Occupational Therapists

The weekly self-reflection sheets can be used in combination
with the monthly professional goal planner, or they can be used in
isolation. 

  • Use them to acquire professional goals and to monitor progress on
    those goals. 
  • Use them to itemize strategies for development. 
  • Use them to fit
    self-learning into busy schedules that make up life.
  • Use them to identify small-wins and challenges. 
  • Use them as encouragement for those days that build on therapy burnout. 
  • Use them to identify moments of gratitude during your therapy day and as a tool for addressing emotional fatigue.
  • Use them as a way to get organized and promote self-development as a therapist. 
  • Use them to be the most effective therapist you can be.
  • Use them to decrease distractions.
  • Use them to schedule in self-care to make yourself the best therapist you can be.
  • Use them to stay positive in identifying areas of interest, and renewing your energy as a therapist.
  • Use them to celebrate small victories as a therapist who is striving for personal best.
  • Use them as a personal note keeping area to jot down gained knowledge.
  • Use them as space to acknowledge and recognize small victories and as a place for referring back to.

Download these self-reflection worksheets and print them
off. Print as many as you need and place them in a binder. Use them as part of
your planner or calendar. Slip them into page protector sleeves and keep them
with your therapy bag.

The Daily Professional Self-Reflection Journal includes 12 pages of printable schedules, daily trackers, note pages, gratitude sheets, and self-reflection pages. Some pages are included in color and others are in grayscale for easy printing. 

The Daily Professional Self-Reflection Journal pages are just one tool that can be beneficial to the Occupational Therapist. 

This packet of printable pages is free to download only through tomorrow, November 8th, as we kick off the opening of The OT Toolbox Community. 

The OT Toolbox Community: A Space to Develop as an Occupational Therapist


The OT Toolbox Community is a place to connect and to develop and refine skills through networking and collaborating with other occupational therapists. 

The daily professional self-reflection journal pages are a tool to promote self-development as a therapist, and The OT Toolbox Community is a resource to fuel that development. 

These are all ways that the quilt of your professional development becomes more rich and textured. The layers of development that can occur with simply writing down goals and how they can be met and then conversing with other professionals is vast. 

The OT Toolbox Community is a space to connect and collaborate with other occupational therapists on goals and focused intentions, promoting development of self.

The OT Toolbox Community will be opening it’s doors on Wednesday the 8th, and we are excited to have you join us! 


For now, grab the free printable pages while you can!


Occupational Therapy Daily Professional Self-Reflection Journal pages for supporting and encouraging self-development of Occupational Therapists.

Monthly Professional Goal Planner

As therapists, we know the value of a goal. We write them
every day. We analyze progression and develop strategies for obtaining goals.
We focus on making goals measurable and obtainable.


Many therapists create annual goals for themselves as part of professional
development. This may be a requirement for work or it may be a means for
obtaining professional development units in order to maintain licensure. 



The printable monthly professional goal planner below is a tool for therapists to foster professional development.



Monthly Professional Goal Planner printable sheets for occupational therapists

Monthly Professional Goal Planner

When we work toward a goal, we decide how to make small advances.
This is true in meeting goals of any kind. Big goals need to be broken down into
steps. A long term goal can be achieved through short-term pieces.

Making goals provides a focus to our professional development. Making goals provides a sense of commitment that allows us to achieve. A focus on commitment can foster increased accomplishments in our success.

It’s been determined that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis.

That’s why we’ve created these monthly professional
development goal worksheets. They are a tool for developing as a professional
and making small advances on those professional goals by breaking big annual
goals into smaller chunks.

The monthly professional development sheets are perfect for
making goals and analyzing how we’ve worked toward meeting those goals.

Use the sheets to strategize professional development, make
notes, jot down ideas, and to itemize how those goals will advance.

It’s been shown that goals which are shared with others are
more likely to be achieved. In fact, one study found that goals shared with others are more than 70%  more likely to be achieved compared 35% of those who did not share their goals with others. And sharing progression on goals as well as
how we’re working on meeting those goals improves the likelihood of meeting
those goals even more. Sharing goals and progress holds us accountable.



Get the Monthly Professional Goal Planner


Connection and Collaboration on Goals with Other Occupational Therapists


The OT Toolbox Community is a place to do just that. Use the
monthly professional development goal worksheets and share them within the
community. Snap a picture and upload it into a blog post or comment thread. Support
other therapists on their goals. Share advice on how others can achieve their
goals. Ask for support in reaching your goals. Reach out to other therapists
who are working toward similar goals. 

These are all ways that the quilt of your
professional development becomes more rich and textured. The layers of
development that can occur with simply writing down goals and how they can be
met and then conversing with other professionals is vast. 

The OT Toolbox Community is a space to connect and collaborate with other occupational therapists on goals and focused intentions, promoting development of self.

The OT Toolbox Community is now open and we are excited to have you join us! 


Monthly Professional Goal Planner printable sheets for occupational therapists

Evidence-Based Practice Appraisal Worksheets

Therapists know that utilizing evidence-based practice utilizes critically appraised research and combines those results with clinical expertise and a patient or client’s needs or preferences to create best practices, informed clinical decisions, and research-driven interventions. 


Evidence-based practice (EVP) is essential for up-to-date information for making care decisions.


These evidence-based practice and evidence based appraisal worksheets are helpful tools in developing an EBP therapy practice and guiding treatment based on the evidence, for Occupational Therapist practitioners.



These worksheets are a tool for applying critical appraisal of the importance and applicability of clinical evidence.


These two worksheets aim to guide and develop evidence-based Occupational Therapy assessment, treatment planning, and interventions through appraisal and review of the evidence, allowing self-directed promotion of  the highest standards.


Using the Appraisal of the Evidence worksheet and the Evidence Review worksheet, clinicians will be able to apply a critical analysis of available research. The worksheets  empower practitioners to apply the findings into the context of practice. By incorporating thoughts and notes into the analysis, clinicians can add the perspectives and judgment that is imperative for true evidence-based practice.

Why Evidence-Based Practice in Occupational Therapy

Why is this analysis and review of the evidence important? For so many reasons!

  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Research-backed treatment plans
  • Advocacy for the profession
  • Improves quality of care
  • Allows clinicians to stay current in the profession
  • Improved quality of therapy 
  • Improves outcomes
  • Promotes best practices using standardized, evidence-based protocols
  • Informed decision making
  • Effective selection of treatment
  • Guide research by revealing evidence gaps
  • Improves accountability of clinicians
  • Development of individualized guidelines of best practices
  • Opens the door for dialogue between patients and providers, incorporating patient preferences and values into decision-making


How to appraise and review research to incorporate Evidence-Based Practice into therapy

As a general overview, there is a process of incorporating research-backed therapy into practice. 


1.) Ask- Beginning with a question or problem, a therapist should ask a question. This question may be related to assessment, prognosis, intervention, treatment planning, or other areas. 


2.) Search for the evidence- Use a variety of tools and research sources to locate evidence.


3.) Appraise the evidence- This is where the Appraisal of the Evidence Worksheet comes into play. Review and assess the evidence for validity, outcomes, services, and other areas.  


4.) Implement the evidence into practice. Utilize the information gathered to apply the evidence into daily practice, alongside experience and clinical expertise. Utilizing these areas as well as a patient’s values, preferences, and interests, it is possible to guide treatment.


5.) Follow-up- Finally, an assessment of the outcomes can guide and promote further clinical expertise based on evidence. 

Evidence-Based Practice Worksheets

The worksheets described below are tools for guiding clinical best practices using the evidence. They are strategies for fostering a dialogue toward best practice while supporting new learning. 


Facilitating professional growth, the evidence-based worksheets are guides to reflecting on evidence and incorporating EBP into the clinic. 


Appraisal of the Evidence Worksheet

This one page worksheet can be used to appraise research articles. The questions guide conversation on an article’s validity and relevance in practice. Areas for notes allow for self-reflection on the evidence related to outcomes, particular client needs, services, and decision-making. 

Evidence Review Worksheet

This review worksheet can be used by clinicians as they reflect on the evidence and apply it to a specific client’s needs, preferences, interests, values, and goals. The worksheet promotes a quality of intervention related to evidence and is a tool for improving services. It can be used as a pre-post assessment related to expectations and outcomes based on evidence. The review worksheet can be a helpful resource in guiding standards toward best outcomes. 




Together, these worksheets are a valuable tool in transitioning therapists toward quality intervention based on the evidence. 


The Worksheets described above are FREE but only for a limited time as we gear up for the opening of The OT Toolbox Community. 


These evidence-based practice and evidence based appraisal worksheets are helpful tools in developing an EBP therapy practice and guiding treatment based on the evidence, for Occupational Therapist practitioners.




Now Open! The OT Toolbox Community


The OT Toolbox Community is a free space for Occupational Therapists and COTAs to communicate, network, encourage, and reflect on their professional development while collaborating and creating meaningful and professional relationships with therapists from all over the world. It’s a space for dialogue related to the profession and a place to support, implement, and learn. 


The OT Toolbox Community is a space for finding and sharing evidence-based practice articles and reviews. The worksheets above will be valuable in using to gather information and incorporating into practice using the Community’s tools.


The OT Toolbox Community is based on the profession’s greatest tools: it’s therapists! 

I can’t wait for you be part of this exciting opportunity!


References:


George Tomlin, Bernhard Borgetto; Research Pyramid: A New Evidence-Based Practice Model for Occupational Therapy. Am J Occup Ther 2011;65(2):189-196. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.000828.

These evidence-based practice and evidence based appraisal worksheets are helpful tools in developing an EBP therapy practice and guiding treatment based on the evidence, for Occupational Therapist practitioners.