Christmas Mindfulness for Kids

mindfulness-for-kids-christmas-coloring-page

We’ve shared a children’s Christmas Mindfulness activity with a Christmas Tree theme, and winter mindfulness activities…today, we’ve got another holiday coping tool for you. Discussing mindfulness for kids is a powerful strategy in addressing so many needs. Kids with sensory processing needs or self-regulation needs, or even emotional regulation needs may benefit from this holiday awareness activity. It’s a free printable Christmas coloring page with benefits! Scroll below to grab your printable page.

mindfulness-for-kids-christmas-coloring-page

Christmas Mindfulness for Kids Activity

This mindfulness tool goes along well with our Pumpin deep breathing exercise, and Thanksgiving mindfulness activity.

what does mindfulness for kids mean?

WHAT does mindfulness for kids mean? 

First, let’s talk about what mindfulness means. Mindfulness in children is the ability to be aware of one’s actions and self in the moment. Mindfulness is an important part of self-regulation and the ability to regulate our senses, feelings, and body. It allows us to focus on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting what’s happening on the inside: in our feelings, thoughts, or sensations. This can be a tough skill for kids to master!

For kids, mindfulness is a skill that allows them to be aware of their body and how it’s responding in the moment. Mindfulness for kids is important for them to have the ability to pay attention and responding to input from the world around us.

Mindfulness in kids means noticing their body and the things happening around them. It has a lot to do with impulse control. Just like any other skill, mindfulness is an ability that develops over time.
It’s easy to see how this skill relates to so many other areas that occupational therapists address: self-regulation, self-confidence, attention, social-emotional skills, coping skills, sensory processing, impulsivity and inhibition, and overall well being.

Teach Mindfulness to Kids

Occupational therapy practitioners working with children are interested in the well-being and the whole child. Functioning and independence in daily occupations are impacted by the “whole child”. Consideration of well-being is important in addressing occupations across environments. OT practitioners can address mindfulness as a means for improving regulation, self-efficiency, stress, anxiety, trauma exposure, or other issues the child may face. SOme mindfulness strategies for kids include breath awareness, body sweep, and labeling of feelings.

One such mindfulness tool for children includes deep breathing. Combining this with stress-reducing coloring or focused activity can be a means for helping kids to become aware of how their body is responding to outside input or stressors. You’ve probably seen the variety of coloring books out there designed as coping tools for stress or anxiety. These can be a way o teach kids about focused awareness and mindfulness in the moment.

Christmas star mindfulness for kids activity and coping strategy for deep breathing and awareness.

Below is a free printable coloring page for holiday mindfulness. Pair this with our Christmas Mindfulness coloring page for a mindfulness exercise for kids.

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    More mindfulness activities for kids:

    Mindfulness for Kids YouTube Videos

    Mindfulness for Kids -Library of activities on The OT Toolbox

    Self-Reflection Activities for Kids

    Christmas Mindfulness Activity

    Use this Christmas mindfulness activity as a coping strategy for kids during the holidays.

    This time of year, most of us knee deep in holiday planning, prep work, and to-do lists! Today, I wanted to provide some tips on mindfulness during the holidays. Below, you will find a Christmas mindfulness activity and some coping strategies to address the holiday stress. This mindfulness tool goes along well with our Pumpin deep breathing exercise, and Thanksgiving mindfulness activity.

    Christmas Mindfulness Activity

    Christmas mindfulness activity for kids during the holiday season.

    When we think about the holidays from the perspective of a child. Having a set of mindfulness activities for kids is a great way to fill their toolbox with strategies they can use each day. Essentially, the post urges us to be mindful of the child’s thought process, emotions, and coping strategies this time of year.

    Kids are barraged by schedule changes, anticipation of holiday events, later bedtimes, holiday travel, parent/teacher stress, increased sugar…and more. They feel these big feelings and can “lose it”, seemingly at the drop of a hat. Children can melt down in front of our eyes. This time of year perhaps especially, there is SO much going on inside those little bodies and minds. Focusing on mindfulness and coping strategies can help.

    Holiday Mindfulness for Kids

    I mean, think about it this way: We as adults are totally stressed out by deadlines, shopping lists, travel, extended family, holiday budgets, and the never-ending to-do lists.

    Our kids see that stress and anxiety.

    Now, think about the kiddo with executive functioning challenges. They can’t plan ahead or prioritize tasks when they have a holiday letter to write, a classroom sing-along to practice for, and Grandma’s house to visit next weekend. It’s hard for them to function when their routine is off kilter and anticipation is high.

    Think about our kiddos with sensory struggles. They are bombarded by lights and music, hustle and bustle in the grocery store, shopping mall, and even by the neighborhood lights. The later bedtimes and influx of sensory input is a challenge to process for them. It’s overwhelming and exhausting.

    Think about our students with praxis or motor issues. There are crowds to navigate, auditorium stages to maneuver and they need to do it FAST. There are schedules to maintain and growing to-do lists!

    And that’s just the beginning. All of our kids…no matter what their strengths or needs be…struggle with the change in routines, the adult stress, anticipation, holiday projects, gift giving issues, that extra sugar from holiday sweets, itchy holiday sweaters and scratchy tights, or mom’s stress from holiday traffic.

    That “iceberg” of underlying issues and concerns is a holiday version that leads to emotional breakdowns, poor coping skills, and sensory meltdowns.

    Christmas mindfulness activity

    Christmas COping Tools

    This holiday season, I wanted to fill your toolbox with the tools your little one (or client/student) needs to thrive.

    These are the strategies and tips we can use to slow down, take a deep breath, and recognize the underlying issues going on behind behaviors, meltdowns, and frustrations.

    Because when you have the tools in place, you have a blueprint for success in the child.

    Here are some holiday tools that can help both YOU and a CHILD struggling with all that this time of year brings:

    Christmas Mindfulness

    Use the Christmas tree visual graphic here and follow the arrows as you take deep breaths in and out. Pair the deep breathing with thoughts of things that remind you of peace and love (for example) for with each breath. For each layer of the tree, kids can concentrate on one thing, person, or aspect of the holidays. Thinking about whatever it is that you are grateful for is a simple way to pair the benefits of slow deep breaths with intentional thoughts.

    This is a coloring page. Use it as a handout or home program. Kids can color it in and work on fine motor skills, too!

    Use the Christmas mindfulness handout with kids as a group or individually. You can set this up in several ways. Ask them fist to list out some things they are grateful for. Then, quietly say an item with each breath break.

    As a mindfulness group activity, use the Christmas tree graphic and explain that they will be pairing deep breathing with a focus on love or peace. Come up with a list of things the group loves about the holidays. As you work through he deep breathing exercise, the children in the group can focus on things that brings them peace personally.

    Or, you could invite the child to think in their head about some things that remind them of the holidays and then with each breath in, they intentionally concentrate on that thing/person/idea.

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      Get a Christmas Star Mindfulness Coloring Page

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        More holiday mindfulness strategies

        Here are more coping tools for kids that focus on addressing underlying needs so that kids can function. Use these strategies as part of a sensory diet or within the day.

        Tips for Sensory Kids and Winter Clothing

        Sensory Coping Strategies for Kids

        Anxiety and Sensory-Based Coping Strategies

        Sensory Diet Activities for the Classroom

        FREE Outdoor Recess Sensory Diet Cards

        Mindfulness for Kids

        25 Days of Christmas Occupational Therapy Activities

        Motor Planning Tips, Tools, and Toys

        Wishing you a thriving, stress-free, and functional holiday season for you and those kiddos you serve!

        A Very Merry Occupational Therapy Christmas

        The Christmas season is a hectic and chaotic time.  With holiday parties, altered schedules, and never-ending to-do lists, Christmas can be overwhelming for adults and kids.  Children see and hear everything and the Christmas time stress is no exception. These Christmas occupational therapy activities can be used in the clinic, home, or in a home program during the holidays. Scroll on for some fun OT holiday activities the whole family will enjoy while targeting various needs!

        Christmas Occupational Therapy Activities

        Adding to the therapy plans, a few occupational therapy Christmas activities is as easy as adding a holiday themed therapy activity or a planning to use a Christmas item such as a stocking, wreath, or candy canes into therapy games.

        Children with sensory or developmental needs and typically developing kids feel the sense of chaos this time of year. The overload of sensory input can be exhausting to children with difficulty in processing input from their environment.  I mean, it’s overwhelming for me, too! 


        With all of the excitement of the season, it can be hard to keep to sensory integration strategies to help with coping in over stimulating situations. Sensory kiddos can also show over or under-responsiveness to new situations, too.  Imagine walking into a crowded holiday party with music, lights, a dancing crowd, scents of different and weird foods, and lots of overlapping voices.  


        A child can easily become over excited or over protective as they attempt to protect themselves from this noisy, smell party!

        OT Christmas activities

        Christmas OT Activities for kids

        Kids who are working on specific skill areas like fine motor or gross motor development can easily become distracted in the excitement of the season and allow practice areas and goals to slide just a bit.  I mean, there are a lot of fun things a kid can be doing…why would they want to work on their letter formation and handwriting??! Adding a few Christmas OT activities for kids to work on various needs can make the therapy “work” more fun and meaningful.


        So, with the upcoming season of busy craziness, I wanted to put together this Occupational Therapy Christmas Calendar.

        Celebrate the Christmas season with Occupational Therapy goal areas and calming strategies during this hectic season, allowing families to connect and focus on the true meaning of the season while working on developmental areas.
         

        It’s a way for kids and families to connect and cope during this busy season through holiday festivities, while simultaneously working on many Occupational Therapy goal areas.  Work on fine motor skills while building that gingerbread house.  Calm down with proprioceptive input while snuggled up in a blanket with the family and a good Christmas book.  These are Christmas-y ideas that will keep your whole family connected this year.

        This post contains affiliate links.

        Occupational Therapy Christmas Activities

        Celebrate the Christmas season with Occupational Therapy goal areas and calming strategies during this hectic season, allowing families to connect and focus on the true meaning of the season while working on developmental areas.

         



        Add these ideas to your Advent calendar for a Very Occupational Therapy Christmas!


        NOTE:  Many skill areas are addressed with each activity.  You might be working on specific areas like calming activities, or handwriting.  Try to adapt the activities below to fit your child’s needs.


        The list below can be done in any order.  This is meant to be an easy way to fit Occupational Therapy practice areas into everyday Christmas fun.  If a day is a little too hectic to fit in an activity, switch it around and do a different activity.  The most important message is to connect with your family and meet the needs of each member in fun and festive ways this Christmas!

        Christmas OT activities

        Occupational Therapy Christmas Ideas



        Day 1 Make gingerbread salt dough to address fine motor, proprioceptive, and olfactory areas.  Cut out gingerbread men and make a garland…or just play with the dough! You can keep it in a covered dish or plastic bag to play again and again.


        Day 2 Wrap up tight in a blanket and read Christmas stories for proprioceptive input.  A warm blanket is calming.  Wrap your child up like a burrito or full body proprioception.


        Day 3 Write a letter to Santa.  Provide creative handwriting modifications for fun.


        Day 4 Play outside and collect nature items.  Use them to make collage art or create a table-top sensory table.


        Day 5 Carry boxes of donations for heavy work input. This time of year, many families donate to others.  Kids can carry boxes and bags for proprioceptive input while doing a good deed.


        Day 6 Make snowballs and throw at targets.  If you don’t have snow where you live, make fake snow for sensory fun.  Be sure to take this activity outside! Throwing at a target is a great hand-eye coordination activity. Packing together snowballs requires bilateral hand coordination and proprioceptive information to determine how much pressure is needed. Don’t let that snowball smash in your hands by packing it together too hard!


        Day 7 Have a family dance party to Christmas music. Be sure to swing, twirl, jump, and spin or loads of vestibular input.


        Day 8 Work on fine motor skills and string cranberries and popcorn on thread with a needle. Managing a needle and thread is a fine motor skill similar to tool use.  Threading popcorn and cranberries works on tripod grasp, bilateral hand coordination, hand-eye coordination, visual scanning, visual tracking, patterning, and more.


        Day 9 Carry shopping bags in both hands for bilateral coordination and proprioceptive input.  Not going shopping?  Fill shopping bags at home with cans from the cupboard.  Create an obstacle course to work on motor planning.


        Day 10 Cut paper snow flakes to work on scissor skills.  Try cutting coffee filters, newspapers, cardstock, foam craft sheets. and tissue paper for lots of textures and line accuracy practice.


        Day 11 Build a gingerbread house and work on fine motor skills. Encourage tip to tip pincer grasp by providing very small candies.  To amp it up a bit, add a pair of tweezers and have your child pinch with a tripod grasp.  Provide an icing bag to work on gross grasp, too.


        Day 12 Play Christmas Charades for gross motor and vestibular input.  Encourage movement actions like Santa filling his bag, building a snowman, wrapping presents, and shopping.


        Day 13 Encourage proprioceptive input by showing your kids how to build a Santa’s workshop with couch cushions and pillows.  Lifting heavy cushions is a great heavy work activity.  Once done, kids can calm down in their couch cushion workshop under blankets and pillows.  Add a few toys and pretend hammers from a toy tool set for pretend play and problem solving in this Santa’s workshop activity.


        Day 14 Make scented potpourri with scents of the season.  Kids can work on scissor skills and fine motor skills by cutting evergreen stems, orange peels, and pulling bits of bark from evergreens.  The scents of this potpourri will fill the home and a fun way to explore the olfactory sense.


        Day 15 Make a Christmas Tree Craft and work on fine motor skills, bilateral hand coordination, and strength. Kids will feel a sense of accomplishment when they see their tree decorating the house all season long.


        Day 16 Provide a visual sensory activity by stringing a strand of Christmas lights in a surprising place like on the ceiling, along the tops of doorways, or under a dining room table.  Twinkly lights can be used in a calm-down area. Kids can help to string the lights and use bilateral hand coordination, executive functioning and motor planning to figure out where to place lights, hold up the strand, peel and tear tape, and stick it to the lights. 


        Day 17 Work on visual scanning and other visual perceptual skills like figure ground by playing a Christmas version of “I Spy”.  Use the decorated Christmas tree as a decoration station: Ask your child to locate a specific colored ornament as they visually scan the tree.  For more fun, play the game while lying on the floor and looking up at the tree. 


        Day 18 Make and drink hot cocoa.  The warm drink provides a temperature sensation that is different and new.  Add ice cubes and candy canes for more textural taste sensations. Following multiple step directions in a cooking with kids activity works on so many problem solving, math, and sensory skill areas.


        Day 19 Use Christmas lights to create a DIY light table.  Use it for handwriting practice including line awareness, spatial awareness, letter formation, tracing, and drawing.  This is a visual activity that kids will love.


        Day 20 Cook up goodies (or wrap pre-packaged treat!) and plan a good deed for neighbors.  Load up a wagon or sled and deliver the treats around the neighborhood.  Pulling a wagon or sled is a proprioceptive activity that can be calming and grounding.


        Day 21 Improve hand strength with this fine motor Christmas Tree craft using a hole punch for proprioceptive input to the hands.  Decorate the house with the trees, or create a banner for the mantle.


        Day 22 Work on gross motor skills by playing “Santa Says”.  Just like the game Simon Says, kids can copy and listen to directions and motor plan, actions.  Be sure to incorporate bilateral coordination and crossing midline for a brain break activity.  


        Day 23 Explore the sense of touch and scent with this Candy Cane Moon Dough sensory bin.  Work on fine motor skills and tool use by scooping and filling cups and cookie cutters.


        Day 24 Wrapping presents is a powerhouse of developmental activities:  Measure paper to fit packages, Cut paper with scissors in a strait line, Fold paper, Tear and Cut tape, Stick tape along edges of paper.  Practice motor planning, problem solving, and executive functioning by crossing an item from your to-do list and wrapping a present or tow with your child.


        Day 25 Celebrate Christmas Day with big Christmas bear hugs with family and friends. Hugs are great for proprioceptive input to the body. 


        Enjoy the season with your family and make each and every moment count

         

        Celebrate the Christmas season with Occupational Therapy goal areas and calming strategies during this hectic season, allowing families to connect and focus on the true meaning of the season while working on developmental areas.
         

        Looking for more Christmas calendar and advent ideas?  Try some of these:

        Story Book Advent Calendar from Adventures of Adam
        Vintage Inspired Christmas Countdown from The Gingerbread House
        Christ Centered Advent for Preschoolers from Tales of Beauty for Ashes
        Winter Snowflakes Advent Calendar from My Bright Firefly
        Elf Advent Houses from Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
        Christmas Cookies Advent Calendar from Kitchen Counter Chronicles
        Christmas Carol Advent Printable from Mama Smiles
        Preschool Advent activities from Fun-a-Day
        Christmas Joke Calendar from Little Bins for Little Hands
        Advent Wreath Calendar from Witty Hoots

         

        OT Christmas ACTIVITIES

        Extend the OT Christmas activities further by asking kids to write out the therapy schedule on Christmas modified paper to work on handwriting. This is a great holiday activity for the clinic while working on a variety of occupational therapy goals. Clients can then cross off items as they are completed. Grab a copy of this modified Christmas handwriting paper here and work on handwriting with bold lined paper, highlighted lined paper, and color coded paper…all with a Christmas theme!

        Christmas Sensory Activities guide

        The Christmas Sensory Processing Activity Guide has loads of sensory activities that can be completed all season long. Use in in therapy planning or in creating a home program for families. Get your Christmas sensory processing guide here.

        Hand Eye Coordination Toys

        Today, we’ve got just one of the many fun eye hand coordination toys to share. Let’s talk coordination skills needed for tasks like play and self-care.

        hand eye coordination games and activities to promote eye hand coordination skills in tasks like handwriting and play.

        What is Hand Eye Coordination

        Working on hand eye coordination is part of play. It occurs from a very young age…in fact development of hand eye coordination begins in the first month. The early development of this essential skill serves as a building block for functional tasks occuring much further down the road in beyond the infant period.

        Eye hand coordination is needed for tasks such as handwriting, tying shoe laces, managing clothing fasteners, catching and throwing a ball, reading, managing school supplies, and even walking through crowded hallways while managing items such as books, jacket and the backpack.

        Other examples of eye-hand coordination include catching a ball, manipulating pegs into a pegboard, lacing a lacing card, etc. This is a skill that is an integral part of each day.

        Poor hand eye coordination

        When delays in coordination skills are present, children struggle in many ways.

        While eye hand coordination plays closely with other visual processing areas such as visual perception and visual efficiency, visual tracking, convergence, etc., there is a motor component to consider as well. The visual portion and motor portion must be integrated in a coordinated manner, allowing for effective and efficient use of the hands so that we can manipulate and manage objects. This coordinated motor skill requires fine motor skill development equally as much as the visual skill component

        These motor skills allow us to collect visual information and use it in a motor action. Eye-hand coordination requires fine motor dexterity, strength, shoulder stability, core stability, etc.

        When there are difficulties with coordination of these areas, we see trouble with movement games, clumsiness, difficulty with sports, disorganization, and challenges with motor control in functional tasks.

        Coordination Games and Activities

        Hand eye coordination games and activities can be an effective way to work on these areas, even while addressing other areas such as sensory input, problem solving, and even learning. We’ve got many hand eye coordination activities here on the website:

        Eye-Hand Coordination Activities using Paper– work on hand eye coordination using an everyday item…something you have in your therapy bag right now!

        Bilateral Coordination Visual Motor Integration Clover– Work on the integration of visual processing skills with motor movements with this symmetrical drawing activity.

        Jumbo Fine Motor Threading Activity– Threading and lacing is a great way to work on hand eye coordination.

        Eye-hand coordination activity with letters– Sorting, manipulating, and organizing small items can be a way to boost skills with coordination exercises.

        Feather Beading– Threading beads onto feathers is a creative and fun way to improve eye hand coordination skills.

        Fine Motor color sorting– Encourage coordination skills for preschoolers and eye hand coordination in toddlers by sorting colors or shapes.

        Hand Eye Coordination Toy

        One such eye hand coordination toys that doubles as a tool for addressing sensory needs, motor planning, problem solving, and creative play is the Punkinfutz PunkinPitch Kit. This open-ended game uses a vest and soft, velcro “paint balls” that can be used to work on eye-hand coordination, motor planning, and more.

        Kids can wear the vest and move through an obstacle course or move from base to base as they dodge and avoid paint balls. They can then throw the soft balls at another player who is wearing the vest. The options are limitless, and part of the fun is coming up with creative ways to incorporate this coordination game into therapy needs or learning.

        Kids can work on other skills beyond eye-hand coordination as well: Motor planning, gross motor skills, core strength and rotation, and social play are just some of the areas covered by this coordination activity.

        Eye hand coordination activities

        Some of the smartest and most creative folks I know are the readers of The OT Toolbox. I asked readers to tell me sensory strategies they personally love and use to address sensory modulation. Scroll through the comments…you might just find some new sensory strategies that will work for you! Hopefully we can learn from one another!

        Mightier for Self-Regulation

        If you are a pediatric occupational therapist working with kids on self regulation or emotional regulation, then you may have heard of Mightier. The biofeedback games help kids build emotional regulation skills by playing games as they learn calming skills to stay focused and in control through game playing. Mightier is just one tool that can be a means to help kids thrive. Today, I’m excited to explore this kit a bit more.

        This post was part of our Therapy Giveaway Series.

        Self-regulation strategies for kids to help with emotional regulation.

        What is Mightier

        First, let’s talk about the Mightier application. I came across Mightier at last year’s AOTA annual conference. I had the chance to talk with Mightier representatives and the regulation tool sounded really interesting. I’ve seen threads here and there on various occupational therapy pages and forums asking about Mightier and it’s use in addressing self-regulation needs.

        Mightier is a way for kids to play games and see their emotions come to life in the process of playing the game. They then have to identify feelings and coping strategies that impact those various emotional regulation changes. The games adjust to challenge the child as they become more proficient in coping strategies.

        Kids can use those strategies in real life situations. Through the process of playing the game and analyzing the data associated with it, parents have the opportunity to connect with a clinical coach to set goals, track progress and practice strategies to help their child use and apply their specific calming skills fin real life situations where emotions, worries, frustrations, or meltdowns may impact function or learning.

        Self Regulation Strategies

        We’ve shared a lot of strategies to help kids cope with various needs here on the website.

        You’ll find self regulation strategies for addressing regulation needs.

        There are coping strategies to assist and support sensory processing and meltdown issues.

        There are DIY and on-the-go self-reflection tools.

        And there are mindfulness tips to help kids become more aware of themselves and their world around them.

        Using strategies such as biofeedback games are just one more tool to add to the self-regulation toolbox.

        Mightier Giveaway

        This giveaway has ended.

        More self regulation strategies

        Some of the smartest and most creative folks I know are the readers of The OT Toolbox. I asked readers to tell me sensory strategies they personally love and use to address sensory modulation. Scroll through the comments…you might just find some new sensory strategies that will work for you! Hopefully we can learn from one another!

        Best Therapy Resources

        There are a lot of online therapy resources and informative websites out there. I wanted to compile a list of the best therapy resources for pediatric occupational therapists. The resources that are in this post are so incredible. They are some of the best occupational therapy resources on the web!

        The best therapy resources and occupational therapy worksheets.

        Best Therapy RESOURCES

        Each of these items alone is well worth its price tag. From handwriting tools to self-regulation, to functional tasks, these therapy resources have you covered in the way of helping kids meet their maximum potential.

        Some of the best handwriting resources for therapists include e-books, bundled occupational therapy worksheets, and tools for addressing underlying skills.

        The Handwriting Book- The Handwriting Book is a 62 page digital file written by the team of occupational therapists and physical therapists at Functional Skills for Kids. This book breaks down the functional skill of handwriting into developmental areas. These include developmental progression of pre-writing strokes, fine motor skills, gross motor development, sensory considerations, and visual perceptual skills. Each section includes strategies and tips to improve these underlying areas. Valued at $15.99.

        • Strategies to address letter and number formation and reversals
        • Ideas for combining handwriting and play
        • Activities to practice handwriting skills at home
        • Tips and strategies for the reluctant writer
        • Tips to improve pencil grip 
        • Tips for sizing, spacing, and alignment with overall improved legibility

        Handwriting Bundle from Your Therapy Source- The Handwriting Bundle includes titles to assist with prewriting skills, letter formation and handwriting practice.  When you purchase all the titles together you receive occupational therapy worksheets to address line awareness, pencil control, shapes and pre-writing skills, handwriting stations, action activities, visual perception handwriting practice pages, and a handwriting template and letter guides. Valued at $24.10

        Basics of Fine Motor Skills by Growing Hands on Kids- Basics of Fine Motor Skills is a digital resource covering all things fine motor, including an explanation of which fine motor skills are important for fine motor development, plus what fine motor development looks like in children at all age levels.Your go-to-guide for everything fine motor related, it’s the perfect resource for parents, teachers, and therapists. Explore how gross motor, visual-motor, and sensory processing skills affect fine motor development. Plus how to find what fine motor red flags to look for as your child developments.Get activity ideas and suggestions for all the different fine motor skills and also find age-appropriate activities based on your child’s skills and abilities.Your go-to-guide for everything fine motor related, it’s the perfect resource for parents, teachers, and therapists. This is a 70 page PDF/digital download valued at $15.00.

        Animal Theme 10 week Preschool Occupational Therapy Program From Your Kids OT – The 10 week occupational therapy preschool program was created for children 3-5 years old. It was originally designed to be carried out with small groups of children, however could also be used with an individual child. Each week of the program includes activities for the whole body, hands/fingers and tool use. The activities are designed to engage the child in learning through play.

        The session plans are organized in themes with each week’s program taking approximately 30 minutes to run. This time will vary according to the number of children participating, the number of times an activity is repeated, whether additional activities are used and the amount of assistance a child might need to participate in an activity. The program may be used for school readiness in the year prior to the commencement of school.

        The program outlines developmentally appropriate goals for pre-school age children which may be targeted whilst carrying out this program. These goals include the development of gross motor skills, sensory-motor skills, bilateral coordination skills, visual-motor skills, fine motor skills, hand strength, pencil grasp and control, scissor skills, self-regulation and social skills.

        The Scissor Skills Book- The Scissor Skills Book breaks the functional skill of cutting with scissors into several developmental areas including areas listed below. This 81 page resource is valued at $15.99.

        • Developmental progression of scissor use
        • Fine motor skill involvement
        • Gross motor development
        • Sensory considerations and
        • Visual perceptual skills
        • Each section includes strategies and tips to improve these underlying areas.
        • Help for kids who struggle with cutting accurately
        • Creative tips to keep things interesting for kids who lose interest easily
        • Quick, practical strategies that can be put into action today!
        • Ideas for kids who cut too fast or too slow
        • Support for kids who can’t grasp scissors efficiently 
        • Strategies for right-handed and left-handed children

        The Toilet Training Book- The Toileting Book is a comprehensive resource covering every aspect of toilet training. Written by a team of experienced pediatric occupational therapists and physical therapists with decades of experience, this toilet training resource is packed with information on toilet training readiness and achievement of toileting success. Includes Toilet Training Guides for special populations (children with fine or gross motor needs, behavioral or cognitive challenges, physical disabilities, etc.) including Sensory Processing Disorder, Trauma-Informed Needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injuries. This book is valued at $19.99.

        • Provides information on interoception and the role this sensory system plays in potty training
        • Discusses common toileting equipment and special needs toileting tools
        • Includes tips and suggestions for individualized toilet training 

        The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook- The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook takes the specific and individualized activities that make up a Sensory Diet and transitioning them into a lifestyle of sensory modifications, strategies, and techniques is a Sensory Lifestyle! Whether you are a parent or teacher, this handbook will help you better understand “sensory” and use the recommendations to address sensory needs in a whole new way. 

        Therapists will find valuable resources to explain sensory processing and transition “what we know” about a child into action plans guided by evidence-based strategies, resources, and guidelines.

        Use sensory accommodations, sensory strategies, and sensory routines integrated right into the various tasks within a child’s day in order to navigate kids toward a “just right” state, with better attention, focus, and confidence…using activities based on the child’s strengths, needs, and interests. Valued at $19.99.

        Impulse Control Journal- The Impulse Control Journal is your ticket to helping kids manage their impulses, strategize ways to “shift gears”, and learn valuable lessons in self-regulation. This 80 page impulse control journal for kids to keep track of their day. Valued at $16.99.

        • 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

        Sensory Diet Cards- These printable sensory diet cards includes 24 pages of 345 sensory diet activities can be used with any child, based on individual needs and preferences. Valued at $9.99. Use these sensory diet cards in the classroom, clinic, home, or community to address:

        • Calming and alerting movement activities
        • Heavy work fine motor activities for pre-writing needs or fidgeting needs
        • Sensory activities
        • Sensory support cards

        Bilateral Coordination Toy

        Looking for a toy to work on bilateral coordination to add to your gift giving this holiday season? Today we are covering ways to build bilateral coordination skills using toys and everyday items. We also have another giveaway to share today. This time it’s a fine motor toy that promotes a variety of sills, bilateral integration being one of them. I wanted to highlight this as a toy for building bilateral coordination because as we know, promoting this skill is a valuable building block to other tasks such as handwriting, cutting with scissors, self-care tasks, and more.

        Bilateral Coordination in Play

        Working on bilateral coordination in play is a means and a strategy for building this essential skill. So, why is bilateral coordination so important? ANd what exactly does bilateral coordination mean?

        Bilateral Coordination Toys

        We’ve shared quite a few bilateral coordination toys and DIY activities here on this site in the past.

        A bilateral coordination lacing plate is a DIY toy and activity that can be used to work on coordinated use of both hands with a variety of themes.

        Using puzzles and games that you already have with an extra special addition can be a great way to work on bilateral coordination with puzzles.

        Play dough and sensory doughs are fun ways to play while working on skills like bilateral coordination and other motor skills.

        Stickers are an easy way to work on bilateral coordination and can be used in the classroom, clinic, or home and in combination with obstacle courses and other motor activities.

        Pegboards (both DIY and store-bought versions), are a fantastic way to work on bilateral coordination in play and in developing visual motor skills and coordination.

        DIY pick-up sticks are a fun way to address bilateral integration and coordinated use of both hands together.

        Making DIY lacing cards are a fun way to work on bilateral coordination. Making the lacing cards is part of the fun.

        Miniature rhythm sticks can be a musical and creative way to encourage bilateral coordination.

        Lock and keys games like with this DIY lock and key activity makes fine motor development an out of the box way to work on skills kids need for independence and instrumental activities of daily living.

        Bilateral Coordination Toy

        Want to take bilateral coordination development a step further? The Kids Educational & Fun Interactive Buckle Plush Toy with Hook and Loop Straps is one such means. This play toy is a strategy to encourage development of fine motor skills, problem solving, color matching, coordination, and more. This stuffed play buddy is a toy that promotes development of many skills, bilateral coordination being one of them.

        fine motor toy for kids

        Using toys that double as quiet time activities, busy bags, or travel toys…all while working on skills is what makes toys like the buckle plush toy a therapist-approved toy. Octi’s bright colors, shapes, straps, and zipper pouch will provide countless hours of recognition activities, brain building games and development puzzles. Your little one will stay busy counting the number of straps, connecting them together, pulling them apart, and starting over again. Kids can hide small items and treasures in the zip pouch, then unzip it later and get excited over their discovery!

        More Bilateral coordination activities

        Some of the smartest and most creative folks I know are the readers of The OT Toolbox. I asked readers to tell me sensory strategies they personally love and use to address sensory modulation. Scroll through the comments…you might just find some new sensory strategies that will work for you! Hopefully we can learn from one another!