Football Activities

Football activities for OT interventions

It’s Fall and time for football fun! Football is an American tradition. You can find football in middle school, high school, college, and professionally. It’s EVERYWHERE in the Fall, and if you are looking for an autumn activity that offers gross motor and proprioceptive sensory input, a game of football is it! If you’re not playing it, you’re watching it from the stands or sitting in front of the television set cheering on your favorite team.

Football activities for a football theme occupational therapy interventions.

Football Activities

Football is also a fun time theme for therapy sessions. If you want to score a touchdown during your therapy sessions take a look at these football themed activities that help to build fine motor, gross motor, bilateral coordination, and visual motor skills. These fun and engaging football activities can provide you hours of therapy exercise and skill building fun.

Add these football theme ideas to your therapy line-up or use them as part of therapy games to get kids interested in working on specific skills in themed therapy sessions. Using a fun theme like football can keep kids motivated and working in therapy!

So, scroll through these football crafts, football games, and football ideas and let’s get kids moving and building therapy skills!

Football theme

Paper Football Sight Words – you not only work on creating the paper football and field, you can write sight words on the field lines and then have the child read the words, and after reading the words, have them write a sentence with that word. While you’re having them write, you can address letter size, letter placement, spacing, and letter formation.

Football Craft for Preschool – a fun way to get younger kiddos involved in the Fall football season by having them lace their own football. A great way to work on bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor precision skills.

Turkey Football Craft – a festive way for kiddos to work on cutting and drawing skills not to mention those much needed sequencing and pasting skills too by combining a turkey for Thanksgiving and footballs for the Fall season.  Be sure to use bottle glue as that makes for an automatic incorporation of grading of force or pressure so kiddos don’t create puddles of glue, but dots or simple outlines.

Football Brain Break Cards – provides a fun opportunity to work on gross motor and motor planning skills with kiddos throughout therapy sessions or even during transitions while at home.

Woven Football Craft  – works on cutting skills, visual motor integration, sequencing, bilateral hand use and the repetitive movement of weaving that can also be calming and engaging for some children.

Paper Football – a flying cylinder that you simply grasp and throw like a football. How do you make it? You only need a manila file folder, some tape, scissors, and paperclips.

Felt Football Button Activity – an easy and fun way to work on fastener manipulation skills whether it be to address buttoning or unbuttoning or both! 

Football Game
– makes for a great way to work on a variety of skills. YOU DECIDE the skill you want the child to work on and write it on the football when you play the game. It can be gross motor, handwriting, fine motor strengthening, core strengthening, or crossing midline. It’s a great way to work on turn taking and coping skills with a peer as they take turns choosing a card and performing the activity as well as coping with winning or not winning.

Now, “Hut, hut, hike!” Go grab a few materials or print a few sheets so you can easily prepare your football-themed therapy sessions or activities.

Regina Allen

Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!

Thanksgiving Sensory Bin

Thanksgiving sensory bin

This Thanksgiving Sensory Bin was a fun way to foster imaginative play and develop motor skills through a sensory, textural experience. The sensory bin is a Thanksgiving activity that we enjoyed, but it would make a fun Fall sensory bin too, as it used many colors and textures of Fall. Adding in field corn, dry leaves, feathers, textured materials adds opportunities for scooping, pouring, and exploring with a Thanksgiving theme!

Thanksgiving sensory bin for kids to play and explore textures while building fine motor skills.

Thanksgiving Sensory Bin

Sensory Bins are so great for exploring textures and fostering imaginative play.  They are so easy and inexpensive to make up  and can go in any theme…If your son loves superheroes, throw Spiderman figures into a bin of rice with a couple of Halloween spider rings, and you have an instant play area that can last all day long!  Use items and toys that interest your child’s passions for a sensory play experience that can also build skills.

While the kids are exploring, imagining, fostering creativity, they are learning so much…building their confidence,  language skills, fine motor dexterity…and SO much more!    

This holiday sensory bin offers a chance for kids to talk about Thanksgiving and discover items that foster thought, creative thinking, or family-centered materials. Items in the Thanksgiving Sensory bin can inspire gratitude and can be centered on what’s important to your family.

Thanksgiving sensory ideas for sensory play and exploration, using many Fall materials.

Thanksgiving Sensory Bin Base Materials

Sensory bins can be made from any dry or wet material, water, shredded paper, packing peanuts…The possibilities are endless. Here are sensory base ideas to start with.

To make this Thanksgiving sensory bin, you can use materials that you find around your home or outdoors. Other items can be found at the dollar store.

Start with your Thanksgiving sensory play base material. Some ideas include dry field corn or regular popcorn, rice, dry beans, split peas. Non-food sensory bin materials can include shredded paper, feathers, or Fall leaves from outside. Dump the sensory bin base material into an under-the-bed-storage bin or other large, low bin or tray.  

NOTE: Be prepared for corn/rice/split peas to scatter all over the floor.  Ignore it. Play with the kids, they can help clean up later…working that pincer grasp to pick up grains of corn from the floor 😉   Or not… Either way, enjoy the play/learning/growth experience with your kids and don’t worry about the mess. Brooming up corn into a dustpan is another fantastic occupation for kids. 🙂

If keeping the spill factor to a minimum is a must, try using a tablecloth under the sensory bin. Or, take the sensory bin outdoors if you like.

Thanksgiving sensory play ideas for kids include making a sensory bin with turkeys, wheat stalks, gourds, and more.

Add Thanksgiving Items

Next, add materials to manipulate, find, hide, scoop, and pour.

Make the Thanksgiving sensory play meaningful by adding items that foster gratitude and thankfulness. One sensory bin item can include gratitude leaves like we made for our Thanksgiving tree. Cut paper leaves and each family member can write what they are thankful for. Scatter the leaves in the sensory bin. Best of all, you can reuse those gratitude leaves after the sensory play is done. Make a Thanksgiving tree like we did, or hang them on a Thanksgiving garland.

Other Thanksgiving Sensory Bin materials include:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Gratitude leaves
  • Fake leaves
  • Real leaves
  • Paper leaves
  • Fall décor
  • Feathers
  • Acorns
  • Scraps of paper
  • Gourds
  • Decorations
  • Turkey figures
  • Wheat sprigs
  • Pine cones
  • Acorns
This Thanksgiving sensory bin offers opportunities for fine motor skills.

ADD Sensory Bin Scoops

One final piece to a sensory bin are tools to scoop, pour, and sort. These items help to develop areas like fine motor skills, dexterity, eye-hand coordination, and bilateral coordination.

Pouring and scooping are an oppourtunity to work on refined motor skills as kids pour the materails without spilling. They can explore how much to tilt the container or how much precision is needed to scoop the materials they want to manipulate.

Some manipulating items to consider for a Thanksgiving sensory bin include:

  • Cups
  • Tongs
  • Tweezers
  • Baskets
  • Small cups
  • Spoons
  • Small bowls

  And baskets for sorting!  

Use baskets, cups, and scoops to help kids build fine motor skills in a Thanksgiving sensory bin.

  Baby Girl thought it would be more fun to climb INTO the corn bin!  

Sensory bin ideas for toddlers

  It feels great on the toes!    (Yes, I stuck my toes in the corn with the kiddos… NO, I will not harm your eyes with THAT picture!)  

    Cute baby toes, YES, we need more pictures of those!   

Thanksgiving sensory bin for toddlers using materials to explore sensory.

    Big Sister started the sorting game.  She collected all of the flowers into this pot.  

Thanksgiving Sensory Bin for Learning

Work on specific concepts with your sensory bin, including:

  • Sorting by colors
  • Adding or subtracting
  • Sorting by patterns or textures
  • Sort by type of object
  • Spatial awareness
  • Size awareness
  • Sort by texture
  • Shapes

Use a sensory bin to help kids learn to sort by color.

Sorting by Color…

Sorting by Object…

Little Guy thought we needed to sort the socks… 🙂

Sensory bin ideas for Thanksgiving include sorting items by texture, shape, and color.
Thanksgiving sensory ideas include this sensory bin with items to scoop and manipulate.

  Everyone enjoyed talking about and feeling the objects… Scratchy wheat stalks:  

    Soft feathers (these were cut from scraps of fabric I had around the house):  

A toddler sensory bin can include different materials and items to explore.

 Little Guy thought it would be pretty fun to lay IN the cool corn to see how that felt: “It’s pretty comfy, Mom”!  

      How many kids can you fit into a bin? It looks like the answer is three. 🙂  

Sensory bin materials include dry corn, fabric swatches, feathers.

      There were lots of colors and textures to explore in this sensory bin!    

Thanksgiving theme sensory bin for exploring colors and textures.
Thanksgiving sensory bin to manipulate and build fine motor skills.

 Scooping, sorting, exploring the senses, fostering creativity, building language skills, working on fine motor skills…We did so much more than just playing with this fun Thanksgiving Sensory Bin! I am Thankful for Today!    

Have you made a fall themed sensory bin? 

More Thanksgiving activities

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Spider Mindfulness Exercise

mindfulness exercise for kids with a spider theme

This mindfulness exercise uses a spider theme, making it great for Halloween activities with kids that need a moment to stop and breathe. I wanted to create a spin on some of our popular mindfulness for kids activities and exercises from the past. (You can access these mindfulness worksheets below).

mindfulness exercise for kids with a spider theme

Mindfulness Exercise for Kids

This mindfulness activity focuses on deep breathing. When children focus on a steady point, trace lines with their finger, and focus on deep breathing, it can help them to re-center and refocus other thoughts.

There are many benefits of mindfulness strategies, and mindfulness tools like this one can be very helpful for children, especially during the unpredictable nature of a Fall party or during trick-or-treating.

From addressing mood, regulation, and cognitive functioning, this Halloween activity can be a big help in classrooms or learning at home during the weeks leading up to Halloween.

Other children may benefit from the mindfulness strategy as a coping tool or to address stress or worries this time of year.

Still others can practice listening skills and auditory awareness as they complete the deep breathing exercise and focus on the lines of the spider web.

Use this spider theme activity at Halloween time, or even in the midst of a Halloween party or trick-or-treating with children who need a moment to reset. Print off the deep breathing worksheet, slip it into a page protector, and you are ready to rock this Halloween!

How to use this mindfulness worksheet

To use the deep breathing worksheet, simply ask students to use their pointer finger to start anywhere on the edge of the spider web. They can then trace along the outside border of the web to meet each colored dot. When they “land” at a dot, they can read the directions and deeply breathe in or breathe out. Then, they can follow the along the spiderweb path to the next dot as they continue breathing in or out.

Click here to access this free mindfulness worksheet.

Reminder, please do not share this worksheet with others. Instead, direct them to this website for access. Thank you!

More mindfulness exercises

Here are other mindfulness exercises for kids that you will want to grab:

Pumpkin Deep Breathing Exercise

Thanksgiving Deep Breathing Activity

Christmas Mindfulness Activity

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Pumpkin Craft to Build Fine Motor SKills

pumpkin craft that builds fine motor skills.

This pumpkin craft is a fun way to build fine motor skills and to use recycled materials at the same time. This cute pumpkin craft was actually designed, created, and photographed by my daughters! I love to see them doing what they love: creating homemade crafts while fostering occupational balance and helping others build skills by sharing such a fun Fall craft.

Pumpkin craft that helps kids build fine motor skills, using recycled bottle caps.

Pumpkin Fine Motor Activity

By making this craft, kids can build many fine motor skills. It’s a pumpkin fine motor activity without the goopy mess of pumpkin guts and seeds!

This is a great Halloween occupational therapy activity to add to your toolbox…Just by making this Halloween craft, kids can build dexterity, refined grasp, and precision. Let’s break down how this craft builds fine motor skills:

Precision– The pumpkin craft is a miniature pumpkin, just sized right for a bottle cap. Working on a small scale, kids can work on precision of grasp as they pick up and manipulate the materials.

Pincer grasp- In fact, that tip to tip grasp that uses the pads of the pointer finger and they thumb, pincer grasp is used. This refined grasp is needed to pick up the googly eyes, pinch and place tape, maneuver the pipe cleaner piece.

Neat pincer grasp– When that pincer grasp requires even more precision and the tips of the pointer finger and the thumb bend at the last joint, a neat pincer grasp is used. This grasp is needed to pick up very small items such as a mini-jack-o-lantern eyes and cutouts.

Separation of the sides of the hand– Manipulating tape, picking up small items, and cutting with scissors fosters the fine motor skill of separation of the sides of the hand. This skill is essential for a functional pencil grasp.

Bilateral coordination– Pulling and ripping tape is a great bilateral coordination task. Kids can use coordinated use of both hands throughout this pumpkin craft activity. Working on a small scale in a craft like this one pulls concentrated near-point work at the midline, making it a nice pre-cursor activity to refine skills needed for reading, writing, and other tasks requiring fine motor coordination skills.

Gross grasp– Hand strength is built through the power side of the hand, or the ulnar side. When the power side is strengthened through gross grasp activities like squeezing a glue bottle, kids can gain more stability in the hand as they complete fine motor tasks. Squeezing the glue bottle in a small space requires a refined grasp, so glue is stopped when appropriate and there isn’t a giant pool of glue all over the table. This ability to squeeze a glue bottle in a small spot with accuracy isn’t easy for some kiddos! Here is more information on gross grasp.

Scissor skills– This fine motor Halloween activity has very small scissor work, making it a nice way to work on precision and graded scissor skills.

Work on fine motor skills with kids using this fine motor pumpkin craft.

Let’s make a Cute Pumpkin Craft for Kids!

Craft supplies to make a pumpkin craft with kids.

First step is to gather all of your materials. Your materials for this pumpkin craft are: (Amazon affiliate links included below)

How to make a pumpkin craft

Let’s get started with making this cutie mini pumpkin craft.

Cut green and brown pipe cleaners to make the pumpkin craft.
  1. First, cut the pipe cleaners to a length of about one inch. Put the pipe cleaners on the edge of one bottlecap. When you have it in a good spot add orange tape on the sides so it will stick.
Use recycled bottle caps to make a pumpkin craft with kids.

2. Place the second bottle cap on the edge of the first bottle cap so the rims are touching and sandwiching the pipe cleaners. Add a strip of orange tape around the outside of both bottle caps for a 3D pumpkin craft!

3. Cut a small piece of the green pipe cleaner and bend it into a leaf shape.

4. Then cut out your black construction paper to make a small jack-o-lantern face.

Use orange washi tape to make a mini pumpkin craft.

5. Next, glue the small construction paper pieces in the position you would like it to be on one of the bottle caps.

 Have fun building fine motor skills with this mini pumpkin craft!

Cute mini pumpkin craft using recycled bottle caps.

More Halloween Crafts you will love

Pumpkin Thumbprint craft
Bat craft for halloween
Pumpkin stamp craft

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

Community Helpers Slide Deck

Community helper activity with a themed slide deck for occupational therapy virtual therapy sessions.

Today, I’ve got another virtual OT slide deck coming your way, featuring community helpers! These interactive activities are perfect for occupational teletherapy teletherapy or virtual lesson plans. This community helpers theme includes fine and gross motor based activities, handwriting prompts, a visual perception activity, mindfulness activities, a self-regulation check-in, and an eye-hand coordination activity.

This is a fun addition to our weekly therapy themes for themed occupational therapy sessions.

Activity to teach kids about community helpers in a themed interactive slide deck for occupational therapy.

Community Helpers

Community worker themes are popular in lesson plans in schools and homeschooling. Occupational therapists can compliment educational studies with this community helper lesson plan that offers movement and functional tasks that go along with the theme.

Community helpers might include:

  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Postal workers
  • Transportation employees
  • Trash collectors
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Teachers
  • Occupational therapists!
  • Physical therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Construction workers
  • Any worker in the community!

Use this list and the community helper writing prompts in the slide deck to come up with the neighborhood helpers kids strive to be when they grow up!

Community Helpers Slide Deck

If you’ve been following The OT Toolbox, then you may have seen a few of our other interactive slide decks. Therapists are LOVING these therapy slide decks for their themed activities that help kids build skills, while in virtual or hybrid environments.

Community helpers activity for occupational therapy.

You can grab the other free slide decks here on our teletherapy and free resources page.

Today’s slide deck includes several community helpers activities:

This community helper activity fosters mindfulness and deep breathing for a coping strategy.

Community Helpers Warm-Up Activity- Use the firefighter’s firehoses to work on deep breathing as a mindfulness and coping tool to warm-up for this activity. Kids can move the interactive portion of the slide along the firehose to work on eye-hand coordination and visual tracking, too.

Community helpers writing prompts for working on handwriting.

Community Helpers Writing Prompts– Use the community workers writing prompts for creative writing and handwriting practice. Kids can use the self-check writing list to check their written work for accuracy with letter formation, line use, spacing, and size.

Community helper theme slide deck with a fine motor activity using sign language.

Community Helpers Sign Language– This fine motor workout is pretty fun! Click through the links to learn sign language for some community workers. This activity works on fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, finger isolation, motor planning, and eye-hand coordination.

A fun visual perception activity with a community helper theme.

Community Helpers Visual Perception Activity– Count the different helpers on the community workers puzzle page and type the number in the text box. This activity works on visual perceptual skills such as form constancy, visual discrimination, and figure ground, visual scanning.

Gross motor activity for the community helper theme slide deck.

Community Helpers Gross Motor Activity– Use the deep breathing and movement prompts to integrate mindfulness with gross motor as kids gain a big breath in with extended lung and rib cage/shoulder girdle expansion. Then, reach far down to push out that deep breath. This slide uses a community worker theme with common trucks found in the community.

Self regulation activity for the community helper theme slide decks.

Community Helper Activity for Self-Regulation– The final slide in this activity deck is a self-regulation check-in that can be used to close the session. Check in on how your child’s body feels and acts, as well as their emotions. This is a good time to work on some coping tools or strategies that can carry out of the session, too.

Does this looks like a fun way to spend a therapy session while working on skills?

You can grab a copy of this Google slide deck and use it to work on specific skills.

Enter your email address below and you will receive a PDF containing a link to copy the slide deck onto your Google drive. Save that PDF file, because you can come back to it again and again and send it to the kids on your caseload (or classroom) so they can make their own copy on their Google drive.

Get this Community Helpers Slide Deck

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    More therapy slide decks

    Click on the images below to access these slide decks for virtual therapy sessions.

    interactive slide deck to teach letters
    This free slide deck is an animal visual perception activity
    space activities for kids to use in occupational therapy activities.
    Therapy planning slide deck for OT teletherapy
    wear a mask social story for sensory issues
    Use this free self awareness activity slide deck in occupational therapy teletherapy

    Fall Gross Motor Activities

    Fall gross motor activities

    Adding to the fun of autumn are these Fall gross motor activities. There is so much about this time of year that offers opportunities for heavy work activities and gross motor play, all using a Fall theme!

    Use these Fall activities for family fun or ways to offer different movement challenges. Many of these ideas use all that Autumn has to offer: cooler weather, piles of leaves, hay bales, pumpkins, and apples. Other gross motor ideas listed here are gross motor ideas that can be done indoors. Either way, they are perfect for gross motor preschool activities, gross motor activities for toddlers, and whole-body activities to help kids build core strength, balance, coordination, and endurance.

    Fall Gross Motor Activities

    Isn’t Fall the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the season and the crisp air while getting active?  There are so many great active and gross motor activities you and your family can do even with little prep or planning.  Jump in leaves, go on a nature walk, collect leaves and fall items…just get moving! 

    Fall gross motor activities

    Fall Activities

    Collect fall leaves with Leaf Identification Cards.

    Print off this free Fall Tic Tac Toe board. Try to fill the board by doing all of the fall activities.

    Talk a walk and enjoy nature. What do you see? Smell? Hear?

    Get active with a Ghost Catch Game.

    Go on a hunt with Halloween Scavenger Hunt

    Rake leaves as a family.

    Then, JUMP in the leaves!

    Spending time time indoors doesn’t mean there’s no room for gross motor activities. Creep and crawl like a spider with this Motor Planning Spider Web Maze.

    Explore apples and red while balancing a tree trunk with Learning Apples/Red.

    Sing and dance this season with Red and Yellow and Orange and Brown Songs for Autumn (and dance).

    Get those shoulder girdles activated with Easy Indoor Halloween Obstacle Course.

    For sensory input, try these Fall Vestibular Activities that will add movement.

    You’ll love the calming heavy work that these Fall Proprioception Activities offer.




    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

    Writing Prompts for Kids

    Writing prompts for kids

    For kids that struggle with handwriting, practicing legibility is often a real struggle. Having a set of writing prompts for kids to use to guide handwriting practice can help, especially if it’s a motivating writing prompt topic that peaks the child’s interest! Then, teachers and therapists can use that writing prompt exercise as a handwriting practice or creative writing activity. Occupational therapists often work on letter formation, line awareness, margin use and other parts of writing that impact legibility and efficiency. A kid-friendly writing prompt offers a natural writing opportunity to impact carryover of handwriting skills.

    Writing prompts for kids to use for handwriting practice and creative writing ideas.

    Writing Prompts for Kids

    Using a writing prompt or creative writing idea that is fun can be one way to work on legibility and hand writing tips without feeling like kids are fighting the hand writing process. Writing about fun things or areas of interest is one way to work on legibility without rote copying or simply forming letters over and over again.

    Here are lists of  writing prompts and writing prompt  ideas to help kids work on handwriting using their interests in order to improve carryover. The goal with these writing prompts are to work on handwriting practice without the struggle.

    Writing prompt ideas

    Before getting started with these writing prompts for kids, be sure to encourage kids to create short lists. Writing short lists rather than typical writing prompts offers a chance for kids to practice the specifics of handwriting:

    • Line use
    • Margin use
    • Letter formation
    • Size awareness
    • Spacing between letters

    When writing in small spurts, kids get the chance to work on areas like line awareness, spacing, letter size, and letter formation without fatigue. 

    Many times, writing prompts are opportunities for kids to write complete sentences and to use creative writing, while practicing the parts of a sentence, use of figurative language, complete thoughts, etc. And creative writing journal prompts are great to use for these learning needs!

    Today, however, I am going to share writing prompts in list format so that handwriting tasks can be completed in short spurts, while focusing on the mechanics of handwriting.

    When working on handwriting, be sure to use a self-check list so that children can look over their work and self-analyze their written work. A writing posture check can be helpful to use as well. These self-assessment checks improve carryover and learning of skills. 

    Writing prompt ideas for kids

     Creative Journal Prompts

    Use the writing prompts for kids as creative journal prompt ideas to write either lists of words or creative writing in a journal. Some ideas are open-ended questions and others are lists.

    Animal Writing Prompts for kids

    • Write about a favorite animal. 
    • Write animals in alphabetical order.
    • List an animals for each letter of the alphabet.
    • What animal is most like you? Why?
    • If you could be any animal, it would be…

    Writing Prompts About My Favorite Things

    • Your favorite way to spend time on the weekends
    • Favorite snacks
    • Things that are your favorite color
    • Favorite foods
    • Favorite shows and movies
    • What are your favorite pizza toppings?

    Writing Prompts about the Perfect Things

    • Describe your perfect day.
    • Describe your perfect vacation.
    • Describe the ultimate ice cream sundae toppings.
    • Describe the all-time best sleepover.

    “Which is better” writing prompts for kids

    • Which is better: summer or winter? Why?
    • Which is better: spring or fall? Why?
    • Which is better: the mountains or the beach. Why?
    • Which is better: the city or the country? Why?
    • Which is better: football or soccer? Why?

    List Writing Prompts for kids

    • Days of the week
    • Months of the year
    • Kinds of fruit
    • Hamburger toppings
    • Animals at the zoo
    • Sports played with a ball

    Hopefully, these writing prompt ideas give you some ideas to get started on working on handwriting skills!

    Want more motivating writing prompts to work on handwriting practice, and get that pencil to paper? Grab your copy of the Interest Lists Writing Prompts. You’ll get 150 interest-based lists that can be printed off and used to work on handwriting skills.

    Each writing list is provided on bold lined paper. Use these lists as a data collection tool, a morning work activity, or for early finishers. Great for virtual therapy or home programs, too.

    Print off these writing lists and use them over and over again.

    Interest lists writing prompts

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

    Tearing Paper Awesome Fine Motor Activity

    Tearing paper activity for kids

    So often, parents are looking for easy ways to help kids develop fine motor skills. Tearing paper is an amazing fine motor activity for kids.  It’s a simple fine motor activity that requires only scrap paper and your hands. In fact, tearing paper actually helps children develop so many essential skills: hand strength, hand eye coordination, precision, refined movements, bilateral coordination…

    Tearing paper is an amazing fine motor activity for kids to build coordination and hand strength.

    Tearing Paper

    When a child tears a piece of paper, they improve hand strength and endurance in the small muscles in the hand.  These intrinsic muscles are important in so many fine motor skills, including those important to handwriting and coloring, managing buttons and zippers, manipulating pegs, and more.  

    When paper is torn, the hands assume a great tripod grasp which is effective and a mature grasp for writing and coloring.  The non-dominant hand is assisting in the tearing and encourages appropriate assistance for tasks like holding the paper while writing, and managing paper while cutting with scissors.  

    Just look at the skills kids develop with a paper tearing activity:

    • Hand eye coordination
    • Bilateral coordination
    • Pinch strength
    • Intrinsic hand strength
    • Separation of the sides of the hand
    • Shoulder and forearm stability
    • Precision and refined grasp
    • Proprioceptive input
    • Motor planning
    tearing paper is a fine motor skills workout for kids.

    Paper Tearing Activity

    We use recycled artwork to create this Torn Paper texture art that would look great on any gallery (or family dining room) wall!

    Paper tearing activity for kids uses recycled artwork to build fine motor skills and motor control while tearing paper.

    Torn paper art work using recycled art:

      This craft is so simple, yet such a fun way to create art while working on fine motor skills.  

    Fine motor art craft for working on intrinsic muscle skills and tripod grasp with kids while using all of that recycled artwork, too!

     We all have piles of kids’ artwork that is gorgeous…yet abundant.  You keep the ones that mean the most, but what do you do with those piles of painted paper, scribbled sheets, and crafty pages?  You sure can’t keep it all or your house will become covered in paper, paint, and glitter.  We used a great blue page to make our torn paper art.

    For this paper tearing activity, first tear a sheet into long strips.  This will become the sky of our artwork.

    Use kids artwork to create a paper tearing activity that builds fine motor skills.
    Tearing paper builds fine motor skills and endurance in fine motor precision, making it a fine motor workout!

    Torn paper Collage

    Tearing strips of paper is especially a great fine motor task.  

    To tear a long sheet of paper, you need to grasp the paper with an effective, yet not too strong grasp.  Tear too fast, and the paper is torn diagonally and not into strips.

    Tearing the paper slowly while focusing on strait torn lines really encourages a workout of those intrinsic muscles.  We tore an 9×11 piece of painted printer paper into long strips, lengthwise.  The thin paper isn’t too difficult to tear, but requires motor control.

    This is a fantastic way to build motor planning skills.

    Tear paper in a torn paper collage artwork for kids. Tearing strips of green paper to build motor skills.

     Vary the texture of the paper and add green cardstock.  The thicker paper requires a bit more strength. Tearing paper that is thicker like cardstock, index cards, or construction paper adds heavy input through the hands. This propriocpetive input can be very calming and allow kids to regulate or focus while adding the sensory input they need.

    Tear and paste activity with blue paper and green cardstock to create a torn paper collage.

     We used one of the long strips of green cardstock to create grass by making small tears.  Be careful not to tear the whole way across the strip!  What a workout this is for those hand muscles.  

    Tearing paper into the edge of the page, and stopping at a certain point requires refined motor work. It’s easy to tear right across the page, but requires precision and coordination to stop tearing at a certain point. To grade this activity easier, try marking the stopping point with a pencil mark.

    Use painted paper to create torn art collage while building fine motor skills in kids.

     Next glue the blue strips onto a background piece of paper.  Tear white scrap paper into cloud shapes.  They can be any shape, just like clouds in the sky!

    Tear a piece of paper to help kids strengthen fine motor skills.

     Grab a piece of yellow cardstock and create a sun.  This is another fabulous fine motor workout.  Tearing a circle-ish shape and creating small tears really works those muscles in the hands.

    Tearing paper activity for kids

     Glue the sun onto the sky and enjoy the art.  

    More paper activities that build skills:

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to