Four Leaf Clover Balance Exercises

four leaf clover teletherapy exercises

This free teletherapy slide deck is a fun one; It’s a visual guide of four leaf clover activities for kids to work on balance and strength. The balance exercises are set up so kids can balance with a bean bag to work on core strength, coordination, stability, and motor planning skills. These balance exercises will get kids moving with St. Patrick’s Day therapy ideas!

Try this four leaf clover exercises to challenge kids balance or use it as a brain break activity for St. Patrick's Day.

Four Leaf Clover Activities

If you need some activities to incorporated into virtual therapy sessions, or a fun brain break in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this four leaf clover activity is it.

Like all of our free virtual therapy slide decks, this gross motor workout encourages kids to move and develop skills, with a fun theme.

4 leaf clover activity includes a deep breathing activity and balance exercises.

Kids can start with the deep breathing warm up activity, using the clover image. Kids can start by taking deep breaths in and out and following the directions on the 4 leaf clover image.

Deep breathing exercises are a powerful way to achieve a calm-alert state, so that children are ready to learn and participate in therapy. This self-regulation benefit, along with the mindfulness and relaxation benefits makes this four leaf clover breathing exercise a great way to start any therapy session.

You can get a printable version of this four leaf clover deep breathing exercise here on our site. It includes a coloring page, too, so if that would add to your therapy session, be sure to print that off as well.

Use these four leaf clover exercises for balance and sensory input.

Next, kids can move onto the balance exercises. Kids can use a bean bag or a pillow with each exercise to really challenge balance and coordination.

For kids in virtual therapy, a bean bag may not be available. In that case, kids can balance with a pillow in the place of the clover images. Other ideas include using rolled up socks or a stuffed animal.

Each slide deck moves kids through a set of exercises to incorporate core strength and stability, movement changes, inverted positioning, and motor planning challenges. By completing the 4 leaf clover exercises, kids are also gaining vestibular, and proprioceptive sensory input.

Free 4 Leaf Clover Slide Deck

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Enter your email address into the form below and this slide deck will be sent to your email. You can make a copy onto your Google drive and then use it in teletherapy sessions, in home programming, or as a classroom brain break activity.

Four Leaf Clover Balance Exercises!

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    Colors Handwriting Kit

    Rainbow Handwriting Kit– This resource pack includes handwriting sheets, write the room cards, color worksheets, visual motor activities, and so much more. The handwriting kit includes:

    • Write the Room, Color Names: Lowercase Letters
    • Write the Room, Color Names: Uppercase Letters
    • Write the Room, Color Names: Cursive Writing
    • Copy/Draw/Color/Cut Color Worksheets
    • Colors Roll & Write Page
    • Color Names Letter Size Puzzle Pages
    • Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages
    • Colors Pre-Writing Lines Pencil Control Mazes
    • This handwriting kit now includes a bonus pack of pencil control worksheets, 1-10 fine motor clip cards, visual discrimination maze for directionality, handwriting sheets, and working memory/direction following sheet! Valued at $5, this bonus kit triples the goal areas you can work on in each therapy session or home program.

    Click here to get your copy of the Colors Handwriting Kit.

    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 contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Cherry Blossom Crafts

    Cherry blossom crafts

    Spring is finally upon us, and the flowers will be blooming soon – it’s the perfect time to introduce some springtime crafts! The ideas you’ll find here are Spring fine motor activities that help to develop hand strength and dexterity. Cherry Blossoms are one of the most famed blooms every year, and for good reason, too – they are gorgeous and short-lived. Cherry blossom trees only have flowers for about 14 days, and only for about a week of that time is when they are this beautiful:

    Cherry blossom crafts kids can make to develop fine motor skills.

    Cherry Blossom Crafts

    Get yourself and your kiddos into the springtime spirit with any of these Cherry Blossom crafts, and add these ideas to your Spring occupational therapy interventions.

    At the bottom of this post, you’ll also fine Cherry Blossom book ideas to incorporate into multisensory learning through play, so keep reading for story time ideas, too!

    Cherry blossom crafts for kids that develop skills, use in occupational therapy interventions or at home to help kids develop motor skills.

    Q-TIP CHERRY BLOSSOM CRAFT

    First, we have to talk about q-tip art. Just look at the creations you can make with a simple bathroom staple:

    • This Handprint Tree from Glued to my Crafts will keep your little ones entertained for a while!
    • Or this Spring Tree from A Little Pinch of Perfect, using the q-tips as the tree branches – brilliant!

    Why make art with a Q-Tip?

    • First of all – It’s fun and cheap!
    • Using objects in a way that is not their intended purpose teaches object fluidity, and encourages cognitive development through creative play.
    • Holding a tiny Q-tip stick strengthens fine motor skills and encourages the development of a tripod grasp which is a part of handwriting development

    Tissue Paper CHERRY BLOSSOM Craft

    Next on the list is tissue paper crafts, so simple yet so beautiful!

    We have to have one in here for developing mathematical skills! This is the perfect craft that challenges logical thinking and memory but doesn’t feel like learning to your young student.

    • Cognition and fine motor skills can be developed using felt and a tree branch in this cherry-blossom-themed Tactile Math Activity.
    Cherry blossom craft pattern craft for teaching patters
    • This Tissue Paper Tree from The Adventure Starts Here couldn’t be easier! You just need glue, tissue paper, and a printed (or drawn!) image of a tree. 
    • Or, glue some tissue paper on to a stick in this 3D Cherry Blossoms project, from Practically Functional. 
    Cherry blossom craft to develop fine motor skills in kids

    For even more fine motor development in a craft, check out these Fine Motor Cherry Blossoms

    Why use tissue paper in crafts?

    • Ripping tissue paper strengthens the muscles of the fingers, hands, and arms.
    • Touching the crinkly and smooth textures of tissue paper provides a gentle sensory experience that is good for sensory seekers or avoiders.
      • Depending on the papers that you use, you can offer various sensory experiences – the textures, the sounds, the colors!

    Why should I give my toddler a bottle of glue?

    • Squeezing a bottle of glue can take a lot of effort, which strengthens the muscles of the hands that are necessary for occupational skills like handwriting, zipping coats, etc.
    • Learning to control the pressure is a great way to teach fine motor planning skills.
      • Motor planning occurs before a voluntary movement happens, and when we are learning new physical skills, like squeezing a glue bottle, it requires some thinking beforehand to get it right.
      • The action-reaction that occurs with the amount of pressure from the squeeze (action) to the glue that is released (reaction) is a very tangible way to teach this skill. 

    CHERRY BLOSSOM Fingerprint crafts

    We can’t offer a craft without a finger painting option! Read on for why painting with your fingers is beneficial for your child’s development.

    Why use fingers when we have a paintbrush?

    • The answer is that both are great tools to teach different skills!
    • Using fingers as a tool in artistic play provides great sensory feedback to the brain.
      • The textures of the paint, the feeling of the paper, the pressure to place the pain down, and the colors that they can experiment with all provide learning experiences for their growing mind.
    • Using a paintbrush is great, too!
      • The paintbrush provides another way to interact with the paint and paper while using their little hands in a prehensile pattern. Prehensile = grasp, and using any utensil develops their general grasping skills necessary for many occupational skills that are coming their way (handwriting, opening bottles/jars, buttoning, zipping, the list is endless!). 

    Cherry blossom books

    Add a book to the craft activity to add dialogue and communication opportunities to craft time, while facilitating problem solving, social emotional learning, and more.

    I personally love the days when I am able to connect a craft with a story. It makes the simplest things feel so purposeful and well-thought-out – like you’ve won the parenting award for the day!

    Here is a list of cherry blossom themed books to go along with your craft: (Amazon affiliate links included below.)

    Pinkalicious: Cherry Blossom by Victoria Kann

    Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms  by Robert Paul Weston and Misa Saburi

    Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes by Jef Aerts and Sanne te Loo

    Cherry Blossoms Say Spring (National Geographic Kids) by Jill Esbaum

    Spring Blossoms by Carole Gerber and Leslie Evans

    Sydney Rearick, OTS, is an occupational therapy graduate student at Concordia University Wisconsin. Her background is in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is passionate about meeting your family’s needs. After working as a nanny for the last decade, Sydney is prepared to handle just about anything an infant, toddler, or child could throw at her. She is also a newly established children’s author and illustrator and is always working on new and exciting projects.

    Bilateral Integration Activity Draw a Clover!

    Bilateral coordination visual motor integration

    This bilateral integration activity is a powerful way to help kids with a variety of skills. Add it to your line up of hands-on, St. Patrick’s Day theme activities for therapy and promoting child development. Kids can draw the four leaf clover but also work on developing bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, visual motor integration, visual scanning, visual convergence, core strength, and so much more. Integrating all of these areas into functional tasks involves many components of development, and this activity can help in so many ways.


    Kiddos with sensory or developmental problems might have trouble crossing mid-line.  You might know a child who has trouble making both hands work together to accomplish a task like handwriting, cutting with scissors, tying shoes, buttoning a shirt, or catching a ball.  Bilateral coordination is necessary for many functional activities! 

     

    Bilateral Integration and Functional Activities

     

     

    Bilateral coordination activity with a clover theme works on visual motor coordination, kinesthetic sense, peripheral vision for improved gross motor and fine motor bilateral activities.




    Bilateral integration is an area of child development that involves different movements and systems. Coordination of visual systems include visual tracking and scanning as well as depth perception and peripheral vision. All of these skills need to be integrated into movement so that coordinated movement patterns can occur.

    Then, there is the crossing midline component. Crossing the midline occurs developmentally, and this milestone is an important one that translates to laterality and coordinated use of both hands together in functional tasks.

    Then, visual motor integration, where the eyes and body works together to perform daily tasks is another piece of the puzzle. One part of the developmental progression of these skill areas is symmetrical bilateral integration.

    Symmetrical Bilateral Integration

    In this stage of development, children bring their hands together at the midline. You’ll see this in small infants that bring their hands to their mouth. They then start to hold toys together with their hands. Later down the road, symmetrical bilateral integration skills are needed to clap, zipper and button a coat, and gross motor tasks, too such as hopping, jumping, and completing tasks like jumping jacks. 

    Progression beyond symmetrical development relies on this developmental stage. And skills like asymmetrical bilateral integration, crossing the midline are founded on progression of this early developmental stage.

    Gross motor and fine motor activities are needed for activities where each hand does the same job (jumping jacks, movement games like the Hokey Pokey, and pulling up pants).  Other tasks require both hands to do different jobs in a coordinated way (holding the paper and writing with a pencil, holding paper and cutting with scissors, tying shoes, fastening a zipper, weaving a loom, or putting on a coat).

    Bilateral Integration Activity for Kids 

     
    This activity is one that’s been on my mind for a while.  As an OT, I’ve done versions of this activity many times with kids who have trouble with kinesthetic sense, visual perceptual skills, and bilateral coordination.  
     
    This post contains affiliate links.
     
    This activity is a version of the Brain Gym program, which uses whole body movements to improve skills, including learning and functional tasks.  Brain Gym can be just one tool in a toolbox of strategies to progress development of skills that kids need to function. 
     
    In Brain Gym, there is an activity called Double Doodles, which involves doodling with both hands, with a piece of crayon or chalk in each hand.  
     
    The activity encourages children to use both hands together.  The point of the activity is to establish direction and orientation relative to the child’s body.  The movement activity addresses hand-eye coordination in different visual fields, promotes spatial awareness and visual discrimination, addresses left and right awareness, improves peripheral vision, promotes body awareness and coordination with specialization of the hands and eyes, and works on gross motor movement skills.
     
    Brain Gym is just one way to promote whole body learning through simple and fun movement activities. 
     

    Four Leaf Clover Bilateral Activity

                        Bilateral coordination activity with a clover theme works on visual motor coordination, kinesthetic sense, peripheral vision for improved gross motor and fine motor bilateral activities.

    In our gross motor bilateral coordination activity, we’re using visual motor integration.  While creating a four leaf clover shape, the child is using his visual sense to guides movement through peripheral vision.  
     
    This is an easy activity to set up.  Tape a large piece of paper to the wall.  Poster board (like we used) works great, but that can get pricey.  A nice option is using a large roll of paper like easel paper or butcher paper.  You can also perform this activity at a large chalkboard or dry erase board in classroom settings. 
     
    First, draw a large and symmetrical four leaf clover shape on the paper.  Provide the child with a crayon, pencil, marker or chalk for each hand.
     
    Standing in front of the clover, ask them to stare at the center of the paper.  You can draw a dot for them to look at, if needed.
     
    Then, show them how to start both hands at the top center of the clover and to slowly trace the lines of the clover to meet at the bottom center.  
     
    We included a stem on our clover, but you can just draw the four leaves.  
     
    Tell the child to not worry too much about staying right on the lines.  The object is to have both hands move together doing symmetrical motions.  Repeat the lines again and again.  Add colored crayons/markers/pencils to create a rainbow four leaf clover. 
     
    A few things to watch for: 
    • While drawing, watch the child for stiffness in the hand, wrist, or arm.  
    • Be aware of whole body movements. Arm motions should come from the shoulders.
    • Remind the child to keep their eyes fixed on the dot at the center of the clover.
    • Remind the child to keep the writing utensils in contact with the paper.  They shouldn’t lift the crayons at all.
    • Watch for bilateral coordination, ensuring that both arms are moving at the same speed, distance, and positioning.
    Other ways to extend this activity:
    • Draw the four leaf clover on paper and have the child sit to perform the re-tracing activity.
    • Do this activity on a driveway or sidewalk using chalk.
    • Draw in the air with pointer fingers.
    • Draw in a sand table.
    • Use finger paints.
    • Use ribbon sticks in the air.
    • Use musical instruments like bells or maracas.
    Bilateral coordination activity with a clover theme works on visual motor coordination, kinesthetic sense, peripheral vision for improved gross motor and fine motor bilateral activities.
     

     

    Colors Handwriting Kit

    Rainbow Handwriting Kit– This resource pack includes handwriting sheets, write the room cards, color worksheets, visual motor activities, and so much more. The handwriting kit includes:

    • Write the Room, Color Names: Lowercase Letters
    • Write the Room, Color Names: Uppercase Letters
    • Write the Room, Color Names: Cursive Writing
    • Copy/Draw/Color/Cut Color Worksheets
    • Colors Roll & Write Page
    • Color Names Letter Size Puzzle Pages
    • Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages
    • Colors Pre-Writing Lines Pencil Control Mazes
    • This handwriting kit now includes a bonus pack of pencil control worksheets, 1-10 fine motor clip cards, visual discrimination maze for directionality, handwriting sheets, and working memory/direction following sheet! Valued at $5, this bonus kit triples the goal areas you can work on in each therapy session or home program.

    Click here to get your copy of the Colors Handwriting Kit.

    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 contact@theottoolbox.com.