Build a Snowman Activity

Build a snowman activity

I have another free therapy slide deck to share today. This build a snowman activity is an interactive Google slide deck that kids can use to work on eye-hand coordination, spatial awareness concepts, visual scanning, and handwriting (or typing) skills. This snowman activity is based off our popular disguise a turkey slide deck and our decorate a gingerbread house slide decks from earlier this year. If these slide decks are helpful for your virtual occupational therapy interventions, grab this free resource at the bottom of this post and browse the other free slides there.

Build a snowman activity with a virtual Google slide deck for teletherapy

Build a snowman activity

I love this slide deck for many reasons. One is that it’s a cute building a snowman activity that kids will love doing. It’s fun to move the pieces on the slide deck and can be a break from the normal virtual lessons or teletherapy.

Therapeutically, this snowman activity can help kids with several skill areas:

  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Visual scanning
  • Spatial relations
  • Size awareness
  • Handwriting
  • Typing
  • Visual memory

Kids can visually scan the slide to actually build the snowman using different sized snowballs. They can arrange the snowballs to make the snowman.

Then, users can scan the slide to find various pieces for the snowman. Depending on your goals for the child, they can independently build the snowman and decorate their snowman. Other students can be given verbal directions for scanning for eyes, carrot noses, arms, or other individual pieces. The items are scattered around the slide to challenge visual perceptual skills such as visual memory and visual attention.

NOTE– When you download the slide, you are prompted to make a copy onto your Google drive. Once you make that copy, it is yours to edit to meet the needs of your students. You can remove some of the items or make duplicates of some snowman decorations, depending on the needs of your client or student.

Once students are happy with their snowman creation, they can go to the next slide. There, they can type or write details about their snowman. This can challenge visual memory skills and be a great practice for handwriting or typing skills.

Get the Build a Snowman Slide Deck

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FREE Build a Snowman Slide Deck

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    More slide decks

    Penguin Theme Emotions Game

    Penguin Yoga 

    Polar Bear Gross Motor Activities 

    Holiday Cookies Slide Deck

    Gingerbread Man Slide Deck.

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    Reindeer Games

    Community Helpers Theme Slide Deck

    Football Theme Slide Deck

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    Back to School Writing Activity Slide Deck

    Alphabet Exercises Slide Deck

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    Strait Line Letters Slide Deck

    “Scribble theme” Handwriting Slide Deck

    Snowman Theme Bilateral Coordination

    Snowman Bilateral Coordination Slide Deck

    I have something super cute to share with you today. This snowman theme bilateral coordination activity might be one of my favorites of recent resources. If working on bilateral coordination, crossing midline, and motor planning is something you’ve been working on with kids, then this free therapy slide deck is for you. It’s meant as a fun, play-based direction-following therapy slide deck. Use it as a warm-up to occupational therapy interventions, or a brain break, with a snowman theme!

    You can use this snowman gross motor activity alongside this snowman deep breathing activity for winter therapy fun!

    Snowman Bilateral Coordination Slide Deck

    Snowman theme bilateral coordination activity

    This therapy slide deck is designed so therapy practitioners need no other materials or items to run a virtual session. The free slide deck can be uploaded to Google slides and then used within a virtual session or distance learning classroom.

    There are so many benefits to working on bilateral coordination skills, and motor planning with a fun theme like this snowman activity.

    Read here about crossing midline activities and the benefits of this essential skill in handwriting, learning, and functional tasks. This skill integrates with bilateral coordination, or a coordinated use of both sides of the body so that functional use of both hemispheres in everyday tasks are possible.

    Be sure to read more on this link about bilateral coordination, because you’ll see that there are three components of bilateral coordination:
    Symmetrical movements
    Alternating movements
    Dominant hand/supporting hand movements

    Each of these areas play a role in functional tasks like play, self-care, learning, school-day tasks, and things each of us do all day long.

    Motor planning is another important motor skill that impacts everyday functional tasks. Here is more information about motor planning.

    There is a connection between creating a plan for movement, following a visual representation of a body positioning, and then sequencing movements using both sides of the body.

    This snowman gross motor activity does just that!

    You can scroll back and forth between the slides to really challenge kids with these motor plans. It’s like a “Simon Says” game with snowmen.

    Work on all of these areas:

    • Bilateral coordination
    • Motor planning
    • Crossing midline
    • Core strength
    • Stability
    • Balance and equilibrium skills
    • Range of motion
    • Flexibility
    • Movement patterns
    • Posture and postural control
    • Muscle tone
    Snowman bilateral coordination activities for virtual therapy

    Free Snowman Gross Motor Therapy Slide Deck

    To get your hands on this free snowman slide deck, you’ll need to enter your email address into the form below.

    Use this polar bear theme therapy slide deck in virtual therapy sessions or as a brain break.

    Be sure to make a copy of this slide deck and not change the url to indicate “edit” at the end. When you make a copy of the slide deck onto your Google drive, you will end up with your own version that you are free to adjust in order to meet your student’s needs. By changing the url to “edit”, you can potentially mess up the original version that many other therapists and The OT Toolbox users are given.

    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.

    Please use the copy of the slide deck and do not change the url.

    FREE Bilateral Coordination Slide Deck- Snowman theme!

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      Snowman Crafts and Activities

      snowman activities

      These snowman activities and snowman crafts are perfect for using in occupational therapy interventions or to build skills! Here you will find snowman activities for fine motor, gross motor, sensory tolerance, pencil grasp, handwriting, math, scissor skills, sensory experiences, and other learning/school tasks. Use the snowman crafts and sensory activities to make winter fun a skill-building moment! For wintery fun, browse the ideas below.

      snowman activities and snowman crafts for kids to develop skills in therapy and at home.

      Snowman Activities

      I’ve broken these ideas into areas designed to help kids develop specific skills. You’ll find snowman activities for fine motor development, gross motor skills, and motor planning. You’ll love the craft ideas that challenge visual perceptual skills and sensory tolerance. Each activity can also build on several skill areas.

      Add this snowman theme to your weekly therapy theme list for themed therapy activities that are done for you.


      Snowman Crafts and Activities for Kids

      Snowman Gross Motor (slide deck)– Incorporate bilateral coordination, motor planning, crossing midline, and other gross motor skill areas with this snowman activity. Kids can follow along to the slide images. This makes a great brain break activity, too. This is a free Google slide deck. Click here for the snowman bilateral coordination activities.

      Snowman Fine Motor Activities (Snowman Crafts)– These snowman crafts cover a variety of materials and skills. Choose the ones that work for your needs, and available materials. Kids can improve areas including: pinch, grasp, precision, cutting, glue use, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and more. Click here for snowman craft ideas.

      Snowman Executive Functioning Activity (Make a Snowman Treat)- Cooking in the kitchen is a powerful way to develop fine motor skills and executive functioning skills. Use cucumbers and vegetables to make this snowman snack. Click here for the snowman snack directions.

      Snowman Self-Regulation Activity– This deep breathing activity can be a coping tool or a sensory strategy to help with self-regulation skills. Included is a free printable deep breathing worksheet. Click here for a snowman deep breathing activity.

      Snowman Sensory/Fine Motor– Use this baking soda dough recipe to make a sensory and fine motor material that kids can use to build skills. The baking soda dough provides a resistant material for strengthening hands. Click here to for the snowman baking soda dough directions.

      Snowman Math Activity/Fine Motor– This counting/adding/subtracting activity builds eye-hand coordination, and fine motor skills. Make snowmen from recycled egg cartons. This is a great activity for breaking down numbers. Click here for this snowman math activity.

      Slide deck- Use this build a snowman activity in virtual lessons or teletherapy to work on eye-hand coordination, visual scanning, handwriting, or typing.

      Snowman Crafts

      Address eye-hand coordination with this stamp glitter snowman craft.

      Snowman countdown craft to make a paper chain snowman or a snowman suncatcher and build fine motor skills.

      Work on precision and dexterity with this fine motor snowman craft using paper reinforcement stickers.

      Stamp and paint to make this snowman art activity using materials in your home.

      Work on letter identification with this snowman letter craft.
      Create a sensory tolerance activity with this shredded paper snowman.


      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.

      Snowman Deep Breathing Exercise

      Snowman deep breathing exercise

      Today, I have another fun deep breathing exercise to share with you! This time of year, it’s all about the snowmen. Now, you can use a snowman theme in a sensory coping strategy with deep breathing exercises with a snowman deep breathing exercise. It’s a free mindfulness printable that you can download and use all winter long.

      Snowman deep breathing exercise

      Snowman theme deep breathing exercise

      A snowman image makes a great image for slow and mindful breathing. Use this as a guide to show children how to take a deep breath and then slowly breathe out.

      The visual prompts on this image includes a white dot where kids can pause and hold their breath for calming benefits.

      Use this deep breathing activity as a mindfulness activity for winter.

      You can print this off by entering your email address below. The printable will then be delivered to your email inbox.

      More winter deep breathing exercises

      You’ll love this polar bear self-regulation activity. Print and go!

      This penguin deep breathing exercise is fun, too.

      Grab the Winter Fine Motor Kit, with 100 pages of done-for-you therapy activities, including penguin themes. There are lacing cards, crafts, pencil control strips, scissor skills activities, and much more. Grab it now before January 9th and you get a bonus of 3 fine motor slide deck activities.

      CLICK HERE TO GET THE WINTER FINE MOTOR KIT.

      Want to grab this free printable? Enter your email in the form below. You’ll receive the deep breathing worksheet immediately in your email inbox.

      winter fine motor kit

      Enter your email address in the form below to access the snowman deep breathing exercise.

      Free Snowman Theme Deep Breathing Exercise

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        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.

        Physical Exercise and Wellbeing

        Physical exercise and wellbeing go hand in hand.

        Evidence tells us that physical exercise is a strong influence on wellbeing. Here, we’re breaking down the evidence and identifying aspects of exercise wellbeing and overall wellness. Therapists who struggle with burnout in the industry know that self-care and intentional focus on wellbeing makes an impact on day to day tasks. But taking what we know as professionals and applying it to our own lives can sometimes be difficult! Let’s take a look at what science says about the benefits of exercise on wellness.

        You’ll also find my top tips for using physical exercise to promote self-care as a busy therapist.

        physical exercise and wellbeing go hand in hand in battling burnout in therapists.

        Physical activity

        Physical activity can mean different things to different people. The World Health Organization has a fact sheet on physical activity, including recommendations for physical activity levels for different ages.

        Beyond the obvious physical health benefits, participation in physical activity benefits areas such as:

        • Physical health benefits
        • Physical activity reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
        • Physical activity enhances cognitive functioning, including thinking, learning, and judgment skills
        • Physical activity ensures healthy growth and development
        • Physical activity improves overall well-being

        We can break down physical activity into physical activity that includes a structured and repetitive, and has as an objective. This might include planning to and following through with a walk around the block every morning, or doing 20 crunches 3 times a week, or running a mile at the track. Physical exercise can come in many forms!

        Physical exercise and wellbeing

        Adding physical exercise has benefits in many aspects of wellbeing. Take a look at the wellness wheel.

        Physical exercise impacts mood. Research tells us that mood and physical health are related. And, mood is a predictor of well-being in many ways, including self-esteem. Self-esteem includes how positive a person feels about themselves. That aspect of emotional skills impact mental health in areas of an individual’s thoughts, emotions, values, and goals. And, a positive level of self-esteem carries over to having a positive attitude about themselves and the world around them.

        Other components of mood include a growth mindset, mindfulness, contentment, positivity, motivation, happiness or emotional regulation, and curiosity. These are the components of emotional well-being. These components allow us to meet the demands of everyday life.

        Many studies show that physical exercise impacts emotional well-being.

        All of this plays a role in burnout in the workplace.

        Physical exercise tips for getting started to promote wellbeing.

        Tips for Physical Exercise and Wellbeing

        Incorporating physical exercise into a lifestyle doesn’t need to be difficult. Below are some tips and strategies to integrate physical exercise into the day-to-day.

        When a physical routine involves your interests, that makes it easier to stick with it.

        Make it personal– Personally, my favorite physical exercise involves running and walking. When weather is bad or it’s too cold outdoors, I turn to my treadmill. I love to run along to music, podcasts, and even Netflix when running on the treadmill. What motivates you?

        Make achievable goals– Adding physical exercise doesn’t mean you need to sign up for a 5K race. Just 5 or 10 minutes on the treadmill makes a big difference in mood and emotional well-being.

        Plan it out– Schedule physical exercise into your day. When it’s written down, it becomes more real.

        Start slow– Take a walk around the block. Begin with low intensity physical exercise. On the treadmill, begin with an achievable goal using the programing options. A low intensity routine might include a fast walk or slow run at 1% or 2% incline.

        If you are looking for exercise equipment to add to your physical exercise toolbox, check out Horizon Fitness for equipment and accessories at all levels.

        Affiliate links are included in this post, but I only recommend products that I own, and love!

        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.

        Courneya, K.S., Friedenreich, C.M. Physical exercise and quality of life following cancer diagnosis: A literature review. ann. behav. med. 21, 171 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02908298

        Gilani, S., & Feizabad, A. K. (2019). The effects of aerobic exercise training on mental health and self-esteem of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Health psychology research7(1), 6576. https://doi.org/10.4081/hpr.2019.6576

        Penguin Snacks

        penguin snacks for a penguin theme

        We’ve been on a penguins activities kick around here lately.  These penguin snacks are cute little homemade penguin crackers that can easily be added to a penguin preschool theme. The bonus to kids making these are the many benefits of cooking with kids in developing fine motor skills, executive functioning, and other learning opportunities.

        Be sure to check out the other penguin activities here on the website, and then add these penguin snacks to your line-up for building motor skills in kids. You’ll love the penguin yoga, the penguin themed social emotional skills game, and the penguin deep breathing exercise.

        Penguin snacks for kids to make to help build fine motor skills

        Penguin Snacks

        These Penguin snacks were just the thing we needed one day when the temps were sooooo cold outside that we felt like penguins at preschool pick-up!  Our penguin snacks were the perfect ending to a frigidly cold day.  And, slightly owl-like, I think they would make a great owl treat too 😉  

        Penguin Themed Snacks

        This post contains affiliate links. 

        Start with a little melted milk chocolate (I just used a chocolate bar broken up into pieces) and melted white candy melts, in two separate bowls. 

        Dip round crackers 3/4 of the way in the melted white chocolate.  Let this harden in the fridge.  Or just put it outside on the porch like I did in the single-digit temps.  The chocolate will harden in a flash!

        You’ll need to make sure the white chocolate is hardened before you dip the crackers again in the ilk chocolate.  Otherwise, you’ll get a mix of the two chocolates.  Once the white chocolate is hardened, dip each side and the very top of the penguins in milk chocolate. 

        Pour out a handful of sprinkles and admire their prettiness.  Pull out a few of the orange ones.  You’ll need them for the Penguin’s feet and beaks. This is a great fine motor activity for kids.

        I found these candy eyeballs on clearance after Halloween and knew they would come in handy. Stick the orange sprinkles and candy eyes onto the penguins with a bit of the left over melted chocolate. 

        Cooking with preschoolers involves a lot of the prep-work, and this is one cooking task that is great for young children. They can sort and count the number of items needed for the recipe. It’s an easy way to add fine motor work as well.

        Cute penguin snacks that kids can make for a penguin theme in preschool or older grades.

        Pulling out the correct amount of orange sprinkles and eyes was a great job for Big Sister and Little Guy.  They made sure we had enough for each penguin.  And only snuck a few. 😉

        Your penguins/owls are done!

        For more penguin theme activities, (and fine motor work), grab the Winter Fine Motor Kit, with 100 pages of done-for-you therapy activities, including penguin themes. There are sensory bin materials, crafts, and activities designed to boost fine motor skills. These would be great additions to a penguin theme in therapy sessions.

        winter fine motor 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.

         

         

         
         

        Penguin Activities for Kids

        Penguin activities

        Brrrr it is COLD out there! This is the perfect time of year to add a few penguin activities to a penguin theme or set of winter activities. Here, you’ll find penguin themed ideas for movement, play, cooking, learning, and crafting. Browse these ideas and add them to an occupational therapy intervention therapy plan or learning at home.

        The penguin activities for kids here will give you plenty of fun indoor play ideas.    When we went through the links this week to pick our features, we had to go with a penguin theme.  We’ve been doing a few penguin activities around here (and are so excited to share them with you!) after we got a handful of penguin books out from the library.  The features this week show songs, games, crafts, sensory play, books, and even snacks…all about PENGUINS!  

        Penguin activities for kids

        Penguin Activities

        Penguin Gross Motor (Penguin Yoga)- Use these yoga positions to incorporate gross motor skills, coordination, motor planning, balance, heavy work input (proprioception), and changes in positioning (vestibular input). This is a free Google slide deck. Click here for the penguin yoga activities.

        Penguin Executive Functioning Activity (Make a Penguin Treat)- Cooking in the kitchen is a powerful way to develop fine motor skills and executive functioning skills. Try making these penguin snacks for a family treat.

        Penguin Self-Regulation Activity– This penguin deep breathing activity can be a coping tool or a sensory strategy to help with self-regulation skills. Included is a free printable deep breathing worksheet.

        Penguins Emotions Game- This free penguin emotions therapy slide deck challenges kids to identify emotions based on facial expressions. It’s a great way to work on visual perception, too.

        Tactile Sensory Play– Use this Snow and Ice Penguin Small World activity from Stir the Wonder for penguin sensory fun. This Penguin Sensory Play from Fantastic Fun and Learning is another fun activity. Or, make a Winter Sensory Bin like this one from There’s Just One Mommy.  A Snow Dough Arctic Sensory Bin like this one from House of Burke is another fun idea.

        Auditory Processing Activity- Use this 5 Little Penguins Counting Songs from Let’s Play Music to work on listening, sounds, and auditory memory. 

        Tacky the Penguin Activities

        For Tacky the Penguin activity ideas, pair a book with any of the activities listed here. Or try this Fun With Tacky The Penguin idea from Learning is Messy

        Penguin Fine Motor Activities

        You can add fine motor skills with crafts and motor activities. This penguin craft only requires paper and glue. Use colored paper or use crayons to color your penguin. It’s a fine motor folding craft to work on hand strength and precision.

        Or, try this Penguin Math Activity to work on Scissor Skills– This counting/adding/subtracting fish activity builds eye-hand coordination too. Make and cut out fish from paper and catch them to feed the penguins.

        Another fine motor Penguin Craft is this Penguin Craft with Printable Pieces from ABC Creative Learning to add fine motor fun to a penguin theme.

        Use the fine motor activities, lacing cards, toothpick art, and crafts in the Winter Fine Motor Kit. It’s a 100 page packet with all winter themes, and you’ll find penguins there!

        winter fine motor kit

        Click here for more information on the Winter Fine Motor 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.

        Play Dough City

        city play dough mat for kids

        This fine motor play dough mat is a fun one. It’s a play dough city mat that allows kids to work on hand strength and fine motor skills using a city themed play dough mat. Playdough mats like this one can be used along with other city activities like books, travel, or discovering information about geography and our world. This City Play Dough Mat is a supplement that can help with more skills than just adding to a city learning theme, all in a fun play dough activity! This free play dough mat boosts fine motor skills specifically hand strength, and the intrinsic muscles of the hands. Print off this city playdough mat and start playing and learning WHILE boosting those skills that kids need!

        Kids can use this play dough city theme fine motor activity to increase hand strength for fine motor skills like handwriting and pencil grasp all with play dough activities kids love!

        City Play Dough Mat

        I love adding hands-on components to learning themes. It adds a special twist that really helps with recall when motor components are added. This city play dough mat is a great accompaniment to any community or geography theme.

        Kids can fill in the circles in the city skyline while building the fine motor skills they need for tasks such as endurance with writing or coloring, pencil control when forming letters, functional pencil grasp, management of buttons/zippers/other clothing fasteners, opening and closing of food containers, and so many other fine motor tasks!

        For the child who struggles with fine motor skills or has a fine motor delay, this city play dough mat can be a fun way to build those skills.

        In fact, there are so many fine motor skills needed in school and in home learning environments whether it occurs in the classroom, virtual learning, or the homeschool dining room. Building fine motor skills can make an impactful difference in learning and functional tasks!

        How to increase hand strength with a play dough mat

        Play dough mats are a big hit with kids. They can come in any theme, making them fun for specific interests. This astronaut play dough mat is one of our favorites. The thing is, though that just the act of playing with play dough on a play dough mat is a really power tool in strengthening little hands!  

        In fact, there are so many ways to use a play dough mat to strengthen the skills kids need for fine motor tasks.   One of the ways we have been focusing on here on The OT Toolbox with our recent play dough mat series is working the intrinsic muscles of the hands by rolling small balls of play dough in various sizes.

        Using the finger tips and thumb of one hand at a time to roll a play dough ball is an intrinsic muscle workout that builds the muscles of the thenar eminence, hypothenar eminence, the interossei, and the lumbricals. All of these muscle groups make up the intrinsic hand muscles which are those located within the hands.  

        The intrinsic muscles are those responsible for nice, defined arches of the hands, the ability to separate the two sides of the hand, and to have nice, bulky muscle tone in the mass that makes up the base of the thumb and the side of the pinkie finger. These muscle groups help with dexterity, endurance, coordination, and controlled manipulation of small items and all things fine motor!  

        Free Play Dough Mat

        Grab a copy of this free playdough mat by entering your email in the form below.

        You will receive the printable play dough mat in your email where you can download it and use it over and over again in your therapy toolbox.

        Want to check out the other play dough mats we’ve shared recently? They are all designed to promote strengthening of the intrinsics and hand strength in kids.

        Free Astronaut Play Dough Mat

        Free Space Play Dough Mat

        Free Ice Cream Play Dough Mat

        Free Bird Theme Play Dough Mat

        Be sure to grab the city play dough mat and use it for increasing hand strength in fun ways!

        Grab this FREE printable City Themed play dough mat to help kids strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the hands!

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          Use this city theme play dough mat to work on hand strength and increasing the hand strength needed for fine motor 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 contact@theottoolbox.com.