Occupational Therapy crafts for kids

Occupational therapy crafts, and essentially any crafts for kids, are a central part to the typical pediatric OT session. There is a reason why these crafts for kids are so popular on our website: Occupational therapy is founded in craft-making. So, when we, as OTs go back to our profession’s roots, we address underlying skill areas through fun and engaging crafts.

Children that make these OT crafts are developing motor skills and cognitive skills, but also the social-emotional and mental development that we as OTs center our profession around. We love to create with crafts. By making crafts with kids, they are not only creating, but also building essential skills. Many of the kids crafts on this site use recycled items or items you’ve already got in the home.

As a special resource, I’ve added additional OT crafts and ideas that use items in the home, making schooling at home or telehealth services easier when it comes to coming up with occupational therapy teletherapy activity ideas.  

Occupational therapy crafts to help kids build skills like fine motor, direction following, scissor skills, bilateral coordination, and more.

Occupational Therapy Crafts

There are so many developmental benefits to crafting with kids. Use the occupational therapy craft ideas in planning in person or OT teletherapy services. Other crafts can be sent home as an OT home program idea. Children can create while working on skills like fine motor dexterity and strength, line awareness, scissor skills, language, self-confidence, problem solving, tool use, and more.

What’s more, is that kids can create within their interests and will not even realize they are working on skill areas as they craft. Some of these OT craft ideas can pair nicely with homeschooling or schooling at home unit studies and classroom lessons. The best news is that I’ve strived to include loads of recycled crafts so using recycled materials in craft creation is easy.  

Scroll through our collection of crafts and choose a few to do with your children.  Have fun crafting! And don’t forget to stop back soon, we’ll be adding more crafts soon. 

Occupational therapy providers use craft with kids to target many different areas of development. Check out our video that covers how crafts support skills: 

Make these kids crafts using items found in the home

Kids Crafts With Items in the Home

Items in the home can be used in crafts Try some of these items:

  • Paper bags
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels
  • Shredded paper
  • Plastic food containers
  • Clothes pins
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Tissue Boxes
  • Wrapping paper
  • Post-It Notes
  • Coffee Filters

Fine Motor Occupational Therapy Crafts

Occupational therapy crafts many times, center around the development of fine motor skills. Cutting, pasting, tearing, positioning, beading, knotting, sewing…all of these functional tasks require fine motor strength, coordination, grasp, precision, manipulation of craft materials and tools.

Below, you’ll find crafts for kids that can be used to promote fine motor development, refine the skills needed for other fine motor tasks.

Occupational therapy craft materials

But first, what are some crafting materials you can add to your occupational therapy toolbox? Consider adding these items to your therapy bag:

  • Craft pom poms
  • Clothes pins
  • Various grades of paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue (Squeeze glue in a bottle is best for hand strength development)
  • Beads
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Paper clips
  • Straws
  • Cardboard
  • Yarn
  • Buttons
  • Cupcake liners

There are many other craft materials out there that support fine motor development, but with this small list of materials, you can create a huge array of crafts that support skill-building in OT sessions.

Fine Motor Crafts for Kids

These fine motor crafts for kids work on specific fine motor skills: strength, dexterity, manipulation of materials, in hand manipulation, and pinch and grip. Children creating these crafts gain experience in the small motor skills needed for tasks like object manipulation, tool use, pencil grasp, clothing fasteners, and any small motor activity.

Textured Crafts for Kids

These craft ideas incorporate various textures and textiles, giving kids experience in manipulating a variety of materials. All of that experience adds up: children become more confident in manipulating materials.

Learning Crafts

These kids crafts add learning components. Make the scarecrow craft and add math problems. The germ crafts are great for a lesson on washing hands and germs. Add these crafts to a lesson plan.

Preschool Crafts for Kids

These craft ideas cover nursery rhymes and preschool themes. They are great ways to help preschoolers develop important skills: fine motor work, scissor skills, shapes, early math, direction following, and more.

Simple Shape Crafts for Kids

These crafts are easy to make and great for kids just learning to use and manipulate scissors. The simple shape crafts hare much like tangrams: Building the craft requires kids to use visual motor integration skills to place the shapes where they go in alignment with others on the page. They are great tools for developing spatial awareness and position in space skills.

Process Art Crafts for Kids

These process art crafts are great for occupational therapy because they add messy, sensory play. Kids gain experience with tactile input through various textures and gain confidence, creativity, communication skills, and learning.

Creative Painting ideas for kids

Creative painting is such a fun way to explore the senses and create with color theory.  Kids will love these creative painting activities:   

Book Crafts for Kids

These book related crafts are based on preschool books. Read the book, talk about the concepts in the book and complete the crafts. You can come up with a whole therapy lesson plan or classroom lesson plan based on these preschool book crafts.

Recycled crafts and craft ideas for kids using recycled items like bottle caps, newspapers, toilet paper tubes, and other craft ideas.

Recycled Crafts for Kids

Kids can use items like recycled plastic bottles, bottle caps, egg cartons, newspapers, and so many other items in occupational therapy crafts that build skills. Consider some of these recycled items that can be used in crafts for kids:

  • Plastic water bottles
  • Bottle caps
  • Paper Towel Tubes
  • Toilet Paper Tubes
  • Bread ties
  • Egg cartons
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Takeout containers
  • Food containers
  • Tissue paper
  • Cereal boxes
  • Worksheets or printer paper
  • Old crafts or artwork
  • Junk mail

Paper Material Crafts

Items like recycled paper tubes, egg cartons, and coffee filters are great for developing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination skills.

Kids crafts and activities designed to build skills in occupational therapy sessions.

Year-Round Crafts for Kids

These craft ideas can be used with any theme in the school setting, in preschool classrooms, or in occupational therapy sessions year round. Use these crafts to support child development skills any time of year.

Animal Crafts for Kids

Use these animal crafts for kids to support fine motor development, eye-hand coordination skills, scissor skills, and more with a fun animal theme.

Animal crafts for kids



Summer Crafts for Kids

These summer craft ideas will have kids developing skills during the summer months. Use these as occupational therapy home programs over the summer months to work on scissor skills, handwriting, and fine motor strength.

Fall Crafts for Kids

These Fall themed craft support child development and motor skills using sunflowers, Fall leaves, school buses, and other fun Fall themes.



Winter Crafts for Kids

These Winter crafts support development of skills using snowflakes, ice, winter birds, and other Winter themes.





Spring Crafts for Pediatric OCcupational therapy

These Spring themed crafts develop fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, dexterity, scissor skills, and more…all with fun holiday and seasonal Spring crafts for occupational therapy sessions!

More kids Craft Ideas:

These are crafts we’ve created!  We love to add fine motor and sensory details into each of our crafts.  Colleen’s background as an occupational therapist provides expert input about the visual, fine motor, and sensory aspects of our crafts.  We love to have fun creating and hope you get a few ideas from our list!  We’re always creating, so stop back often to see more ideas.


For more crafts and tools to support fine motor skills, grab one of our Fine Motor Kits! Each one includes themed cut and paste crafts, tissue paper art, glue art, lacing cards, and much more. Check them out!

Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.