In this blog post, you can grab a fee set of forest animals worksheets for building skills in several fine motor and visual motor areas. Develop cutting, coloring, and visual perceptual skills all in one task! The forest animal activities include bear, fox, and even a forest mushroom to work on scissor skills, coloring, and visual perception.
Forest Animals Worksheets for Therapy
Children have the attention span roughly equal to their age x 3-4 minutes. According to this site, a five year old can hold his/her attention for about 15 minutes before wanting to change tasks.
As a practicing therapist, working with non-typical students, I find this is a stretch. In my experience, children can attend for about ONE minute for every year they age. This being said, finding activities that build multiple skills at once, such as cutting and coloring in one task is key.
The free download below, is just such an activity. When kids complete the forest animals coloring and cutting pages, they develop many skill areas:
- Hand strength (coloring and cutting)
- Scissor skills
- Bilateral coordination
- Pencil control
- Line awareness
- Spatial awareness
- Visual perceptual skills
- Visual memory
With electronics taking over classrooms, it is especially important to take time to work on building foundation skills such as cutting, coloring, pasting, and visual perception using hands-on activities such as these Scissor Skills Puzzles.
Too many young children do not have the right fine motor skill development, creating maladaptive pencil grasp, poor handwriting, or inability to manipulate fasteners.
It is often difficult to motivate children to work on cutting and coloring. Because it is a challenging task with many opportunities for failure, it is often avoided by children. Math, while presenting many challenges itself, is predictable and steady, thus a more preferred task for those who struggle with visual motor development.
Free Forest Animals Worksheets
The Forest Friends Scissor Skills Puzzles are great worksheets to build fine motor skills such as cutting and coloring, while also developing visual perceptual skills.
You will find ways to make tasks such as Forest Friends Scissor Skills Puzzles engaging, interesting, and motivating to each individual learner. A few colored markers, some glitter, and a theme your child enjoys, can make the difference between a positive and negative task.
These worksheets can be adapted and modified to meet the needs of several types of learners. Consider these ideas to grade this activity:
Change the Scissors to address various skill areas:
● Change the scissor size or tool: small toddler scissors are just right for tiny hands.
● Self opening or loop scissors are another way to make cutting easier for those learning to cut, or lacking the intrinsic hand muscles to open and close scissors.
● Did you know left handed people cut in a clockwise direction while their right handed friends cut counter-clockwise? This allows the helper hand to support the paper adequately while cutting.
● See this article on developing scissor skills for more ways to develop cutting skills using this free download.
Change the Paper to address various skill areas:
● lightweight paper is much more difficult to stabilize than heavy weight construction or cardstock paper.
● Colored paper may be easier or more difficult for children to work with because of color contrasts.
● The page can be laminated first, using wipe off markers to color in the design. This is a great way to make this page reusable. Cutting the pieces before coloring it may be necessary. Although this takes away the cutting task, it may be a great adaptation for children who are not able to cut yet.
Use various Writing utensils with these forest animal worksheets:
● There are endless possibilities for coloring. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, paints, watercolor, chalk, or dry erase pens all provide different input, and require different levels of fine motor skill to manipulate.
● Small one inch crayons are excellent for developing those tiny hand muscles.
● Chalk, with its grainy texture, provides sensory feedback and can be a positive (or negative) experience
● Markers glide easily, requiring less precision and grip strength ● Change writing utensils to appeal to different students and improve their level of motivation.
Use the Forest animal worksheets to address Visual perception:
● Puzzles are a great way to work on visual perception.
● Figure ground, parts to whole, and visual closure are important to academic development.
● Many adults are unable to complete puzzles or find missing objects because they can not perceive parts to a whole. They only see the forest, not the individual trees.
For more cut, paste and color activities, check out this Animal Alphabet workbook!
To improve cutting skills, this scissor skills workbook is also available.
With children’s limited attention span, and increasing demands on therapy time, an all in one activity that develops cutting, coloring and visual perceptual skills at the same time is an efficient and fun way to build the fine motor foundation.
Download the free forest animals worksheets
To use these forest animal color and cut puzzles, enter your email address into the form below. Start working on fine motor and visual perceptual skills in man different ways!
Victoria Wood, OTR/L is a contributor to The OT Toolbox and has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.