This ocean animals matching game was originally published when many OT professionals were conducting virtual therapy sessions a few years back. Now that therapy is back to in-person sessions, resources like this sea animals matching game slide deck are a useful tool for many reasons! It’s a great addition to a summer occupational therapy session or any sea animal theme.
Sea Animals Matching Game
Animals of the sea are a fun and engaging theme for kids, so this sea animals game is a motivating way to build on that.
Originally, this slide deck was a tool for targeting skills in visual memory, visual perceptual skills, attention, executive functioning skills, handwriting, and more. Therapy providers could access the slide deck and work on specific skills with kids over virtual therapy sessions.
Now, a few years later, the same therapy tool can still be used in several different ways:
- Print off the slide decks and use them as Ocean animal “Spot It” worksheets.
- Pull up the sea animal game on a tablet or computer in face-to-face therapy sessions to work on visual perceptual skills.
- Use the slide deck on a larger screen such as a Smart board or TV. Add gross motor actions for each sea creature. Use the visuals as a prompt for various gross motor coordination tasks by acting out the sea creatures.
- Use the slide deck as a prompt for sea animal yoga, ocean animal brain breaks, or in a Simon Says command.
- Work on handwriting by writing down the names of the ocean animals that the user spots in the matching activity.
- Print off the slide decks and ask the user to cut out the circles for each matching game. Then, they can clip a paper clip onto the edge of the circle when they find the match. This is a powerful hand strengthening activity that addresses bilateral coordination and motor planning. (Here are more paper clip activities to build fine motor skills.)
- To really ramp up the gross motor skills and incorporate visual scanning skills, print off the pages as PDFs and then cut out the individual circles. Place them at greater distances around the room. This activity targets visual attention as well. It’s a great way to grade the task to foster near point copying skills and far point copying skills.
- Incorporate the activity with other ocean animals games like “guess who” to identify features in the mind’s eye and work on executive functioning skills.
Matching games are such a great way to work on visual perceptual skills that are needed for hand writing and reading. This ocean animals matching game is a therapy activity that helps kids to work on several visual perceptual skills including visual discrimination form constancy visual scanning and other skills. Add this idea to your summer occupational therapy line-up!
Ocean animals Matching Game
This is a great activity for an ocean theme this summer.
Kids that love ocean animals like fish seahorses seahorses octopus and see turtles will get love working on this spotting game.
To play children can look at the two circles on the slide deck. They can visually scan to locate the identical ocean animal that is the same on each part of the slide. Then the interactive piece of this game is a movable seaweed option. They can click and drag on the seaweed icon and drag it over to cover up the matching animals. By doing this interactive piece kids can improve eye hand coordination and visual tracking skills as well.
Ocean animals writing prompts
Then after the students find the matching ocean animal there is a slide that is a self-checking exercise. The slide asks “did you find the missing item?” and then offers an ocean animals writing prompt.
On the handwriting portion of this ocean animals activity kids can copy the ocean animals word from the slide.
They can work on letter formation and copying skills from a near point or a distance point.
There’s also an open ended writing prompt where kids can copy a full sentence.
You can then expand the activity to an open ended writing prompt by asking that student to expand on that topic or ocean animal.
For example kids can copy the word octopus and work on letter formation letter size and spacing between letters. Then they can copy the octopus sentence. They can work on spacing between letters and words, letter formation, line use, punctuation, capitalization, and overall legibility.
Then finally expand on the activity and ask students to continue to write about an octopus they can either write a silly sentence or another fact if they know one. This slide deck includes many ocean animals that kids will have fun finding and writing about. Other ocean animals included in this slide deck include:
- sea turtle
- puffer fish
- conch shell
- school of fish
Sometimes kids will have difficulties copying or reading without losing their place on the paper. Convergence insufficiency can be one cause for this. Other reasons can be visual scanning or visual attention skills. This slide deck is one way to work on these skills.
Copying from a near point is a great way to work on visual shift visual attention and visual memory skills that are needed for kids to copy words from a workbook onto paper or from some other source like a book into a notebook.
By shifting the slides to an overhead screen such as a SmartBoard that is positioned across the room children can work on distance copying. This visual motor skill can be a challenge for some kids who struggle with visual attention and visual memory. In order to copy from a source children need to visually recall where they left off and then shift their vision while holding the visual information in there our minds eye and then realizing where to go back to on the board to copy from. That shift can be difficult for kids so this open ended and fun activity can help with visual motor skills and copying from near and far points.
This matching game is similar to others that we have here on the website so if a spotting and matching game is an interest and helpful for you and the children that you serve check out these other spotting and matching activities:
- Rainbow Emotions Spot It Game slide deck
- Spot It game hearts slide deck
- Penguin Theme Emotions Game
- Bugs Emotions Activities slide deck
Want more ways to play and build skills with a beach or ocean theme? Check out these fun ideas:
Use the cards along with other sea creature games and activities like…
- Deep Blue Sea Sensory Bin
- Jellyfish Crafts
- Sensory Diet Activities at the Beach
- Narwhal Craft
- Beach Play Dough Activity
- Beachball Sensory Seating Idea
- Summer OT Activities
Free Ocean Animals Matching Slide Deck
Would you like to access this free ocean animals activity to work on visual perceptual skills, eye-hand coordination, and handwriting? Enter your email into that form below and you can access this resource to use in teletherapy sessions in home programming in face-to-face therapy sessions or in homeschooling activities. Another option is to also use for hand writing prompts in the classroom.
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 email@example.com.