Today, we have a fun handwriting resource for you. Grab your mittens because this snowball alphabet worksheet PDF is a free download that builds many skill areas. It may look like a snowball themed tracing worksheet, but this snowball letters PDF builds many skill areas. Let’s take a look at various ways to incorporate Winter Snowball letters into therapy and the classroom or home!
And, grab our mitten printable too in order to support fine motor skills, pencil control, and eye-hand coordination.
The OT Toolbox is continuing with its winter theme this month by offering another wonderful free printable. If you have to live/vacation/endure somewhere with snow, you might as well make the best of it. Everyone loves making snowballs. That is why they have snow making machines pumping out fake snow here in the south, so we don’t miss out on all of the fun. I have to say it is kind of strange sledding and throwing snowballs while wearing a short sleeved shirt.
Before we get to the snowball letters activities, check out these snowball sensory ideas. Use real snow brought indoors (or use the items outside!). Kids will LOVE to use these snowball tools with our fake snow recipe. Plus, when kids are involved in making the fake snow, there are more therapy goals to address like executive functioning, bilateral control, and even tactile defensiveness.
Snowball Maker- The beauty of making snowballs? It has evolved! No longer do you need to have cold wet mittens while scooping up layers and layers of snow. They have a tool for that! This (amazon affiliate link) snowball scooper is perfect for creating the perfect snowball.
Before you scoff and say you would rather do it the old fashioned way, you need to check this thing out! I made the most perfect fake balls of snow with this contraption. Now all I need is a launcher like they make for tennis balls, and some better aim. Are you intrigued by this wonderful tool?
Snowball Mold Set– Wait, there is more! Kind of makes me want to have a snow day to try all of this cool stuff out. You no longer have to roll snowmen, create handmade blocks for igloos, or scoop the snow with your hands. Tired of circle snowballs? They have a solution for that! This snow mold set comes with penguin and heart shapes. Need to be more efficient when creating these fluffy white bundles of fun? They have a tool that will make FIVE snowballs at once! They have just ramped being out in the snow to a whole new level.
Now that we have filled your shopping cart with such wonderful things to do in the snow, what about the days when your learners have to be in school, or it is too awful to stay outside all day? A winter skills treatment or lesson plan is just what you need.
Snowball Alphabet PDF
The OT toolbox is showcasing winter activities and PDF sheets all month long. Today’s cute design is an alphabet letter worksheet full of winter snowballs to practice letter formation.
As always I love the versatility of each of these pdf activities and printables. This design comes with two different ways to change the activity for different skill levels. Tracing inside snowballs or working on letter formation with blank winter snowballs.
Use this snowball alphabet worksheet PDF along with our recent Winter Clothes Number Tracing worksheet for tons of skill areas.
When working with any learners, it is important to be able to adapt or grade your activity for multiple learning levels. What does it mean to grade an activity? To make it easier or harder for your whole caseload of learners or adapt the task for a specific learner. Suppose you get started with the blank snowballs and realize your learner has no clue what the letters look like. You would grade this down to either tracing, or copying letters from a model. You could grade it further down to matching letters or identifying them. You can grade up to writing lowercase and uppercase letters in the winter snowballs.
Snowball Letter Tracing Sheet
Since the first page is a tracing task, let’s talk about tracing. I am not a fan of tracing unless it is used correctly, or the objective is understood.
- Tracing is not going to teach number/letter formation if the learner does not know what those figures are. To a learner who does not know these symbols, they will be tracing lines, not numbers or letters
- Know your audience. If your learner does not know the letters or numbers, use the activity as a fine motor task to develop dexterity
- Kinesthetic awareness. This long word means to learn by doing. Theoretically if a person writes the number 5 enough times, the body will start to recognize this pattern and commit it to memory. This only works if the learner understands what is being traced
- Tracing for dexterity. This is the type of tracing I like best. Tracing for dexterity works on staying on the lines, fine motor control, building hand muscles, scanning and so much more.
What else does tracing and writing alphabet letters work on?
- Handwriting – this is obvious as you are building letter formation
- Fine motor control – holding a pencil, developing intrinsic muscle control to improve written expression, dexterity to stay on the lines on the tracing section
- Letter formation – correctly forming the letters top to bottom
- Letter sizing – correctly fitting the letters into the size boxes
- Copying – copying letters from a model if you have graded it to include one
- Working memory – remembering what letters have already been written, and what comes next. See if your learner can recall the next letter without going back to letter A each time
- Sequencing – will your learner do the letters in order? Will they go in a haphazard pattern all over the page?
- Bilateral coordination – remembering to use their “helper hand” to hold the paper while writing. Using one hand for a dominant hand instead of switching back and forth is encouraged once a child is in grade school or demonstrates a significant strength in one or the other.
- Strength – core strength, shoulder and wrist stability, head control, balance, and hand strength are all needed for upright sitting posture and writing tasks.
- Executive function skills – attention, frustration tolerance, task completion and initiation, self regulation, working independently
To learn more about executive function, type this into the search bar on the OT Toolbox to see dozens of posts on this topic. Here is a general post on executive function by Colleen Beck, owner of the OT Toolbox:
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More ways to use the SNOWBALL ALPHABET WRITING PRACTICE SHEETS PDF
There are many other ways to adapt or grade the snowball alphabet sheet:
- Laminate the page for using markers and wipes. This can be useful for reusability, as well as the enjoyment markers bring.
- Place craft pom poms or mini erasers on the letters.
- Cut out the snowballs and use them to match letters.
- Use the snowballs for letter BINGO. Call out letters and ask kids to find the letter in the alphabet.
- Call out a letter and have a student place a mini eraser or marker on the letter. Then they can form the letter onto paper or onto the blank snowballs.
- Different colored paper may make it more or less challenging for your learner
- Enlarging the font may be necessary to beginning handwriting students who need bigger space to write.
- Create another page with all of the alphabet letters for copying or reference
- Have students cut out letters from another page and glue to the snowballs – this adds a cutting and gluing element
- Velcro the back of the snowballs, after laminating and cutting it, to create a matching game
- Make changes to the type of writing utensil, paper used, or level of difficulty
- Have students write on a slant board, lying prone on the floor with the page in front to build shoulder stability, or supine with the page taped under the table
- Project this page onto a smart board for students to come to the board and write in big letters.
- More or less prompting may be needed to grade e activity to make it easier or harder
- Make this part of a larger lesson plan including gross motor, sensory, social, executive function, or other fine motor skills
How to document this activity:
- First determine what goals and skills you are addressing. Are you looking strictly at letter formation, tracing, and alphabet recall? Or something else entirely such as executive function and behavior?
- Focus your observations on the skills you are addressing. It is alright to address one or ten skills at once, just be sure to watch for those skills during the activity. This can take practice to watch everything all at once. Newer clinicians often videotape sessions to go back and review clinical observations they may have missed.
- Use data to back up your documentation. Avoid or limit phrases such as min assist, fair, good, some, many, etc. They are vague and do not contain the numbers and data critical to proficient documentation. Instead use percentages, number of trials, number of errors, exact sizing, how many letters were written incorrectly, number of reversals, number of prompts, minutes of attention. You get the idea.
- This type of documentation may feel foreign at first if this is not what you are used to, however insurance and governing agencies are becoming more strict on accurate documentation.
In addition to this great winter snowballs alphabet PDF worksheet, the OT Toolbox has entire winter themed lesson plans available as well as a Snowman Lesson Plan Kit that covers all aspects of therapy sessions.
These winter printables, including this Snowball Alphabet Worksheet will be highlighted all month long to help create amazing therapy sessions. I have to say I am kind of excited about the snowball making contraption for those of you who live in the frozen north.
Free SNOWBALL ALPHABET WRITING PRACTICE SHEETS PDF
Want to grab a copy of this Snowball Alphabet Worksheet PDF for your therapy toolbox? Enter your email address into the form below and the PDF will be delivered to your inbox. OT Toolbox Member’s Club members can access this writing practice sheet along with many others with one click to download, inside the dashboard.
I’d rather throw sand than snowballs any day!
Victoria Wood, OTR/L
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.
Click here to read more about the Snowman Therapy Kit and to grab your copy while it’s on sale.