Friendship Activities

friendship activities

Today, we are covering friendship activities. These are friendship crafts and lessons that support the social emotional skill development of interacting with others by creating close relationships. Friendship activities are great for therapy interventions and as a supplement to social emotional skills. Friendship activities involve learning and using empathy, and activities to support friendship skills are a great way to develop these learned skills.

These friendship activities support the social emotional skill development of interacting with others by creating close relationships. Friendship activities are great for therapy interventions and as a supplement to social emotional skills. Friendship activities involve learning and using empathy, and activities to support friendship skills are a great way to develop these learned skills.

I am excited to share a collection of friendship activities designed to help children establish and build friendships. How do you teach friendship? This can be an abstract concept for kids, but by using friendship skills activities like games to teach social skills, friendship crafts, friendship recipes, and printables about friendship, we can teach children skills like empathy, perseverance, sharing, cooperation, and other essential components of friendship.

Be sure grab these friendship activities for teletherapy:

Writing about Friendship Slide Deck – writing prompts, writing letters to friends, and handwriting activities to develop friendship skills, all on a free interactive Google slide deck.

Personal Space Friendship Skills Slide Deck– Friendship involves allowing personal space, and body awareness and all of this is part of the social skill development that some kids struggle with. Use this free Google slide deck to work on body awareness and personal space.

Friendship activities to help kids develop social skills for friendship skills. Includes friendship recipes, friendship crafts, social stories information, and more.

Friendship Activities

Are you a good friend? Do you make a good friend? Do you have good friends? All of these are such important questions for children who are learning each day the necessary social skills that build lasting friendships. Strong social skills are an important piece of everyday life and the earlier this is recognized, the better social growth and development a child will experience. 

Strong social skills are an important piece of everyday life and the earlier this is recognized, the better social growth and development a child will experience.

Demonstrating and recognizing the friendship qualities that makes a good friend and keeps friendships strong is an important skill to have early on in childhood. Children will develop friendships with others from different backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, and abilities.

Adults have a responsibility to teach children about kindness and friendship to all. Learning this along with how a good friend acts and behaves and what is the right and wrong way to treat a friend is essential for strong social skill development.

Friendship activities can help children begin to explore the friendship qualities and behaviors that are important to learn how to be a good friend, if they make a good friend, and recognize do they have a good friend.

Read on for some creative ways to engage children in learning friendship skills.

Teaching Friendship Skills to Kids

There are many wonderful activities that can be used to help children develop friendship skills. What are some of the specific skills that are needed for building and maintaining friendships?

  • Empathy
  • Acceptance
  • Sharing
  • Listening
  • Asking questions/being interested
  • Helping others
  • Responding to social situations
  • Communicating
  • Turn-taking
  • Cooperating
  • Solving problems
  • Perseverance
  • Being supportive
  • Trustworthiness

Some of these concepts are very abstract.

Using concrete examples, modeling, social stories, and activities that provide examples of these social skills can be powerful.

One way that I’ve loved to help children with social skill development in hands-on, and memorable ways is through play. To bring real-life visual examples that provide an opportunity for conversation and discussion is to use children’s books to inspire exploration of friendship skill development. Here are children’s books and activities that develop friendship skills.

Use the books to inspire discussion and play-based exploration of concepts such as empathy, acceptance, and differences.

Another way to address abstract concepts is through play. Use everyday toys to explore and develop turn-taking, communication, sharing, and problem solving.

Or, address turn-taking with blocks as kids communicate and practice taking turns.

Explore differences with this friendship sensory bottle.

These other friendship activities will give children the time to play and read to help them build a better understanding of good friendship behaviors and how to demonstrate them. Let’s take a look…

Sensory Friendship Activity

Friendship Countdown Chain

Friendship Ice Cream Cone Throw

Friendship Recipe

Food is always a fun way for children to learn!  Using food is a great way to explore different friendship characteristics while making a tasty friendship treat to eat!

These recipes include food items like cereal, fruit, chocolate, and nuts. Be sure to always check for food allergies and especially peanut or nut allergies, if you include these in your treats. 

Freight Train Activity – This mesmerizing book teaches basic concepts of shapes and colors, but can be expanded to discuss differences, awareness of others.

Friendship Treat Recipe

Friendship Snack Mix

Friendship Snack Mix

Friendship Fruit Salad

Friendship Games

Games are another fun way for children to learn important skills like sharing, empathy, making friends, kindness, differences, and more.  What child doesn’t like games? 

Engage children in these fun games that include a version of I Spy with monsters, bean bag activities played in a group while in a line or a circle, tossing of a yarn ball to say why someone makes a good friend, and activity ideas in a cooperation blog post that includes elements of friendship.

What Makes a Friend? Monster Game

Core Strengthening Friendship Activity

Friendship Yarn Game

Cooperation: 12 Group Activities for Kids

Friendship Crafts

Friendship activities such as those that support the development of social emotional skills through crafts are always a hit. In occupational therapy, crafts are a creative way for children develop motor skills, executive functioning, and emotional regulation, but they are also a fantastic way for kids to express themselves, share and create with others, and develop their skills.

These friendship crafts incorporate all of these elements while focusing on friendship to include spreading kindness, sharing, turn taking, and giving.

Empathy Activity– Use beads and a children’s book to explore empathy.

Super Friend Capes made with tee shirts.

Friendship Rocks Fingerprint Hearts made with rocks and fingerprints.

Friendship Flowers made with construction paper.

Foam Heart Friendship Necklaces made with foam hearts, beads, and yarn.

Beaded Friendship Bracelets made with beads and stretchy cords.

Friendship High Fives made with handprints and construction paper.

Secret Friendship Messages made with white crayons and revealed with watercolor paints.

Friendship Printables

In the classroom, therapy room, and hallway are great places to display friendship posters that show the importance of friendship and help create a positive classroom and school community. They show how to be a good friend and how not to be a good friend as well as help children to gain an understanding of good friendship qualities.

Friendship Posters

How to Be a Friend Posters

Friends Play Dough Printable

Friendship social stories

Social stories, or printable, hand-held stories that describe situations can give kids a concrete plan for everyday tasks. Using social stories to explain social situations is a great way to help kids with abstract concepts.

There are many nice templates out there that cover aspects of friendship, but for the most part, a social story should be individualized for each child.

This article on Autism and Friendship Skills includes important research on this topic to explore, but when it comes to using online social stories, they may not always be appropriate. Writing a social story for your child will be far more effective when you use the images, vocabulary, and terms that make sense to YOUR child or client, and the specific situations that are appropriate to your individual child or client.

Friendship Activities with Books

Mentioned briefly above, using books to help kids explore friendship is an incredibly rewarding way to pair friendship activities with the world of books.

Parents can cozy up with a child under a cozy blanket, for a calming and regulating experience of reading books togeter. Then, there is the oppourtunity to communicate about the characters, their friendships, and their conflicts, and their social situations that they had to navigate.

Through books, families can look at the pictures and come back to specific concepts again and again. And, adding hands-on, multi-sensory play experiences brings those concepts home.

In the resource, Exploring Books Through Play, you’ll do just that.

This digital, E-BOOK is an amazing resource for anyone helping kids learn about acceptance, empathy, compassion, and friendship. In Exploring Books through Play, you’ll find therapist-approved resources, activities, crafts, projects, and play ideas based on 10 popular children’s books. Each book covered contains activities designed to develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sensory exploration, handwriting, and more. Help kids understand complex topics of social/emotional skills, empathy, compassion, and friendship through books and hands-on play.

Click here to get your copy of Exploring Books Through Play.

social emotional activities for kids
Regina Allen

Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!

Weaving Projects for Kids

weaving projects for kids

Recently, I was looking into new ways to challenge fine motor skills for my clients – especially ones that did not require purchasing new materials. I wanted something that could challenge scissors use, problem solving, sequencing, attention, and could be used in prep for ADL skills, like buttoning. Then, it came to me: weaving!

Weaving projects for kids including simple weaving and complex weaving activities to work on fine motor skills.

Weaving Projects for Kids

Weaving projects and craft are so simple, yet so effective – even the clients that I thought would be frustrated by this old-school craft were super proud of their work. Weaving is something you can do in many different ways, typically dependent on skill level and desired outcomes.

Since we are talking about buttoning skills, I am offering two different options: an advanced one for the kiddos that are almost ready to button independently, and a
beginner version for those who are not quite ready to button yet. I hope you adapt these crafts as needed to meet the “just-right” challenge!

Related: Feathers and Burlap Weaving activity that builds bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, pinch, grip, and dexterity.

Complex Weaving Instructions

  1. With two pieces of paper of different colors, cut strips of any thickness or length you’d like – just make sure you have an even number. The thinner and longer you cut them, the bigger the challenge. I like to use two different colors to make the task easier to understand and add visual interest.
  2. Cut holes for threading. Half of your strips (or all of one color) need holes for threading. Have your kiddos figure out how big the cuts need to be in order to fit the other strips of paper through.
  3. Fold the paper in order to cut two holes, side by side, throughout the strip of
    paper. This will be where you weave the other strips of paper through.
  4. Begin Weaving.
  5. Weave the remaining strips of paper (the ones without the holes) into the paper
    with the holes, making a basket-weave pattern.
  6. Here is where those buttoning skills come into play! The practice of moving the
    strip of paper through one hole and up and over through the next hole mimics the actions of buttoning and unbuttoning.

If you are creating a specific craft, here is where you can make the weaved pattern into your kids’ desired shape! If you are unsure what you could offer, see the examples below.

  1. Draw the desired object on top of the weaved pattern OR use simple print out to guide the scissors.
  2. Cut the object out.
  3. Add extra paper or decorative objects with glue to seal the edges if you’d like!

Does this sound a bit too challenging for one of your kids? You can lower the difficulty in a few different ways, but below is one idea that is particularly useful if your child demonstrates difficulty with visual motor or perception skills that are required for buttoning.

Simple Weaving Instructions

  1. With two pieces of paper of different colors:
    a. Cut multiple, 1-inch thick straight lines to the edge of one piece of paper, leaving about an inch uncut on one edge to “hold” all the strips together.
    b. Cut 1-inch strips of the other piece of paper.
  2. Simply overlap the loose strips of paper onto the other cut paper, every other to make a checkerboard pattern.
  3. Maybe add a gluing or stapling component to challenge them in a different way!

Weaving Projects for kids

I know that it’s so much easier to motivate kids to complete a craft or activity if it is related to a season, holiday, or something that they are personally interested in. That’s one reason why I love weaving crafts – they are so simple at their base, that they can truly be used for anything!

Fall Weaving Crafts- Plaid shirts, apple baskets, spider webs, or hay bales.
Winter Weaving Crafts- Sweaters, holiday gifts, Christmas Stockings, or candy canes
Spring Weaving Crafts- Easter baskets, Spring dresses, umbrellas, or raincoats
Summer Weaving Crafts- Picnic blankets, picnic baskets, or beach towels.

Or for the sporty kiddos in your life, make basketball hoops, soccer goals, tennis rackets, or hockey goalie helmets! The possibilities with weaving projects really are endless.

Here are some additional weaving and buttoning crafts to get the ball rolling!

More Fine Motor ideas to build skills:

Working on building skills this summer? The Summer OT Bundle is for you!

Summer occupational therapy activities bundle

Work on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, scissor skills, and much more so that kids can accomplish self-care tasks, learn, and grow through play all summer long.

This bundle is perfect for the pediatric occupational therapist who needs resources and tools to use in summer therapy sessions, home programs, or extended school year therapy plans.

This bundle is perfect for parents, grandparents, and caregivers looking to provide developmental fine motor activities designed to help kids build skills.

  • Send kids back to school in the Fall without worrying about the “Summer Slide”.
  • Use these materials to work on areas like hand strength, fine motor development, scissor skills, handwriting, pencil control, pencil grasp, sensory play experiences, and much more. Just pull out the pages or activities you need for your child, and develop skills through play!

The Summer OT Bundle includes 19 resources that you can print and use over and over again:

Helping children develop and achieve functional skills this summer was never so easy (or fun!)

Be sure to grab the Summer OT Bundle, a HUGE resource of therapy tools and activities for all things building skills this summer.

Grab the Summer OT Bundle here.

Sydney Thorson, OTR/L, is a new occupational therapist working in school-based therapy. Her
background is in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is passionate about
providing individualized and meaningful treatment for each child and their family. Sydney is also
a children’s author and illustrator and is always working on new and exciting projects.

Owl Activities for Therapy

owl activities

These owl activities are not just owl themed activities for kids, they are therapy tools to use in occupational therapy sessions! I love introducing the children that I work with to owls. There is something both appealing and mysterious about their big, thoughtful eyes and it’s fascinating to learn about their nocturnal nature. There are so many fun, creative ways that owls can be incorporated into therapy sessions to help you achieve your therapy goals.

Owl activities for kids

Owl Activities

Pick some of the owl activities below, using owl crafts, owl visual motor activities, and owl movement activities for helping kids develop skills.

Owl Toilet Paper Roll Craft

This super simple activity produces a gorgeous little decorative owl. All you need is a toilet paper roll and some markers. Googly eyes are a bonus but not essential. Use markers to color in or decorate the paper toilet roll.

Younger children can color as they would like to and older children can be encouraged to draw patterns around the roll. Holding the paper roll and drawing on it requires co-ordination between the left and the right hand. This introduces a good way to promote bilateral integration.

Coloring in the toilet roll requires some bilateral integration while turning the roll while drawing patterns around the roll increases the demands on coordination between the left and right hands. For more bilateral coordination strategies, try these activities for bilateral integration.

To add another element to the task you could ask your child to copy the patterns or designs that you have drawn on your owl. This could be fun in sessions if you have two children attending together or in class where children could work in pairs.

Copying the patterns on the owl requires good spatial organization and the ability to transfer visual information accurately onto paper.

Once the paper roll is decorated draw or stick eyes onto the top and fold the top ends inwards to create the owl’s ears.

Owl craft for kids

Feed The Owl Fine Motor Activity

On the paper towel owl crat, draw the outline of an owls head and use scissors to cut out the beak so that it flaps open. You can stick a container underneath the beak to catch the food. Provide a clothes pin and a handful of small pom poms.

Use the clothes pin to pick up a pom pom and drop it into the owl’s beak. This is good for fine motor strengthening. Using a clothes pin also isolates the thumb, index and middle fingers which will help to establish a tripod grip. This is a great activity that uses a clothes pin activities to develop a child’s grasp.

Another option is to roll small worms of playdough between the thumb and index finger to feed to the owl. Rolling pieces of the playdough between the thumb and finger are great for precision, grasp development, and intrinsic hand strength.

How To Draw An Owl

How-to-draw activities are an excellent way to develop planning skills, copying abilities, pencil control and confidence in drawing. Children are often amazed at what they are able to draw after following a few simple steps.

The owl is a great animal to start with as it is made up of circles and simple shapes. Circles are one of the earliest developmental shapes a child is able draw.

The circle is also one of my best friends when we start working on letter formation in the foundation phase.

Mastering a good circle in an anti-clockwise direction puts you on the path to being able to form many of your letters correctly. Here are other prewriting lines activities that form this foundation of letter formation.

To draw an owl in building therapy skills needed for handwriting, use the simple steps from one to four to complete this cute owl. Copying simple shapes owl form helps children to develop their visual discrimination skills and to improve their copying abilities.

Once the drawing is completed spend some time discussing the final outcome. This part of self-assessment is effective in self-analysis and carryover of skills.

  • Is it the same as the picture provided?
  • Is anything different?

Copying, or visual motor integration is vital for successful learning in the classroom and learning.

The draw an owl activity can be extended to address other areas as well, including visual memory.

Challenge the children to have a look at the owl they have drawn for a minute and
then cover up their picture. See if they are able to reproduce the owl from memory. This is a good way to work on visual memory and copying, especially when copying written material from a distant point, where visual memory is helpful to recall materials so the child doesn’t need to shift their vision up and down for each letter or word.

Owl Bookmark Craft

Another great owl activity is this owl bookmark craft from Red Ted Art. When I tackle reading difficulties I find that creating an owl bookmark is a good way to motivate reluctant readers. Using the owl gives me an opportunity to talk to children about the importance of the visual system and how essential it is for our eyes to move well and see well so that we can read.

The owl bookmark craft helps them to understand many of the tasks that we do in therapy to develop eye tracking and visual perception. Most of all I think the children enjoy creating something of their own that they can keep and that they can use when they read their books at home.

When children follow the directions to make the owl bookmark, they are incorporating many fine motor skills and visual motor skills:

  • Bilateral coordintaion
  • Finger isolation
  • Separation of the sides of the hand
  • Arch development
  • Hand strength
  • Visual motor skills
  • Spatial organization

Paper folding develops spatial organization, bilateral co-ordination, fine motor strength and selective finger movements. For other ideas on paper folding activities have a look and the Beautiful Oops Book Activity

Owl Worksheets

There are also some lovely owl worksheet resources when you need to focus on pencil control and pre-writing skills:

I know that you will have a hoot including owls into your activities with your children.

Contributor to The OT Toolbox: Janet Potterton is an occupational therapist working predominantly in school-based settings and I love, love, love my job. I have two children (if you don’t count my husband!), two dogs, one cat, two guinea pigs and one fish. When I am not with my family or at work I try to spend time in nature. The beach is my happy place.

Suncatcher Crafts (that Build Skills)

Suncatcher crafts for kids

Looking for Summer activities that kids can do in therapy or at home while building fine motor skills? These suncatcher crafts are designed to do just that. I’ve put together a few sun catcher activities that kids can do this summer to work on dexterity and precision…and brighten up any room! Use these DIY suncatcher activities in occupational therapy interventions or therapy at home and let’s get those fine motor skills working!

Suncatcher crafts that kids can use to build fine motor skills.

These are just one of the many occupational therapy crafts for kids that we have here on the site. Use these suncatcher crafts to build essential skills needed for writing, pencil grasp, functioning, and play!

Suncatcher Crafts Kids will Love

This time of year (and all year long, really) suncatchers make a fun craft for kids to make.  They brighten up a room by bringing light and color in.  We had to look around the webs for more gorgeous suncatcher crafts and found some beautiful crafts for Summer fun.  These suncatchers are not only pretty, they use some different materials to catch the sun’s rays and fill your room with color.

Gorgeous Suncatcher crafts for kids

Sun catcher Crafts for Kids

This Faux Stained Glass Suncatcher from Buggy and Buddy is a great way to incorporate ruler skills, bilateral coordination, visual tracking, and other visual perceptual skills into a DIY suncatcher craft. Children can then color in the faux stained glass to work on line awareness and pencil control skills. What a great suncatcher activity for therapy!

This gratitude craft doubles as a Flower Suncatcher. Kids can work on scissor skills, bilateral coordination, motor planning, and even social emotional development. Involve the practice of empathy and mindfulness in kids as they focus on things and people they are thankful for when making this creative suncatcher craft.

This Rainbow Suncatcher from Fireflies and Mudpies is a great fine motor workout. Kids can thread beads onto pipe cleaners and build arch development, pincer grasp, tripod grasp, bilateral coordination, and eye-hand coordination skills. Then melt this DIY rainbow sun catcher into the most colorful window decoration.

This Button and Glue Suncatcher can be a fine motor workout as kids improve pinch, precision, eye-hand coordination, in-hand manipulation, separation of the sides of the hand. It’s a fun craft to use the materials you have in your home but also build fine motor skills!

This Crayon Shaving Suncatchers from Red Ted Art is a powerful fine motor activity. It works on separation of the sides of the hand, tripod grasp, and eye-hand coordination skills. Throw in cutting with scissors and you’ve got a scissor skills craft, too! Then, use those left-over crayon shavings to work on finger isolation like we did in this crayon shaving sensory bag.

These Oil Suncatchers from Meaningful Mama addresses a variety of skills: bilateral coordination, scissor skills, pencil control (using multisensory processes with a cotton swab and oil as the writing medium). What a fun way to work on fine motor skills that results in a beautiful sun catcher craft!

This Christmas Tree Suncatcher craft can be used for any theme or holiday. Use the same premise of picking up small sequins for a neat pincer grasp activity that builds arch strength, precision, and opposition of the fingers.

These Tissue Paper Heart Suncatchers from Fireflies and Mudpies can be a creative way to work on scissor skills. Cutting tissue paper is a challenge for kids because of the thin nature of the paper. But, it’s a great way to work on refinement of fine motor skills. Then add the bilateral coordination, motor planning, and visual figure-ground skill work and you’ve got a therapy craft that will be a hit! Here are more fine motor activities with tissue paper that can be used in OT interventions.

This Nature Collage Suncatchers from Hands on as We Grow can be a fun way to work on eye-hand coordination, grasp development, and visual figure ground skills with kids.

These Salt Dough Suncatchers from Homegrown Friends are a gorgeous sun catcher craft that can add heavy work through the hands, followed by pinch and dexterity grasp work.

Need more ways to build fine motor skills through play?

Grab the Summer Fine Motor Kit to work on precision, dexterity, grasp development, and much more!

Working on building skills this summer? The Summer OT Bundle is for you!

Summer occupational therapy activities bundle

Work on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, scissor skills, and much more so that kids can accomplish self-care tasks, learn, and grow through play all summer long.

This bundle is perfect for the pediatric occupational therapist who needs resources and tools to use in summer therapy sessions, home programs, or extended school year therapy plans.

This bundle is perfect for parents, grandparents, and caregivers looking to provide developmental fine motor activities designed to help kids build skills.

  • Send kids back to school in the Fall without worrying about the “Summer Slide”.
  • Use these materials to work on areas like hand strength, fine motor development, scissor skills, handwriting, pencil control, pencil grasp, sensory play experiences, and much more. Just pull out the pages or activities you need for your child, and develop skills through play!

The Summer OT Bundle includes 19 resources that you can print and use over and over again:

Helping children develop and achieve functional skills this summer was never so easy (or fun!)

Be sure to grab the Summer OT Bundle, a HUGE resource of therapy tools and activities for all things building skills this summer.

Grab the Summer OT Bundle here.

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.

Cute Frog Crafts for Kids

frog crafts

These cute frog crafts are fun ways to use a frog theme to build skills. From paper plat frogs, to cut and paste frog crafts, these are great occupational therapy crafts to use in fine motor skill work, scissor skills activities, and a frog and toad theme. These frog crafts will keep you hopping!

Use these frog crafts to develop fine motor skills, scissor skills, precision, and refined grasp. Includes paper plate frogs and more.

Frog Crafts

Frog crafts like the ones shown here are fun ways to build motor skills within a frog theme. Learning about the frog life cycle is a common theme in preschool or early elementary lessons. Use the frog crafts here as a developmental tool.

I love using crafts like the ones listed below 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 awarenessscissor skills, language, self-confidence, problem solving, tool use, and more.

These frog crafts can be added to a frog theme, with resources like:

Frog Crafts for Kids

Work on tactile sensory tolerance with this frog handprint craft. This is a great functional craft for kids because you can include a hand-washing activity after making the handprint art. Washing off the green paint is an excellent visual in ensuring kids are thoroughly washing their hands.

Work on scissor skills, bilateral coordination, hand strength, sequencing, and motor planning with this frog paper plate craft. Folding and cutting paper plates are great for building hand strength and working on finger isolation. This craft includes different grades of cutting tasks and can be a great incentive for cutting simple to complex shapes.

For more complex scissor skill crafts, try this frog on a lily pad craft. It can be a challenge for some kids, but cutting the frogs and lily pad shapes can be a just right level for others that are building scissor skills with complex lines.

Cutting paper plates is a strengthening activity that provides more resistance and can slow down the scissors, allowing for more accuracy along cutting lines. Use this paper plate frog craft to build these skills.

For a fine motor workout, make this shredded paper frog craft. Kids can pick up and manipulate the shredded paper pieces while working on precision, tip to tip grasp, open-thumb web space, and more refined precision skills.

This easy shapes frog craft is great for preschoolers or those cutting simple shapes. Use this craft for beginners and to address scissor skills cutting along circles and simple shapes. (Then work up to the more difficult frog crafts.)

Try this toilet roll frog to work on refined grasp, precision, scissor skills, and more motor skill development.

Use these cute frog crafts to develop fine motor skills, scissor skills, precision, and refined grasp. Includes paper plate frogs and more.

More Frog Activities

Add the Frogs and Toads Motor Skills Mini-Pack to this activity and build stronger, more refined motor skills in children.

frog and toad activities motor skills packet

These printable activities extend to work on a variety of other functional areas, too: handwriting skills, numbers, math, adding, subtracting, one-to-one correspondence, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

The Frogs and Toads Motor Skills mini pack includes:

  • Fine Motor Mazes
  • Fine motor paths
  • A-Z frog letters for word building
  • “Froggy Says” gross motor game
  • 1-20 Number Building Mats
  • Play Dough Mat
  • Handwriting Pages
  • I Spy page
  • Gross motor directionality sheets

Done for you motor skills activities and FUN frog and toad themes combine in the Frogs and Toads Motor Skills Mini-Pack. Work on grasp, hand strength, eye-hand coordination, handwriting, scissor skills, heavy work, gross motor skills, coordination, and all things fine and gross motor skills in this 43 page printable packet.

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.

Adorable Ant Crafts for Kids

ant crafts for kids

These ant crafts are completely adorable but more than that, each ant craft you find here is a powerful fine motor activity that builds hand strength, scissor skills, motor planning, direction following, sequencing, and precision. Check out each ant craft below for fine motor crafts to use in OT sessions or to develop specific skills.

These ant crafts make a great addition to Spring occupational therapy activities and Summer occupational therapy activities.

Ant Crafts

You can add these ant craft ideas to a picnic theme in therapy. Be sure to grab these picnic activities for your ant crafts to join:

 

 

 
Ant crafts for kids. These are so cute!
 

Cute Ant Craft Ideas 

When we saw Reading Book By Book’s ant hill reading activity, we had to share it.  Then of course, we had to look for more cute ants on the web!  

 

Try these other ant craft ideas as well:

This ant spoon craft from Paging Fun Mums is a fine motor activity for working on bilateral coordination and hand strength.

This ant egg carton craft from Teaching Mama builds precision, dexterity, in-hand manipulation, sequencing, and motor planning skills.

This ant puppet from Toddler Approved challenges scissor skills, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and other fine motor skills.

This ant theme from Chestnut Grove Academy includes an ant craft stamp activity that can build eye-hand coordination and add proprioceptive input.

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.

Cupcake Liner Butterfly

cupcake liner butterfly

This cupcake liner butterfly is a scissor skills craft to build fine motor skills and scissor skills. Use this cupcake liner craft in therapy with a butterfly theme or in Spring occupational therapy activities. Spring is here (whether the weather agrees or not!) and this butterfly craft is a fun way to celebrate!  With how easy this cupcake liner butterfly craft is, we’ll be sure to make a few batches of these all summer long.

Cupcake liner butterfly craft for kids

How to make a Cupcake Liner Butterfly

You’ll need a few materials for this craft: 

Butterfly craft made with cupcake liners!

  This post contains affiliate links.  

Related Read: Use this scented scissor skills activity to help kids learn graded scissor use in a fun way! 

Use cupcake liners to help with scissor skills with kids.

To make the butterfly craft, follow these directions:

  1. Cut the cupcake liners like the picture above.  Kids can work on their scissor skills by cutting a material like a cupcake liner.  It’s a lighter weight material than regular paper and a great way to address line accuracy and scissor control.
Make a cupcake liner butterfly to work on scissor skills with kids.

2. Cut butterfly bodies from the black cardstock.  

3. Trim the butterfly wings to curved “C” shapes.   

Cupcake liner butterfly craft for spring!

4. Build the butterflies!  We loved mixing up the colors for this bright and cheery Spring craft.  

Moving the pieces of the butterflies to build the insects is a challenge in visual motor skills.

More butterfly activities for therapy

More Cupcake Liner crafts

Try these cupcake liner crafts to help kids develop precision and coordination in scissor skills using cupcake liners.  

 
 
 

Spring Fine Motor Kit

Score Fine Motor Tools and resources and help kids build the skills they need to thrive!

Developing hand strength, dexterity, dexterity, precision skills, and eye-hand coordination skills that kids need for holding and writing with a pencil, coloring, and manipulating small objects in every day task doesn’t need to be difficult. The Spring Fine Motor Kit includes 100 pages of fine motor activities, worksheets, crafts, and more:

Spring fine motor kit set of printable fine motor skills worksheets for kids.
  • Lacing cards
  • Sensory bin cards
  • Hole punch activities
  • Pencil control worksheets
  • Play dough mats
  • Write the Room cards
  • Modified paper
  • Sticker activities
  • MUCH MORE

Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

Spring Fine Motor Kit
Spring Fine Motor Kit: TONS of resources and tools to build stronger hands.

Grab your copy of the Spring Fine Motor Kit and build coordination, strength, and endurance in fun and creative activities. Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

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.

Coffee Filter Butterfly Craft

coffee filter butterfly craft for kids

This coffee filter butterfly craft is a great fine motor and bilateral coordination activity for kids. If you are looking for butterfly life cycle crafts, this one is a great addition. Or, if you are seeking Spring OT activities, be sure to add this colorful fine motor butterfly craft to your list.

Coffee filter butterfly craft to build fine motor skills in kids.

Coffee Filter Butterfly Craft

This coffee filter craft is a nice one to develop skills because it works on so many areas that are covered in therapy sessions:

  • Pinch and grip strength
  • Eye hand coordination
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Motor planning
  • Crossing midline
  • Precision and dexterity
  • Open-thumb web-space
  • Arch development
  • Separation of the sides of the hand
  • Finger isolation
  • Thumb IP joint flexion (great for pencil grasp!)

How to make a coffee filter butterfly craft

This was an easy set-up and fun craft we did one afternoon recently.  You’ll need the following materials:

  • Coffee filters
  • Water color paints/water
  • A straw
  • Clothes pin
  • Pipe cleaner
  • String (to make a banner)

Directions: Use a paint brush to add a bit of water to the wells of a water color paint pallet. To really work on fine motor skills, use your thumb to drop water droplets into the paint tubs. Using the straw to drip water into the water colors can be a challenging fine motor task but one that really develops separation of the sides of the hands, thumb IP joint flexion, and motor planning skills. Read more about the thumb IP joint and thumb wrap grasp in pencil grip. This craft is a powerful way to work on this functional grasp skill!

Make a coffee filter craft and build fine motor skills with kids using a straw to paint.

Little Guy and Big Sister both loved dropping the water into the color wells.  Big Sister felt pretty good about showing her little brother how to drop the water into the color wells using her straw. 

Use straws to paint with watercolors and work on fine motor skills with kids.

This is a great activity to work on thumb isolation and control of the thumb during fine motor activities. 

Next, dip the edges of the coffee filters into the colors so the water creeps onto the edges of the coffee filter.

Other ways to add the color can use the straw end or the paint brush. This craft is nice because it can be adjusted for many different kids.

When kids drip the color on with a paintbrush, or drop color with the straw, it’s fun to try different ways to color the filters and see the colors blend together.  

Work on fine motor strength with clothes pins to make a butterfly coffee filter craft.

Next, use clothes pins to pinch the middle of the coffee filter together in the middle. This is a great hand strengthening and eye-hand coordination task.

Finally, add a pipe cleaner to the end of the clothes pin for the antenna of the coffee filter butterfly. Bend the pipe cleaner around the clothes pin and twist it up to make antenna.

Coffee filter butterfly craft for building fine motor skills.

If you like to create several butterflies in a variety of colors, you can clip them onto the string for an other bilateral coordination task.

They look pretty!  Big Sister wanted to hang them on the ceiling of her room.  We strung the butterflies on yarn and taped them to her ceiling.  This would be a great way to display a whole client caseload of coffee filter butterflies and really show off those fine motor skills!

Add this butterfly craft to a butterfly theme in therapy or home programing.

These heavy work cards include a page of butterfly life cycle activities that incorporate calming heavy work activities for motor planning and proprioceptive benefits.

Or, in the Spring Fine Motor Kit, you’ll find butterfly and caterpillar activities that are designed to build a variety of fine  motor manipulation, dexterity, and strengthening tasks.

Butterfly coffee filter craft

Spring Fine Motor Kit

Score Fine Motor Tools and resources and help kids build the skills they need to thrive!

Developing hand strength, dexterity, dexterity, precision skills, and eye-hand coordination skills that kids need for holding and writing with a pencil, coloring, and manipulating small objects in every day task doesn’t need to be difficult. The Spring Fine Motor Kit includes 100 pages of fine motor activities, worksheets, crafts, and more:

Spring fine motor kit set of printable fine motor skills worksheets for kids.
  • Lacing cards
  • Sensory bin cards
  • Hole punch activities
  • Pencil control worksheets
  • Play dough mats
  • Write the Room cards
  • Modified paper
  • Sticker activities
  • MUCH MORE

Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

Spring Fine Motor Kit
Spring Fine Motor Kit: TONS of resources and tools to build stronger hands.

Grab your copy of the Spring Fine Motor Kit and build coordination, strength, and endurance in fun and creative activities. Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

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.