Cherry Blossom Crafts

Cherry blossom crafts

Spring is finally upon us, and the flowers will be blooming soon – it’s the perfect time to introduce some springtime crafts! The ideas you’ll find here are Spring fine motor activities that help to develop hand strength and dexterity. Cherry Blossoms are one of the most famed blooms every year, and for good reason, too – they are gorgeous and short-lived. Cherry blossom trees only have flowers for about 14 days, and only for about a week of that time is when they are this beautiful:

Cherry blossom crafts kids can make to develop fine motor skills.

Cherry Blossom Crafts

Get yourself and your kiddos into the springtime spirit with any of these Cherry Blossom crafts, and add these ideas to your Spring occupational therapy interventions.

At the bottom of this post, you’ll also fine Cherry Blossom book ideas to incorporate into multisensory learning through play, so keep reading for story time ideas, too!

Cherry blossom crafts for kids that develop skills, use in occupational therapy interventions or at home to help kids develop motor skills.

Q-TIP CHERRY BLOSSOM CRAFT

First, we have to talk about q-tip art. Just look at the creations you can make with a simple bathroom staple:

  • This Handprint Tree from Glued to my Crafts will keep your little ones entertained for a while!
  • Or this Spring Tree from A Little Pinch of Perfect, using the q-tips as the tree branches – brilliant!

Why make art with a Q-Tip?

  • First of all – It’s fun and cheap!
  • Using objects in a way that is not their intended purpose teaches object fluidity, and encourages cognitive development through creative play.
  • Holding a tiny Q-tip stick strengthens fine motor skills and encourages the development of a tripod grasp which is a part of handwriting development

Tissue Paper CHERRY BLOSSOM Craft

Next on the list is tissue paper crafts, so simple yet so beautiful!

We have to have one in here for developing mathematical skills! This is the perfect craft that challenges logical thinking and memory but doesn’t feel like learning to your young student.

  • Cognition and fine motor skills can be developed using felt and a tree branch in this cherry-blossom-themed Tactile Math Activity.
Cherry blossom craft pattern craft for teaching patters
  • This Tissue Paper Tree from The Adventure Starts Here couldn’t be easier! You just need glue, tissue paper, and a printed (or drawn!) image of a tree. 
  • Or, glue some tissue paper on to a stick in this 3D Cherry Blossoms project, from Practically Functional. 
Cherry blossom craft to develop fine motor skills in kids

For even more fine motor development in a craft, check out these Fine Motor Cherry Blossoms

Why use tissue paper in crafts?

  • Ripping tissue paper strengthens the muscles of the fingers, hands, and arms.
  • Touching the crinkly and smooth textures of tissue paper provides a gentle sensory experience that is good for sensory seekers or avoiders.
    • Depending on the papers that you use, you can offer various sensory experiences – the textures, the sounds, the colors!

Why should I give my toddler a bottle of glue?

  • Squeezing a bottle of glue can take a lot of effort, which strengthens the muscles of the hands that are necessary for occupational skills like handwriting, zipping coats, etc.
  • Learning to control the pressure is a great way to teach fine motor planning skills.
    • Motor planning occurs before a voluntary movement happens, and when we are learning new physical skills, like squeezing a glue bottle, it requires some thinking beforehand to get it right.
    • The action-reaction that occurs with the amount of pressure from the squeeze (action) to the glue that is released (reaction) is a very tangible way to teach this skill. 

CHERRY BLOSSOM Fingerprint crafts

We can’t offer a craft without a finger painting option! Read on for why painting with your fingers is beneficial for your child’s development.

Why use fingers when we have a paintbrush?

  • The answer is that both are great tools to teach different skills!
  • Using fingers as a tool in artistic play provides great sensory feedback to the brain.
    • The textures of the paint, the feeling of the paper, the pressure to place the pain down, and the colors that they can experiment with all provide learning experiences for their growing mind.
  • Using a paintbrush is great, too!
    • The paintbrush provides another way to interact with the paint and paper while using their little hands in a prehensile pattern. Prehensile = grasp, and using any utensil develops their general grasping skills necessary for many occupational skills that are coming their way (handwriting, opening bottles/jars, buttoning, zipping, the list is endless!). 

Cherry blossom books

Add a book to the craft activity to add dialogue and communication opportunities to craft time, while facilitating problem solving, social emotional learning, and more.

I personally love the days when I am able to connect a craft with a story. It makes the simplest things feel so purposeful and well-thought-out – like you’ve won the parenting award for the day!

Here is a list of cherry blossom themed books to go along with your craft: (Amazon affiliate links included below.)

Pinkalicious: Cherry Blossom by Victoria Kann

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms  by Robert Paul Weston and Misa Saburi

Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes by Jef Aerts and Sanne te Loo

Cherry Blossoms Say Spring (National Geographic Kids) by Jill Esbaum

Spring Blossoms by Carole Gerber and Leslie Evans

Sydney Rearick, OTS, is an occupational therapy graduate student at Concordia University Wisconsin. Her background is in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is passionate about meeting your family’s needs. After working as a nanny for the last decade, Sydney is prepared to handle just about anything an infant, toddler, or child could throw at her. She is also a newly established children’s author and illustrator and is always working on new and exciting projects.

Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises

Pencil control exercises with colored pencils

If you are looking for ways to work on handwriting legibility and pencil control, then you are in the right place. This Occupational Therapist loves to teach kids handwriting.  Neatness counts when it comes to writing on the lines and being able to read that homework assignment a few hours into the nightly after-school ritual.  Today, I’ve got one easy tip for helping kids to manage with pencil control in order to write on the lines at an age-appropriate speed. Add this pencil control activity to this list of pencil control exercises.

Pencil control exercises with colored pencils
This activity is perfect for kids from Kindergarten on up through school-aged.  Anyone who is writing with a pencil and trying to form letters on lines, copy written work, fill in worksheets, and take notes will love this handwriting exercise in pencil control.
 
Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.
 
 


Pencil Exercises

This post contains affiliate links.
 
Pencil exercises like this simple colored pencil activity are powerful ways to improve pencil control in handwriting.
 
This activity is really, so simple.  There is nothing you need more than a pencil and paper.  We pulled out colored pencils to make our handwriting activity into a rainbow of color and to add a visual scanning component.

 

Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.

 

Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises

With this activity, we’re working on keeping the pencil strokes within the lines of a small circle.  

  1. First, draw a bunch of circles in different colors on a piece of paper.  The circles should be 1/4 inch in diameter.  
  2. Ask your child to fill in the circle with the matching colored pencil. A red circle should be filled in with the red colored pencil.  

The objective here is to fill in the whole circle without going over the lines.  Because the circle is so small, filling it in with the colored pencil requires very small muscle movements of the fingers.  

A child who uses their wrist or forearm to write (such as a child using a grasp such as the thumb wrap grasp, for example, are over compensating for weakness and lack of endurance of the intrinsic musculature in the hand and utilizing a stabilizing grasp.  This rainbow pencil control exercise strengthens dexterity, including range of motion in the thumb IP joint. Read more about the thumb IP joint and handwriting in a previous post.

This overcompensation does not allow fluid motions of the fingers when moving the pencil in handwriting.  Because the circles are so small, the child can focus more on using the small motor motions to fill in the color.

 
Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.

 

 

More Pencil Control Exercises


Extend this activity to further your child’s fine motor skills and pencil control in handwriting:

  • Ask your child to draw an “X” in each circle, without going over the lines.
  • Ask your child to draw horizontal or vertical lines within each circle, much like we did here.
  • Create a color coding activity: Match one circle color up with another pencil color.  When you call out a color, your child can fill in that colored circle with a different, predetermined colored pencil.  This is a test of visual scanning and quick thinking.
  • Draw larger circles and show your child how to fill them in with strait pencil strokes.
  • Work on pencil control strokes using the pages in our Colors Handwriting Kit
Pencil control exercises for kids using colored pencils

    This rainbow handwriting activity is part of the Rainbow Activities for Kids series.  Find more rainbow activities here:

rainbow activities for kids

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:Rainbow in a Bag – No Mess Art // Powerful Mothering Rainbow Pasta Threading // Play and Learn
Everyday Rainbow Tinker Tray // Still Playing School How to Flip a
Rainbow | Simple Science for Kids
// Lemon Lime Adventures Rainbow Sun Craft // Fairy Poppins Beginning Sound Rainbows // Playdough to Plato DIY Rainbow Crayon Names // Pre-K
Pages Rainbow Bear Color Matching Game
// Life Over Cs Rainbow
Marble Painting Process Art
// Preschool Inspirations DIY Paper Plate Loom: Rainbow Yarn Art // Sugar Spice and
Glitter Rainbow Sight Words // The Kindergarten Connection Rainbow Math with a DIY Abacus // Fun-a-Day Simple Rainbow Sensory Bottle for Kids // Coffee Cups
and Crayons Roll a Rainbow // The STEM Laboratory  

Colored pencils exercises for improving pencil control in handwriting.

Looking for more handwriting ideas?  Here are some of my favorites:

Colors Handwriting Kit

Rainbow Handwriting Kit– This resource pack includes handwriting sheets, write the room cards, color worksheets, visual motor activities, and so much more. The handwriting kit includes:

  • Write the Room, Color Names: Lowercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Uppercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Cursive Writing
  • Copy/Draw/Color/Cut Color Worksheets
  • Colors Roll & Write Page
  • Color Names Letter Size Puzzle Pages
  • Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages
  • Colors Pre-Writing Lines Pencil Control Mazes
  • This handwriting kit now includes a bonus pack of pencil control worksheets, 1-10 fine motor clip cards, visual discrimination maze for directionality, handwriting sheets, and working memory/direction following sheet! Valued at $5, this bonus kit triples the goal areas you can work on in each therapy session or home program.

Click here to get your copy of the Colors Handwriting Kit.

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.

Rainbow Hundreds Chart Puzzle

In this rainbow math activity, we used popsicle sticks to make a rainbow hundreds chart puzzle that was perfect for my kindergarten and second grade kiddos. (And, it would be a nice hands-on math activity for first grade, too.)  This is a multisensory math idea that combines fine motors skills with the colors of the rainbow to teach kids about groups of tens in a hundreds chart.

Combining numbers into groups of ten and those tens into hundreds is a math concept that is so important for so many math concepts.  We worked on fine motor skills to build the tens columns and combined them into hundreds to work on a few math skills.

Make this hundreds chart puzzle with rainbow popsicle sticks for multisensory math and hands on learning for kids.

This was such a fun rainbow activity for the season, but this activity could definitely be used year-round.


Hundreds Chart Puzzle

Amazon links are included below. You’ll need a few materials for this rainbow hundreds chart puzzle:

A punch like this one is perfect for building gross hand grasp strength. BUT, if you want this crafting project to move by faster than a snail’s pace, use a 3 Hole Punch. It’s perfect for working proprioception to the arms.  Fold paper into columns and slide it into the punch to get a bunch of holes punched at once.

Make a hundreds chart puzzle using rainbow popsicle sticks for multisensory math for kids.

To make the rainbow puzzle:
Punch a ton of holes from the white paper.

Sort the popsicle sticks into rainbow order on the table surface. Kids can work on visual scanning and visual perceptual skills for this task as they look for colors of the rainbow.

Next, Swipe the glue along the craft sticks and count out ten holes from the white paper. This is a super counting activity for kids to practice counting ones and grouping into tens.  

The fine motor work going on here is fantastic, too. Picking up those itty bitty paper holes is a precision grasp workout.

Punch extra holes from the colored construction paper.  

A rainbow popsicle stick hundreds chart puzzle is a fine motor math activity that kids can make.

 

And, you’re done!  Practice counting the numbers using the tens craft sticks.  Arrange them into groups of ten sticks to create a hundreds chart.  

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!
Use this rainbow math hundreds chart puzzle to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

Multisensory Math activities

Use this rainbow hundreds chart puzzle for a variety of hands-on math activities:

  • Sort the popsicle sticks into rainbow order.
  • Count the dots by tens
  • Add up all of the colors that are the same, being sure to count by tens.
  • Build two and three digit numbers
  • Practice addition with and without regrouping using the manipulatives as counters.
  • Practice subtraction with and without regrouping using the craft stick manipulatives.
  • Build a two or three digit number and ask your child to name the number.
  • Ask your child to name a number and then build a two or three digit number.

Looking for more ways to learn with rainbows?  

Rainbow learning activities for kids

 

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

Our favorite multisensory math activities:


Regrouping double digit math

Outer Space Regrouping Maze


Regrouping Tips and Tricks

How would you play and learn with this rainbow hundreds chart puzzle and math popsicle stick hundreds chart?

Take multisensory learning further with the rainbow theme. Try our new Colors Handwriting Kit. It now includes a bonus pack of fine motor, visual motor, and directionality pencil control activities.

Colors Handwriting Kit

Rainbow Handwriting Kit– This resource pack includes handwriting sheets, write the room cards, color worksheets, visual motor activities, and so much more. The handwriting kit includes:

  • Write the Room, Color Names: Lowercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Uppercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Cursive Writing
  • Copy/Draw/Color/Cut Color Worksheets
  • Colors Roll & Write Page
  • Color Names Letter Size Puzzle Pages
  • Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages
  • Colors Pre-Writing Lines Pencil Control Mazes
  • This handwriting kit now includes a bonus pack of pencil control worksheets, 1-10 fine motor clip cards, visual discrimination maze for directionality, handwriting sheets, and working memory/direction following sheet! Valued at $5, this bonus kit triples the goal areas you can work on in each therapy session or home program.

Click here to get your copy of the Colors Handwriting Kit.

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.

Rainbow Sort Color Activity

rainbow sort fine motor activity

This rainbow sort activity is a fine motor skills idea to help kids sort colors while developing dexterity and precision and learning colors. By sorting the colors of the rainbow into small containers, a rainbow fine motor activity is a colorful way to help kids develop fine motor skills. Add this idea to your rainbow theme in therapy interventions, or home activities for developing motor skills.

Rainbow sort activity for fine motor skills in kids
Rainbow sort activity to help kids develop fine motor skills with a rainbow theme

 

Rainbow Sort

We have been on a rainbow kick recently and have a ton of rainbow projects going on right now.  This color sorting activity was a fun one that the big kids and my toddler really got into. 

This rainbow sort activity is easy to set up. All you need is colorful craft pom poms and an ice tray or two. The ice trays are the perfect size for the crafting pom poms.

 

Rainbow sort activity for kids to develop fine motor skills
 
Kids can sort the colors of the rainbow to work on fine motor skills

 

Preschool Rainbow Activities

 
This color sorting activity is great for toddlers to develop fine motor skills in the preschool and toddler years. Baby Girl (17 months) got right in there.
 
In the preschool years, fine motor skills are a precursor for handwriting and pencil grasp. This pre-writing activity is perfect for preschool aged children. 
 
Add this rainbow fine motor activity to the preschool classroom or home by adding tongs, tweezers, or scoops to help kids develop the precision, motor coordination, and eye-hand coordination skills kids need at the preschool age. 
 
Plus, this rainbow sort activity is a great way to teach preschoolers colors, too.
 
To work on pre-writing skills in other ways, try this rainbow prewriting activity available on a free slide deck. 
 
Tongs are a powerful fine motor tool to use in occupational therapy activities that develop fine motor skills. To elevate this fine motor activity, ask kids to make their own craft stick tongs to manipulate these colorful craft poms. Preschool children can sort the colors using different colored tongs that are easy to make.
 
Rainbow sorting fine motor activity for preschool
 She is ALWAYS watching the big kids and copies everything!
 
Look at that concentration.  And that cute little baby belly!   

 

Rainbow activity for fine motor skills in toddlers
 
I can’t stand the cuteness!
 
Toddler fine motor skills

 

Rainbow sort color learning activity for kids

 

Rainbow fine motor skills activity
 
 
Colors Handwriting Kit

Rainbow Handwriting Kit– This resource pack includes handwriting sheets, write the room cards, color worksheets, visual motor activities, and so much more. The handwriting kit includes:

  • Write the Room, Color Names: Lowercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Uppercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Cursive Writing
  • Copy/Draw/Color/Cut Color Worksheets
  • Colors Roll & Write Page
  • Color Names Letter Size Puzzle Pages
  • Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages
  • Colors Pre-Writing Lines Pencil Control Mazes
  • This handwriting kit now includes a bonus pack of pencil control worksheets, 1-10 fine motor clip cards, visual discrimination maze for directionality, handwriting sheets, and working memory/direction following sheet! Valued at $5, this bonus kit triples the goal areas you can work on in each therapy session or home program.

Click here to get your copy of the Colors Handwriting Kit.

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.

Activities for Teaching Colors

teaching colors

There are so many ways to include multisensory play in teaching colors to children. Here, you’ll find hands-on, creative ways to teach colors of the rainbow using play that helps kids develop skills, move, and grow. Use these color activities in preschool or to teach toddlers colors. It’s a fun way to develop visual discrimination skills in young children.

Multisensory activities to teach colors to toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners.

I’m including color activities for kindergarten and school-aged children, as well, because this color themes can be used in therapy activities or to help kids develop handwriting, or visual motor skills in the older grades. There is a lot of fun, hands-on activities listed here that help children learn colors and explore through play!

Activities to teach colors to toddlers

Teaching Colors to Toddlers

Toddler play and development is all about the hands-on exploration of the world. We have a lot of toddler activities designed to develop motor skills and learning here on the website that you’ll want to check out.

To teach colors to toddlers, it’s all about making things fun. These toddler activities will get you started with hands-on development activities.

So many color activities in the toddler years involve sorting colors, identifying colors, and pointing out colors. All of these activities lay the building blocks for visual discrimination that kids will use in reading and writing down the road.

Try these activities for teaching colors to toddlers:

Toddler Color Sorting with Toys– This activity uses toys and items that are found around the home, making the color identification part of every day life. You can use items that the child uses and sees every day.

Teach Color Sorting Activity– This simple color sorting activity is great for families that have a preschooler and a toddler. The preschooler can cut foam sheets and work on scissor skills and then both the preschooler and toddler can sort the paper scraps by color. This is a nice activity that allows siblings to work together to learn concepts and grow skills together.

Color Sort Busy Bag– Toddlers love to drop items into containers, and put things into buckets, bins, and bags…and then take them back out again. It’s all part of the learning process! This color sorting busy bag gives toddlers colored craft sticks or dyed lollipop sticks and has them sort by color. It’s a great activity for developing fine motor skills and coordination, too.

Cup Sorting for Toddlers– This color sorting activity uses items in the home, like plastic toddler cups! There is just something about toddlers playing in the kitchen with baby-safe items…and this one builds pre-literacy and pre-math skills that they will use long down the road…through play!

Talk about colors– Pointing out colors during play, conversation, in reading books, and going for walks…there are so many ways to teach colors to babies and toddlers through everyday conversation. It’s as simple as saying, “look at that blue flower” to add descriptive terms to kids.

Color with painting– Incorporate all of the colors of the rainbow in multisensory activities from a young age. These art play activities incorporates colors into play and learning through art with toddlers.

Teach colors with a ball pit– Use ball pit balls in a baby pool. You can bring a baby pool indoors as a baby ball pit to teach colors.

Teaching colors to preschoolers with multisensory learning activities

Teaching Colors in Preschool

In the preschool stage, learning occurs through play! These color learning activities are designed to promote learning through hands-on exploration, because those are the ways that learning “sticks”…when hands are busy and developing motor skills that they will later need for holding and writing with a pencil. Let’s look at some ways to teach colors in the preschool years:

Teaching Shapes and Colors with Rainbow Rocks by Fun-A-Day- This activity is fun because it uses the heavy weight of rocks to teach colors and shapes. But, kids are also strengthening their hands and gaining motor feedback about objects as they explore colors and other discriminating factors like weight and size.

Color and shape sorting– This preschool color sorting activity gives kids fine motor experiences with wikki stix. Ask preschoolers to copy the shapes, too for extra fine motor skill building and visual motor integration.

Fine Motor Color Sort– Grab an old spice container or cheese container, and some straws. This color sorting activity lays the groundwork for fine motor skill development and math skills. Kids can count the straws as they drop into the container and work on sorting colors while developing open thumb web space, separation of the sides of the hand and arch strength.

Color Matching Water Bin– This color learning activity is a sensory motor activity that also teaches letters. It’s perfect for preschool and kindergarten or even older grades as kids are immersed in multi- sensory learning with letters and pre-reading skills.

Clothespin Color Match– Children will love this fine motor activity that builds hand strength in a big way.

Bear Sees Colors Book and Activity– We used a snack to explore colors with a beloved preschool book. This is multisensory learning at its finest.

Gross Motor Color Games– There are many ways to explore and teach colors using games. Try some of these to add movement and play into learning colors at the preschool level:

  • Color I Spy- Call out a color and kids can run to touch something that is that color. Add variations of movement by asking kids to skip, hop, leap, crawl, or bear walk to touch the colors.
  • Color Simon Says- Call out directions based on clothing colors that kids are wearing. Add as many variations of movement and auditory challenges. This is a great activity for building working memory skills in preschoolers.
  • Color Tag- Kids can play tag and when they tag another player, they need to say a color for that person to go to. Another variation is having the players who are tagged run to a color that the tagger calls out.
Teaching colors to kindergarten children with multisensory learning activities.

Teach Colors in Kindergarten and older grades

Once children are school-aged, teaching colors doesn’t end. In the school years, children explore color mixing, learning about primary colors, and more. Look at all of these color experiences that kids learn during the school years:

  • Spelling color names
  • Learning Primary Colors
  • Learning secondary colors
  • Color mixing
  • Color theory
  • Color wheel
  • Complimentary colors

Try some of these color activities for older children:

Color I Spy free therapy slide deck- This color themed scavenger hunt will get kids up and moving, using the items they have in their home as they work on visual perceptual skills, handwriting, and more. Kids can visually scan around their home to match the colors on the slide deck. Then, there is a handwriting component. This is a great slide deck for anyone working on handwriting skills with kids, virtually.

Color Exercises– Use gross motor exercises and stretches as well as fine motor exercises to get kids moving while working on SO many skill areas: bilateral coordination, motor planning, strengthening, core strength, precision, dexterity, visual motor skills…

Rainbow Deep Breathing Exercise– This free printable PDF is super popular. There’s a reason why: kids love the deep breathing activity and We love the mindfulness, coping skills, calming, and regulation benefits. Great for all ages.

Rainbow Binoculars Craft– Kids can use paper towel tubes in a craft that helps them look for and identify colors. Use these rainbow binoculars in visual scanning, visual discrimination, visual figure-ground, and other perceptual skills.

Colored pencils activities All you need is a couple of colored pencils (or substitute with a regular pencil if that’s all you’ve got on hand) to work on pencil control, line awareness, pencil pressure, and letter formation.

Benefits of coloring with crayons Just grab a box of crayons and build so many fine motor and visual motor skills.

Make crayon play dough– Explore colors with heavy work input through the hands and arms using all the colors of the rainbow. This crayon play dough recipe is a popular sensory recipe here on the website.

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.

Color Exercises

Color exercises for teletherapy

Looking to get kids moving and building skills in therapy sessions or at home? These color exercises use all the colors of the rainbow to help kids move and strengthen gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and even visual motor skills! Add these whole body exercises use colors as a therapy theme, but I love that the colorful exercise activities get kids strengthening muscle groups in big and small ways.

This therapy activity slide deck is one of the many free slides available here on the site, as a resource for teletherapy, home programs, and therapy planning!

Be sure to grab the free I Spy Colors therapy slide deck, too.

Color exercises for teletherapy

Related resource- Working with kids in teletherapy? Need streamlined info on how to structure your sessions? Need activities for week-to-week therapy planning? need answers for all of your teletherapy questions? Join the free teletherapy course, a 5 day email series on telehealth for occupational therapists.

Color exercises

This is a color learning activity, that can be used in teletherapy sessions to develop many skill areas:

Color exercises for kids

Gross Motor Color Exercises

All of these gross motor skill areas can be addressed using the color activities in this slide deck:

  • Gross motor skills
  • Core strength
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Crossing midline
  • Core strength
  • Stability
  • Balance and equilibrium skills
  • Coordination
  • Range of motion
  • Flexibility
  • Motor planning
  • Crossing midline
  • Movement patterns
  • Posture and postural control
  • Muscle tone
  • Proprioceptive input
  • Vestibular input

As kids go through the slides, they need to complete various stretches, challenging the skills listed above. There are movement patterns, crossing midline activities, yoga positions, and more. Kids can go through these slides several times if you like, to work on motor planning, sequencing, and memory skills.

Color and letter exercises

Then, the slides ask the child to air write letters. This is an eye-hand coordination activity that incorporates shoulder positioning and strengthening, finger isolation, and crossing midline, motor planning, range of motion.

These slides also work on visual perceptual skills including visual closure as kids identify the hidden letter.

Grade and extend this activity:

  • Challenge kids by calling out a color and they can complete that gross motor activity.
  • Having the child air write the letter associated with the color and writing the letter larger or smaller, using whole arm motions, or just the finger.
  • Challenge kids by calling out a color and asking them to air write the letter.
  • Or ask kids to complete the air writing task while in the gross motor stretch activity.
Color hand strength exercises

Fine Motor Color Exercises

This slide deck challenges fine motor skills as well. Kids can use their finger and work on finger isolation as they write the letters on each of the color slides.

There is another movement section of the slide deck that incorporates colored letters with a fine motor activity. All students will need is a piece of paper (scratch paper works, so tell them to grab an old homework page or even a piece of junk mail) and their hands.

Following the directions on the fine motor activity slides, they will tear the paper into small pieces using their hands to tear and crumble. Tearing paper with the hands and using the finger tips to crumble small bits of paper strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the hands. Here is more information on tearing paper as a fine motor activity.

This activity works on fine motor skills:

  • Arch development
  • Intrinsic hand strength
  • Open thumb web space
  • Hand strength
  • Dexterity
  • Precision
  • Graded tearing- eye hand coordination
  • Separation of the sides of the hand

Then, you can extend this activity to use it in different ways or to challenge kids of all levels and ages:

  • Use different colored paper to match with different letter activities and gross motor exercises in the first part of the slide deck.
  • Use different grades of paper to make the exercise more difficult. Heavy weight paper like construction paper, cardstock, or paper plates is more of a challenge and lighter weight paper like thing paper, wrapping paper, wax paper, or tissue paper is easier.
  • Encourage children to use only the very tips of one hand.
  • Ask kids to write a letter on the small piece of paper and then crumble it up so the letter is hidden.
Letter exercises using colors

Visual Motor Exercise with Colors

Finally, the last part of this slide deck is a visual motor exercise. Children can use those small pieces of paper to copy the lines and letters on the slides.

This activity includes strait lines for younger children to incorporate pre-writing lines. There are also letters included for kids working on forming letters.

Extend this activity

  • Matching letters to the exercises at the beginning of the deck.
  • Kids could also form letters using the paper balls by memory rather than copying the letter forms.
Color exercise for self regulation

The slide deck ends with a color self regulation exercise. Kids can choose the color that matches their feelings, alert state, and regulation needs, all with a rainbow color theme!

Virtual Color Exercise Activities

Want this free therapy slide deck? Enter your email into the form below. Grab the free Google slide deck by entering your email into the form below. You will receive a PDF containing a link to open the slide deck. Be sure you are logged into your Google account before clicking the button on that PDF. Save the PDF in your therapy files so you can access this resource any time and share with those on your caseload.

Color Exercises!

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    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.

    Valentine’s Day Math Activity

    valentines day fine motor activity

    This Valentine’s Day math activity is an easy activity designed to promote hand eye coordination. Hand eye coordination, otherwise known as eye hand coordination, is a visual motor skill needed for so many functional tasks in children. This particular hands-on math activity was created to not only help with math skills around Valentine’s Day, but also to develop the essential coordination skills that kids need. It was easy to throw together and made working on a few Kindergarten math concepts more fun for my kiddo.  

    Add this idea to your Occupational therapy Valentine’s Day activities.

    Valentine's Day math activity to help kids with hand eye coordination and math concepts with a heart theme.

    Hand Eye Coordination Activity

    Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

    To create this Valentines math activity, I cut a piece of cardboard into smaller pieces and then used them to make small heart shapes. On those hearts, I wrote numbers 1-20.  The hearts that we used were about 1 and a half inches tall but, you could create larger hearts, if coordination skills are something you need to address.

    In our hand-eye coordination activity, we used a large red tweezer to work on picking up the hearts from a small container.  

    Typically, using tweezers is a great way to work on fine motor skills like hand strength, tripod grasp, and arch development.  Here is information on the fine motor skills that tweezers help to establish, especially when using a smaller, hand-sized tong or tweezer.

    With these extra large Jumbo Tweezers, the actual tweezer tool is larger than the hand. Because of this, different muscle groups are working.

    The size of the Jumbo Tweezers requires the hands to open and shut with the thumb and all of the fingers.  This adduction and abduction of the thumb and slightly flexed MCP joints uses encouraged more of opposition of the thumb.  The wrist is extended and in an effective position for functional tasks.  

    Grabbing up the cardboard hearts requires hand-eye coordination or visual motor integration.  The ability to effectively use hand-eye coordination in activities like handwriting, scissor use, games, and play allows children to write within given spaces, cut along lines, and move game pieces in a coordinated and fluent manner.  

    Free therapy resources for Valentines

    If eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, and handwriting are tasks that you are working on with children, you’ll love both of these free therapy slide decks. Use them to outline occupational therapy interventions or to use in teletherapy sessions this time of year.

    Free Spot It Handwriting Slide Deck

    Free Gross Motor Valentine’s Day Activity Slide Deck

    Hand-Eye Coordination Valentines Heart activity for math activities with Kindergarten kids or any school aged child. These jumbo tongs are great for visual motor integration skills and recommended by an Occupational Therapist.

    Valentines Math Activity

    These number hearts worked well with a few different hands on math activities, especially kindergarten math concepts. And, the heart counters made a great Valentines math activity for this time of year.

    The activity is very open-ended, so there are many ways you could use this activity to work on math concepts at different levels. Here are some of the hands-on math activities that we completed:

    Practice odd/even numbers- We then did a round of looking for and picking up the even numbers and then the odd numbers with the tweezers.    

    Number order- To practice our hand-eye coordination with these hearts, I had my son try to find and pick up the hearts in number order.  

    Counting by 10s- Practice counting up by tens and then count by tens into 100.

    Number bonds- You can use the number hearts to build and take apart numbers to build and understanding of addition and subtraction facts. My son’s favorite was using the side without numbers to build and take apart numbers.  We did a snowman version of number building when my older daughter was in Kindergarten.  

    Composing and decomposing numbers- With the cardboard hearts, we practiced composing and decomposing numbers.  I named a number, like “7” and my son had to use the hearts to build number 7 in many different ways.  He pulled out 7 hearts and separated them into two piles: one with 3 hearts and one pile with 4 hearts. We used more hearts to make other ways to take apart 7, too: 6 and 1, 5 and 2, 4 and 3, 2 and 5, and 1 and 6.  

    More Valentine Math activities

    Try some of these ways to play and learn using the

    • Practice number formation: pull out a heart with the Jumbo Tweezers
      and have your child write that number.
    • Ask your child to pull out a pile of hearts. They can count with one to one correspondence and then write the number.
    • Use the hearts in a ten frame.
    • Practice counting the hearts, starting at different numbers.

    Here are more Valentine Math Activities:

    Hand-Eye Coordination Valentines Heart activity for math activities with Kindergarten kids or any school aged child. These jumbo tongs are great for visual motor integration skills and recommended by an Occupational Therapist.

     

    Valentines Fine Motor Activities

    If you need more hand eye coordination activities for Valentine’s Day fine motor fun, try the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit.

    The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

    When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

    Valentines Day fine motor kit

    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.

    Valentine’s Day Occupational Therapy Activities

    Here, you’ll find Valentine’s Day Occupational Therapy Activities that you can use this time of year to help kids develop skills. This is the time of year that red and pink hearts are everywhere, so why not use the theme of love and friendship in therapy interventions? Add these heart crafts, and love ideas to your therapy toolbox to work on things like fine motor skills, regulation, scissor skills, and more, all with a Valentine’s Day theme!

    Use these valentine's day occupational therapy activities in therapy planning, classroom activites, and to work on skills like handwriting, fine motor skills, scissor skills and other developmental areas.

    Valentine’s Day Occupational Therapy Activities

    There are so many love and heart themed activities here on The OT Toolbox. Over the years, we’ve done a lot of fun activities that double as a skill building strategy. Check out these ideas and pick a few to add to your therapy line up and plans over the next few weeks. Some of these hear crafts and sensory ideas or games would make great additions to a Valentine’s Day party that builds skills, too!

    If you are needing occupational therapy teletherapy resources, check out these ideas:

    Valentine’s Day Gross Motor Slide Deck

    Valentine’s Day Match-Up and Handwriting Slide Deck

    Valentine’s Day Sensory Activities

    From sensory bottles, to discovery activities, to heart painting and more, these sensory play activities can be a fun way to help kids develop skills through the senses.

    Valentines day sensory bottle for self regulation and sensory processing or visual processing

    Valentine’s Day Sensory Bottle– Use this sensory bottle activity as a way to build fine motor skills while kids help to create the sensory bottle and add materials. Then use it in self-regulation, sensory processing needs as a calm down bottle. Sensory bottles are fantastic to work on visual processing skills like visual discrimination, figure-ground, and other visual perceptual skills.

    Olive You Thumbprint CraftFingerprint art is a great way to work on finger isolation, an essential fine motor skill that kids need to manipulate items and improve pencil grasp. Here is more information on how fingerprint art improves fine motor skills. Add this artwork to a card or Valentine’s Day craft for fine motor fun.

    Valentines Day play dough to build fine motor skills

    Valentine’s Day Play Dough Activity Use a recycled chocolates box in a play dough activity that builds skills like strengthening of the intrinsic muscles and arches of the hands. This is a fun Valentine’s Day activity that can be used in classroom parties or in the therapy room to build skills.

    Bilateral coordination activity for valentines day

    Bilateral Coordination Heart Sensory Tray Use sand, rice, or other sensory bin material to create a bilateral coordination and visual motor activity for kids. They can work on eye-hand coordination, motor planning, and other skills. The point of the activity is to establish direction and orientation relative to the child’s body.  The movement activity addresses hand-eye coordination in different visual fields, promotes spatial awareness and visual discrimination, addresses left and right awareness, improves peripheral vision, promotes body awareness and coordination with specialization of the hands and eyes, and works on gross motor movement skills.

    Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activities

    Try these Valentine’s Day fine motor activities in your occupational therapy interventions or home programs. The activities here are fun ways to help kids develop hand strength, dexterity, precision, grasp development, and motor control.

    Be sure to check out the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit. In the 25 activity printable kit, you’ll fine hands-on activities to build fine motor skills. Activities include coloring and cutting cards, pencil control sheets, heart crafts, Valentine’s Day write the room activities, hole punching exercises, and so much more. Grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit here.

    Visual perception activity and heart maze for valentines day

    DIY Heart Maze- Look out visual motor skills…this heart maze is one you can make and print off for your whole caseload. Adjust the use according to your kiddos. Children can place objects like paper hearts, mini erasers, etc. on the hearts in the maze to double down on fine motor work, or color in the hearts to work on pencil control. This maze is a visual processing powerhouse. Find more information on visual processing here.

    Fine motor heart activity

    Teeny Tiny Sprinkle Heart Activity– This is a fine motor activity that builds precision and dexterity in the hands. It’s a fine motor workout kids can use to build hand strength and endurance for fine motor tasks. Use it in math centers to work on one-to-one correspondence and counting or sorting.

    Heart fine motor and eye hand coordination activity

    Heart Eye-Hand Coordination Activity– Work on eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills tongs and heart s cut from cardboard. If you are like me, you have a ton of delivery boxes coming to the house. Use those boxes in a fine motor skills building activity. Write numbers or letters on the hearts to make it a sorting, math, or spelling activity.

    heart keychain made with salt dough

    Salt Dough Keychain– This is a fun heart craft that goes along with the children’s book, “The Kissing Hand”. Use it to help kids work on fine motor skills, and hand strengthening. This keychain craft makes a great Valentine’s Day gift idea too!

    Valentines Day crafts

    One Zillion Valentines Book and Craft– Pairing a book with therapy or when working on skills with kids is a fun way to open up conversation, problem solving, and strategizing to create a project or activity based on the book. This Valentine’s Day book for kids is just that. One Zillion Valentines is one children’s book that pairs nicely with a fine motor craft for kids.   Kids can work on fine motor skills, motor lanning, direction following, and executive functioning skills while folding and making paper airplanes, and the cotton clouds in this fun craft idea.

    Valentines day handprint art

    I Love Ewe Handprint Craft– Use a handprint art activity as a tactile sensory experience. Pair scissor skills, pencil control, direction following, and copying skills to work on various areas needed for handwriting and school tasks. Pls, this makes a great Valentine’s Day craft or addition to a card!

    Valentines Day activities to build skills for kids
    valentines day color sorting fine motor activity

    Valentines Day Color Sorting Fine Motor Activity– Grab a couple of cookie cutters and some beads. This is a fine motor activity that kids can use to build skills like in-hand manipulation, separation of the sides of the hand, finger isolation, open thumb webspace, and more.

    love bugs valentines day crafts

    Love Bugs Crafts– Work on fine motor skills, scissor skills, direction-following, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, and more with these cute bug crafts for kids.

    valentines day sensory bin

    Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin– There are so many benefits to using a sensory bin in building fine motor skills. Pour, scoop, and stir with the hands for a tactile sensory experience. Using a sensory bin can be a great way to work on visual perceptual skills like figure-ground, visual discrimination, and other essential visual processing areas. Find and ovate objects or add a learning component by writing sight words or math problems on hearts. This is an open-ended activity that can be used in so many ways.

    valentines day books

    I Love You Books for Kids– These Valentine’s Day books for kids are a fun way to combine books with crafts or love themed activities. Use them to work on copying words or sentences for handwriting practice. The options are limitless. What love and heart themed books would you add to this list?

    Valentines day activities to build fine motor skills
    heart play dough

    Valentine’s Day Crayon Play Dough– Use play dough to work on so many areas: hand strength, arch development, separation of the sides of the hand, endurance, eye-hand coordination…But have you ever had trouble getting a a really vivid red play dough when using food coloring? The answer to the red play dough problem is using vivid crayons! Here is our crayon play dough recipe that gives you the brightest colors, perfect for using in Valentine’s Day play dough activities!

    heart craft to work on fine motor skills like scissor skills

    Heart Bookmark Craft– This is such a fun and easy Valentine’s Day craft to use when working on scissor skills with kids. The strait lines of the bookmark and curved lines of the heart make it a great activity for kids just working on the basics of scissor skills.

    Valentines day craft for kids

    Heart Butterfly Craft- Work on scissor skills, handwriting, and fine motor skills to make this fun card. The directions to make this Valentine’s Day craft are over here on a guest post we did for Hands On as We Grow. Use this fun craft with a group. It’s a great Valentine’s Day party idea!

    Valentines Day craft for kids to work on fine motor skills and scissor skills

    Valentine’s Day Tea Craft– This Valentine’s Day craft is a fun way to work on scissor skills, handwriting, and fine motor skills. Kids can make this craft as a gift for friends or parents and work on skill development, too.

    More Valentines’ Day Activities

    Try some of these other ideas:

    Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin with Fine Motor Paper

    Valentine’s Day Snacks for Kids

    Valentine’s Day Goop Painting

    Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Sparkle Craft

    Crunchy (Sensory Diet!) Heart Tortilla Snack

    Teach Buttoning with Heart Buttons

    So, what are your favorite ways to work on skills with a holiday theme? Try some of these heart activities at Valentine’s Day parties, at home when making cards for loved ones, or in therapy planning! Have fun!

    Want to add more Valentine’s Day activities and movement tools to your skill-building?

    he Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

    When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

    Valentines Day fine motor kit

    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.