Pasta Threading Activity

pasta threading activity

This pasta threading activity is a fine motor task that supports development of many skills. If you are looking for toddler activities, preschool activities, or ideas for older kids to develop motor control and coordination, pasta threading is the way to go!

Pasta threading is a fun fine motor activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

Pasta Threading

First, you might be wondering what is “pasta threading”? If you have Pinterest, you may have seen activities where kids thread pasta onto straws placed into play dough. This is one form of pasta threading.

Another way to thread pasta as a fine motor activity is to simply create a pasta necklace by threading the pasta onto string or yarn. This is a classic craft that helps develop many skill areas.

By threading pasta, kids develop skills in areas such as:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Hand- Eye coordination
  • Creativity
  • Wrist stability and extension (needed for precision in the fingertips)
  • Attention and Concentration
  • Feeling of success and achievement when completed

We’ve covered other threading activities in the past, including this gross motor threading activity. Working from a larger aspect like using whole-body movements is a great precursor to the more refined fine motor work needed for threading pasta noodles.

Pasta Threading Activity

Similar to stringing beads as a therapy tool, threading pasta can be graded in many aspects to support the individual needs of the user.

  1. Modify the material– You can stringing pasta onto cord, thick yarn, straws, or even lightweight string.
  2. Modify the pasta size– Use a larger noodle or a smaller noodle. You can target in-hand manipulation skills, pincer grasp, and arch development by using different sizes of noodle.
  3. Modify the positioning– Ask users to thread onto a free lying piece of string. Or place straws or skewers into playdough to change the positioning and shoulder involvement.

Depending on the needs of the individual, you can adapt or modify these materials. Use a thicker straw or a smaller straw cut into pieces. Position the straws on angles or all in one direction.

There are so many ways to change this single activity to support a variety of needs and skill levels.

To complete this fine motor activity, you need only a few materials:

  • plastic straw or straight spaghetti
  • tubular pasta
  • play dough

Be sure to incorporate the play dough into the activity so that the user has ownership in setting up the activity. There are also the added fine motor benefits of play dough as well.

How to thread pasta

To set up this fine motor activity, follow these steps:

  • flatten out play dough on to table
  • stick the straw/spaghetti into the play dough
  • thread the pasta onto the straw

Pasta threading is a great fine motor activity that supports so many areas, and can easily be set up at home.

Looking for more ways to develop fine motor skills and visual motor skills?

Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits:

Pincer Grasp Activities

pincer grasp activities

Pincer grasp and neat pincer grasp are precision fine motor skills that develop when babies start to pick up cereal in self-feeding.  The developmental skill is essential for development of fine motor skills and manipulation of toys and items in play and discovery.  These neat pincer grasp activities are creative ways that can help kids develop the small motor skill area.


Pincer Grasp

 

Neat pincer grasp activities for kids to develop dexterity and fine motor skills.



Neat Pincer Grasp Activities

Neat pincer grasp uses the tips of the thumb and pointer finger to stabilize objects.  When using a pincer grasp, children use the pads of the thumb and finger to stabilize the object.  

Pincer grasp develops around 9-12 months of age.  Neat pincer grasp develops between 12-18 months and is a much finer skill.

What is Neat Pincer Grasp?

Neat pincer grasp is used to pick up very small items such as perler beads, a thread from a surface, or a needle.  You might see the tip-to-tip grasp to pick up a sequin or fuzz from clothing.


Think about the “ok” sign with the thumb and pointer finger touching and a nice round “O” in the thumb web space.  That tip-to-tip pinch is neat pincer grasp.


If neat pincer grasp is not developed, kids can potentially present with less thumb IP joint flexion and difficulty opening the thumb web space when manipulating very small items.  This can lead to fumbling and decreased dexterity during fine motor tasks.


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Ways to build pincer grasp:



Pick up sequins.
Pick up toothpicks.
Stick embroidery thread to contact paper.  Then pick up back up.
Peel tape.  Try this process art activity to stick and peel paint to address neat pincer grasp for fine motor skills.
Pick up and peel stickers.
Pick up and use very small beads like these 2 mm. glass beads in crafts.
Make crafts with fishing line.
Create string art.
Try peeling tape in a group activity.
Pick up small pasta in a sensory play activity.
Pick up and manipulate pasta in a fine motor color match activity with play dough.
Thread feathers.
Pick up grass seed to work on letter formation. (Grass seed is very small!)
Play with clothes pins to work on grasp.
Drop thread into a sensory bottle.

 

Neat pincer grasp activities for kids to develop dexterity and fine motor skills.



More fine motor skills you will love to explore:

 

 Pincer grasp fine motor activity
 
 

 

Neat Pincer Grasp Fine Motor Activity Buttoning Tips and Tricks https://www.theottoolbox.com/2015/11/benefits-of-playing-with-stickers-occupational-therapy.html
 
 
 
 


In the Fine Motor Kits here on our website, you’ll find many precision activities that support development of pincer grasp. Specifically, there are tearing activities, crumbling activities, pinch activities, and other hand strengthening activities using themed fine motor activities.

Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits:

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.

Clay Letters

clay alphabet

These clay letters are a fine motor activity we made years ago, but we still use them today in multisensory learning activities. In fact, the clay alphabet is such a great tool for sight word and spelling word manipulatives. This week, we used two of my top Occupational Therapy recommendations in a combined fine motor power activity…to make stamped letters for learning!

We used clay and alphabet stamps to make our own clay letters for hands-on learning, including practicing spelling words, sight words, letter identification, and letter order.  This was the perfect learning tool for my second grader, kindergartner, and preschooler!

Make clay letters with alphabet stamps and use them in spelling words, decodable reading, word building, letter identification, and alphabetical order activities for multi- age learning ideas and hands-on learning in this fine motor work learning and play idea for kids.
 
 

Clay Letters for multisensory learning


As an Occupational Therapist, I often times recommended using clay as a therapeutic tool.  It’s resistive and provides proprioceptive feedback while working on hand strength.  Combined with letter stamps, we were able to make our own movable and colorful letters.  

 

Pressing the alphabet stamps into the clay is a great fine motor exercise and one that strengthens the hands, promoting a functional pencil grasp, separation of the sides of the hand, and intrinsic hand strength.

Make clay letters with alphabet stamps and use them in spelling words, decodable reading, word building, letter identification, and alphabetical order activities for multi- age learning ideas and hands-on learning in this fine motor work learning and play idea for kids.
 

Fine Motor Work Activity

Make clay letters with alphabet stamps and use them in spelling words, decodable reading, word building, letter identification, and alphabetical order activities for multi- age learning ideas and hands-on learning in this fine motor work learning and play idea for kids.
 

How to Make Clay Letters

This post contains affiliate links.

You’ll need to start with alphabet stamps for pressing into the clay, and some colorful clay. You’ll want to get the type of clay that quick dries.

We used our Alphabet Stamp Set to press lower case letters into small, rolled balls of modeling clay. I love the bright colors of THIS brand.

To make he clay letters, kids are really strengthening the hands.

First, ask your child to first pull off small pieces of clay from the long rolls.  Roll the clay into small balls and gently press them into disks.  

Then, have your child find the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order.  Using the Melissa and Doug Alphabet Stamp Set was a great way to further our fine motor work.  The size and shape of the letter stamps in this set are perfect for working on intrinsic muscle strength and tripod grasp.  

Pressing the stamps into the clay is a nice way to address precision.  

Press too hard, and the clay disk is too thin.  

Press to lightly, and the letter’s impression is not deep enough in the clay.  This precision of grasp requires proprioceptive awareness.

Make clay letters with alphabet stamps and use them in spelling words, decodable reading, word building, letter identification, and alphabetical order activities for multi- age learning ideas and hands-on learning in this fine motor work learning and play idea for kids.
 

The brand of clay that we used does not harden.  This makes a nice activity for kids, but if you want to keep your letters, use a modeling clay that does dry out.

Make clay letters with alphabet stamps and use them in spelling words, decodable reading, word building, letter identification, and alphabetical order activities for multi- age learning ideas and hands-on learning in this fine motor work learning and play idea for kids.
 

Learning Activities with Clay Letters

We used our clay letters in a bunch of different activities. Try some of these hands-on letter activities:

  • Practice spelling words.
  • Practice spelling sight words.
  • Arrange letters on the table.  Ask kids to visually scan for letters to find in alphabetical order.
  • Practice letter identification.
  • Copy the letters to work on letter formation.
  • Arrange the letters on a table.  Pull out a letter and ask your child to name a word that starts with that letter.  Ask them to write the words to practice handwriting.
  • Practice decodable reading and word building with the clay letters.
 
 




Make clay letters with alphabet stamps and use them in spelling words, decodable reading, word building, letter identification, and alphabetical order activities for multi- age learning ideas and hands-on learning in this fine motor work learning and play idea for kids.

More Letter Fine Motor Activities

You’ll love the fine motor activities in our Letters Fine Motor Kit. The printable kit is loaded with letter activities that build fine motor skills. You can grab it and all of the other themed fine motor kits below, to build skills through play.

Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits:

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.

Occupational Therapy Fine Motor Game

occupational therapy fine motor game

Today, we’ve got a fun occupational therapy fine motor game up for grabs in our series on OT month free downloads. In case you missed the memo, April is occupational therapy month!  An entire month dedicated to you, the amazing occupational therapist. 

Be sure to grab the OT Match It game here,

the occupational therapy word search here,

and the occupational therapy coloring pages here.

Ready to add a new OT themed PDF tool to your toolbox?

Free PDF- Occupational therapy fine motor game for precision and dexterity skills.

Occupational Therapy Fine Motor Game

What makes us amazing?

We focus on the most important skills.  Physical therapists might teach people to walk, but I would like to be able to put clothes on if I am going for a walk, or open the refrigerator once I get where I am going!  Speech therapists work on speaking and language, but who am I going to talk to if I can’t make friends? 

Occupational Therapists (OTs) often get overlooked because people have no idea what we do.  What we do makes the MOST impact on people’s lives. Use this month to advocate for the OT profession. Use tools found on the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website, or highlighted here at the OT Toolbox. The OT Toolbox is rolling out several great activities such as this Occupational Therapy Fine Motor Game to teach others what we do.  

The occupational therapy fine motor game is more than just a fun game. It is a tool to work on several skills, while providing a conversation starter to explain what we do, and how we do it.

WHAT SKILLS DOES THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY FINE MOTOR GAME BUILD?

  • Hand strength and dexterity – picking up and placing the beads one at a time builds coordination and the intrinsic muscles of the hands. Rolling the dice builds dexterity also
  • Visual motor skills –Combining what is seen visually and what is done motorically
  • Visual Perception – Developing figure ground to see where one item starts and finishes, scanning to follow the path, visual sequencing to follow the pattern, and visual memory to remember the number on the dice while counting the items
  • Proprioception – feedback from the muscles and joints to roll the dice, and grasp/release the beads onto the correct squares
  • Counting/Learning Numbers – Count the number on the dice to understand number concepts in addition to picking up and placing the correct number of beads
  • Executive Function – Following directions, task completion, orienting to details, multi-tasking, attending to task, and impulse control can be addressed using this occupational therapy fine motor game
  • Coloring – if you choose to have your students color the page first, this builds visual motor skills, along with neatness, accuracy, and attention to details.
  • Bilateral coordination – remembering to use their “helper hand” to hold the paper while playing.  Using one hand for a dominant hand instead of switching back and forth, is encouraged once a child is in grade school, or demonstrates a significant strength in one or the other.
  • Strength – core strength, shoulder and wrist stability, head control, balance, and hand strength are all needed for upright sitting posture and writing tasks.

How to Use this OT fine motor game in therapy sessions

This game not only develops the underlying skills mentioned above, but there are so many ways to grade this activity and to use it to work on the level that the child or individual is at to challenge and develop skills.

Other tips and tricks to play the occupational therapy fine motor game:

  • Lowest level learners can use larger items than beads such as pompoms, coins, buttons, or marshmallows
  • Middle level learners can write the words they see on the game board
  • Higher level learners can write an idea about the therapy tools in the game. This turns into a multilevel activity. They can also draw about their ideas, or copy the designs.
  • Laminate the page for reusability. This saves on resources, and many learners love to write with markers! Note: some children love to use wipe off sheets, while others become upset that they can not take their work with them.
  • Make this part of a larger lesson plan including gross motor, sensory, social, executive function, or other fine motor skills
  • Vary the size of the items to be picked up.  Swap out the dice for a spinner for a different fine motor experience
  • Talk about the items on the board, describe their characteristics, and give context clues to help your learner understand why they help students learn
  • Two students can play against each other in a head to head competition. This adds a social element to game play
  • More or less prompting may be needed to grade the activity to make it easier or harder.
  • More advanced learners can work on social skills by teaching beginners to play
  • Learners can explore other games they could make using this activity 

Occupational therapy, especially with younger learners, is all about play.  That is the occupation of a child. 

Use activities like the occupational therapy fine motor game, to build a conversation about how the tools we use help other people learn. 

Observations to make with this OT fine motor game PDF

While there are many skills being addressed with a single game like this one, we’ll cover the example of using the OT fine motor game to focus on the development of in-hand manipulation skills. Let’s go over some of the observations we can make while playing this fine motor game with a child.

Because this is more than just a game, think about what you are looking for while building in-hand manipulation:

In-hand manipulation observations:

  • Can your student pick up the beads one at a time without using a raking grasp or sliding them off of the table?
  • How many items can your student hold at once without dropping some?
  • Can your student move the items from the palm of their hand to their finger tips to get them out, or do they drop the beads by opening their fingers?
  • How many times do you need to repeat the directions so your student can follow them?
  • How many reminders does your student need while doing this activity?
  • What is your student’s frustration tolerance when they have to start over?
  • Is there any cheating or cutting corners going on? There always is.

All of these game observations can be monitored and documented to monitory for progression of skills.

Occupational Therapy is a growing profession.  Unfortunately there are more and more people needing our services every day. The good news is we are here to help people gain or regain vital skills for independence.

Free OT Fine Motor Game

Want to add this resource to your therapy toolbox so you can help kids thrive? Enter your email into the form below to access this printable tool.

This resource is just one of the many tools available in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Each month, members get instant access to downloadable activities, handouts, worksheets, and printable tools to support development. Members can log into their dashboard and access all of our free downloads in one place. Plus, you’ll find exclusive materials and premium level materials.

Level 1 members gain instant access to all of the downloads available on the site, without enter your email each time PLUS exclusive new resources each month.

Level 2 members get access to all of our downloads, exclusive new resources each month, PLUS additional, premium content each month: therapy kits, screening tools, games, therapy packets, and much more. AND, level 2 members get ad-free content across the entire OT Toolbox website.

Join the Member’s Club today!

Free Occupational Therapy Fine Motor Game

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    This month the OT Toolbox is highlighting occupational therapy month by providing insight into what occupational therapists do, along with offering FREE resources to add to your lesson plans.  Keep an eye out for more posts from this series, including:

    Victoria Wood

    Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

    Valentines Hole Punch cards

    Valentines Day hole punch cards

    Today’s post is highlighting a new activity, the Valentines Hole Punch Card. This is a great tool to add to your occupational therapy activities for February, while using a hand strengthening activity with a heart theme.

    There has long been a debate about the validity of Valentine’s day.  Some claim it to be a “Hallmark Holiday,” for the greeting card companies to make a quick buck.  I would venture a guess that women like it more than men.  Men tend to see any sort of shopping or gift giving as a chore, and this is just one more on the list.  Women see this as another opportunity to receive something special,  wrapped up in a tiny box.  I see it as a way to break up the long winter between New Years and Easter

    Valentine's Day Hole punch cards for using to strengthen hands with a heart theme.

    Why do children like Valentine’s day?  It is not writing out cards or focusing on letters, but candy of course!  Any opportunity to get candy is a welcomed treat for most young people. Now that we have established who is in favor, and who is opposed to this holiday, let’s focus on entertaining and celebrating with the children, since we KNOW they appreciate a good Valentine.

    Valentines activities hole punch CARD

    Since not many goals are accomplished purely from unwrapping and eating candy, there needs to be motivating ways to encourage learners to work on skills such as fine and visual motor, social function, and behavior.  Combining fun holidays with activities like the Valentines Letter Hole Punch Cards, into your lesson plan, is a great way to help reluctant learners agree to participate in non favored activities.  

    The OT Toolbox has a kit of VALENTINE’S DAY FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES to add to your lesson plan. This is a print-and-go packet of resources designed to build fine motor strength and coordination.

    Ways to use and modify this valentines letter hole punch card task:

    • Use traditional and alternative types of hole punchers to build hand strength and dexterity, while matching the letters
    • Use crayons to mark the matching letters
    • Dot markers can be used to dot the correct letters.
    • Pages can be colored and cut out, glued onto larger sheets and decorated
    • Enlarge or shrink this page to change the level of difficulty
    • Change the type of paper, heavier weight is easier to handle, but may be harder to punch through
    • Colored paper might be more motivating, or provide better contrast
    • Project this onto a smart board to make it a touch task or have students follow along with the diagram
    • For learners who do not know their letters yet, this will be more of a shape matching task than letter recognition
    • Create a booklet of all the letter pages, tackling a couple each day
    • Make a Valentines lesson plan around each letter for the day including writing the letters, reading about letters, identifying items that start with each letter, and learning the letter sounds
    • Add a Valentine’s Day Handwriting Slide Deck to your plan to make it even more motivating for your learners

    What skills does this Valentine hole punch worksheet address?

    • Fine motor skills: manual dexterity to hold and used the hole punch, coloring and drawing if designing the activity for writing
    • Strength: core strength, hand and wrist stability. Using a hole punch improves the intrinsic hand muscles critical for writing and cutting skills
    • Bilateral coordination: using one hand for punching or cutting, while the “helper hand” supports the paper. Keep an eye one which hand is primarily used as the dominant side
    • Visual perception: figure ground to pick out the correct letters from the field of many. Scanning to correctly find all of the letters. Visual memory to remember what letters have been looked at already. Form constancy to recognize the letters in their different forms or sizes
    • Executive function/behavior/social skills: Following directions, attention to detail, turn taking, waiting, social skills, compliance, behavior, and work tolerance
    • Cutting on the line ( if you choose to add this step), within half inch of lines, in the direction of lines

    When working on this Valentine letter hole punch activity, there are several observations that can be  made: 

    • Can your learner scan the page to identify the correct letters?  Are they recognizing what they are matching or merely matching shapes?
    • How many items can your learner correctly match?
    • Can your learner correctly hold and manipulate the hole punch? How much assistance do they need to grip the puncher and punch the holes?
    • Can your student continue to hold the puncher while trying to manipulate the paper?
    • How many times do you need to repeat the directions so your learner can follow them?
    • How many reminders does your learner need while doing this activity?
    • What is your learner’s frustration tolerance when they make a mistake or cannot accurately do this task?
    • What types of modifications and adaptations were needed for your learner to be successful?
    • Is there any cheating or cutting corners going on? There always is.

    For more great learning opportunities, click on this: Valentine’s Fine Motor Skills post from 2021

    The best laid plans are multi-dimensional. The OT Toolbox has many options for varying your treatment plans, including fine and gross motor, social, coordination, strengthening, and sensory activities.

    The OT Toolbox has a Valentine’s day sensory BIN to add to your Valentine treatment ideas

    Free Valentine’s Day Hole Punch Cards

    Thankfully the OT Toolbox has you covered this month!  Today’s activity is no exception.  We are rolling out several Valentine related activities for preschool, kindergarten, and entry level learners.  While these are appropriate for young learners, they are also great for beginning or early level learners of all ages. Some learners as old as high school can benefit from this type of task if this is their fine motor or cognitive level. 

    This Valentine Hole Punch Card Activity Sheet is an excellent way to work on multiple skills at once, while creating a cute take home worksheet packet.  

    Enter your email address into the form below to access this Valentine’s Day hole punch card.

    FREE Valentine’s Day Hole Punch Cards

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

      Now that Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, I am off to find some of that candy!

      YUM – Victoria Wood

      Victoria Wood

      Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

      *The term, “learner” is used throughout this post for readability, however this information is relevant for students, patients, clients, children of all ages, etc. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.

      Valentines Fine Motor Worksheet

      Valentines Day Fine Motor Worksheets

      Here is another fun Valentines Fine Motor Worksheet with a sweet treats theme. Add this resource to your Valentine’s Day occupational therapy activities for themed activities that build fine motor skills. This printable bundle is designed to work on in-hand manipulation.  What the heck is that?

      Valentines Day Fine Motor Worksheets for developing precision and in-hand manipulation skills

      Valentines Fine Motor Worksheet

      In the Valentine fine motor activity using the worksheet below, you can promote fine motor skill development, specifically regarding in-hand manipulation skills.

      In-hand manipulation is an essential skill for hand function.  Strengthening the muscles of the palm, or intrinsic muscles helps with basic functions such as picking up and releasing small objects such as coins one at a time. 

      This is how you are able to give something to someone without opening up your whole hand and dumping the contents.  We use these intrinsic muscles during finger isolation, pointing, cutting with scissors, writing, or touching each finger tip to tip to name a few. 

      Motivation, or lack of it, has been addressed several times in previous posts. Some learners are intrinsically motivated, doing their best work because it is important to them. Most people though are externally motivated.  They need some sort of reward, praise, or incentive in order to work (especially at a non preferred task).  While handing out rewards for each task completed is not sustainable, adding incentives is. 

      Worksheets found on the OT Toolbox add themes and pictures to incentivize your learners to complete the task more willingly. Our Valentine theme is no exception.

      Activities in our popular Valentine Fine Motor Kit include fine motor strips that can be used to develop skills in a fun and motivating way.

      Below, you can grab a set of Valentine Fine Motor Strips, whether it be for preschoolers, grade school, or any other entry level learner, are a great bundle of printable worksheets. 

      While this can have a Valentine theme, it can also be a stand alone activity or fit nicely into your in-hand manipulation treatment plan.

      How to use these Valentines fine motor printables:

      The classic method of using these Valentines Treats Printables is to have your learner pick up a designated number of small objects one at a time, transferring from the fingertips to the palm of the hand.  Then your learner will place the objects down on the diagram one at a time, reversing the process of transferring the objects from the palm to the fingertips before placing them on the page.

      What to watch for while using this valentines printable:

      • Is your learner using a raking or pincer grasp to pick up the objects?
      • Do not let your learner slide the objects off of the table
      • Items should be picked up with only ONE hand
      • Items should be dropped one at a time by transferring the objects to the fingertips, not just opening a finger or two to release the objects
      • While the above are considered “cheating”, they are more likely coping strategies for a learner who does not understand, or is unable to do the task correctly.  Modify the task as needed for success.
      • Count how many items your learner can hold without dropping any. Try and aim for ten items.
      • How many times do you need to repeat the directions so your student can follow them?
      • How many reminders does your student need while doing this activity?
      • What is your student’s frustration tolerance when they have to start over?
      • What compensation strategies is your learner using?
      • What is their behavior, social function, and executive skills  during this task? 

      What items can I use for the valentines day treats printable worksheet?

      The small objects for this Valentines Day Fine Motor Worksheet can be anything really. You can make the task easier or more difficult depending on the number and size of the objects. Keep a watchful eye on your learners while they are handling small objects. It is important that they learn to work with small objects, but be vigilant about items going into the mouth.  Here are some suggestions of items to use:

      • Coins
      • Buttons of different sizes
      • Pompoms of different sizes
      • Mini marshmallows
      • Small Legos
      • Cheerios or other small food items (this may help incentivize your learner even more!)
      • Bingo chips
      • Dice
      • Paperclips
      • Erasers
      • Any combination of items you have in your junk drawer

      What else can I do with this Valentines fine motor strips printable pack?

      • Use different size/number/type of objects to change the challenge
      • Use crayons/colored pencils/markers to color the paths or make marks along the way
      • Dot markers can be used to mark the items along the paths
      • Pages can be colored and cut out, glued onto larger sheets and decorated
      • Enlarge or shrink this page to change the level of difficulty
      • Change the type, color, or weight of paper.  Heavier weight is easier to handle, Colored paper might be more motivating, or provide better contrast
      • Make a lesson plan around in-hand manipulation, tasty treats, or  fine motor skills for the day/week
      • Laminate the page for reusability.  This activity can then be done with manipulatives or markers and wipes. 
      • An alternative to lamination is page protector sheets.  These are much more affordable and reusable depending on your current lesson plan. Create a themed binder of worksheets to use with all of your learners.

      Whether your lesson plan is preschool Valentine’s printables, worksheets for fine motor skills, coloring activities, Valentines Sensory Bins, printable Valentines hearts, in-hand manipulation, or a combination of all of these, have fun with them! Use the resources at the OT Toolbox to make a challenging task fun. 

      What if you had themed, NO-PREP activities designed to collect data and can help kids build essential fine motor skills?

      Take back your time and start the year off with a bang with these done-for-you fine motor plans to help kids form stronger hands with our Winter Fine Motor Kit. This print-and-go winter fine motor kit includes no-prep fine motor activities to help kids develop functional grasp, dexterity, strength, and endurance. Use fun, winter-themed, fine motor activities so you can help children develop strong fine motor skills in a digital world. 

      The Winter Fine Motor Kit includes reproducible activity pages include: pencil control strips, scissor skills strips, simple and complex cutting shapes, lacing cards, toothpick precision art, crumble hand strengthening crafts, memory cards, coloring activities, and so much more.

      If you regularly use the printables and activities like the Valentines Fine Motor Printables or Treat Worksheet bundle offered at the OT Toolbox, you might want to consider becoming a Member of the OT Toolbox.  Membership is a more efficient way to get all of your information and resources than entering your email address each time. Save hours of time with an organized collection of high quality, easy-prep occupational therapy resources right at your fingertips!

      In addition to free downloads like this Valentines Day Fine Motor Worksheet, the OT Toolbox also offers themed activities/posts to make treatment planning a breeze. One of them is this the Valentine’s Day Occupational Therapy Activity Post full of activities, crafts, sensory strategies, Valentines Play Dough, resources and products. Included in the OT Toolbox resources is a a great Valentines Day Fine Motor Kit, on special now!

      If you are a new therapist/parent/teacher, you could definitely use some resources!  If you are a seasoned therapist you could definitely use some NEW resources!!

      In preparation for this activity set, I will be scouring my junk drawers looking for miscellaneous objects to put this task to good use.  Does anyone even have coins anymore?

      Free Valentine Fine Motor Worksheet

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      FREE Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Worksheet

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        Victoria Wood, OTR/L

        Victoria Wood

        Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

        *The term, “learner” is used throughout this post for readability, however this information is relevant for students, patients, clients, children of all ages and stages or whomever could benefit from these resources. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.