Baby Push Walker for Development

Radio Flyer Wooden Walker Wagon Toy

Today, I am very excited to share information on a baby push walker toy that can help with babies who are learning to walk. The Radio Flyer Walker Wagon is a push wagon that helps babies with sit to stand and that next step of taking steps with support. Not only that, but the classic walker wagon is a developmental toy that babies love to push around the home!

An important resource to read is our blog post on baby container syndrome. Push toys support movement and development for older babies but it’s important to understand the considerations with containers and positioners.

A Baby push walker toy is such a great toy for baby! This wooden walker toy helps kids develop motor skills.

But first, let’s talk more about developmentally appropriate gross motor skills for baby and inspiring active play that also builds skills. When is a push toy appropriate…and what are the benefits of a push walker?

I love sharing resources and tools that help children accomplish developmental tasks. Kids today need more active play because there is simply less outdoor play and less creative play happening. It has been fun to share creative ways to help children achieve functional tasks, AND by providing caregivers and therapists with the resources needed.

Use a push toy to help baby develop motor skills.

Benefits of a Push Walker

A push toy can be used much earlier than the walking stage. The thing is that a push toy can be used to promote floor play. Playing on the floor helps baby build skills in coordination and visual processing skills, as well as upper body and shoulder strength and stability.

Playing with a walker toy as a baby has so many benefits in building core strength and the ability to push up onto hands and knees. When the older baby is sitting, a push walker makes a great toy because babies can move from various positions in sitting to prone as they manipulate toys. This is especially apparent with a bin type of toy like the Radio Flyer Walker Wagon toy.

Using a push toy has other benefits as well:

  • Bilateral coordination
  • Motor planning
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Wrist extension
  • Visual scanning
  • Visual attention
  • Rotation
  • Crossing midline

Baby sit to stand

So, let’s talk about using a baby push walker to help babies accomplish developmental tasks like sit to stand and coordinated first steps.

This is often times a question that new parents have for occupational therapists: When will my baby stand up? Parents also ask when baby will take their first steps.

This resource has information about baby development, including how to incorporate baby play into development of skills such as pulling to a stand and first steps.

The age range of 9-10 months, baby begins to explore their environment more and will demonstrate pulling up to a stand. This is the perfect time to incorporate a standing toy that incorporates play with sit to stand. A sit to stand toy like a push walker for baby offers the opportunity to pull up to a stand with a safe toy.

Now is the perfect time to offer baby a place to stand where they can drop toys into a bin or onto the push toy like in the walker wagon.

Baby first steps walker

In that same age range of 10-12 months, baby will begin to take their first steps as they gain coordination of the core, and lower body. They gain more coordination as they move from various positions while holding onto a surface like with a push walker.

Using a push along walker is a fantastic transition toy that allows baby to hold onto a walker handle and move from cruising on furniture to supported first steps.

Baby Push Walker

And, when baby drops toys into containers and then bends to pick them up from a push wagon, they are working on skills that transition further in their development.

Bending to squat and pushing back up to stand again as they grab items from a baby push walker’s bin allows toddlers to further develop strength and coordination.

This is all part of purposeful play!

That purposeful play builds the strength and motor planning needed for first steps without support.

Radio Flyer Walker Wagon

Would you like to think of various ways to use a push wagon in your therapy practice or at home to help kids develop motor skills? This wooden walker wagon for baby development is a push toy with benefits! The walker wagon would be a great addition to your therapy toolbox or home!

Check out the blog comments below for activity ideas to promote baby motor developmental skills. (movement for baby!)

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Gross Motor Mindfulness Activities

Gross motor mindfulness activities for children

These gross motor mindfulness activities combine several sensory systems to improve mindfulness in kids. There are many reasons to add mindfulness activities to learning in the classroom or at home. Some of those benefits of mindfulness include improved attention and focus, emotional regulation, cognitive functioning, self awareness, and  listening skills. There are many other additional benefits of mindfulness, too. When we add gross motor movements and whole body movements to mindfulness activities with intention, resistive input through the proprioceptive system adds calming input. Likewise, movement in different planes adds calming or alerting input. 

Gross motor mindfulness activities for kids

These whole body mindfulness tasks can be included in brain breaks or within learning activities. 

Gross motor Mindfulness Activities

Using mindfulness along with whole body movements can be a good way to help kids re-center themselves so that they can focus inwardly and be more aware of  what’s happening in their body as well as the outward behaviors or actions that are happening in their environment in the classroom or home. 

Reach and Breath- Kids can stand as tall as they can. They should start with both hands down at their sides. As they slowly reach up, they can take a deep breath in. When both hands touch above their head, they should pause and hold their breath for a moment. Then, they can slowly lower their hands to their sides as they breath out a long, slow breath. Raising their arms with their breathing encourages movement of the shoulder girdle and increases the capacity for breathing in. What while lowering their arms pushes out more air to encourage for expulsion of air from the lungs.

Arm long breathing-This technique encourages use of the full lungs when breathing in and breathing out to expel all of the air in the lungs. Starting with the hand at the opposite shoulder, the child should slowly breathe in as they move their hand down their outstretched arm. When their hand reaches their other hand, they should pause for a moment, and then slowly start to move their hand back to the shoulder as they breathe out. 

Yoga breaths- Encourage deep breathing and full body motions such as warrior or downward dog.

Starfish Breaths- For this whole body movement and deep breathing activity, children can imagine their hand is a starfish. As they take a deep breath in and out, they can slowly open and close their hand so all fingers are extended and then pulled into a fist. At the same time, they can raise their hand up over their head as they breath in and down to the ground as they breathe out.

Bend and stretch breathing– Students should reach both arms up overhead. As they bend forward at the hips, they can slowly breathe out through their mouth and reach down to touch their toe with their opposite hand. Students should then raise up at the hip with at the hips and reach their arm back overhead as they breathe in through their nose. Make this a group gross motor activity with a few adjustments.

Watch the Target- Using a target that is paired with deep breathing and slow, gentle motions can be a gross motor mindfulness activity that allows kids to become aware of their body’s movements as well as the world around them. Make a DIY streamer like we did in the past using a dowel rod and ribbons. Party streamers taped to an unsharpened pencil would work for this activity too. Kids can hold the streamer with their arm extended and move slowly as they take deep breaths in through their nose and out through their mouth. Try to pair upward motions with deep breaths in and downward motions with deep breaths out. 

Each of these gross motor activities can be used to improve mindfulness and kids in the classroom or in home. 

Gross motor activities to develop mindfulness

More mindfulness activities

Be sure to grab these deep breathing and gross motor activities. When possible, combine the deep breathing and mindful awareness to movement and whole-body activities to create a centering activity.

Free pumpkin deep breathing activity

Free spider web mindfulness activity

Free clover deep breathing activity

Free Thanksgiving mindfulness activity

Free Christmas mindfulness activity

Free Football mindfulness worksheet

Dinosaur gross motor activity

Heavy work movement activities

heavy work movement activity cards
Heavy Work Movement Cards- special deal!

Use these heavy work cards to help with building body awareness, motor planning abilities, proprioceptive input, or a movement activity as a brain break to pay attention between learning activities.

In the set of cards, you’ll find heavy work activities in the following themes:

1. Trucks Heavy Work Activities

2. Insects Heavy Work Activities

3. Sea Animals Heavy Work Activities

4. Farm Animals Heavy Work Activities

5. Jungle Animals Heavy Work Activities

6. Woodland Animals Heavy Work Activities

7. Superheros Heavy Work Activities

8. Sports Heavy Work Activities

9. Monsters Heavy Work Activities

10. Summer Heavy Work Activities

11. Butterfly Life Cycle Heavy Work Activities

Each activity page includes 8 movement and heavy work cards in that theme.

These heavy work activities can be added to home programs, teletherapy activity plans, or used as brain breaks during learning and play.

Click here for the Heavy Work Movement Activities

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Turkey Theme Therapy Slide Deck

Turkey theme slide deck for occupational therapy

Whether you are looking for turkey activities for teletherapy, or some added ways to make occupational therapy sessions fun this time of year, our latest free therapy slide deck is for you. Below, you can access a free turkey theme therapy slide deck to use as an outline for occupational therapy interventions or to add motor skills to help kids thrive.

Turkey theme slide deck for occupational therapy

Turkey Theme Therapy Slide Deck

Today’s turkey theme slide deck is just one more in the series of free interactive slide decks for occupational therapy. You can access all of the free slides at the bottom of this blog post.

For more occupational therapy teletherapy activities, check out this blog post.

This turkey theme therapy slide deck covers a variety of areas:

  • Gross motor warm up
  • Fine motor skills
  • Handwriting
  • Visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills
  • Self-regulation
Turkey theme gross motor slide deck for occupational therapy interventions

Turkey theme gross motor activity

Use the gross motor warm up to challenge motor planning, core strength, and bilateral coordination. Use this warm up activity for whole-body movement to get ready for working on other areas in therapy.

Turkey theme fine motor slide deck for occupational therapy interventions

Turkey theme Fine Motor Activities

The fine motor portion of this free slide deck uses sign language as a way to get fingers and hands moving. Kids can follow along with the slide deck to spell out “TURKEY” while copying images and practicing the American Sign Language.

These activities help kids with visual motor skills, separation of the sides of the hand, finger isolation, arch development, and more.

Turkey theme handwriting slide deck for occupational therapy interventions

Turkey theme Handwriting Activity

This slide is open-ended and designed to meet the needs of a variety of ages and levels of children. Kids can write a list of the clothing words to dress the turkey. Other kids might write a sentence using certain clothing names as they disguise a turkey. Still other children might write a paragraph.

The slide can also be used as a visual discrimination or visual memory activity. Ask students to look at the slide and then switch it out. Can they remember all of the clothing items on the disguise the turkey activity?

turkey theme visual perception slide deck for occupational therapy interventions

Turkey theme Visual Perception Activity

Next, ask students to move the interactive turkey through the maze as they work on a variety of visual perceptual skills and eye-hand coordination.

turkey theme self regulation slide deck for occupational therapy interventions

Turkey theme Self Regulation Activity

Finally, students can fill in the self-regulation checklist as they take a self assessment of their feelings, emotions, and behaviors. This is a good time to end the therapy session and come up with some strategies or coping tools to address any self-regulation needs.

Want to get your hands on this turkey therapy theme? Enter your email address below and the file will be delivered directly to your email inbox.

Enjoy and have fun!

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    More interactive therapy slide decks you will enjoy:

    Here is a slide deck for a Social Story for Wearing a Mask.

    Here is a Space Theme Therapy Slide Deck.

    Here is a Therapy Planning Interactive Slide Deck.

    Here is a Back to School Writing Activity Slide Deck.

    Here is an Alphabet Exercises Slide Deck.

    Here is a Self-Awareness Activities Slide Deck.

    Here is a Strait Line Letters Slide Deck.

    Here is a “Scribble theme” Handwriting Slide Deck.

    Teach Letters with an interactive Letter Formation Slide Deck.

    Thanksgiving Fine Motor Kit…on sale now!

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Football Activities

    Football activities for OT interventions

    It’s Fall and time for football fun! Football is an American tradition. You can find football in middle school, high school, college, and professionally. It’s EVERYWHERE in the Fall, and if you are looking for an autumn activity that offers gross motor and proprioceptive sensory input, a game of football is it! If you’re not playing it, you’re watching it from the stands or sitting in front of the television set cheering on your favorite team.

    Football activities for a football theme occupational therapy interventions.

    Football Activities

    Football is also a fun time theme for therapy sessions. If you want to score a touchdown during your therapy sessions take a look at these football themed activities that help to build fine motor, gross motor, bilateral coordination, and visual motor skills. These fun and engaging football activities can provide you hours of therapy exercise and skill building fun.

    Add these football theme ideas to your therapy line-up or use them as part of therapy games to get kids interested in working on specific skills in themed therapy sessions. Using a fun theme like football can keep kids motivated and working in therapy!

    So, scroll through these football crafts, football games, and football ideas and let’s get kids moving and building therapy skills!

    Football theme

    Football theme slide deck– Grab this free interactive football themed slide deck. Use it to guide therapy sessions through a football theme with fine motor, gross motor, mindfulness, handwriting, visual perceptual activities, and self-regulation.

    Fine Motor Activity– Make paper footballs and use them in learning like we did with this Paper Football Sight Words activity. You not only work on creating the paper football and field, you can write sight words on the field lines and then have the child read the words, and after reading the words, have them write a sentence with that word. While you’re having them write, you can address letter size, letter placement, spacing, and letter formation.

    Fine Motor Craft- This Football Craft for Preschool is a fun way to get younger kiddos involved in the Fall football season by having them lace their own football. A great way to work on bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor precision skills.

    Motor Planning and Eye-Hand Coordination Activity- Make this Turkey Football Craft. It’s a festive way for kiddos to work on cutting and drawing skills not to mention those much needed sequencing and pasting skills too by combining a turkey for Thanksgiving and footballs for the Fall season.  Be sure to use bottle glue as that makes for an automatic incorporation of grading of force or pressure so kiddos don’t create puddles of glue, but dots or simple outlines.

    Football Brain Breaks- Use these Football Brain Break Cards in therapy or in the classroom or at home. These gross motor, heavy work activities provide a fun opportunity to work on gross motor and motor planning skills with kiddos throughout therapy sessions or even during transitions while at home.

    Bilateral Coordination Football Craft- This Woven Football Craft  works on cutting skills, visual motor integration, sequencing, bilateral hand use and the repetitive movement of weaving that can also be calming and engaging for some children.

    Visual Convergence and Eye-Hand Coordination Activity- Take throwing a football to a different level with this Paper Football. It’s a flying cylinder that you simply grasp and throw like a football. How do you make it? You only need a manila file folder, some tape, scissors, and paperclips.

    Self-Care Activity- Work on buttoning skills with this Felt Football Button Activity – an easy and fun way to work on fastener manipulation skills whether it be to address buttoning or unbuttoning or both! 


    Football Game –
    makes for a great way to work on a variety of skills. YOU DECIDE the skill you want the child to work on and write it on the football when you play the game. It can be gross motor, handwriting, fine motor strengthening, core strengthening, or crossing midline. It’s a great way to work on turn taking and coping skills with a peer as they take turns choosing a card and performing the activity as well as coping with winning or not winning.

    Now, “Hut, hut, hike!” Go grab a few materials or print a few sheets so you can easily prepare your football-themed therapy sessions or activities.

    Regina Allen

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

    Fall Gross Motor Activities

    Fall gross motor activities

    Adding to the fun of autumn are these Fall gross motor activities. There is so much about this time of year that offers opportunities for heavy work activities and gross motor play, all using a Fall theme!

    Use these Fall activities for family fun or ways to offer different movement challenges. Many of these ideas use all that Autumn has to offer: cooler weather, piles of leaves, hay bales, pumpkins, and apples. Other gross motor ideas listed here are gross motor ideas that can be done indoors. Either way, they are perfect for gross motor preschool activities, gross motor activities for toddlers, and whole-body activities to help kids build core strength, balance, coordination, and endurance.

    Fall Gross Motor Activities

    Isn’t Fall the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the season and the crisp air while getting active?  There are so many great active and gross motor activities you and your family can do even with little prep or planning.  Jump in leaves, go on a nature walk, collect leaves and fall items…just get moving! 

    Fall gross motor activities

    Fall Activities

    Collect fall leaves with Leaf Identification Cards.

    Print off this free Fall Tic Tac Toe board. Try to fill the board by doing all of the fall activities.

    Talk a walk and enjoy nature. What do you see? Smell? Hear?

    Get active with a Ghost Catch Game.

    Go on a hunt with Halloween Scavenger Hunt

    Rake leaves as a family.

    Then, JUMP in the leaves!

    Spending time time indoors doesn’t mean there’s no room for gross motor activities. Creep and crawl like a spider with this Motor Planning Spider Web Maze.

    Explore apples and red while balancing a tree trunk with Learning Apples/Red.

    Sing and dance this season with Red and Yellow and Orange and Brown Songs for Autumn (and dance).

    Get those shoulder girdles activated with Easy Indoor Halloween Obstacle Course.

    For sensory input, try these Fall Vestibular Activities that will add movement.

    You’ll love the calming heavy work that these Fall Proprioception Activities offer.

     

     

     

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Fall Leaves Printable tic Tac Toe Game

    Fall leaves printable tic tac toe activity for occupational therapy home programs

    Getting this fall leaves bucket list has been on my to-do list for a few weeks now. Here in western Pennsylvania, fall leaves are just about at their peak colors. They are just starting to fall, and that means there are lots of colorful, crunchy leaves to explore and play in! As occupational therapists, we know the power of play. That means we know the power of using fall leaves as a tool to build strength, balance, sensory experiences, heavy work, and movement! Leaf activities are just part of Fall and all that the season brings in the way of fall fun! Use the free printable for occupational therapy home programs, or just a cheap fall bucket list of fall activities!

    Fall Leaves Activities for a fall bucket list that builds skills! This fall leaves printable is a downloadable tic tac toe game that kids can use in occupational therapy activities.

    Fall Leaves Printable

    A lot of the leaf activities on this printable are activities that I’ve shared previously on this website. You can find the links to these ideas here, so you can read more about the “why” behind these activities and to understand the different ways to build development in kids.

    This fall leaves printable is a tic tac toe printable page. Use it to encourage movement, sensory exploration, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. The images are small and just outlines, so kids can color in the pictures as they complete each activity, making it a great way to build fine motor strength, coordination, and pencil control.

    Each fall leaf activity uses just leaves from outside, but if fall leaves aren’t available in your area, colored paper leaves work just as well.

    Fall leaf tic tac toe activities encourage movement, so use this as a great occupational therapy home program or even one to use in OT teletherapy.

    Leaf activities for occupational therapy and to build skills in fine motor development, sensory play, gross motor skills. Use fall leaves in therapy activities!

    Fall Leaf Activities

    Here are the fall leaf activities described on on this leaf printable. If you need more descriptions or a better understanding of how these fall leaf activities help kids build skills, be sure to save this page so you can come back to it.

    Leaves for Scissor Skills– Improves scissor accuracy, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordintion, fine motor precision.

    Leaf collage art– Use real leaves to make a craft that builds bilateral coordination, heavy work proprioceptive input, and scissor skills.

    Fall Proprioception Activities– Jumping in piles of leaves, raking leaves, and carrying a load of leaves in a bucket, wheelbarrow, or arms adds calming heavy work for the proprioceptive sense!

    Fall Vestibular Activities– Run, dive, jump, swoop! Catching fall leaves provides input to the vestibular sense. These activities can be organizing and help kids regulate behaviors, emotions, and their sensory system.

    Leaf Balance Beam- Do you know the power of a balance beam? The best news is that you don’t need fancy expensive equipment to replicate those benefits! Use leaves to make a homemade balance beam with all of the skill-building!

    Leaf Hole Punch Activity– Grab a hole puncher and a handful of leaves. Those fine motor skills are about to grow! This activity builds eye-hand coordination, hand strength, arch development, separation of the sides of the hand, visual motor skills, and more.

    Leaf Matching Activity– There are a lot of ways to develop visual processing skills like matching leaves during the Fall season.

    Leaf Activities For therapy

    Pre-Writing Lines: Pre-writing activity with real leaves– Use real leaves to work on eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, and pre-writing lines with hands on fine motor work.

    Bilateral Coordination: Leaf Craft- Use real leaves to make a craft that builds bilateral coordination, heavy work proprioceptive input, and scissor skills.

    Craft for Older Kids:  Sewing Skills Craft– Use a needle and thread, wire, lacing cord to thread around leaf shapes. We used plastic canvas, but you could use cardboard, cereal boxes, or even laminated paper.

    Hand Strength- Leaf Ten Frames– Use a hole puncher with leaves to work on hand strength and hands-on math.

    Sensory Play- Nature Water Table– Use a bin, water table, or bowl to explore Fall’s colors and textures and challenge the senses.

    Tactile Sensory Activity- Sensory Painting– Use leaves, corn husks, and grasses for sensory painting. Then, practice handwashing!

    Heavy Work Activity- Play Dough Press– Use natural materials and play dough to add heavy work for the hands. This is a great visual perception activity, too.

    Eye-Hand Coordination and Problem SolvingFall Tree Crafts– build eye-hand coordination and problem solving with a sensory experience to make these fall trees.

    Scissor Skills Activity- Fall leaves scissor activity– Use leaves to work on line awareness, bilateral coordination, and visual motor skills.

    MORE Sensory Processing Activities for Fall

    Leaf Auditory Processing Activity– Use leaves to work on listening skills, auditory discrimination, and auditory challenges.

    Fall Fine Motor Activities

    Fall Visual processing Activities

    Fall Tactile Sensory Activities

    Fall Vestibular Activities

    Fall Proprioception Activities

    Fall Leaf Printable

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      For more fall leaf activities, try some of these:

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Slide Deck to Teach Letters

      interactive slide deck to teach letters

      If you’ve been following along with the site over the past few months, you may have seen some of my free interactive slide decks and teletherapy resources. Today, I’m adding to those virtual therapy activities with this alphabet move and write slide deck that makes a nice addition to occupational therapy teletherapy activities. The letter slide deck is great for using in either virtual occupational therapy sessions or as a part of distance learning. With the uncertainty of the upcoming school year, I wanted to fill your therapy toolbox with digital resources like this one. Therapists can use the slide deck for teaching letter formation and handwriting with a fine and gross movement component.

      interactive slide deck to teach letters

      Slide Deck for Teaching Letters

      Therapists know the power of combining fine motor work, gross motor work…any movement…with learning. When teaching letters, that is no different!

      Recently, I created this alphabet exercise printable that went pretty wild among The OT Toolbox readers. There’s a reason why…kids need movement! And, combining activity with learning letters makes it a win-win for therapy, the classroom, or the home.

      That’s why I wanted to turn the worksheet into a letter-themed slide deck that can be used to teach kids letter formation, combining motor planning with gross motor activities, AND handwriting.

      Alphabet interactive slide deck to use in occupational therapy teletherapy sessions or to teach letters.

      Below, you’ll find a form to enter your email to grab this free interactive slide. But first, I wanted to explain how this slide deck works.

      Kids can work through the interactive slides and move the circle to form letters. I paired the letters with the exact same ones found on our alphabet exercise activity for consistency. (Upper case letters in this slide deck).

      Teach letters with an interactive slide deck.

      They can click on the yellow dot and move their mouse or finger to form the letter. They will trace along the lines of the letter on the slide, so they are gaining fine motor work, including finger isolation, separation of the sides of the hand, eye-hand coordination, and motor planning.

      Next, students (and a teacher if used in a live class) can complete the gross motor exercise that pairs with the letter. The exercises match the same ones on our letter exercise program. You can read more about each exercises on the Alphabet Exercise Activity page.

      The gross motor activity offers a brain break opportunity, while building strength, core stability, motor planning, and whole body motions like crossing midline, inversion, and a sensory break with proprioceptive and vestibular input.

      Finally, children can work on handwriting. I left this portion of the slide activity open-ended so that younger children can work only on writing the upper case letter. Older students can write a word or a sentence that contains a word starting with that letter.

      Free interactive slide deck

      Here’s how you can get the interactive slide deck to work on letters:

      Enter your email address in the form below. Check your email and click on the button to grab your resource. Save that worksheet so you can access these slide decks again.

      Sign into your Google account. Click on the big button in that PDF that you just accessed. It will prompt you to make a copy of the slide deck. That will be your master copy of this slide deck.

      Now the slide deck is on your Google account.

      Share the slide deck with students. You can make a copy for each student and upload it to their Google classroom or use it in Zoom. Here is a post on FAQ for troubleshooting any issues you might run across with using or accessing the slide deck.

      Be sure to sign up for other slide decks that we have to offer. You will have to enter your email address for each one so you can get the resource and make a copy of each slide deck.

      Get a free interactive slide deck: Alphabet Move & Write Cards

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        Be sure to check out these other slide decks to use in OT teletherapy sessions, distance learning, or homeschooling:

        Here is a Space Theme Therapy Slide Deck.

        Here is a Strait Line Letters Slide Deck.

        Here is a “Scribble theme” Handwriting Slide Deck.

        Teach Letters with an interactive Letter Formation Slide Deck.

        You will also want to see all of our teletherapy activities here.

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

        Dinosaur Proprioception Activities

        dinosaur movement cards for kids to use for heavy work and coping tools to address dinosaur sized feelings

        This dinosaur brain break activity is a set of free proprioception activities that provides heavy work with a dinosaur theme, making movement and proprioceptive input a fun way to address dinosaur -sized needs. Whether you are looking for heavy work activities for the kids to add to distance learning or heavy work activities for OT teletherapy programs, these free dinosaur movement cards are a great sensory activity to add to your therapy toolbox. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to grab your Dinosaur Movement Activity Cards…and check out the Dinosaur OT activities too!

        dinosaur movement cards for kids to use for heavy work and coping tools to address dinosaur sized feelings

        This post explains more about proprioception sensory activities but to better understand why and how to incorporate movement breaks into learning, check out this post on brain breaks for kids.

        This freebie was originally created as part of October’s Sensory Processing Awareness Month, however, for a kiddo that loves anything dinosaurs, it works out great any time of year. Kids with sensory integration needs are those kiddos who are bumping into everything and everyone.  

        The little ones who fall out of their chairs, press too hard on their pencils, are clumsy, fidget, or seek extra movements. They might flap their hands or slap their feet when they walk.  

        he thing about kids is that everyone is different and everyone will have different needs, interests, and abilities.  This Dinosaur Sized Feelings sensory movement activity  is perfect for kids seeking sensory input and kids who just need to move!

        Dinosaur feelings can impact emotional regulation, sensory processing, self-care, and function. Use dinosaur themed activities like these dinosaur heavy work cards as a coping tool.

        Now, it’s important for me to note, that when I say Dinosaur-Sized feelings in this post, I’m talking about the child’s feeling of hyposensitivity to their environment.

         They are seeking out extra stimulation from people, walls, cushions…anything really and are feeling a big need to improve their central neural system functioning in order to complete tasks and function.  

        (Read more about the Central Nervous System below!)  

        What I’m not talking about in this post is the emotional side of feelings.  There has been at least one study done that attempts to determine whether emotional feelings can be influenced by proprioceptive input.

        I’m not talking about the big emotional feels we all have. In this activity, I’m focusing on the big feelings of sensory needs kids might have, and how to stomp those sensory needs out with proprioception.

        It’s all about the ability to regulate those giant, dinosaur-sized sensory related feelings that impact emotional regulation, coping abilities, worries, anxieties. This post on Zones of Regulation activities explains a little more on self-regulation and specific ways to address these needs.

        What is Sensory Integration?

        Let’s cover some of the background info about what’s going on behind self-regulation. Typically, our Central Nervous System integrates sensory input from the environment in a balanced process that screens out certain information and acts on important information, at an automatic level…one that we are not cognitively aware of.  

        For kiddos with atypical sensory integration, the central nervous system has difficulty screening out unimportant information from our environment.  

        For those children, interaction with their surroundings can be stressful as they are either over responsive or under-responsive to normal stimulus. This results in dysfunctional behavior and social difficulties. 

        For a thorough explanation of sensory integration, sensory processing, and what specific actions look like as a part of our sensory systems, grab this free sensory processing booklet.

        You’ll access the free booklet and join a short email course that explains sensory processing in great detail. It’s a free informative course via email that you don’t want to miss.

        free sensory processing booklet

        Proprioception Activities for kids

        I shared a post in the past about proprioception and handwriting with too much pressure.  

        In that post, I told you how  the proprioceptive system receives input from the muscles and joints about body position, weight, pressure, stretch, movement and changes in position in space.  

        Our bodies are able to grade and coordinate movements based on the way muscles move, stretch, and contract. Proprioception allows us to apply more or less pressure and force in a task.

        Instinctively, we know that lifting a feather requires very little pressure and effort, while moving a large backpack requires more work.  We are able to coordinate our movements effectively to manage our day’s activities with the proprioceptive system.  

        The brain also must coordinate input about gravity, movement, and balance involving the vestibular system.   

        (This post does contain affiliate links.)

        Kids who are showing signs of proprioceptive dysfunction might do some of these things:

        • Appear clumsy
        • Fidget when asked to sit quietly.
        • Show an increased activity level or arousal level.
        • Seek intense proprioceptive input by “crashing and bashing” into anything.
        • Slap their feet when walking.
        • Flap hands.
        • Use too much or too little force on pencils, scissors, objects, and people.
        • “No fear” when jumping or walking down stairs.
        • Or, are overly fearful of walking down steps/jumping.
        • Look at their body parts (hands/feet) when completing simple tasks.
        • Sit down too hard or miss chairs when sitting.
        • Fall out of their seat.
        • Fluctuates between over-reacting and under-reacting in response to stimulation.
        • Constantly on the move.
        • Slow to get moving and then fatigue easily.
        Dinosaur themed sensory (proprioception) heavy work activities for organizing and calming sensory input. This is perfect for a child who seeks out sensory stimulation.


        Dinosaur Themed Heavy Work Activities

        This activity is easy.  There is not much to it really, other than being a dinosaur themed way to calm and organize those big dinosaur feelings.

        The heavy work activities add proprioception that can be a tool to address regulation or sensory needs. Here, I’m sharing with you a few heavy work suggestions that may help hyposensitive kiddos.  

        I wanted to share activities that might be of interest to the child that loves a dinosaur theme.  It’s my hope that these work for you and your family!  If you are looking for more dinosaur themed movement activities, check out this past post sharing Dinosaur movement activities, based on the book popular children’s book, Dinosaurumpus.  

        Dinosaur heavy work activities can help as a coping tool for self-regulation in kids.

        Please note (as with any activity that you find on this website): This is meant to be a resource and not Occupational Therapy treatment.  

        Please seek individualized evaluation and treatment strategies for your child.  All kids are so different in their sensory needs and abilities and adverse reactions can occur with globalized treatments.   

        Dinosaur themed sensory (proprioception) heavy work activities for organizing and calming sensory input. This is perfect for a child who seeks out sensory stimulation.

          Big dino-sized feelings can happen in a little body!    

        These dinosaur brain breaks are free heavy work cards for dinosaur proprioception activities

         Simply print out the free printable, cut out the cards, and pretend to play, walk, and eat like a dinosaur!  

        We did use our Mini Dinosaurs as we practiced all of the Dino Moves in these activities. Use them in a scavenger hunt. Your child needs to find hidden dinosaurs and once they bring them back to you, do a proprioception activity from the handout.

        Another idea is to do the heavy wok activities before a fine motor task like handwriting to calm and organize the body. 

        You can get the free dinosaur proprioception activities printable by joining the thousands of others on our newsletter subscriber list.  You will receive occasional newsletter emails.

        Once you subscribe you’ll receive an email with a link to the free printable, as well as other freebies that only our subscribers receive.  

        Kids will love these dinosaur activities for occupational therapy to help kids address fine and gross motor skills using OT dinosaur activities.

        Dinosaur Activities for OT sessions

        Looking for more Dinosaur activities?  Try adding these to your occupational therapy interventions. Some of the ideas below are great for adding to teletherapy sessions. Others make great OT home programs.

        Dinosaur Activities for Occupational Therapy

        Ok, you have a child on your OT caseload (on in your classroom or home) that LOVES all things dinosaur…how do you get them involved in therapy sessions? You can totally guide therapy goals along a theme like dinosaurs.

        The OT dinosaur activities listed below are fun ways to work on specific skills in therapy sessions, using hands-on play and activities. You’ll find fine motor dinosaur activities, gross motor dinosaur ideas, dinosaur printables, sensory play with a dino theme, and even dinosaur visual perception activities.

        If you have a child in OT who LOVES all things dinosaur, these are great incentive activities that will build attention and focus to the session. Adding a much-loved theme to therapy sessions can empower a child as they play with more intent and attention.

        Occupational therapy activities with a dinosaur theme for heavy work activities and movement.

        Dinosaur Gross Motor Game– This dinosaur game offers kids a chance to MOVE! Use a child’s love of dinosaurs to create movement breaks and indoor activity with a dinosaur theme.

        This is one indoor play idea that my own children loved when they were little, but the bonus is that they gain midline crossing, motor planning, sequencing, bilateral coordination, balance, endurance, proprioception, and vestibular benefits all in the same movement activity.

        Dinosaur Playdough Kit can be made with play dough and a few small dinosaur figures. It’s a great way to add proprioception to the hands as heavy work before a handwriting activity.

        This busy activity can be pulled out at any time and kids can keep those hands busy while building intrinsic hand strength and endurance needed for tasks like coloring. Read more about warming-up the hands before fine motor tasks here.

        Free Dinosaur Visual Perception Sheet– This printable page can be printed off once and used with a page protector sheet for the whole therapy caseload. Or, add it to teletherapy sessions or distance learning as part of a child’s specific plan.

        Kids can work on visual perceptual skills such as scanning, form discrimination, figure ground, form constancy, and other visual perception skills. It’s perfect for dinosaur fans of all ages!

        Dinosaur Counting Cards with clothes pins to clip onto the matching number of dinosaurs is a great way to build hand strength with a dinosaur theme. Print them off and add them to your therapy toolbox. Here are more ways to use clothes pins in building skills in kids.

        Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs book and jacks game– have you read the children’s book, Goldilocks and the three dinosaurs? This children’s book is very cute and a fun way to add books to occupational therapy sessions.

        Then, add the fine motor and motor planning jacks game to build coordination and dexterity skills by playing jacks. This is such a fun way to add movement and reading to therapy sessions, making motor planning, sustained attention, bilateral coordination, crossing midline, floor play (heavy work!), all integrated into a single dinosaur activity!

        Dinosaur Matching with mini-figure dinosaurs is a fun way to work on visual scanning, visual discrimination, visual memory, and other visual perceptual skills. Using a small ball of play dough, press the dinosaur’s feet into the dough. They can then try to match up the feet to the footprints.

        All you need are mini dinosaur figures and salt dough, play dough, or similar dough. It’s a fun way to work on skills that come in handy for handwriting, reading, and number identification.

        Dinosaur Guessing Game is a fun way to work on discrimination skills and visual attention. For kids that have trouble attending to tasks, this dinosaur themed activity may do just the trick. Use dinosaur figurines and a box or basket to hide the dinosaurs.

        You can cover the dinosaurs and ask children to find the dino with specific features such as sharp teeth or a specific color. This visual memory game builds skills needed for letter discrimination and attention to detail.

        Free Dinosaur Number Puzzles– Kids can cut the paper puzzles into strips to work on scissor skills and bilateral coordination. The strait lines or these puzzles make it a great beginning scissor activity for children learning to use scissors. Then, they can challenge those visual perceptual skills to build the puzzle by scanning, and attending to details as they discriminate parts of the puzzles.

        Dinosaur Emergent Reader– Use a piece of colored paper to create a cone dinosaur craft like the one shown in this post.

        Kids can make colored dinosaurs and match them to dinosaur counters or small pieces of paper that match the colors. Don’t want to make the dinosaur crafts? Use colored cups to pretend!

        Free Dinosaur Subtilizing Game– This dinosaur subtilizing printable page has a fine motor component by that builds precision and dexterity as kids place counters on a printable play mat. They can roll a dice and work on an the essential math skill of subtilizing.

        What is subtilizing? Essentially, this skill means kids can look at a group of objects and know how many there without having to count each object one by one. Subtilizing is important in math, especially higher math skills.

        Dinosaur Sensory Bottle– You know we love sensory bottles! Sensory bottles are a great tool to add to your toolbox to address sensory needs or self-regulation. Using a sensory bottle as a coping tool can help kids relax, calm down, or focus.

        This dinosaur themed sensory bottle is great for kids who love dinosaur anything! Here is more information on how to make a sensory bottle.

        Dinosaur Letter Tracing– Kids can work on fine motor precision and dexterity while also working on letter formation, gross motor skills, bilateral coordination, crossing midline, visual tracking, and so many more skills.

        All you need are dinosaur mini-figures, paper, and a marker. Draw a large letter on the paper and then children can place the small dinosaurs along the lines to “build” the letters. Here is more information on teaching letter formation and using manipulatives like these small dinosaur figures in teaching letters.


        DIY Dinosaur Tangrams
        All you need is a set of tangram shapes, paper, and markers to make your own dinosaur tangram pattern cards. Kids will love building their own pattern cards, too.

        This is a great activity for those who have the actual tangram puzzle pieces, but don’t have access to a color printer or are able to purchase pre-made dinosaur pattern cards. Work on visual perceptual skills by copying and building the geometric dinosaurs together as a fun activity that little dinosaur fans will love.

        Here is a great resource on how to use tangrams to build visual perceptual skills. Check out that article, and then you can read more on the specifics of tangrams and handwriting. The fine motor activity and the functional task of writing go “hand-in-hand”!

        Dinosaur themed sensory (proprioception) heavy work activities for organizing and calming sensory input. This is perfect for a child who seeks out sensory stimulation.

        Are you looking for thorough information on Sensory Processing and Proprioception (or any of the sensory systems and how they affect functional skills, behavior, and the body’s sensory systems?  This book, Sensory Lifestyle Handbook, will explain it all.  Activities and Resources are included. Get it today and never struggle to understand or explain Sensory Integration again.  Shop HERE.

        This post is part of our 31 Days of Occupational Therapy series where you can find free or almost free treatment activities and ideas.  Stop by every day!  You’ll find more fun ideas each day in October.

        Free Dinosaur Movement Cards

        Dinosaur brain breaks and proprioception activities

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          Easter Egg Game- Color Scavenger Hunt

          Easter egg game that kids will love while working on color matching, color identification, visual perception.

          If you are looking for a fun Easter egg game that the kids will love, then you are in luck. Add this activity to your Easter activities and use up a few of those plastic eggs. This color scavenger hunt uses plastic Easter eggs, and it’s a very fun way to play and learn!

          Use those plastic eggs to encourage gross motor skills, visual perception, and color learning in a way that kids won’t forget. While the kiddos are playing this Easter game, they are building cognitive skills AND underlying skill areas like visual scanning and other visual perceptual skills.

          Easter egg game that kids will love while working on color matching, color identification, visual perception.

          Easter Egg game

          We set this Easter activity up years and years ago. (2013 to be exact!) However, it’s one of those activities that stands the test of time. If you’ve got plastic Easter eggs on hand, use them to build skills like the ones we worked on here!

          This Easter egg activity helps kids learn colors and learning with a color scavenger hunt gross motor activity

          COLOR SCAVENGER HUNT

          This color scavenger hunt is so easy to set up…and so much fun. Kids can work on identifying color names, and color matching. I wrote different colors on slips of paper and put them into plastic eggs.  The kids got to pick an egg from the bowl and “sound out” the color on the slip of paper.  Ok, my 5 year old sounded out the color with help.  The other two said the first letter of the word and guessed the color.  They were pretty excited to “read” the color on their slip of paper!  

          Another idea to expand this activity is to write words and do an Easter egg version of our word scavenger hunt.

          Kids will love this Easter egg game using plastic Easter eggs in a color scavenger hunt activity.
          Use this color scavenger hunt with easter eggs to work on color matching and color identification with kids.

          An Easter Game Kids will Love

          Now for the egg game…So then, they had to run off and find something that was the color of the written word on their slip of paper…and it had to FIT inside the egg.    I sat and waited for them to run back and show me what they found while they tried to fit it in their egg.   (completely genius way for this mom to finish a cup of coffee!)  

          Kids can look for objects that match plastic Easter eggs in a color scavenger hunt that allows them them move and play with learning, too.

          They had a little trouble with some things, but this was a fun and different way to work on visual perceptual skills.  Will that little doll fit in the egg?  We weren’t sure by looking at it, but with a little fiddling, she did!   Fitting the eggs together with the little objects inside was a great fine motor exercise.

          Kids can look for matching colors in this plastic Easter egg game that helps them with color matching and visual scanning.

          Color Identification for Kids  

          They found something for each color!  

          Putting items into the eggs and then matching colors was a great way to work on color identification skills.

          Matching colors requires visual motor skills to match colors and use that recognition in identifying the name of the color. It’s a skill that requires visual memory as well as working memory. This skill then carries over to so many other areas like letter recognition, and so much more.

          Learning colors is a building block for learning in kids!

          Kids can play this color scavenger hunt game with plastic Easter eggs for a fun Easter game that can be played indoors or outdoors.
          Kids can learn color names and work on learning skills like visual scanning, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills with this Easter game.

          This Easter themed play activity could be modified in so many ways for learning words, colors…have fun with it 🙂

          Want more ways to play and learn this time of year?

          One resource we love is our $5 therapy kit…the Plastic Egg Therapy Kit! It has 27 printable pages of activities with an Easter egg theme. In the kit, you’ll find fine motor activities, handwriting prompts, letter formation pages, pencil control sheets, plastic egg activities, matching cards, graphing activities, STEM fine motor task cards, and more. There are several pages of differentiated lines to meet a variety of needs. This therapy kit has everything done for you.

          Get your copy of the Easter Egg Therapy Kit here.

          This time of year, one of our more popular products here on The OT Toolbox is our Spring Occupational Therapy packet. The best news is that, this packet has had a major upgrade from it’s previous collection of spring sensory activities.

          Another great tool for supporting skills is the Spring OT packet…

          In the Spring OT packet, you’ll now find:

          • Spring Proprioceptive Activities
          • Spring Vestibular Activities
          • Spring Visual Processing Activities
          • Spring Tactile Processing Activities
          • Spring Olfactory Activities
          • Spring Auditory Processing Activities
          • Spring Oral Motor Activities
          • Spring Fine Motor Activities
          • Spring Gross Motor Activities
          • Spring Handwriting Practice Prompts
          • Spring Themed Brain Breaks
          • Occupational Therapy Homework Page
          • Client-Centered Worksheet
          • 5 pages of Visual Perceptual Skill Activities

          All of the Spring activities include ideas to promote the various areas of sensory processing with a Spring-theme. There are ways to upgrade and downgrade the activities and each activities includes strategies to incorporate eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, body scheme, oculomotor control, visual perception, fine and gross motor skills, and more.

          THE BEST THING ABOUT THE SPRING ACTIVITY PACKET:

          One of my favorite parts of the Spring Occupational Therapy Packet is the therapist tool section:

          • Occupational Therapy Homework Page
          • Client-Centered Worksheet

          These two sheets are perfect for the therapist looking to incorporate carryover of skills. Use the homework page to provide specific OT recommended activities to be completed at home. This is great for those sills that parents strive to see success in but need more practice time for achieving certain skill levels.
          This activity packet is 26 pages long and has everything you need to work on the skills kids are struggling with…with a Spring theme!

          Here’s the link again to grab that packet.

          Use this Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet to work on occupational therapy goals and functional skills with a spring theme.

          Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.