100 Snowballs Winter Math Worksheet

winter math worksheet 100th day of school

Today, you’ll find a fun winter math worksheet with 100 snowballs. This is a great activity for the 100th day of school…and working on writing numbers with kids. Number formation skill can be a challenge, so making practice fun and engaging is key. Use this 1 to 100 writing practice sheet with other winter occupational therapy activities all winter long!

winter math worksheet 100th day of school

100 Snowballs Winter Math Worksheet

This 100 snowballs activity is a winter math worksheet that is perfect for the 100th day of school. Incorporate it into other number formation goals along with these number formation resources:

When it comes to working on numbers and handwriting skills, meaningful and motivating activities is key. So when winter brings snow and ice, you can incorporate this functional practice activity into goal areas.

Winter and 100 snowballs

If you have read my other winter blog posts, you already know I am not a fan of winter. The temperature hit 61F last night and I was FREEZING!  I do not know how I am going to survive the southern winter at this rate.  Speaking of survival, I know I survived my childhood in the Northern US and lived to tell about it, but right now I don’t know how you do it.

Snowball fights were a staple of my winter childhood. We spent hours creating our stockpile of balls, to be ready to ambush an unsuspecting neighbor or sibling. Have you seen the new snowball maker contraption?  That is one cool tool.  Perfectly round balls of snow in five seconds flat. I am not sure why I remember liking snowball fights at all. I am not good at throwing anything, especially a flimsy ball of snow (we didn’t have that ball maker when I was young).  I can dodge ok I suppose, but who wants to just dodge all the time?  

We went to a man-made snow place in Georgia last winter.  I temporarily forgot how bad my aim is. I loved making the snowballs with the new snow packer tool, but still got pummeled.  Based on the popularity, I am going to venture a guess that snowball fights are still a “thing.” 

What better way to reminisce about winter than creating a lesson plan about it?  For adults it will be a great story telling opportunity (unless you have never ventured to the snow covered mountains), and for learners an excellent tie in to what is going on around them.  If your learners live where it is warm, use this opportunity to teach about snow with video clips, worksheets, activities, fine motor games, making an all inclusive lesson plan.

Winter Math Worksheet

To start off your Winter Lesson Plan, the OT Toolbox has you covered!  Check out the new 100 Snowball Math Worksheet.

The winter math worksheet that you can grab below is a great way to work on number formation and filling in numbers. Add it to a 100th day of school lesson plan, or therapists can use this as a complementary winter math lesson while still working on goal areas to support educational needs.

In its simplest form, this is a great PDF printable to address counting, number formation, and writing to 100. Add this to the other winter worksheets from The OT Toolbox and your Winter Lesson Plan will be well on its way.

Let’s take a look at the plethora of other ways to use this worksheet and incorporate it into treatment. 

  1. Make tiny snowballs of tissue or playdough to work on in hand manipulation.  Place the tiny balls on each of the numbers.
  2. Use a dot marker to dab the snowballs as they are being counted. This adds color and flair as well as building critical grasping skills.
  3. Cut all of the numbers, putting all of the snowballs back in order like a puzzle.
  4. Make large snowballs out of crumpled paper, then work on upper body coordination throwing the snowballs at a target.
  5. Build this into a gross motor task by running back and forth with snowballs. 

Ways to modify this task for different levels of learners:

  • Count aloud as a group to find the next number
  • Encourage students to remember the numbers, instead of starting back at one each time
  • Enlarge this worksheet onto a board, for a group activity or to make more readable
  • Laminate this task and use markers to fill in the numbers
  • Print it onto colorful paper for visual contrast and readability
  • Color the winter math worksheet before laminating it, or have learners color after filling in the numbers
  • Provide a model for copying for learners who do not know the numbers yet
  • Make a dotted version of the answers for tracing into the open spaces
  • Use different writing tools for different effects
  • Cut the page into smaller chunks if your learners can not yet write to 100

How to document about this 100 snowball printable worksheet?

The most straightforward way to document your lesson plan with this math worksheet is to note the number of correct responses.  Then take it further and note number formation, the number of reversals, correct formation, sizing, legibility, placement inside the provided spaces, grasping pattern, and pressure on the paper.  To continue, make note of your learners’ attention to detail, frustration tolerance, number of cues needed, number of physical assists, overall attention, behavior, self regulation, working in a group, sitting posture, and 100 other observations.

The great thing about worksheets like the 100 Snowball Printable from the OT Toolbox is the versatility of it.  My documentation might not have anything to do with number formation, grasping pattern, sizing, or spacing at all.  I can solely focus on social function and sensory strategies if that is the nature of my learner’s goals.

For this reason, these winter worksheets can be used for a good variety of learners, not just the ones working on number formation.

What else does the OT Toolbox have to offer?

100 Snowballs- 100 snowballs, 1 to 100 writing practice sheet, winter math worksheets

I love this all in one Winter Fine Motor Kit.

For more snowball and snow themed activities, be sure to check out the Snowman Therapy Kit. It’s loaded with fine motor activities, crafts, gross motor tasks, coordination, motor planning, scissor skill tasks, and handwriting activities all with a snow and snowman theme.

Free 100 Snowballs Worksheet

Want to add this 100 snowballs worksheet to your therapy toolbox for winter occupational therapy activities this time of year? Enter your email address into the form below to access this printable. OT Toolbox Member’s Club members will also find this worksheet inside the membership, along with hundreds of other resources and tools.

My treatment plans are all about efficiency, effectiveness, and getting the most out of each session…and this winter math worksheet fits the bill!

Winter Math Worksheet for 100th Day of School

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    I will keep practicing my aim, just in case!

    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.

    Things to do on a Snow Day

    Use this snow writing prompt as a way to come up with things to do in the snow on a snow day.

    When school is cancelled for a snow day, it can be fun to think of things to do in the snow. For parents or therapists, sometimes kids need things to do on a day at home so they stay off the video games and screens. Here, you will find therapist-approved winter family activities, things to do in the snow, and a special printable handwriting worksheet with snow writing prompts…perfect for a home therapy task that helps kids build skills through motor skills, PLAY, and even motivating and functional handwriting.

    Use this snow writing prompt as a way to come up with things to do in the snow on a snow day.

    Things to do on a snow day

    Whether you live in the snow, are dreaming about wintery conditions, or are happy to never have to see it again, there is a lot to be said about a winter day. Check out these snow and ice activities, for snowy fun that doesn’t involve all of the cold, ice, and snowflakes!

    Snow days represent different things to different people. Does it represent winter family activities? As a child in Connecticut, winter and snowy days were great!  There were endless things to do outside in the cold. These winter days meant bundling up layers and layers of clothing to head outside, building forts, rolling a snowman, shoveling sidewalks, climbing snow drifts, making snow angels, creating paths of footprints across the fresh, untouched snow, walking across a frozen pond, sledding down a huge hill, or skiing.

    Some of my fondest childhood memories were made on winter days. During the blizzard of 1978, the snow was piled up over our heads.  We walked on top of huge piles over ten feet tall. We had a sheepdog for many winters, it was funny to see his fur covered in snowballs from jumping in the wet snow.  Not so funny having to take them all off after coming inside.  

    Snow days can also mean NO SCHOOL!  We watched and waited for the announcement that there would be no school.  While parents dread this news, kids everywhere cheer for a day off.  

    A day or two of fresh snowfall can mean some indoor cozy fun also. If the power went off, we had a rare chance for pizza from the little town.  I think the neighbor had a snowmobile to trek down and collect it. It also meant hot cocoa and home baked cookies.  In the 70’s and early 80’s TV was not really for kids, except Saturday mornings.  School cancellations did not mean lazy days by the TV or playing electronics.  Out came the board games, the Easy Bake Oven, puzzles, Legos, coloring books, and all of the other things we never seemed to find enough time for. 

    What does a winter snow day mean to you?  Did you grow up with cold winters, or just read about it?  Did you long for just one flurry during a southern winter? Winter days feel different to me now, than as a child.  Today I would treat a winter day as a cuddle up under a blanket with hot cocoa, cookies, a good book, and a dog.

    Snow days are now virtual school days?

    What does a snow day mean to your learners?  It could mean 100 different things. This is a great snow writing prompt for digging up memories, stories, shared ideas, and working on critical handwriting skills. 

    But, in many cases, a school cancellation means parents who still need to work while the kids are at home. There can be more screen time, video games, and YouTube watching than normal. Sometimes parents need a quick list of things to keep the kids busy and OFF screens.

    Even more recently, in many areas, a school cancellation day is no longer a day off from school. Snowy conditions and ice or other weather conditions that may have previously meant a day off from school now may mean a virtual learning day. This change for many kids, is a change that may not go away now that many schools have virtual learning opportunities in place. In these cases, kids attend virtual school, but then they are finished early or have breaks during the school day. The last thing parents want their kids doing during a break from virtual learning is hopping onto another device!

    That’s where a quick list of things to do on a snow day comes in handy.

    In these cases, therapists who may be seeing students virtually can offer therapeutic activities that actually develop the very skills that the students on their caseload are working on.

    Therapists may need a quick activity or task list that specifically addresses the skills their kids are working on, so the child can have an action list of activities to do outside in the winter.

    These snow day activities can even be followed-up on and used as writing prompts in a later session to address executive functioning skills, handwriting, memory, and other skill areas.

    That’s where the snow day activities worksheet available below comes into play. Print off the worksheet and use it to identify winter ideas. Then, when students do have a day off from school, they can use it as a winter bucket list. It’s also a great family activity list for winter days. Or, just use the worksheet in virtual or face to face learning to work on handwriting skills and executive functioning skills.

    Things to do in snow Worksheet

    This winter printable helps learners create a list of Things to do on a Snow Day.

    Each person will have a different experience to write about. Encourage your learners to explore all different aspects of winter days, whether they have experienced them, or just read about it.  Learners will write something to do in the snow in each snowball.

    This activity can be modified for all levels of learners:

    • Lowest level learners can dictate what they would like written in the snow balls
    • This printable can be projected onto the board to work as a group task
    • Pictures of activities can be printed separately, cut and glued onto the snow balls. Use this Snow Day bingo game board to cut out ideas or play snowy bingo
    • The snowballs can be cut and glued onto a separate sheet of paper to add cutting and gluing to the task
    • Middle level learners can write one or two words in each ball.
    • Higher level learners can write an idea in each ball, then create a story or memory out of each idea.  This turns into a multilevel activity to use during many sessions.

    Skills addressed? As always, therapy or teaching is more than just fun and games. There are goals and objectives to be addressed.  This Things to do in the Snow printable, while being fun and relevant, also works on key skills

    • Handwriting – Work on letter formation, letter size, spacing, word and letter placement
    • Letter formation – correctly forming the letters top to bottom
    • Letter sizing – correctly fitting the letters into the size boxes
    • Copying – copying words from a model, transferring the letters from one place to another
    • Fine motor strengthening, hand development, and grasping pattern
    • Sequencing – will your learner do the words in order?   Will they go in a haphazard pattern all over the page?  
    • 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
    • Pasting using glue stick or drippy glue with accuracy
    • Bilateral coordination – remembering to use their “helper hand” to hold the paper while writing.  Using one hand for a dominant hand instead of switching back and forth is encouraged once a child is in grade school or demonstrates a significant strength in one or the other.
    • Strength – core strength, shoulder and wrist stability, head control, balance, and hand strength are all needed for upright sitting posture and writing tasks.

    Remember, you can address all of these skills at once, or focus on one or two.  Some skills above will be addressed without your conscious knowledge, while other skills will be directly worked on. 

    Documentation in Therapy with this Worksheet

    Use this snow day worksheet to document and track skills for data collection. Take note of these areas to collect data for documentation:

    • the percentage of correct letters, 
    • how many letters are formed correctly/directionality/legibility
    • size of letters in relation to the boxes
    • grasping pattern, hand dominance
    • attention to detail, following directions, prompts and reminders needed, level of assistance given

    Therapist-recommended Winter Activities

    If kids are filling out the worksheet and need some ideas to fill in the spaces, try these ideas. You can even fill out a worksheet to have as a copying activity for some student’s skill needs.

    These things to do in snow are perfect for a day off of school or winter family activities:

    What would you add to this list? Do any of these look like winter family activities that you would like to do on your next snow day?

    Free Snow Day Worksheet

    Make this snow writing prompt just part of your winter lesson plan. Print off this worksheet and get started with winter activities for the whole family! This winter worksheet is also available in the OT Toolbox Member’s Club. Members can log in and download this resource along with hundreds of other resources and tools to help kids thrive.

    Get free SNOWBALL ALPHABET WRITING PRACTICE SHEETS

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      Gotta go get my cocoa and marshmallows!

      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.

      Snowman Therapy Activity Kit

      Grab the Snowman Therapy Kit for more things to do on a snow day, or just in winter, whether you are on a snow day, or don’t even live in an area with snow!

      Free Apps for Occupational Therapy

      apps for occupational therapy

      Questions about the best apps for occupational therapy come up often. It is possible to address developmental skills through app play. Let’s cover various occupational therapy apps for the iPad or tablet.

      Children of today have technology very much integrated into all aspects of their daily lives. Technology is an occupation in and of itself. As occupational therapists, we strive to support functioning and full lives in our clients. Using apps in occupational therapy services serves two purposes: a meaningful and motivating tool to support functional skills by addressing underlying skills, AND as an extrinsic factor impacting function: using a device, filling form fields on apps, scheduling appointments, making calls, and other performance areas. Apps are a part of function because technology is so integrated into daily life.

      Let’s look at various areas of development where app use can help support kids, teens, and adults:

      Use these apps for occupational therapy to work on specific skills, development, and even functional skill work that is motivating and meaningful to today's kids.

      Apps for Occupational Therapy

      Normally at this time of year in therapy, it can be hard to keep the kids attention spans on track. Having a free app that builds skills can be one way to stay on track with addressing specific skills.

      Here, you will find free apps for occupational therapy that can be used as a supplemental activity or as a quick activity in between other occupational therapy activities. The OT apps for the ipad or tablet can be used in many different ways:

      1. Add them to your line-up of occupational therapy teletherapy activities.
      2. Use the OT apps as a supplemental activity for home recommendations or classroom down-time.
      3. Use the occupational therapy app as a transition activity that continues to develop skills addressed in therapy sessions.
      4. Others may want to use these apps for therapy breaks or as a reward at the end of the session.
      5. Use the apps for occupational therapy homework so that kids are motivated to participate and incentivize OT home programs, fostering the carryover we don’t sometimes see.
      6. Still others may find the occupational therapy apps perfect for home occupational therapy programs or ways to keep kids busy while parents are working from home.

      Whatever your need, these educational games and special education supports can be a powerful tool in distance learning and learning at home.

      These free apps for occupational therapy build handwriting, executive functioning, visual memory, fine motor skills, and more.

      Free Apps for Occupational Therapy

      The free apps below are broken down into targeted skill area. I’m adding apps for handwriting and letter formation, visual motor skills, executive functioning skills, and other areas. Some of these apps are IOS apps and others are Android apps.

      The apps that are available for Android on Google Play may be accessed through a Google account on a desktop and then accessed through the Google play app or via a Google account on an Apple device. Here is more information on how to access Google Play apps on an Apple device.

      I tried to locate only free apps in this resource. There are many great apps for occupational therapy out there, but I wanted to cover all the bases when it comes to OT interventions with free apps that can meet the needs for free!

      Another great idea for using free technology in occupational therapy includes using these Alexa skills in occupational therapy.

      Free Apps for Visual Motor Skills

      The apps listed below are some of the best apps for occupational therapists to use in therapy sessions, and to recommend to parents and teachers, when appropriate. Remember that all kids are different and all have specific needs, so these recommendations may not work for every child or individual.

      All About Shapes- This free app is available on IOS and is a shape drawing app. Users can draw and identify shapes.

      Vision Tap- This free IOS app is a great one for addressing visual processing and visual efficiency skills. Visual tracking, visual scanning, and oculo-motor skills are challenged with this one!


      Broom, Broom- This free IOS app allows children to draw paths for the vehicles in the game to drive on, building eye-hand coordination, motor planning, visual memory, and precision of fine motor skills.

      Visual Memory- is a free app available on Google Play. The game is designed to develop visual memory and improve attention. Users can find the image that appears at each level.

      Piko’s Blocks- this free IOS app really challenges the visual spatial skills for older kids.

      Memory Game- is another free app on Google Play. The game is just like the classic concentration game, helping users to build visual memory skills.

      Learning with Wally is an Android app available on Google Play. The visual discrimination app challenges users to discriminate between differences, recognize, and attend to details in visual forms, including pictures, letters, words and sentences.

      Sorting and Learning Game 4 Kids- This app is available on Google Play and challenges users to categorize and match themed objects while helping to build visual attention, visual memory, and focus with a concentration on visual perception.

      Visual Attention Therapy Life is an app available on Google Play. The free app allows users to address and build visual scanning, visual memory, and visual attention. It also helps rehab professionals to assess for neglect and provide more efficient and effective therapy for attention deficits.


      Sensory Baby Toddler Learning- This Google Play app is great for younger kids as they work on cause and effect and develop hand eye coordination skills.


      Connecting Dots is Fun- This free IOS app allows users to work on visual perceptual skills such as visual discrimination, form constancy, figure-ground and visual processing skills of tracking and scanning. Users create dot-to-dot activities in the app.

      Alphabet Puzzles For Toddlers- This Google Play app helps younger children work on letter identification and letter recognition. The letter learning app is a great app for preschoolers or toddlers. The visual perceptual app allows children to address form constancy, visual discrimination, figure ground, and other visual perceptual skills.

      iMazing- In this free IOS app, users can complete maze activities while challenging visual perception and visual motor skills.
      Skill Game- This free app is available on Android. The game allows users to draw lines to connect numbers while building eye-hand cordination, precision, motor planning, visual memory, and more.

      On the Line- This IOS app is great for working on visual motor skills using a stylus.


      Squiggles- This free app is a great one to work on pre-writing skills. Users can draw lines and figures and watch as they become animated.

      Use these free handwriting apps to work on letter formation, number formation, letter recognition, and more.

      Handwriting Apps

      These handwriting apps are occupational therapy tools that support the underlying skills needed for handwriting. Some apps allow kids to “write” letters using a resistance-free surface on the tablet or iPad. This input can be the “just right” level for some kids. Other Handwriting apps listed address other skills. Let’s take a look at how to use these apps in occupational therapy services.

      ITrace is a handwriting app that does have a price for the main version, however, there is a free version available with some activities. Users can trace letters, numbers, words, and shapes while working on visual motor skills and letter formation.


      Writing Wizard- This app is available on Google Play and allows users to trace letters along a visual guide. There are various fonts available and size can be adjusted for different ages.

      Writing Wizard-Cursive- This handwriting app is created by the makers of the regular, print version of Writing Wizard. Users can practice letter formation in cursive.

      Start Dot- This app addresses letter formation using visual, auditory, and movement cues. These prompts fade to address accuracy and independence.

      Ollie’s Handwriting and Phonics- This free app allows users to trace and copy individual letters and words on the app’s chalkboard wall.

      Write ABC – Learn Alphabets Games for Kids- This handwriting app is available on Google Play. The app helps younger children work on letter formation using visual cues for starting points and ending points.

      Sand Draw- This free Google Play app provides a sandy beach for kids to practice writing letters, words, or phrases in. Use it to practice spelling words for a fun twist.

      Snap Type- While this app has a paid version, the free version also allows users to create digital versions of worksheets. Students can take a picture of their worksheets, or import worksheets from anywhere on their device. They can then use their Android device keyboard to add text to these documents. When complete, students can print, email.

      Apps for Fine Motor Skills

      These apps for fine motor skill development might not be your go-to fine motor task when it comes to strengthening hands and promoting dexterity. But for the child that struggles with fine motor skills, a tablet or iPad app can be a motivating and meaningful way to address developmental skills.

      With an app, it is possible to address functional, fine motor skills:

      The fact is that devices are not going away. In fact, our youth are likely to see all aspects of their future lives managed by screen technology. For kids that struggle with dexterity, hand strength, motor planning, and other motor skills, we can help them to be the most functional and independent individuals.

      These fine motor apps are just one more strategy in our OT toolbelt.

      Dot to dot Game – Connect the dots ABC Kids Games- This free app is great for toddlers, preschoolers, or young children working on precision, dexterity, and fine motor work. the app addresses letter and number formation.

      Tiny Roads- This free app allows children to connect objects while working on precision and finger isolation.

      Montessori Fine Motor Skills Game School Numbers- This fine motor app helps users work on eye-hand coordination, precision, and finger isolation while working on numbers, letters, and shapes.

      Use these free executive functioning apps in occupational therapy sessions to build skills like working memory, attention, and focus.

      executive function apps

      When addressing attention, distraction, planning, prioritization, time management, and other executive functioning skills, using apps in occupational therapy is a no-brainer. Kids are exposed to the technology of devices every day and the ability to complete daily tasks using devices is just part of advances in our time.

      Use these executive function apps in occupational therapy as a support tool: devices to help with challenges like attention, organization, scheduling, and planning. Or, use these executive functioning apps in OT to work on cognitive skills that enable function; Apps are a great way to practice filling out forms, recalling and typing passwords, addressing online distraction, and other functional tasks that kids and adults are faced with every day. App use is an occupation, or task that occupies our daily lives, in a very real way.

      CogniFit Brain Fitness- This Google Play app uses memory games, puzzles, reasoning games, educational games, and learning games to train memory, attention, concentration, executive functions, reasoning, planning, mental agility, coordination and many other essential mental skills.

      Lumosity: Brain Training- This free executive functioning skills app uses games to exercise memory, attention, speed, flexibility and problem-solving.

      Memory Games: Brain Training– This executive functioning skills app uses memory and logic games  to improve memory, attention and concentration. 

      Alarmy- This free alarm app allows users to set alarms for attention building, and scheduling.

      The Google Tasks app– This free app creates checklists and sub-lists and allows users to add details about the areas that users need need to focus on in order to accomplish tasks. The app helps users to stay on track with due dates and notifications.

      The 30/30 app- This free app helps with executive functioning skills such as starting tasks, staying organized, and prioritization in tasks. This app is useful to address procrastination and motivation on bigger tasks or projects.

      Forest- This app helps with procrastination, productivity, and motivation.

      Study Bunny- This free productivity app helps students pay attention and focus on studying and larger school projects or tasks.

      Habitica- This task completion app allows users to track habits, and add gamification to tasks to build motivation and help with productivity.

      HabitNow- This free habit tracker app helps users to track habits and build habits to improve productivity and time management. This is a great app for scheduled activities or daily tasks such as chores or morning/evening routines.

      Brain N-Back- This working memory app helps to train working memory.

      Clockwork Brain Training- This memory training app helps with working memory and concentration through games and puzzles.

      Use these free self-regulation apps to help kids identify emotions, and feelings and help with coping tools.

      Apps for Emotional regulation

      There are apps that can be used as self-regulation tools. There are apps to practice social interactions. There are even apps to check-in on emotional regulation and self-regulation needs. These apps for emotional regulation are a great way to support kids and teens emotional regulation and overall wellbeing needs through the use of a hand-held self-regulation tool.

      Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame- This self-regulation app uses a fun Sesame Street monster to help little ones calm down and solve everyday challenges. Available in English and Spanish, the coping tools app helps your child learn Sesame’s “Breathe, Think, Do” strategy for problem-solving.

      Trigger Stop: Sensory and Emotional Check-In- This free self-regulation app is available on Google Play so they can identify and communicate sensations and emotions or feelings in the body so they can express them in a healthy way.

      Social Navigator –This emotional regulation app is a great social skills app designed to assist children with social and behavioral challenges. Kids can develop essential social interaction skills by taking a look at their behavior in social situations, and this app is a nice way to build confidence in that area.

      EmoPaint – Paint your emotions! is a free self-regulation app available for IOS in the Apple Store or Google Play. The paint app allows users to represent emotions or bodily sensations through art, by painting them interactively on the screen.

      Moodflow: Self-care made easy!- keeps track of your emotions, moods, thoughts and general well-being with a self-rating system, emotional language, and a system that allows for identification of how coping strategies help with emotional regulation.

      Deep Breathing apps- there are many mindfulness and deep breathing apps out there. I even have one right on my watch. With calming visuals, mindfulness apps allow the user to calm down and regulate their emotions so they can function in any situation. Bubble: Breathing Companion is one self-regulation app that encourages emotion regulation through breathing exercises.

      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.

      Winter Number Tracing Worksheet

      winter clothes number tracing worksheet

      When it comes to managing the long winter with activities, this winter number tracing worksheet has you covered. Use the winter clothes worksheet to talk with kids about winter clothing AND work on number formation. It’s a winter clothing printable that you’ll want to add to your therapy toolbox!

      This free winter number tracing worksheet is a winter clothes activity for kids that helps with motor planning of number formation using a winter clothing printable.

      Free Winter Number Tracing Worksheet

      This winter clothing number tracing worksheet is similar to our recent Christmas lights number tracing printable.

      Winter means different things for different people depending on their climate. Winter in the southern United States means adding a sweatshirt, possibly a hat at the bus stop early in the morning.  In the northern states winter is a different story.  Up north, winter starts in mid- September and seems to last until May.  I have northern roots but am a southern girl by heart. 

      Winter months in cold areas of the world mean bundling up and adding clothes.  Mittens, hats, coats, snow pants, boots, gloves, earmuffs, thick socks, long johns, and lots of layers are the customary daily garb.  Imagine trying to put this on and off a toddler each time you head out!  As soon as you get your child decked out in all these layers, they usually announce the need to go to the toilet!  It never fails.

      Since bundling up is a daily chore in the frozen north, why not add it to your treatment plan? The Warm Winter Clothes Number Trace Worksheet is a cute printable to build essential skills while using meaningful, relevant content.

      Tracing Numbers Worksheets

      Let’s talk tracing so you can use it to the maximum benefit and its intended purpose. 

      I am not a fan of tracing unless it is used correctly, or the objective is understood. Here is information on the benefits of tracing

      • Tracing is not going to teach number/letter formation if the learner does not know what those figures are.  To a learner who does not know these symbols, they will be tracing lines, not numbers or letters
      • Know your audience. If your learner does not know the letters or numbers, use the activity as a fine motor task to develop dexterity
      • Kinesthetic awareness.  This long word means to learn by doing.  Theoretically if a person writes the number 5 enough times, the body will start to recognize this pattern and commit it to memory.  This only works if the learner understands what is being traced. Using our sandpaper writing trick is one great way to incorporate kinesthetic awareness into number tracing and number formation.
      • Tracing for dexterity. This is the type of tracing I like best.  Tracing for dexterity works on staying on the lines, fine motor control, building hand muscles, scanning and a whole host of other important skills as defined below

      Winter Clothes Worksheet

      While worksheets are not a favorite among occupational therapists, there are ways to support skill areas by using worksheets to meet the needs of kids. When we address the underlying skill areas to support function, printables like this winter clothes worksheet can address a variety of areas.

      What does this winter number tracing worksheet work on besides tracing?

      1.  Kinesthetic awareness – This means learning by doing.
      2.  Hand strength and dexterity – staying on the lines builds hand muscles and develops muscle control. Check out the In Hand Manipulation Printable Worksheet to incorporate developing the intrinsic hand muscles.
      3. Visual motor skills –Combining what is seen visually and what is written motorically.  This takes coordination to be able to translate information from visual input to motor output. Coloring, drawing, counting, cutting, and tracing are some visual motor skills.
      4.  Visual Perception – Developing figure ground to see where one item start and finishes, scanning to find all answers, and visual closure to understand that dotted lines will create something.
      5. Strength – Core strength needed for sitting, shoulder/elbow/wrist stability, finger strength, and head control all play their role in writing.
      6. Bilateral Coordination – Be sure your learner uses their helper hand for stabilizing the paper while using their dominant hand for writing.
      7. Counting/Learning Numbers – Count the items to understand number concepts in addition to tracing them.
      8. Social/Executive Function – Following directions, turn taking, task completion, orienting to details, neatness, multi-tasking, attending to task, and impulse control can be addressed using this Warm Winter Clothing Printable PDF.

      When using a task such as this number tracing worksheet, therapists can utilize and focus on all the above skills or just one or two.  There are times when I am working more on executive function than fine motor skills but will use this task with more of my focus on these executive function skills.  My note might not say much about their number formation, counting skills, or neatness, but how well they were able to attend to the task, complete the task, follow directions, and control their impulses.

      Winter Clothing Printable

      There are so many ways to use this winter clothing printable to work on number tracing, and more.

      How do I incorporate or modify this task for the needs of all my learners?

      Lots of ways!  As always, this sheet can be laminated for reusability or marker use, printed on different colored paper for readability, enlarged or made smaller, made simpler or more complex. Try having learners color the shapes and write the numbers independently on the back to add more visual motor tasks to this winter clothes worksheet.

      This covers one day of winter, what about the other 240?

      Glad you asked!  The OT Toolbox is stuffed with activities, blog posts and work pages to fill those winter days. The Winter Fine Motor Kit full of handouts and PDF files provides several visual motor tasks to be used throughout the winter season.

      Plus, in The OT Toolbox Members Club, you’ll find winter clothing printables and resources to address a variety of needs.

      In addition to these handouts, you can also read this article on Winter Fine Motor Activities for more great ideas and suggestions:

      Winter is a very long season. Especially if you are not a fan of the cold weather (author raises hand).  Adding fun activities and games can take some of the monotony and sting out of the long cold days. 

      Brrrrrr, bundle up!

      Free WINTER NUMBER TRACING WORKSHEET

      Want to access this printable number tracing worksheet? Enter your email address into the form below. You can also find this winter clothing printable in The OT Toolbox Member’s Club.

      Winter Clothing Number Tracing Worksheet

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        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.

        Watch for more winter clothes worksheets and winter printables coming to this space.

        CHRISTMAS WORD SCRAMBLE

        Christmas word scramble

        In this blog post, you’ll find a Christmas word scramble. It’s a bit different than our recent Hanukkah word scramble printable worksheet…This one has a list where kids can unscramble Christmas words! Use this worksheet to work on visual processing skills and handwriting at a time of year when you may want to come up with fresh tools to building skills to keep kids motivated and learning…OR, use this as a desk activity for early work finishers in the classroom or as a holiday activity for the home. Let’s get this printable Christmas word scramble into your hands!

        Christmas word scramble worksheet is a free Christmas printable to work on visual perceptual skills.

        Christmas Word Scramble

        Time to shuffle on to the Christmas season!  I call it a season because it takes over December.  Sometimes in November and October too.  It seems people are anxious for Christmas to be here, or to extend the joy just a few more days. People were asking in our neighborhood if November one was too early to decorate for Christmas.  Um, yes! 

        Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. What I don’t love is the change in expectations. Dr Phil once said, “what makes us upset is a change in our expectations.”  A change in what we expect of ourselves and those around us.  Do we live up to the expectations of others, or do they live up to ours?  Children have expectations too.  Is this Christmas going to be just like last year?  Are they going to get everything they asked for? 

        My advice?  Don’t set the bar too high.  I did that.  Last year I created stocking challenges, Minute to Win It games, unwrap the gifts with gloves on challenges, and pass the ball of cling plastic filled with holiday goodies and treats game.  I set the bar very high.  So high, everyone is expecting that level of awesomeness and more.

        Because we create unrealistic expectations at home, don’t make yourself crazy at work. Use streamlined activities that can be modified for all of your learners.  Create packets to use all week.  I walk around with a booklet of worksheets and a bucket of crayons/markers/colored pencils to last me through the week.  I can modify these to fit all the goals I need to accomplish.

        This Christmas word scramble would fit in perfectly as a done-for-you worksheet that builds functional tasks!

        The OT Toolbox has tons of cool activities to help you streamline your sessions.  One of the latest is the Christmas Word Scramble.  This is a great tool to work on unscrambling Christmas words, but it is so much more than just that.

        Unscramble Christmas Words and Build Skills

        Let’s break it down and see all the skills this works on:

        The easy answer is that this is a handwriting task. But can you name seven other categories and fifty different skills it works on?

        •  Handwriting – letter formation, sizing, spacing, line placement, directionality, spelling
        •  Fine motor – grasping pattern, wrist stability, intrinsic hand muscle development
        • Bilateral coordination – hand dominance, using “helper hand”, crossing midline
        • Proprioception – pressure on paper, grip on pencil
        • Strength – shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, core, head control
        • Visual perception – scanning, figure ground, line placement, crossing midline, visual closure, seeing parts to whole
        • Executive function – following directions, attention, focus, sequencing, planning, task completion
        •  Social function – working together in a group, problem solving, sharing materials and space, turn taking, talking about the activity,

        There are several more goals that can be addressed while unscrambling Christmas words, but this is a great jumping off point.

        How to Grade an Unscramble Worksheet

        Therapy professionals are familiar with the term “grade” and the phrase “grading and activity”. But what does grade mean in the therapy world? When therapists say grade an activity, they are referring to adjusting the task slightly. Grade refers to modifying an activity to make it easier or more challenging. This is essential in goal development or progression.

        How to grade this activity:

        1. Cut the word bank letters and glue in the correct spaces to eliminate handwriting.
        2. Use the word bank as for clues to the correct words.
        3. Try the page without a word bank, to encourage working memory and spelling.

        How to modify this activity:

        1. Laminate the Christmas Unscramble page to make it reusable.  This is efficient, plus learners** love markers! (Not all learners love reusable pages. Some feel it is important to be able to save their work and take it home).
        2. Project it onto a smart board to make it a group task or working on large letters and shoulder stability.
        3. Enlarge the task for beginning writers who need more writing space.
        4. Shrink the task for older learners who need to learn to write smaller.
        5. Try different writing utensils. This is not only motivating, but some learners work better with markers as they glide easier on paper. Did you know that golf sized pencils promote more of a tripod grasp than traditional long pencils?
        6. Use different colored paper for more or less visual contrast.
        7. Have learners write a sentence using each unscrambled word.
        8. Draw pictures of each of the words or create a picture containing all of the words.

        More Christmas Worksheets

        Did you love this Christmas unscramble activity?  Wait! There is more…

        The OT Toolbox has scores of PDF pages and kits for the holidays to make your lesson planning easier.  Check this out:

        1. Christmas hidden pictures pdf

        2. Check out the Christmas Therapy Kit!

        Want all your Christmas OT therapy planning done for you so you can help learners develop fine motor skills?  

        While the holidays can be full of stressors and expectations, they can also be fun and magical. Follow the OT Toolbox for other Christmas printables and blog posts.

        If you just can’t get enough of the OT Toolbox and all it has to offer, consider becoming a member.

        The OT Toolbox Members’ Club is an online platform for occupational therapists, parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone seeking tools to help learners thrive.

        Inside you will find therapy resources, handouts, themed activities, and tools to support your journey helping learners.

        Try and enjoy the holiday season for what it is.  Set realistic expectations for yourself and others.  Say no to that extra holiday party or outing if it stresses you or your family out.

        Free Christmas Word Scramble Worksheet

        Want a copy of this Christmas word scramble activity? Enter your email address into the form below. The printable sheet will be delivered to your inbox. This printable is available inside the Member’s Club. Join today for easy access to this plus tons of other done-for-you activities and our Therapy Kits!

        FREE Christmas Word Scramble

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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, etc. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.

          Christmas Lights Worksheet for Number Tracing

          Free Christmas lights number tracing worksheet

          Today, we have a fun Christmas lights worksheet for you. But, this printable handout doubles as a number tracing worksheet. The PDF can be printed off, laminated, and used in so many ways to work on number formation or as a Christmas math worksheet during the holiday season. Grab this printable number tracing DF below, but be sure to check out the various ways to use this resource in therapy sessions, the classroom, or home. We’re covering them all!

          Free Christmas lights number tracing worksheet to address number formation

          Christmas Lights Worksheet

          The holidays are upon us!  Like it or not, they are COMING!  What better way to embrace the upcoming season, than incorporating it into lesson plans and therapy sessions?

          Check out this informative article from Continental Press on the Benefits of Incorporating Holidays into a classroom or therapy session.  It includes the benefits, how to’s, and some great teaching points.

          Some of the key things to remember when planning your holiday themed lesson/therapy plan:

          • Not all learners celebrate the same holidays.  Some do not celebrate at all.  Find out the preference of each learner before presenting holiday specific activities. If you are unsure, go for a “winter theme” instead of holidays, or be well rounded and work on ALL of the holidays if your learner celebrates something.
          • Some schools have strict policies about incorporating holidays such as Christmas into the lesson plan.
          • Adding exciting activities can motivate learners to complete tasks, but it can also raise their arousal level.  Regulate how much excitement you add into the lesson plan each day and watch for signs of dysregulation.
          • If in a public school or secular private school keeping religion out of these lesson plans is not only wise, it is the law.  While many families believe and celebrate Christmas with the story of Christ, school based activities need to be centered around reindeer, holiday lights, snowmen, trees, gifts, and Santa if this is acceptable.

          How to use this Christmas Lights Worksheet

          This Christmas Lights Number Trace Worksheet can work on multiple skills at once.  This is the key to any activity.  Most students (or the ones we work with) do not like writing activities, therefore making it time efficient, fun, and incorporating multiple goals at once is the key to success.

          Other than number tracing, which is obvious, what other skills are built using this Christmas lights worksheet?

          1. Kinesthetic awareness – this is essentially learning by doing. While tracing, the hope is that learners are feeling the movement of the numbers as they are being formed, thus making it easier for them to independently form them.
          2. Fine motor skills – tracing on a line and staying in a designated space helps build the intrinsic hand muscles necessary for good handwriting.  The smaller the picture, the more muscle control is required. 
          3. Coloring – add coloring to this activity to further aid in fine motor development.  This also works on recognizing the borders of the lines, using different colors, making patterns, fine motor control, attention to detail, neatness, prioprioception and countless other skills.
          4. Proprioception – since I mentioned it, let’s talk about it.  Proprioception in this case is going to involve the pressure of holding the writing tool, pressure on the paper, arm and wrist support on the table.  Did you know, increased pressure on paper can cause hand fatigue?
          5. Bilateral coordination – one hand needs to hold the paper while the other traces and colors.  Be sure to remind your learner to use their “helper hand.”
          6. Visual Perception – being able to scan the paper to trace the numbers in order (or any order you provide), perceiving the line to trace and following which direction it is going, and noticing lines and borders for writing/coloring.  
          7. Social skills – talking about the holiday, talking about the picture, sharing crayons to build social interaction, turn taking, following directions, and staying seated with peers all build social skills.

          Christmas Math Worksheet

          Whew!  That is a lot of skills for one worksheet!  Using this Christmas Math Worksheet you have built on at least seven different skills.  

          Just a few more pointers while working on these types of number tracing worksheets:

          • Tracing will build kinesthetic and fine motor skills even if your learner does not know numbers.  This becomes just a tracing task rather than number recognition.
          • To many learners, tracing does not always build their ability to write after tracing letters or numbers.  Some learners see these items as merely symbols, not actual letters or numbers.  No amount of tracing is going to magically make them be able to make these figures if they do not have any meaning.
          • Use multiple methods if working on number recognition or formation such as writing in the air, using different mediums to write, copying from a model, matching numbers, doing number puzzles to name a few examples.
          • Visual perception – always rule out VISION problems before assessing if your learner has difficulty with visual perception.  There are times the learner can not see the work in front of them, or can only see part of it.  

          Using a Number Tracing Worksheet in Therapy Sessions

          When you use this Christmas lights worksheet to address number formation goals in therapy sessions, you can consider these points on documentation.

          How to document about your session:  

          “Student participated and was cooperative during 75% of activity.  Learner was able to trace 7/12 numbers within 1/4” of line with R hand using a tripod grasp on large half inch diameter crayon.  Learner demonstrated fair bilateral coordination, needing two reminders to use their helper hand to stabilize paper. Learner was able to color 12/12 shapes with 80% coverage and poor attention to borders, making 3-5 marks outside of each shape.  Learner demonstrated average visual perceptual skills while correctly scanning page left to right and top to bottom 12/12 numbers.  Learner demonstrated fair social skills needing two reminders not to touch peers, and one prompt to ask before taking objects from peers.”

          While documenting, it is not necessary to state you are doing a Christmas Number Lights Worksheet.  Documenting progress and skills is most important, or simply stating it is a 123 tracing worksheet will be sufficient.

          As you can see, an activity like the christmas lights worksheet is not only fun but FUNctional, which is the OT motto.

          For more great Christmas activities check out this blog from Colleen Beck creator of the OT Toolbox:

          Free Christmas Lights Number Trace Worksheet

          You can grab a copy of this printable number tracing worksheet and start using it right away in therapy sessions. Enter your email address into the form below and the printable will be delivered to your inbox. If you are a member of The OT Toolbox Member’s Club, this resources is available inside your member’s dashboard.

          FREE Christmas Lights Number Tracing Worksheet

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            Have a great holiday season!

            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, etc. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.

            Hanukkah Word Scramble

            We’ve been sharing a lot of holiday printable activities lately, and this Hanukkah word scramble is one more! Winter holiday season is upon us!  Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa,  Winter Solstice, or something else entirely, this is a joyous time for many. It should not matter what you celebrate, learning the history, traditions, and meaning of these events should be at the center of the lessons. Kids can unscramble the Haunukkah words and work on visual perceptual skills and handwriting.

            This free Hanukkah word scramble is a Hanukkah activity sheet for the holidays.

            Hanukkah Word Scramble

            In order to be interesting and motivating to young learners, fun worksheets can be incorporated into lesson plans.  These not only provide a relevant lesson plan during the holiday season, but can incorporate many important goals and objectives in one single task.  This is most important, as therapy sessions are often limited or short, as well as the attention span of young learners.  Therapy sessions in school can be as short as 15 minutes, just enough time for a warm up activity and a fun worksheet such as the Hanukkah activity sheet with scrambled words.

            This Hanukkah activity sheet which involves matching Hanukkah words, is an excellent idea!

            Let’s explore the many different goals and skills that can be addressed using the Hanukkah word match:

            1.  Letter formation – the worksheet has lines for correct letter formation
            2. Sizing and spacing of letters to fit in the provided boxes
            3.  Copying from a model
            4.  Decoding to use strategies to determine how many letters in each word and the size of the corresponding boxes
            5. Bilateral coordination using one hand to write and the other to hold the paper
            6.  Visual perception – being able to visualize the words once they are scrambled
            7. Social skills – working on frustration tolerance, attention to details, and following  directions
            8. Fine motor skills – building hand muscles through writing

            Ways to adapt and change this activity:

            •  Laminate this page to use wipe off markers as a different medium as well as reusability. Note: some children love wipe off sheets, while others become upset that they can not take their work with them.
            •  Put this activity on the smart board to make it a group task or invite students to come to the board and write.
            •  Make space to draw the items on the page to work on visual motor skills.
            • Work in pairs or in a small group to address problem solving, turn taking, and negotiation skills.

            Many times, it seems Hanukkah takes a back seat to Christmas based on the number of participants or popularity. This special traditional celebration can be incorporated into an inclusive lesson plan that includes many holidays, or as a stand-alone unit for learners celebrating Hanukkah.  This is a great opportunity for anyone to learn about different cultures and traditions no matter what is celebrated.

            What is Hanukkah?

            Check out this article about what Hanukkah is. This is a great tool to add to your lesson plan about holidays.

            Holidays like Hanukkah can be exciting and fun to incorporate into treatment sessions. Be mindful that too much of a good thing is not so good after all.  Scatter fun holiday activities into regular tasks to help students modulate their arousal level and stay on task during these busy times.  Holidays can be a lot of fun but can also cause stress for many.  There are added responsibilities, money woes, social stressors, increased expectations, and changes in schedules that can set adults and children off of their routine.

            Turn your holiday stress into a teachable moment

            One article outlines how to turn your holiday stress into a teachable moment. Don’t let stress get the best of you and turn a great time into a mess.

            More Holiday Activity Sheets

            The time leading up to the holidays between Thanksgiving and these winter celebrations can last two to three weeks.  In order to feel well prepared for this season, having several activities planned ahead of time will ease stressful planning or running out of meaningful activities.  The OT Toolbox offers the Winter Fine Motor Kit full of handouts and PDF files providing several visual motor tasks to be used throughout the winter season.

            In addition to these handouts, you can also read this article on Winter Fine Motor Activities for more great ideas and suggestions:

            For me, the most difficult part of therapy sessions is trying to plan them and come up with novel ideas that are going to be appealing to all my different levels of learners.  Once I have several sessions planned for the week, the time flies by and sessions go much smoother.  I am able to adapt each task to meet the needs of most of my different learners.  Take this opportunity to streamline your sessions by downloading activities and ideas from the OT Toolbox today.

            Free Hanukkah Word Scramble Activity Sheet

            FREE Hanukkah Word Scramble Activity Sheet

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              Happy Holidays!

              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, etc. The term “they” is used instead of he/she to be inclusive.

              Christmas I Spy

              Free Christmas I Spy worksheet

              Are you looking for a quick and easy activity to address the components of visual perception that you can also use to address numeral formation this holiday season?  This Christmas I Spy is a fun activity that can be used in a variety of ways to target the skills your students need including visual perception and numeral formation. Add this I Spy printable to your occupational therapy Christmas ideas!

              Use this printable Christmas I Spy worksheet for a party activity or in Christmas occupational therapy activities!

              Christmas I Spy

              It’s the busiest time of the year and this Christmas I Spy is a no prep printable you can take from the printer right to your therapy sessions with your students.  The best part of this worksheet is that it can target so many skills at once! 

              Some of the skills addressed with Christmas I Spy will target the components of visual perceptual skills.  Visual perceptual skills are foundational to reading and writing.  There are many components of visual perception that play a role in our student’s performance at school, but this activity primarily addresses visual discrimination and visual memory.  

              You can begin using this worksheet with your students by asking them to name some of the pictures they see on the page.  Then, focus their attention to the bottom of the page to the pictures they will look for during the activity. 

              Support Visual Skills with a Christmas I Spy

              Using their visual discrimination skills, ask your students to identify each of the pictures at the bottom.  Encourage your students to use a different color for each picture they find.  This is a strategy you can teach them to support their visual discrimination skills.  The students can circle each picture working on their fine motor dexterity skills or they could color each small picture.

              This activity is also great for addressing visual memory.  Visual memory is the ability to retain and recall visual information.  Visual memory is essential in reading and writing, but it is also important for completing tasks like Christmas I Spy in an efficient way.  

              As the students begin to work, they will be using their visual memory and scanning skills together to recall where they have seen each picture.  

              Visual scanning is also an important skill that will be addressed with Christmas I Spy.  Visual scanning is a function of the oculomotor system that involves using the eyes in a coordinated way to scan the environment for information. 

              For students who may have difficulty with visual scanning, try teaching strategies such as moving a ruler down the page as they track across, encourage them to scan in an organized manner from left to right, or you can reduce the demand by asking “can you find 3 candy canes”, for example. 

              Another way to support students who may have difficulty with visual perceptual tasks such as I Spy, would be to take turns finding the different pictures.  Not only would this take away some of the demand for struggling students, but it would also allow you to model visual scanning skills at the same time.  

              Work on Number formation with a Christmas I Spy Activity

              Finally, Christmas I Spy provides your students with an opportunity to address number formation.  After they find and color each picture, they will need to write the number in the box. 

              Here is a place where you can take this pencil/paper task and make it a kinesthetic learning experience for your students!  Many students need kinesthetic learning experiences or the opportunity to touch, move, and feel in order to learn. 

              Occupational therapists are uniquely trained to provide these types of kinesthetic learning experiences to students.  You will find that when you design an intervention to include a sensory, tactile, or movement experience, your students will be instantly engaged.  Engagement and participation are the keys to learning!

              More ways to use this Christmas I Spy Printable

              You could extend this activity to include a kinesthetic component by: 

              • Forming the numbers using gingerbread scented playdough.  Here is a link make your own from Learning4Kids – Gingerbread Scented Playdough Recipe
              • If snow is more your style, try this snow dough recipe from A Spotted Pony – Snow Dough Recipe
              • And for an even more sensory experience try Candy Cane Play Dough from kidsactivitiesblog.com
              • Hot Chocolate Playdough is another fun sensory idea from The Simple Parent
              • Bend red and white “candy cane” pipe cleaners into the numbers your students need to practice
              • Use sand trays to practice numeral formation.  Use red and green sand to stick with the holiday theme or get inspired to use other materials/textures from ideas here: Writing Trays for Handwriting
              • Practice writing numbers in shaving cream.  Add a little silver glitter to mimic snow.

              So, grab your hot cocoa and hit print on Christmas I Spy! You will have so much fun with your students this holiday season while working on important visual perceptual and numeral formation skills!

              FREE Christmas
              I Spy Worksheet

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                Katherine Cook is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience primarily working in schools with students from preschool through Grade 12.  Katherine graduated from Boston University in 2001 and completed her Master’s degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study at Tufts University in 2010.  Katherine’s school based experience includes working in integrated preschool programs, supporting students in the inclusion setting, as well as program development and providing consultation to students in substantially separate programs.  Katherine has a passion for fostering the play skills of children and supporting their occupations in school.