June Occupational Therapy Calendar

June activity calendar for occupational therapy

If you are looking for Summer occupational therapy activities, this June occupational therapy calendar is for you! It’s loaded with June calendar ideas to help kids move, develop skills, and play this summer. Having a calendar for therapy activities ready to go is important to beat the summer slide when it comes to helping kids move with therapist-approved activities. Use this printable June calendar in occupational therapy home programs, summer lesson plans, and OT summer sessions! You’ll find more summer occupational therapy ideas on various places on the website.

To get you started, also try this resource on summer occupational therapy crafts and this printable 100 things to do this summer.

Both can be printed and used along with this free June activity calendar to support kids’ OT needs this year.

June calendar ideas for occupational therapy and play at home during the summer.

June Occupational Therapy Calendar

We’re plugging along as the end of this school year arrives and the start of summer is right around the corner.  Are you ready for a summer with the kids?  
 
It can be hard to stay on track with Occupational Therapy goals during the carefree days of summer.  This month, with the June activity calendar, I wanted to bring you easy ways to keep up on therapy goals.  
 
There is nothing better than the whole family getting involved with a game or an outing. Family time is memory-making time and so this month’s  Occupational Therapy calendar is focused around family activities. 
 

June Activities

 
This Family wellness BINGO game is another tool to support overall family needs and can be a great addition to summer activities.
 
The June OT calendar includes activities such as: 

The June calendar ideas include other activities at the bottom of the page to support a variety of needs. These ideas can be used to replace activities on the calendar, if needed. 

All of the June activities support a variety of developmental areas. We’ve selected the activity ideas based on development of skills through play and movement.

Some of the developmental areas addressed in these June activities include:

  • Sensory processing
  • Visual processing
  • Executive functioning skills
  • Direction following
  • Motor skill development (fine motor and gross motor)

Each June activity on the OT calendar targets sensory motor areas:

  • Tactile input
  • Proprioception
  • Vestibular input
  • Visual input

Some activities are guided by olfactory, auditory, and gustatory input. 

We’ve selected these June activities to support areas of functioning such as:

  1. Handwriting
  2. Scissor skills
  3. Self-care
  4. Cooking (following recipes)
  5. Game play
  6. Exploring the community

More June Activities

Exploring all that summer allows is a great way to develop skills during the Summer months. However, if you need a strategy, we’ve created a few resources for just this need.
 
In fact, I’ve created a whole summer of OT activities that the get the family involved!  These are sensory-based treatment activities that build on skills that may make up your child’s Occupational Therapy goals.  The nice thing about these activities is that you can adjust the activity to meet individual goals. 
 

You’ll be interested in our new Summer Occupational Therapy Activities Packet. It’s a collection of 14 items that guide summer programming at home, at school, and in therapy sessions. The summer activities bundle covers handwriting, visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, regulation, and more.

You’ll find ideas to use in virtual therapy sessions and to send home as home activities that build skills and power development with a fun, summer theme. Kids will love the Summer Spot It! game, the puzzles, handouts, and movement activities. Therapists will love the teletherapy slide deck and the easy, ready-to-go activities to slot into OT sessions. The packet is only $10.00 and can be used over and over again for every student/client!

Grab the Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet HERE.

summer occupational therapy activities for kids
 
June Occupational Therapy calendar of activities for the family
 
 
 

Want to take summer play to the next level? Be sure to grab your copy of the Summer OT Activities Bundle!

 
Summer activities for kids

Free June Activity Calendar

Want to print off this calendar and add it to home programs or use it in therapy planning this summer? Enter your email address into the form below.

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

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

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

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

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FREE JUNE Activity Calendar

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    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Star Wars Occupational Therapy Lightsaber

    star wars occupational therapy

    Today I have a fun Star Wars occupational therapy activity. This block light saber requires just one material, but you can use this Lightsaber for so many OT goals! We actually created this counting block light saber years ago (original blog post was written in 2015) for May 4th activities for occupational therapy. May the 4th be with you with this fine motor Star Wars activity!

    Star Wars occupational therapy activities for kids

    Star Wars occupational therapy

    Pediatric occupational therapy professionals know the power of using themes in OT therapy sessions. When we come up with a theme for fine motor, gross motor, visual motor, and sensory motor tasks, we can cover a wide range of OT goals while meeting the client (patient, student, etc.) where they are with a focus on their interests.

    Using interests in therapy fosters meaning and engagement.

    That’s where this Star Wars occupational therapy theme comes into play.

    How many children have you met that love all things Star Wars? When you bring up the topic of light sabers, Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca, and Luke, you may see a sparkle in the eyes of a child that could talk for hours on all things Star Wars. That’s when you know you have a great therapy theme on your hands.

    Using that Star Wars theme in therapy allows kids to focus on the tasks at hand, try new activities, and put themselves out there to try activities that might be just a little difficult on the range of “just right” tasks. The point here is to meet those goals but when working on goals is difficult, it can be easy to quit or give up. However, if there is a topic of interest that really sparks a light of engagement, then you have a tool to support goal development.

    This is when we see kids thrive!

    Let’s go over a few Star Wars occupational therapy activities focusing on fine motor skills, visual motor skills, gross motor skills, handwriting, and sensory play.

    Star Wars Fine Motor Activity- Build a Block Light Saber

    If your sons (and daughters) are anything like mine they love to make lightsabers out of anything.  Ever since they were introduced to Star Wars, the lightsaber is definitely a favorite in our house.  We built these blocks Star Wars lightsabers using counting blocks and wanted to share.  Because it sure is fun!

    The block light saber is a fine motor powerhouse. By snapping together the blocks, you’ll see:

    All of these fine motor skills are essential to functional tasks. Using the Star Wars theme adds a “4th” theme (force) that can’t be beat!

    Build a lightsaber using counting blocks or cubes for a Star Wars occupational therapy theme.

    How to Make a Star Wars Lightsaber with Blocks

    We are sharing affiliate links in this post.    

    To make build our lightsabers, we used one of our favorite toys; these snapping blocks are a toy that is used almost every day in our house.  From building robots to spaceships, and now lightsabers…we love these blocks.  They are great when used as a counting manipulative for preschoolers.  Other counting blocks could also be used.   

    Use math blocks or counting snap blocks to make a light saber for May 4th activities or a Star Wars OT theme.

    How to use this light saber in OT activities:

    Visual Motor Skills- Create a block light saber model. Ask the child to copy the light saber using pattern blocks or snap blocks. They can copy the colors and spacing of the blocks to work on visual motor skills.

    Other visual skills addressed with this activity include:

    • Visual scanning
    • Visual attention
    • Visual figure ground
    • Visual closure

    Gross Motor Skills- Use the light saber to copy gross motor movements and motor planning patterns. The therapist can make movements with a block light saber and the client can copy them. Work on adding a sequence of movement patterns to work on sequencing, balance, motor planning, and recall. You can use the light saber like a movement stick like we did with this cursive writing warm-up activity.   

    Other gross motor skills that are addressed with this Star Wars light saber therapy tool include:  

    • Crossing midline
    • Balance
    • sequencing
    • Motor planning
    • Visual tracking
    • Core strength and stability

    Handwriting- This is one way to use the blocks light saber that I really love. Once the light saber has been built, use it as a spacing tool to space between words!

    We’ve created a bunch of DIY spacing tools in the past: This light saber spacing tool joins the ranks of our popular space martian spacing tool, pipe cleaner spacing tool, craft stick and button spacing tool, and our craft stick (with a tracking dot) spacing tool.

    To use the light saber as a spacing tool, the child can build their light saber using the snapping blocks. Then, ask them to write sentences on paper or a dry erase board, focusing on copying or writing words accurately on the lines. Show the child how to place the light saber blocks between each word as a visual cue and a tactile support to add space after the words. When they are completed with writing the sentence, they will have words that are accurately and consistently spaced out, making handwriting legibility a breeze.

    Spatial awareness impacts handwriting legibility in big ways. The child can then recall using a light saber as their handwriting “force” each time they write, whether they have the actual light saber in hand or not. It’s a handwriting force that can’t be beat!

    Sensory Activities- By adding sensory play into therapy sessions, children can address self-regulation needs, sensory challenges, and play-based learning. Scatter the blocks in a sensory bin with scoops, tongs, and cups. You’ll need a sensory bin base material as well. The sensory materials offer a way to explore textures and create in therapy sessions.

    The student or child can find the needed items and then build their own light saber.

    This sensory Star Wars idea addresses various skill areas:

    • Tactile exploration
    • Sensory motor skills
    • Visual processing
    • Proprioception

    Build the lightsabers using a row of counting blocks.  Encourage your child to count out the blocks and match up the numbers when making a double lightsaber.  This is a fun way to encourage math through play and interests in Star Wars.  Have fun with your counting block lightsabers!  

    Add this activity to these other Star Wars occupational therapy activities:

    Star Wars Sensory Activities

    • Use Star Wars Moon Dough to encourage tactile hand sensory input, add heavy work through the hands with proprioceptive input.
    • Mix and make LEGO Star Wars Putty and develop tactile sensory challenges with bilateral coordination. Then address handwashing after playing.

    Star Wars Fine Motor

    • Incorporate bilateral coordination, hand strength, coloring skills, and heavy work through the hands to make this Crayon Resist Death Star.
    • Work on scissor skills, bilateral coordination, precision, glue use, and handwriting to make this Star Wars R2-D2 Craft. 
    • Incorporate wrist extension, fine motor precision, hand strength, grasp development, tool use, and scissor skills and Make a Toilet Paper Roll Yoda.
    • Address tripod grasp, neat precision grasp, separation of the sides of the hand, open thumb web space, eye hand coordination, and visual motor skills with this Star Wars Day Perler Bead Pattern.

    Star Wars Handwriting

    Use the light saber spacing tool above with these Star Wars handwriting ideas in occupational therapy sessions:

    • Incorporate letter formation, copying skills, line use, spatial awareness, and handwriting legibility in a functional and meaningful Star Wars craft using this May the Fourth Be With You Card.
    • Use these Star Wars Children’s Books to work on handwriting skills by asking kids to copy sentences from the books or to find specific letters in the book and then work on letter formation. They can even use the pictures as inspiration for creative writing with a Star Wars theme.

    Star Wars Executive Function Ideas

    All of the crafts and activities above involve aspects of executive functioning skills. Making a play dough or slime recipe involves planning, prioritization, and other EF skill work. Try this activity with your star Wars theme to add more executive function work to your occupational therapy session:

    • Make stop action creations and work on planning, prioritization, impulse control, task completion and other executive functioning skills. You’ll find inspiration in this  Star Wars stop action activity.  

    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.

    Autism Acceptance Month

    Autism acceptance

    April is Autism Acceptance Month! For school based therapists, the end of the school year is in sight.  But the start of Spring brings forth a chance for new beginnings and new growth, even as we start to wind down the school year.  Every April, we celebrate Occupational Therapy Month.  It is a chance for us to celebrate our profession, inspire each other to remember the reasons why we chose a career in occupational therapy, and to show the world the gifts we have to offer in supporting individuals with the things that matter the most! 

    Go for gold Autism acceptance month

    Autism Acceptance Month

    April is also Autism Acceptance Month. So, this is a perfect time to reflect on Occupational Therapy’s role in working with autistic individuals and how we can support neurodiversity acceptance in the places we work, with the clients and students we support, and in our world!

    Not only in April, but all year long is a great time to support, advocate for, and help others understand, embrace, and connect with the unique qualities of autistic individuals.

    Not sure where to start?  It can be overwhelming to take in all the information that comes at us each day through the news and social media, but occupational therapy practitioners can continue to do what we have always done…

    • listen to our clients and listen to the autistic voices that are in the media
    • use a strengths based approach
    • focus on environmental modifications
    • identify meaningful goals and work towards improving participation
    • use evidenced based practice
    • and advocate for our autistic clients

    We can also take a look at what we have done in the past and what we should look to do in the future.  Like the old saying goes, “When you know better, DO BETTER!”  So let’s take a look at what we know and what steps we can take to support neurodiversity.

    Autism Neurodiversity

    The prevalence of autism has significantly increased over the last 20 years, with the most drastic changes happening in the last 10 years.  Currently,  The CDC reports the prevalence of autism as 1 in 44 children in the United States.  It is the most rapidly growing developmental disorder and is more common in boys than girls.  

    Identity First Language

    Historically, occupational therapy practitioners were trained to use “person first” language, so you may have heard us say things like “my students with autism”.  Kenny, L. et al (2015) found that medical professionals, family members, and friends preferred using person first language.  However, autistics report that person first language doesn’t recognize that autism is part of their identity. 

    Although identity first language is preferred by many autistics, it is not the preference of all.  So, what can you do? 

    To know better and do better, you can ask the individual. You can ask and honor the preferences of your students.  You can educate yourself on the neurodiversity movement which suggests that brain differences can be challenges, but they can also be strengths.

    Going for gold in April instead of “lighting it up blue”

    Autism Speaks is the largest organization that claims to support autistic individuals and their families.  They are also probably the most widely known and started the campaign to “light it up blue”.  However, the work they have done to bring awareness to autism, has come with criticism from autistic adults for their focus on finding a cure. 

    Autistics are frustrated by the lack of representation within the Autism Speaks organization.  Much of the funding at Autism Speaks does not actually support autistic people. Most concerning is the lack of support for self-advocacy with a focus on the negative implications of living with autism.  

    Light it up Gold instead of Light it up Blue.

    The autistic community is trying to change the way we think about Autism awareness and acceptance.  While the color blue (seen as sad) or the puzzle piece symbol (seen as something is missing) has historically represented autism awareness, autistic adults have embraced using gold (whose chemical abbreviation is “Au”) to spread autism acceptance. 

    Gold is regarded as having high value and represents authenticity.  

    Here are some links to read more about promoting autism acceptance:

    How can we use this information to improve our practices?

    If you’re not sure what to do next, consider attending professional development opportunities or check out audiobooks for occupational therapists to learn how to support autistic clients and neurodivergent students. 

    As you grow in your knowledge, don’t forget that the domain and process of occupational therapy will continue to frame your work.  

    • Evaluate your students using a top-down, strengths based approach.  Use what we know about sensory preferences and visual supports to highlight the strengths of our autistic students.  Check out this resource: Sensory Strategies for the School Based OT.
    • Listen to your autistic students as individuals in order to develop meaningful outcomes.  What are their goals?  What aspects of school are important for them?
    • Support neurodiversity- Don’t forget to assess the environment and make modifications to support neurodiversity using Sensory Diet Strategies for the Classroom.
    • Promote and educate on neurodiversity- Expand our inclusive practices to educate and promote acceptance in the school community about autism and neurodiversity.  Perspective taking goes both ways.
    • Embrace interests of the individual. Find out what interesting, meaningful for a shared connection. Integrating interests into therapy is exactly what occupational therapy is!

    OT as an Autism Advocate

    Lastly, we must use our occupational therapy voices to advocate for autistic students and neurodivergent learners. 

    • Talk to the administrators at your school about inclusion, acceptance, and perspective taking amongst all students. 
    • Educate families with autistic children about resources and supports that are available to them. 
    • Start conversations with coworkers who may not be as familiar with current trends related to autism and neurodiversity. 
    • Most importantly, teach and support your autistic students to share their perspectives and self advocate for their needs. 

    Let’s honor autism and occupational therapy month by reflecting on the important work that we do and celebrate the amazing students we get to work with everyday!

    References:
    Kenny, L., Hattersley, C., Molins, B., Buckley, C., Povey, C. & Pellicano, E. (2015). Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK Autism community. Autism: 1-21.

    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. 

    Occupational Therapy Quotes

    Occupational Therapy. Hopeless into hope. Can’t into can. Impossible into possible.

    April is OT month, and we are celebrating what it means to be an occupational therapist with the best occupational therapy quotes. Although every therapist is unique, and every setting poses its own challenges and opportunities, we are all united in this wonderful profession. To help us celebrate OT month and share the love of OT, let us present 10 of the most inspirational quotes for occupational therapy professionals!

    Occupational Therapy Quotes 

    Seasoned OTs will be reminded of why we do our work, new graduates can share what their work actually means, and maybe we will even get a few new recruits along the way.

    You’ll also love these to use these occupational therapy memes in sharing to social media. And best of all, lets celebrate the field of OT!

    “Medicine adds days to lives, occupational therapy adds life to days.”

    OT Quote #1: “Medicine adds days to lives, occupational therapy adds life to days.” 

    Unknown

    • In our number 1 spot is one of my absolute favorite sayings. It presents such a simple way to show how OT differs from traditional medicine and highlights what occupation means to us: the meaningful bits of one’s life. 
    Occupational Therapy. Hopeless into hope. Can’t into can. Impossible into possible.

    OT Quote #2: “Occupational Therapy. Hopeless into hope. Can’t into can. Impossible into possible.” 

    Valerie Pena, OTR

    • Simple yet effective; this quote symbolizes the change that OTs make in their patients’ lives. We are highly skilled in increasing functional independence and provide the tools and education needed for doing so. 
    Occupational therapy practitioners ask, “what matters to you?” not, “what’s the matter with you?

    OT Quote#3: Occupational therapy practitioners ask, “what matters to you?” not, “what’s the matter with you?” 

    AOTA President, Virginia “Ginny” Stoffel, Ph.D., OT, BCMH, FAOTA

    • This is one of those quotes that makes me so proud to be an OT. The best OTs will first discover with the patient what is most meaningful to them and go from there. We do not focus on the deficits but on the goals. 
    As pediatric occupational therapists, you are supporting mental health.

    OT Quote #4: “As pediatric occupational therapists, you are supporting mental health.” 

    Tiffany Northrop, OTR/L

    • Here is a reminder for us all: occupational therapists support mental health! Some work exclusively in mental health settings, but we all greatly consider mental health as a service provider. 
    I long to accomplish a great a noble task; but it is my chief responsibility to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

    OT Quote #5: “I long to accomplish a great a noble task; but it is my chief responsibility to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” 

    Helen Keller

    • She was not an OT, but her words ring true for our profession. The “little things” like brushing your teeth, writing your name, and buttoning your shirt become very important when you cannot easily do them. 
    Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health.

    OT Quote #6: “Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health.” 

    Mary Reilly, OTR, Ed.D.

    • Shout out to all the certified hand therapists out there! The hands are used in just about every occupation, and their healthy function is integral to our experiences with daily activities. 
    Occupational Therapy is where science, creativity, and compassion collide.

    OT Quote #6: “Occupational Therapy is where science, creativity, and compassion collide.” 

    Jessica Kensky

    • As a Boston Marathon survivor, and an oconology RN, Jessica has seen both sides of rehabilitation. During a keynote speech for the AOTA, Jessica offered this quote to describe her experience of receiving occupational therapy after her below knee amputation. 
    Play is really the work of childhood.

    OT Quote #7: “Play is really the work of childhood.” 

    Fred Rogers 

    • Mr. Rogers was an amazing advocate for many important causes, but he especially cared for the children of the world. Occupational therapists often may look like they are “just playing”, but play is crucial! Play is not only the work of a child, but it is the way that they learn and the pathway to growth. 
    When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

    OT Quote #8: “When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” 

    Eleanor Brownn

    • Self-care is integral (crucial, necessary, essential, fill-in-the-blank) to the ability to provide for others. Burn out occurs when we do not take the time to care for ourselves, or allow ourselves to be cared for. Although it is not in our nature, occupational therapy practitionners, like many others, need to prioritize themselves in order to give to others. 
    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

    OT Quote #9: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

    Winston S. Churchill

    • This is just another way to say that we see abilities and not disabilities. OTs use activity analysis to break down all the little details that make it possible to complete a task. Through this, we can see the strengths and provide supports based on them. 
    “Occupational therapy is more than a job. For many it is a calling. We felt drawn to it.”

    Quote #10: “Occupational therapy is more than a job. For many it is a calling. We felt drawn to it.” 

    Amy Lamb, OTD, OT/L, FAOTA

    To close out our list, we have a quote from Amy Lamb that describes how much our profession means to us. This is not just a job, but a vocation. It may not always be perfect, but we love being occupational therapists! Happy OT month! 

    For more occupational therapy month resources, check out the free downloads that we’ve shared to promote the profession and celebrate all that we do:

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

    Occupational Therapy Equipment List Writing Pages

    occupational therapy equipment list handwriting worksheets

    For occupational therapy month, we’ve been sharing free OT-themed tools and this occupational therapy equipment list handwriting pages is today’s freebie! Pediatric occupational therapists have some cool tools, so why not use those OT equipment items in handwriting practice? It’s a great way to promote the profession during OT month and all year long!

    occupational therapy equipment list handwriting worksheets

    Occupational Therapy Equipment List

    Occupational therapy (OT) helps people become more independent. Whether it is babies, toddlers, students, people who are disabled or have had an accident, or those being rehabilitated from surgery, OT’s play a vital role. 

    The cool thing is that OT equipment can literally be anything that helps people achieve functional goals, in any aspect of life!

    OT equipment items could be the toys, tools, and games that help to develop skills:

    • Toys
    • Games
    • Scooter boards
    • Theraputty
    • Trampolines
    • Slant boards
    • Swings
    • Ball pit
    • Paper
    • Pencil
    • Weighted materials
    • Puzzles

    This list of OT items are just the beginning of our arsenal of tools!

    While these look like toys (and in some cases are), they are often valuable tools to build independence, strength, focus, and help bridge the gap between functional and chronological age.

    Use this word copying worksheet to talk about what each of these tools are, while building some great skills. 

    Amazon has great occupational therapy equipment and OT tools and we’ve created a bunch of (Amazon affiliate link) OT equipment lists and suggestions for OT toys and tools.

    We serve people from birth to the end of life. Did you know that April is OT Month?  A month-long celebration to advocate for the work we do. The OT Toolbox will be offering several valuable activities to share with your learners to educate them about our role. 

    Occupational Therapy Equipment List Handwriting Worksheets

    Today’s freebies are occupational therapy tools handwriting worksheets.

    These occupational therapy equipment handwriting worksheets PDF highlight just a handful of the tools we use to help learners grow.

    The occupational therapy tools, handwriting activity is presented with two sets of lines, to use with different levels of learners. Each picture is presented in simple black and white to encourage coloring as well as copying the words. 

    How can I modify this task to work with all groups of learners?

    • Lowest level learners can cut and paste the words into the correct rows
    • Middle level learners can copy each word into the lines

    View Post

    • Higher level learners can write a sentence using the key words or write how these items can be used in therapy
    • Take away the word bank for higher level learners to sound out the words, or dictate the spelling aloud for a higher level challenge
    • Make this occupational therapy, copy the word sheet part of a larger lesson plan including gross motor, sensory, social, executive function, or other fine motor skills
    • Print in black and white or color for different levels of difficulty
    • Cut the shapes and make a matching activity instead of using a writing tool to copy the words
    • Talk about the equipment, describe their characteristics, and give context clues to help your learner understand why these tools are helpful
    • Enlarging the font may be necessary to beginning handwriting students who need bigger space to write.
    • Project this page onto a smart board for students to come to the board and write in big letters.
    • More or less prompting may be needed to grade the activity to make it easier or harder.
    • More advanced learners can work on social skills by talking to the group about these therapy tools
    • Write a report about occupational therapy, types of equipment, the history of OT, different disabilities, or how the equipment is used
    • Turn it into a gross motor task, sensory activity, following directions, or combination of all of these
    • Work in pairs or in a small group to address problem solving, turn taking, and sharing information with others

    Talk to young learners about the role of occupational therapy

    It is difficult enough to talk to adults about what occupational therapists do.  Now try describing this to a group of first graders!  If you describe it as playing on swings, trampolines, riding scooters, and getting fun fidgets, you will have everyone in the school trying to figure out a way to sign up for OT! 

    Instead talk about the kinds of goals we address, and how we help other students to be more independent using the tools described on the occupational therapy tools, handwriting worksheet.

    Start the conversation to promote the OT Profession

    The conversation about what occupational therapists do might sound like this:

    • OTs might help a student who can not open all their lunch containers by themselves
    • If a student can not use the bathroom independently, put on their coat, wash hands, or eat their lunch with utensils, they might need occupational therapy
    • Not everyone is able to write their letters, cut, and color like the rest of the class.  OTs work on helping students to improve these skills so they can keep up with the class
    • Some students have difficulty making friends, playing with other people, following directions, sharing, taking turns, or standing in line.  Some of these students might need occupational therapy to help them with these skills
    • Have you noticed some students get in trouble at school?  They don’t finish their work, their stuff is a mess, they don’t listen to the teacher very well, and seem to make a lot of mistakes?  These are not bad students, they may need some help to get better.  There is a whole team to help students like these, OTs are one of them.
    • How do you think some of the items on the occupational therapy tools handwriting worksheet help students?

    The month of April is specially dedicated to sharing our knowledge with other people.  Take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back while you are at it!  Keep an eye out for several posts this month dedicated to advocating for the OT profession.

    Free OT Equipment Worksheets

    Grab these OT equipment list handwriting worksheets and get started to open conversations about what we do as occupational therapists! AND work on the functional task of handwriting skills during your conversations.

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

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

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

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

    Join the Member’s Club today!

    Free Occupational Therapy Handwriting PDFs

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      Don’t miss the other OT month freebies! This month the OT Toolbox is highlighting occupational therapy month by providing insight into what occupational therapists do, along with offering FREE resources to add to your lesson plans.  Keep an eye out for more posts from this series, including:

      Victoria Wood

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

      Occupational Therapy Word Search

      occupational therapy word search

      Looking for a fun way to advocate for occupational therapy, celebrate the profession, and share the fun of OT? Today, we have a free occupational therapy word search to fill your therapy toolbox!

      Occupational therapy word search for OT professionals

      Free OT Word search to celebrate what we do as OTs

      If speech therapists work on language, physical therapists work on the lower half of the body, do occupational therapists work on the upper half?  Not exactly.  We not only work on the upper part of the body, but occupational therapy works on everything else needed to be independent. 

      That is a big job! 

      Your “occupation” is everything you do. Your occupation is more than just a job. It could be a student, mother, father, firefighter, accountant, child, caregiver, or a combination of several roles.

      Occupational therapy addresses everything it takes to fill your roles. Because we have such a big job, Occupational Therapists have the entire month of April to celebrate and share what we do! 

      Here are easy occupational therapy month ideas to celebrate the profession of OT.

      Free OT Word search

      One quick way to advocate for the profession and to celebrate all that we do is to use several tools like the occupational therapy word search free PDF to advocate for our profession.

      Students and young learners see the OT coming in and out of classrooms all day.  They probably have no idea what the OT does. 

      They know students like to see the occupational therapist, and sometimes they get to use cool tools and fidgets.  The occupational therapy word search highlights some of the basic ideas about occupational therapy to get the discussion started. 

      An entire conversation can be started about different types of pencils, pencil grips, handwriting, and the importance of good letter formation. Another conversation may revolve around goals for occupational therapy. Use the occupational therapy word search to build a treatment plan.  

      Occupational Therapy Word Search Treatment Plan:

      • Bring all of the items found in the word search to demonstrate what each item is and how it is used
      • Build a hallway obstacle course to work on sensory processing skills for all students
      • Use this Blank Word Search Template to make your own OT month puzzle
      • Make sensory bins, play dough, putty, or slime to demonstrate the sensory effect these have on the body
      • Create a lesson plan using visual perceptual activities to further build on this OT word search
      • Create a slideshow or video about occupational therapy
      • Make students disabled for a day so they can feel what it is like to need help
      • Laminate all of the occupational therapy month activities to create centers in the classroom
      • Incorporate Disability Awareness month into your OT month planning
      • Hand out fidgets to take home, so students can feel part of this special group that gets to see the occupational therapist. Amazon has several (affiliate link) low cost fidgets for handing out in bulk.

      A word about fidgets and other accommodations, and an interesting experiment. 

      There is a lot of misconception about fidgets and other accommodations used by OTs in the classroom.  I can’t tell you how many fidgets have been taken away from deserving students, because the teacher did not understand what they were for.  They just saw them as toys. 

      Educate the students you are working with, along with all other staff members about the importance of these “tools”.  Fidgets that are used as toys are not serving their purpose.  

      Fidgets in the wrong hands become toys. This is the reason fidget spinners got a bad name.  In the wrong hands they became ninja stars, conversation pieces, or distractions. 

      In the right hands they are amazing tools to be used discreetly under a desk to provide input while the student is trying to focus on the lesson being taught, or sit still during an endless circle time. 

      On to the interesting experiment…

      I was working in a private preschool, seeing two young boys in the same class.  The other students were very interested in what I was doing with their friends each week. I brought in deflated beach balls for each of the students to use as wiggle seats. 

      I simultaneously presented a fine motor task.  Within ten minutes, all of the students except the two boys I had been seeing for OT, were playing with the beach balls.  They were throwing them around the room and waving them in the air.  The two boys?  They were sitting very quietly on the beach balls doing the fine motor task. 

      What started out as a teachable moment about the role of OT in the classroom, turned into a real life demonstration about the use of accommodations.

      This added weight to my theory that the children who needed the accommodations would use them properly (perhaps with a little teaching in the beginning), while the other students would see them as toys, because they did not need anything extra to do their work.  

      Whether you celebrate OT month using activities like this occupational therapy word search, or doing your own social experiment on the nature of young children, spreading the word about what OTs do, and dispelling misconceptions is the goal. 

      Talking about OT might spark some questions about how teachers, caregivers, and other team members can help their students. 

      The OT Toolbox has great tools like this OT Materials Bundle to use in therapy sessions to promote the profession and to celebrate the materials that we use every day in therapy. It’s an advocate tool that builds skills…very much the way we as therapy professionals build skills in the very occupations that we are working to develop!

      Free OT Word Search for OT Advocacy

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

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

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

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

      Join the Member’s Club today!

      Free Occupational Therapy Word Search

        We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
        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.

        Occupational therapy materials bundle
        OT Materials Bundle– celebrate the profession with what we use in therapy sessions WHILE developing skills!

        Working with kids in occupational therapy sessions? This set of Occupational Therapy Materials Bundle includes 13 activities and resources to promote the profession using therapy supplies and themes.

        Incorporate OT supplies like sensory tools, adapted materials, and therapy supplies to work on functional skills in school-based OT or outpatient clinical therapy settings.

        As a bonus, you’ll also get 8 articles to help occupational therapy practitioners develop as a professional.

        Occupational Therapy Coloring Pages

        occupational therapy coloring pages

        In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month, we’ve got a series of free OT PDFs and these occupational therapy coloring pages will get you started with the OT fun. April is Occupational Therapy Month!  Not only is it a month to celebrate the occupational therapists in your life, but to advocate for our profession.  Raise your hand if you have been asked, “what the heck is occupational therapy?”  This question comes from adults as much as children. This spring, in celebration of OT month, the OT Toolbox will be offering a series of resources to help educate young learners about the role of occupational therapy.

        Occupational therapy coloring pages for therapy skills

        Today’s resource is occupational therapy coloring pages to start the journey towards advocacy and education. 

        What is Occupational Therapy?

        It is important for people to know who we are and what we do, so they can ask for help when needed, and see that what we do matters. A persons’ occupation is their job.  Also known as functional skills, occupations are the day to day tasks we do all day long. Occupations go beyond the workplace. 

        A child’s occupation is to learn to care for themselves, go to school, play, and develop social skills.  An adult’s occupation entails self care skills, social function, caring for others, instrumental activities of daily living (cooking, cleaning, laundry, fixing the car, etc.) along with any work functions they have.

        Occupational therapy (OT) helps bridge the gap between where the learner currently is functioning, and independence. For children we might say we bridge the gap between functional and chronological age. 

        OT might be restorative, or teach new skills. OTs can be found in schools, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, daycares, home therapy and many other places.

        Click HERE to find out ten fun facts about occupational therapists you can share with your staff.  Add these occupational therapy coloring pages to your OT month awareness packet!

        Occupational Therapy Coloring Pages

        OTs use some fun toys!

        Younger learners, especially in schools, have seen many tools therapists use to help their students. These range from fidgets, swings, trampolines, alternative seating, slant boards, pencil grips, and more.

        Some often wonder why our learner gets to play with the OT, and get fidget toys to use in class.

        Using these occupational therapy coloring pages will help start the conversation about what these tools are, and how they are used. Share these OT coloring pages both with the learners on your caseload, as well as the other students in the school.

        While it is true we use some fun toys in therapy, these are tools for the learners who need them. Occupational Therapy for young learners is play based

        This is  because the role of the young learner is to play. You will notice that the learner who NEEDS the fidget or other adaptations will use it appropriately as a tool to help them get organized, while the neurotypical student tends to use it as a toy.

        Use these occupational therapy coloring pages to talk about what each piece of therapy equipment does for the learner. 

        Beyond educating others about our amazing profession, great skills are being addressed with these coloring worksheets:

        • Hand strength and dexterity – coloring inside the lines builds hand muscles and develops muscle control. 
        • Visual motor skills –Combining what is seen visually and what is written motorically.  It 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.
        • Visual Perception – Developing figure ground to see where one item starts and finishes, scanning to find all items to color, and recognizing the border lines while coloring. 
        • Proprioception – pressure on paper, grip on pencil
        • 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 these occupational therapy coloring pages PDF.
        • Fine motor strengthening, hand development, and grasping pattern
        • 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.

        April is also Disability Awareness month.  This is a great opportunity to talk about different disabilities, while addressing the tools used to help people. How can you incorporate both of these important awareness months into a teachable moment?

        While pediatric occupational therapists do have a lot of fun at our jobs, we are also providing an amazing service to the people we work with. Advocacy for our profession is so important.

        With the push to integrate young people with special needs into the mainstream classroom, teachers are finding it more difficult to educate everyone at the same time. Our role as an occupational therapist is to help learners become more independent, provide tools and suggestions to classroom teachers to make their job easier, and help them identify which learners might be struggling.

        The OT Toolbox is full of amazing resources for therapists, teachers, parents, and learners of all ages. This post shares what occupational therapy is all about and what tools are needed to make life easier.  Stay tuned for more occupational therapy month activities during April.

        Free OT Coloring Pages

        Want to add these resources to your occupational therapy toolbox? Enter your email address below to grab these printable PDF coloring sheets. These materials are also available in the OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

        Level one members will have the opportunity to sign up for and download five different occupational therapy month activities.  Level two members will have access to all of these plus the larger collection of OT themed materials.  

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

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

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

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

        Join the Member’s Club today!

        Free Occupational Therapy Coloring Pages

          We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
          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.

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

          Occupational therapy materials bundle

          NEW RESOURCE: Occupational Therapy Bundle!

          The Occupational Therapy Materials Bundle includes:

          • I Spy OT Dynamic Duos- School Based OT
          • I Spy OT Dynamic Duos- Outpatient OT
          • OT Coloring Pages
          • OT Writing Prompts
          • OT Copy the Words
          • OT Fine Motor Copy Kit
          • OT Fine Motor Game
          • OT Homework Bingo
          • OT Materials Toothpick Art
          • OT Supplies Match It Game
          • OT Supplies-What’s Missing
          • OT Visual Schedule Cards
          • OT Word Search
          • 8 OT articles on professional development

          Grab The Occupational Therapy Materials Bundle during OT Month to grab this 21 resource bundle for just $8!

          Occupational Therapy Month

          occupational therapy month ideas

          Happy occupational therapy month! Every year, I love to recirculate this blog post because it offers so many OT memes and social media graphics for explaining what we do in occupational therapy. This year, we’ve got a few fun free OT PDFs for OT month, too, so if you are working in school based therapy, in clinics, or in homes and want to celebrate the OT profession WHILE building skills, those resources are for you. I’ll update this post each day during the first week of April so you can gather your OT month materials. And, don’t forget to grab some of the memes below to share on your social media (just link back to this page) so you can celebrate occupational therapy along with all of your friends!

          occupational therapy month ideas

          OT Month Activities

          There are a five fun, EASY ways to celebrate OT month. Pick out these activities for the whole month of April:

          But before we get started with the OT month ideas, be sure to check out this Autism acceptance month, during the month of April and all year long.

          1. Share OT memes on social media! Scroll below for a new graphic explaining what we do in therapy sessions (and why!). There are enough for every day in April. You’ll even find inspirational occupational therapy memes, too. Here are more OT memes to share.
          2. Get creative with fun and festive OT month activities. Make OT month even better with an April occupational therapy calendar that is a perfect addition to your therapy lesson plans this year. Let’s make occupational therapy month exciting with fresh OT ideas!
          3. Use some of our OT month worksheets and activities that build skills. Not your typical “worksheet”, these are printable activities that get kids moving and functioning, with an emphasis on FUN. You’ll find 5 new OT month activities that celebrate the profession and use therapy materials for occupational therapy awareness.
          4. Grab the OT Materials Bundle! During the month of April, it’s only $8 and includes 13 OT month resources using supplies that we use every day during OT sessions. You’ll also find 8 bonus articles on ways to grow as a professional.
          5. Collaborate with other OT professionals! April is the perfect time to grow as a professional, celebrate others in the field and chat all things OT. In the OT Materials Bundle, you’ll find articles on how to collaborate with others, how to reflect on OT practice, how to find an OT mentor, and ways to network as a busy OT professional.
          Occupational therapy memes for OT month

          Occupational Therapy Month Memes

          April is Occupational Therapy month!  To celebrate, I’ve created a month of images that can be shared on social media.  Each image is an underlying area that influences development and includes a therapist quick tip.  These are occupational therapy tricks and tips! 


          It’s my hope that each day in April, you’ll share your creative ways to work on these skills. 

           

          Happy Occupational Therapy Month!

           

           Kinesthetic learning activities
           
          DAY 1: Kinesthetic Learning- Try these kinesthetic learning activities.
           
           Vestibular activities for kids
           
          DAY 2: Vestibular Activities- Try these vestibular activities.
           
           Toys and tools to help with attention
           
           
           Laterality and hand dominance
           
          DAY 4: Try these activities to address laterality and hand dominance.
           
           Proprioception activities
           
          DAY 5: Try these activities to develop and address proprioception needs. 
           
           Distal finger control exercises
           
           
           Neat pincer grasp activities
           
           
           Tactile sensory input activities
           
          DAY 8: Try these activities to develop tactile discrimination and the tactile sense.
           
           Bilateral coordination activities
           
           
           What is motor planning activities
           
          DAY 10: Try these activities if you are wondering, “What is motor planning?”
           

             olfactory sense scented play

          DAY 11: Try these olfactory sense scented play ideas.

           Eye-hand coordination activities
           
           
           Visual scanning activity
           
          DAY 13: This is a fun visual scanning activity.
           
           In-hand manipulation activities
           
          DAY 14: Read more about in-hand manipulation activities.
           
           What is finger isolation
           
          DAY 15: Read more about finger isolation.
           
           Precision of grasp activities
           
           
           Visual discrimination activity
           
          DAY 17: Try this activity to build visual discrimination.
           
           What is visual memory
           
          DAY 18: Read more about visual memory here.
           
           Visual closure activity
           
          DAY 19: Try this activity to develop visual closure.
           
           Form constancy visual perception activity
           
          DAY 20: Try this technique to develop form constancy.
           
           
          DAY 21: This is a fun way to develop visual figure ground skills.
           
           Visual tracking tips and tools
           
           
           auditory processing activities
           
           
           Core strengthening with music
           
           
           intrinsic hand strengthening
           
          DAY 25: Use these strategies to build intrinsic hand strength.
           
           Task initiation executive functioning strategies
           
           
          Wrist extension in occupational therapy month
           
           
           How to help kids learn impulse control
           
          DAY 28: Use these ideas to help kids learn impulse control.
           
           Use animal crackers  oral motor exercise
           
          DAY 29: This is a fun way to practice oral motor exercise.
           
           Visual spatial skills
           
          DAY 30: Try these activities to help with visual spatial skills.

          More OT Month Graphics

          Use these OT month graphics to promote occupational therapy. The professional of occupational therapy is an incredible profession. Let’s share all that we love about OT and bring awareness of this amazing profession to others!

          Occupational therapy graphic
          OT month graphic
          OT month image
          OT month graphic
          Occupational therapy month graphic
          occupational therapy month
          Occupational therapy month image
          Occupational therapy month images to share
          Occupational therapy month quote
          Happy OT month
          What is occupational therapy quote

          A final note on OT month for OT practioners

          As we step into occupational therapy month again with another April, let’s remember what it is that makes our profession special. Occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) help patients to participate in every day occupations! We help people do the things that occupy others’ time. We help others do the things that matter most to them It’s all of the most meaningful activities a person desires and needs to participate in for daily life.

          For children this may include things like doing cartwheels, riding a bike, getting dressed, writing their name, brushing their hair, or playing with friends. 

          For us as professionals, the most important thing IS to serve and support others. OT is the most encouraging, enlightening, and inspiring profession there is, and YOU are a part of that light!

          YOU make a difference in the world. That difference makes a ripple of impact. Helping one person achieve a small goal effects that person’s family and everyone they are in contact with. Now multiply that wellbeing to your entire caseload.

          Occupational therapists are difference makers!

          Occupational therapy assistants are difference makers!

          We literally do, as occupational therapy professionals, what matters most in this world.

          Happy OT month, fellow occupational therapy professionals!

          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.