RAINBOW TEMPLATE PRINTABLE

Rainbow template printable

Coming up is the Rainbow Template Printable! This March activity is perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day theme or a rainbow theme in occupational therapy sessions. Whether you are working on pencil control, scissor skills, eye-hand coordination, or direction-following, this rainbow template can be used to address any skill area.

This free rainbow template printable is a resource that can be used to work on pencil control, eye-hand coordination, letter formation, scissor skills, and more.

free rainbow template printable

What is so enticing about rainbows?  Could it be the pot of gold at the end?  Or the promise of sunshine? I think rainbows don’t make you choose.  You can have all of the colors at once.  For a lot of people, especially those with anxiety, choosing one or two of anything is difficult.  It seems so final and limiting.  Not so with rainbows, you can have it all!

When I was a child we sang The Rainbow Song, “red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue. I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too.”  Is indigo the new pink?  Maybe it is because we learned this in Australia.  Do rainbows look different there?

Do you remember the mnemonic for the colors of the rainbow? ROY.G.BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). 

However your learner decides to design their rainbow in this Rainbow Template Printable activity, there are a dozen ways to make this activity fun and functional. 

Add the printable rainbow activity to our rainbow breathing exercise for more rainbow fun in therapy sessions (or the classroom or home!)

What ways can you think of to design this rainbow  printable? 

  • Draw vertical lines in each section with the desired color, making sure the lines stay between the top and bottom borders
  • Make small circles in each section, controlling the pencil to stay between the lines
  • Write the first letter of the color,like RRRRRR, across each section
  • If your learner is more of a beginner, simply coloring each section will help develop fine motor skills in this pencil control activity
  • Copy a pattern like wavy, zigzag, or swirl lines in each section
  • Add glitter!  There is never a wrong time to add glitter

All of the OT Toolbox resources, including this rainbow printable template, can be modified to meet the needs of all of your learners.  There are several posts related to Pencil Control and Rainbows on the OT Toolbox. Here is a post on Rainbow Activities to make lesson planning easier.

Ways to adapt and modify this rainbow template printable task:

  • Laminate the page for using markers and wipes. This can be useful for reusability, as well as the enjoyment learners have using dry erase markers. Note: not all learners like reusable items, some prefer to take their work home.
  • Printing this rainbow template or some of our other great pencil control worksheets on different colored paper may make it more or less challenging for your learner
  • Enlarging the font may be necessary for beginning learners who need bigger space to write.
  • Have students cut out each section of the rainbow and paste in order on another page – this adds a cutting and gluing element
  • Make changes to the type of writing utensil, paper used, or level of difficulty
  • Have students write on a slant board, lying prone on the floor with the page in front to build shoulder stability, or supine with the page taped under the table
  • Project this page onto a smart board for students to come to the board and write in larger form.
  • More or less prompting may be needed during this activity depending on the level of the task and that of your learners
  • Make this part of a larger lesson plan including gross motor, sensory, social, executive function, or other fine motor skills
  • The OT Toolbox has a great Color Handwriting Kit incorporating fine motor skills, colors, and handwriting
  • A classic book, (Amazon affiliate link) the Rainbow Fish, would be a great addition to this rainbow fine motor worksheet, or lesson plan.  Plus it has GLITTER!  

What skills are you addressing when using this rainbow template printable

There are no wrong or right answers to this question.  Your focus can vary from learner to learner, or follow a common theme. 

  • Pencil control
  • Fine motor skills
  • Pre-writing skills

The three above are the obvious, and more common skills to be measured during this task.  In addition, it is possible to shift the focus and attend to different aspects of the task:

  • Following directions
  • Task avoidance/compliance
  • Frustration tolerance
  • Behavioral reactions
  • Attention, focus, impulse control
  • Ability to complete a task
  • Level of independence
  • Social skills – sharing, turn taking, waiting

there are no right or wrong answers

Again there are no right or wrong answers.  The focus might be entirely on developing fine motor pencil control without regard to behaviors, social function, or executive function. 

Conversely, the data you gather might not include how their fine motor skills look at all.  Of course you can combine all of the above.

document, document, document

Be sure to clearly document what you are observing and measuring.  Data collection is what’s required now.  Use percentages, number of trials, number of verbal or physical prompts, or minutes of focus.

Gone are the days of writing, “learner completed task with min assist.” Min assist can look different to five different observers.  The only clinical phrases that are somewhat accurate are “independent” and “dependent”, meaning 100% or 0%.

After all of this activity, maybe your learners need to slow down and take a breather with Rainbow Breathing Exercises. However you choose to create your treatment plan, find ways for it to be motivating and meaningful.

Free Rainbow Template

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Free Rainbow Template Printable

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    • Note: the term, “learner” is used throughout this post for consistency, however this information is relevant for students, patients, clients, school aged 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.

    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.

    Rainbow Activities for Child Development

    Rainbow activities

    Here, you will find rainbow activities that are powerful and effective activities to help with child development. I’ve strived to pull together rainbow sensory activities, crafts, fine motor activities, visual motor activities, and movement ideas. Scroll through the various rainbow theme ideas to promote skills for all ages. These are great additions to your Spring occupational therapy activities!

    Rainbow activities for kids to use in occupational therapy sessions to develop skills like fine motor skills, sensory processing, and executive functioning skills.

    These are developmental activities to add to your occupational therapy interventions.

    Rainbow Activities for Therapy

    Each rainbow therapy activity below is designed to promote multiple aspects of child development. These are powerful motor activities for developing areas that help kids with functional tasks, coordination, movement, and learning.

    Rainbow activities for child development and occupational therapy interventions

    Rainbow Fine Motor Activities

    A rainbow therapy theme is great during the Spring months.

    This time of year, rainbows are the way to go for building fine motor skills. Try some of these activities to work on fine motor strength, coordination, hand eye coordination, motor planning. You’ll see improvements in pencil control, dexterity, precision, in-hand manipulation, and fine motor skill work.

    rainbow pencil control activities

    Rainbow pencil control activities– All you need is some colored pencils and paper to work on pencil control, visual motor skills, and hand strengthening.

    color mixing rainbow handwriting activity

    Rainbow Color Mixing Handwriting Activity– Grab a pack of markers. Kids can work on color mixing and letter formation, letter size, spacing, and handwriting legibility.

    Rainbow beads

    Rainbow bead bracelets– Use beads and pipe cleaners to make a set of rainbow beads and develop pincer grip, in-hand manipulation skills, bilateral coordination, open thumb web space, arch development, and eye-hand coordination skills.

    teach prewriting lines to kids with a rainbow theme

    Rainbow PreWriting Lines Activity– This free therapy slide deck is a fine motor and gross motor activity to help kids with pre-writing skills. Kids can work on finger isolation, eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, and more.

    Pot of Gold Coins– Cover cardboard circles or washers with foil to make gold coins. If you can grab some gold wrapping paper or tissue paper, use it to wrap the circles while kids develop bilateral coordination, precision, hand strength, and motor skills.

    In this blog post, you’ll also see how to tie scraps of fabric to create a rainbow. This is a fun bilateral coordination activity that builds hand eye coordination skills as well.

    Rainbow Play Dough Fine Motor Activity – Use this hand strengthening activity to work on finger isolation, in-hand manipulation, dexterity, and arch development. Here is a rainbow play dough recipe.

    Rainbow Bottle Activity– All you need is an empty water bottle and colorful craft pom poms to work on finger isolation, in-hand manipulation, bilateral coordination, hand eye coordination, and dexterity. This is a great rainbow activity for preschoolers or toddlers.

    Rainbow Fine Motor Sort– All you need is an ice tray and colorful craft pom poms to work on in-hand manipulation skills, sorting, precision, dexterity, and finger isolation.

    Rainbow Scoop and Sort– A simple rainbow sensory bin can include beads, yarn, or any colorful materials and a handful of cotton balls. Add a kitchen utensil or scoops, tongs, or other tools to scoop, manipulate, and work on coordination, and fine motor skill development.

    Rainbow Fine Motor Work on the Window– Kids can cut foam sheets into strips to work on scissor skills. Then, stick these to a window or even a shower wall to work on precision, wrist extension, wrist stability, shoulder strength and stability, core strength, and the coordination skills needed for fine motor tasks like pencil control and dexterity.

    Rainbow cups

    Rainbow Cups– Make a set of these colorful cups and work on bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, core strength, motor planning, and more.

    Fine Motor Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages

    Rainbow Flip and Fill Fine Motor Activity– Kids can use these alphabet worksheets to fill the upper case or lowercase letters and develop fine motor skills like in-hand manipulation, eye-hand coordination, precision, open thumb web space, and more, with these color activities in the Colors Handwriting pack and bonus pages.

    Rainbow Visual Motor Activities

    Visual Motor integration activity using a marker ladder activity

    Rainbow Ladder– Use this rainbow visual motor activity to work on visual scanning, visual tracking, visual figure ground, form constancy, visual discrimination, and other visual motor skills needed for handwriting and reading. We used this in a cursive handwriting activity, but you could use the same concept in teaching upper and lowercase letter identification, number writing, sight words, or other multi-sensory learning strategies.

    Copy a rainbow visual motor activity

    Rainbow Drawing Visual Motor Activities– Use this occupational therapy teletherapy slide deck to encourage kids to copy rainbow drawing forms and build pencil control, visual perceptual skills with simple and complex drawing skills.

    Emotion Matching Game– Use this rainbow matching game to teach emotions and social emotional skills. It’s a powerful way to work on visual perceptual skills too, including visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, and other visual motor skills.

    Colors Pre-Writing Pencil Mazes

    Rainbow Colors Pre-writing Lines Mazes– These mazes are great for developing pencil control, eye-hand coordination skills, fine motor dexterity, and visual motor skills.

    Rainbow Sensory Play

    When kids participate in sensory play experiences, they develop tactile sensory exposure and can explore tactile experiences. Use these activities to learn colors, and learn through play! Try these multisensory learning activities to teach colors, and develop sensory exploration through play.

    rainbow exercises deep breathing printable

    Rainbow Deep Breathing Exercise– Use this rainbow deep breathing exercise as a calming self regulation activity to help with coping strategies and mindfulness.

    Rainbow Sensory Bottle– In this rainbow sensory bottle, we used friendship thread to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow, but making a calming sensory bottle can use any materials you have on hand. Use the sensory bottle as a calming sensory tool.

    Rainbow Playdough– When kids play with play dough, they gain proprioceptive input through their hands and fingers. This heavy work input is a powerful resistive activity that “wakes up” the hands but also can be calming.

    Rainbow Sensory Bins– Making rainbow sensory bins are easy but there are big benefits. Kids can use sensory bins as a tactile sensory experience, but with fine motor benefits like tool use, scooping sorting, fine motor precision, dexterity, manipulation skills, coordination, and so much more. Add sight words and high-frequency words, or math manipulatives to use these rainbow sensory bins in multi-sensory learning opportunities.

    Gold Coin Sensory Bin– Use a sensory bin base and add some ribbons and the yellow pieces from a Connect 4 game for a sensory bin.

    rainbow xylophone

    Rainbow Xylophone– Kids can explore sound, STEAM concepts, and motor skills in this auditory processing activity.

    Rainbow Crafts to develop skills

    These rainbow crafts are powerful ways to work on fine motor skills, manipulation of tools, dexterity, strength, motor planning skills, handwriting, and more.

    Rainbow binoculars craft– Kids can make this rainbow binoculars craft and work on scissor skills, bilateral coordination motor planning, and precision. Then, use this rainbow craft to encourage visual scanning, visual perceptual skills, and more. Can you use this in a color scavenger hunt?

    Egg carton rainbows– Use a recycled egg carton and kids can paint in this process art activity that develops grasp, precision, eye-hand coordination, and sensory experiences.

    Rainbow Snacks

    When children are active in the kitchen, they develop so many fine motor skills, executive functioning skills. The kitchen is a prime location for developing working memory, attention, direction following, as well as offering learning opportunities, as well. Fine motor skills in the kitchen are just some of the benefits of cooking with kids!

    Try these rainbow recipes that kids can make and are a perfect addition to a rainbow theme.

    Rainbow Snacks– These rainbow snack cups are perfect snacks for preschool. When kids help to make them, they can work on cutting foods, sorting, visual scanning, and fine motor skills, too!

    Color Snack– Pair kitchen activities with a popular children’s book to explore colors and developing skills in the kitchen with kids.

    Colors Handwriting Kit

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

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

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

    More Rainbow Ideas

    For more rainbow crafts and ideas to support development of skills, check out the Spring themed activities in our Spring Crafts library. There are fun ways to use a paper plate to create a rainbow while working on scissor skills…and just so many other Spring tools for supporting the development of kids of all ages.

     
     
     

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

    Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises

    Pencil control exercises with colored pencils

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

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


    Pencil Exercises

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

     

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

     

    Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

    More Pencil Control Exercises


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

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

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

    rainbow activities for kids

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

    Colored pencils exercises for improving pencil control in handwriting.

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

    Colors Handwriting Kit

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

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

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

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

    Rainbow Hundreds Chart Puzzle

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

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

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

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


    Hundreds Chart Puzzle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Punch extra holes from the colored construction paper.  

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

     

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

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

    Multisensory Math activities

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

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

    Looking for more ways to learn with rainbows?  

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

    Our favorite multisensory math activities:


    Regrouping double digit math

    Outer Space Regrouping Maze


    Regrouping Tips and Tricks

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

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

    Colors Handwriting Kit

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

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

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

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

    Crossing the Midline Activity Letter Rainbow

    Crossing the midline letter activity

    This crossing the midline activity is a way to help kids with midline skills, as well as letter identification, using a rainbow theme. In the simple midline activity, children create a rainbow while visually scanning from left to right to match letters with different colors of the rainbow. It’s a letter version of our rainbow ladder that is also instrumental in helping children with underlying handwriting skills including visual motor integration and crossing the midline.

    Crossing the midline activity for letter fluency, visual motor integration, and midline crossing skills.

    This particular  Kids can work on so many skills with this simple visual motor rainbow.  We worked on matching printed lower case letters to cursive letters but you could do this one with upper and lower case letter match-ups or just matching upper case to upper case.  Some of the underlying skills that is necessary for kids to write legibly are visual motor integration and crossing midline.  This visual motor integration letter rainbow works on those skills with a colorful result.

    We also used our rainbow of hues to work on the visual motor skills needed for pencil control.  This activity also addresses the ability to coordinate visual input to the motor movements of the hands. Kids can work on their fine motor development with the simple rainbow activity described below.


    Work on crossing the midline and letter identification to match letters to cursive letters with a rainbow.


    Crossing the Midline

    In another blog post, we cover more about crossing the midline, particularly with the lower body, in a midline marching activity for children.

    So, what crossing the midline?  

    Midline of the body is an imaginary line that drops from the middle of the head, strait down over the nose, to the belly button and divides the body into left and right sides.  Many movements and functional tasks occur with just one hand, like holding a phone. A user could hold the phone on one side of the body and turn their head to that direction. In that particular task and positioning, the activiy is localized to a side of the body and doesn’t cross the midline.

    Other tasks occur at the midline. This includes activities such as reading a book or brushing the teeth. The dominant hand will do most of the work, like turning the pages of the the book or manipulating the toothbrush, while the nondominant hand assists in the task. In our examples, the activity occurs mainly at midline, and there is not much crossing over of the middle of the body. However, the non dominant hand might assist by holding the book or by squeezing the toothpaste onto the tooth brush, (or holding the toothbrush while the dominant hand squeezes the toothbrush). As a side note, many of these muscle movement patterns are not something that we think through throughout our day. The movement patterns are just automatic and natural. That is part of muscle memory and motor planning that has been established and ingrained. Trouble occurs when there is a block to the automaticity such as difficulty with crossing the midline.

    Still other activities require intense midline crossing. This includes activities where the midline must be crossed in order for the task to be completed. Activities exemplifying midline crossing include dressing the lower body or in play. In the example of dressing, you notice that one arm reaches over the midline in order to feed the opposite foot into a pants leg. Similarly, with pulling on socks, both hands reach to one foot and the right arm crosses the midline when pulling on the sock of the left foot.

    Crossing midline refers to moving the left hand/arm/foot/leg across this line to the right side (and vise versa).  Crossing midline also refers to twisting the body in rotation around this imaginary line, and leaning the upper or body across the middle of the body.

    Problems with Crossing the Midline

    When crossing the midline is a problem, or it’s not been properly established as an automatic movement pattern, you may notice these movements instead of crossing midline:

    • Switching hands during an activity
    • Twisting the body to complete tasks- rotating the trunk to complete tasks
    • Preferring to use one hand over the other: Using the right hand for tasks on the right side of the body and using the left hand for tasks on the left side of the body
    • Mixed dominance
    • Trouble with fine motor tasks that require two hands: writing, coloring, cutting with scissors, manipulating utensils, cutting with a knife and fork, etc.
    • Trouble with gross motor tasks like jumping, skipping, hopping, crawling
    • Trouble with laterality
    • Trouble with keeping their place when reading across a page

    Crossing the Midline Letter Activity

    The midline letter activity described here is a beneficial way to work on crossing midline for several reasons:

    • The activity encourages children to cross midline with large motions across a page
    • The activity encourage visual shifting to scan across a page, incorporating crossing the midline into reading and writing tasks which can impact reading fluency and accuracy
    • The activity works on letter identification and challenges children to integrate visual skills with movements (hand eye coordination)

    In the crossing the midline letter rainbow activity described here, we worked on cursive letter identification. Many times when children practice cursive writing, they do so in isolated practice settings: practicing rows of cursive letters, one at a time, and then stringing that letter into words on a worksheet. But sometimes, the cursive letter fluency piece is skipped. Reading a letter or a word pairs the cursive letter with orthographic patterns so that cursive writing and reading becomes fluent.

    You could use this midline rainbow activity with any letter matching exercise:

    • Matching shapes or colors
    • Matching letters to images that start with that letter to incorporate phonological awareness
    • Matching lowercase printed letters to uppercase printed letters
    • Matching lowercase cursive letters to lowercase printed letters
    • Matching uppercase printed letters to uppercase cursive letters
    • Matching lowercase cursive letters to uppercase cursive letters

    Set up a crossing the midline activity:

    This rainbow activity can be performed in several ways.  Children can work on a large scale and address bilateral coordination and midline crossing with a large piece of easel paper or butcher paper taped to a wall.  Another option is to set this rainbow activity up at a dry erase board or chalk board.

    To make the midline board:

    1. Colored markers/crayons/chalk/colored pencils-We used (affiliate link) Mr. Sketch scented markers to add multisensory learning components.
    2. Next, draw two vertical lines on opposite sides of the paper, or about 2-3 feet apart.  
    3. Along the left vertical line, form letters in one format (print, cursive, lowercase, uppercase, etc.) 
    4. On the opposite line, form either matching letters in upper case/lower case/cursive. Ensure the letters are mixed in order, so the lines need to cross over one another.

    Next, work on crossing midline skills:

    1. To perform this visual motor letter rainbow, ask the child to start on the left side and draw an arching line to connect to the matching letter on the right side of the paper.  Working on a large scale to perform this activity promotes crossing of the midline as well as visual motor skills.


      2. Ask the student to start at the left line and stop at the right line when drawing their rainbow lines. When the child is making the arches, they should not start or go over the vertical lines by more than 1/4 inch.  Ask them to connect the matching letters with matching colored markers. 


    Grade this activity by asking the child to start and end at the vertical lines without crossing over the lines.  This is an excellent way to address pencil control and visual motor skills.


    Vary the activity

    • Complete the midline activity by completing the rainbow in a standing or seated position.  Be sure to watch for the child to compensate for midline crossing by shifting weight, rotation of the body, pivoting of the trunk, or movement of the legs.  The child should remain facing forward without any of these motions noted.
    • Kids can also complete this activity with diagonals of with strait lines to connect the letters.
    • Address visual motor skills with the letter rainbow on a small scale as a table-top activity.  
    • Draw the lines on a smaller scale and ask kids to connect letters while touching but not going over the vertical lines with the colored markers.
    • Use different surfaces- dry erase board, chalkboard, asphalt or sidewalk with sidewalk chalk, working on a large piece of paper or cardboard on the ground, and paper hung on a wall are all options.
    • Use a variety of writing materials: If working on a dry erase surface, use Dry erase markers. You’ll need a rainbow of colors.
    • Work in a sensory bin using sand or other sensory bin base materials. Letters can be written under the sensory bin, like we did with this sensory writing tray.
    • This activity works well on the ground too. In that case, use Rainbow colored chalk if working on a large piece of cardboard from an old box or on the sidewalk. This option adds resistance to the activity, providing proprioceptive feedback.
    • You could also use crayons, finger paints, colored pencils, sidewalk chalk, or water colors.
    Use scented markers for a multisensory learning approach to crossing the midline and matching letters.

    Need more ways to work on visual motor integration, crossing midline, handwriting, and functional skills? Grab the Colors Handwriting Kit. It comes with activities to promote functional handwriting, and multisensory learning. You’ll also get a bonus offer of fine motor activity pages.

    Just print and go!

    Colors Handwriting Kit

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

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

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

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

    Use rainbow colors to work on the skills needed for handwriting with a visual motor letter rainbow activity.

    Here are more rainbow activities to pair with ours:

    Rainbow Ladder Visual Motor Activity

    Rainbow ladder visual motor integration activity
    This rainbow ladder activity is a rainbow themed visual motor activity that is perfect for building visual motor integration skills needed in handwriting and reading.  Visual motor integration activities like this one help kids to work on the skills needed to form letters and numbers correctly, to write on lines, and to copy words and sentences from a model, and make a great addition to rainbow activities that promote child development of essential skills.  Kids will love to create a rainbow ladder with this scented marker activity as they work on skills they need in a creative and fun way!
    Kids will love this rainbow visual motor activity to address the skills needed for handwriting.

    Rainbow Ladder Activity

     
    This post contains affiliate links.
     
    You’ll need just a couple of materials for this visual motor integration activity:
     

     

     
    To prepare this activity, you’ll need to draw dots in a vertical column down the left side of the paper and matching dots in a column down the right side of the paper.  Then, use a black magic marker to make vertical lines for the sides of the “ladder”.
     
    Try this rainbow visual motor activity to help kids work on handwriting in a creative way.

    Visual Motor Integration Activity

    When doing this activity, be sure to ensure the child is connecting the dots from the left to the right.  Try these tips to make sure the child is building those visual motor skills:
     
    Ask the child to start the marker on the left dot.  If they miss the dot, use verbal or visual cues to help them with the remaining dots.
     
    Use this rainbow visual motor activity to work on handwriting skills.
     
    Watch the child’s horizontal lines across the page.  If the line goes up or down below 1/4″-1/2″ from an imaginary strait line, use verbal and visual cues for the remaining trials.  
     
    Ask the child to stop at the right dot.  If the line stops before the dot or extends beyond the dot, use verbal or visual cues for the remaining trials.
     
    Use the black vertical lines as a visual cue to slow down the marker stroke for improved accuracy. 
     
    Work on visual motor integration with this rainbow visual motor activity.
     

    More ways to extend this activity to address visual motor development:

    Use large paper (easel paper or butcher paper) hanging on the wall.
    Stand at an easel or dry erase board.
    Try making diagonal lines or arched lines like in this occupational therapy slide deck for working on prewriting skills and line formation in a visual motor letter rainbow.
     
    Kids will love to make this rainbow ladder while working on visual motor skills.
     
    Try these visual motor activities for more fun ways to build skills needed for handwriting:
     
     
     Visual motor integration activities using paper visual processing and visual efficiency problems
     
     

     

    Colors Handwriting Kit

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

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

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

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

    Rainbow Sort Color Activity

    rainbow sort fine motor activity

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

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

     

    Rainbow Sort

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

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

     

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

     

    Preschool Rainbow Activities

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

     

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

     

    Rainbow sort color learning activity for kids

     

    Rainbow fine motor skills activity
     
     
    Colors Handwriting Kit

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

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

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

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

    Rainbow Drawing Slide Deck

    rainbow drawing

    This rainbow art drawing help kids with visual motor skills of copying images and figures. When kids demonstrate the ability to copy shapes and forms, they are building the skills needed for copying words, letters, and sentences. This rainbow slide deck is a teletherapy activity that helps with visual motor skills needed for handwriting. Add this free Google slide deck to your occupational therapy teletherapy services (or home programs) and start building skills in visual motor integration.

    Rainbow Drawing Art

    If you take a scroll on YouTube, you’ll find a lot of directed drawing videos that walk kids through “how to draw a rainbow”… or how to draw hundreds of other images, cartoons, and drawing art ideas.

    But, one thing that I have been looking for is simple forms that help kids with visual motor skills like copying simple and complex shapes…that are FUN and motivating.

    Here’s the thing: when kids copy shapes, they are developing so many visual motor integration skills that translated to forming letters and numbers, copying sentences, and the eye-hand coordination needed to move a pencil in the way it needs to move so that letters and numbers are placed on lines. It’s all connected!

    Copying simple lines and shapes are part of pre-writing skills. By the way, be sure to grab this rainbow pre-writing lines Google slide deck. It’s a freebie that you’ll want for your younger or lower level kiddos.

    AND, when kids progress to copying more complex shapes, drawings, and forms, they are developing stronger skills in moving the pencil accuracy, spatial awareness, line awareness, and position in space. All of these skill sets are so necessary for handwriting.

    Rainbow visual motor skills slide deck

    Draw a Rainbow Activity

    Kids can copy the different basic rainbow forms and develop these skills using our free rainbow drawing slide deck.

    Copy a rainbow visual motor activity

    Each slide includes simple or more complex rainbow drawings that challenge kids to copy forms, making this a fun Spring activity that helps to build visual motor skills.

    Draw a rainbow activity for kids

    You can ask kids to copy the rainbows onto paper in different ways to extend this activity:

    • Ask kids to copy the shape in a specific space.
    • Ask kids to fold their paper into columns and rows. They can copy a rainbow form into each space on the paper.
    • Ask the child to copy the rainbow in a very large size on a dry erase board or large chalk board to use whole body movements and crossing midline. Air writing is another option.
    • Copy the forms with different sensory materials: chalk, water colors, paint, rainbow writing, writing on sandpaper, etc.
    • Copy the rainbow form from memory.
    • Copy the forms in a very small size.
    • Copy the forms into a sensory writing tray. Here are ideas for sensory writing trays.

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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.