Activities to Improve Smooth Visual Pursuits

visual pursuits

For our kids who are challenged to visually observe their environment, or who struggle to demonstrate visual tracking in reading or other learning experiences, activities designed to promote smooth pursuits and eye movement can be helpful. The visual activities listed here can be helpful in addressing the smooth pursuits of visual input. Visual pursuits or tacking is an oculomotor skill that is necessary part of visual processing. Read on for various eye exercise that can be done in fun ways as a part of occupational therapy geared toward visual processing skills.

Activities to improve smooth visual pursuits

There are several activities to improve smooth visual pursuits that are used in occupational therapy to target smooth pursuits of the eyes. These smooth pursuit exercises are typically fostered through play, especially in occupational therapy interventions. 

Below, you’ll find ocular pursuit activities, but first, let’s cover what visual pursuits are and how they impact a child’s learning.

These activities to improve smooth visual pursuits are needed to improve visual tracking needed for reading and visual processing.
Visual skills like visual tracking, or smooth visual pursuits are a visual processing skill that allow us to perceive and retrieve visual information. This is an essential part of reading and learning.


What are visual pursuits?

Visual pursuits are another term for visual tracking. Visual tracking is an oculomotor skill that is essential for learning, reading, and so many tasks we perform.

Smooth visual pursuits refer to the eye movements that enable us to track moving objects smoothly and accurately with our gaze. It’s the eye following a moving target through coordinated motion of the eye muscles.

When we watch a moving object, follow a moving object with our eyes, or follow a moving ball, our eyes move smoothly to follow the visual input. This allows us to maintain visual focus on the object as it moves. We can use that visual information to understand how fast and far the item is moving based on the object’s trajectory, speed, and direction.

Here are more information about visual tracking activities. You will also love checking out these activities to improve visual tracking.

Visual processing skills have a huge impact on learning. In fact, it is one of the visual skills that can impact learning in a way that isn’t always directly observable.

Visual skills like visual tracking, or smooth visual pursuits are a visual processing skill that allow us to perceive and retrieve visual information. This is an essential part of reading and learning.

These skills may be covered by a behavioral optometrist or developmental optometrist.

Want to learn more about HOW visual pursuits and other aspects of visual processing impact learning (in a really big way)? Scroll below to join our free visual processing lab. It’s a 3 day email series where you will learn SO much about visual processing and how it impacts everything, but especially learning and cognitive skills.

Visual tracking activites are needed for learning and everything we do! These activities to improve visual pursuits can be used in occupational therapy treatment sessions or part of vision therapy activities.


Activities to improve visual pursuits

These visual tracking activities are easy and creative ways to work on eye movement and smooth eye movements. Kids can perform these activities as part of a therapy program and while working on functional skills within an occupation.

1. Relaxing breathing eye stretches- This visual tracking activity is a way to work on smooth pursuits in a very mindful way. Just like yoga brings awareness to the body and a sense of being present, this eye stretch activity is a great way to calm a class during a busy school day.

Combine slow and deep breathing with deliberate eye movements. Kids can watch and follow directions to take deep breaths combined with slowly looking in a single direction. As they look up and breath or look to the left and breath, kids can even use this activity as a coping strategy.

Try these yoga activities: 

2. Flashlight Tag- Use a flashlight to help kids follow a target in various directions. Try a circle, uppercase letter “H”, triangle, straight/diagonal lines, etc. To make this activity more fun, try adding a deflated balloon to the top of the flashlight. Encourage kids to keep their face steady as they use just the eyes to follow the light.

3. Craft Stick Puppets- Create small craft stick characters puppets to make a visual cue as a visual prompt for follow movement patterns. These barnyard animal puppets make a great DIY puppet tool for a visual pursuit and tracking activity.

This pirate puppet is one idea that builds fine motor skills, too.

4. Marble run activities- There are many marble run products on the market that provide an opportunity for improving smooth pursuit of the eyes. Here are DIY marble run activities that make a great activity in themselves for kids.

We love to add slow moving items to marble run games too, to provide a slower object for visually tracking, encouraging smooth pursuits of the eyes. Encourage kids to keep their face steady while using their eyes only to watch the item fall through the marble run.

Try these marble run ideas:

5. Roll a ball- Roll a ball up a slanted surface and ask the child to keep their eyes on the ball! Some ideas include creating a sloped surface with a poster board and books.

Simply roll a small ball slowly up the ramp and kids can watch the ball as it rolls. Also try having the child to sit in front of the ramp and be in charge of rolling the ball. Mark off where the ball should reach and stop so the child works on graded movement at the same time.

Sitting in front of the ramp encourages visual convergence and binocular fusion as well. This activity works well with a large ball such as a kick ball and a sidewalk ramp, too.

This baby brain building activity list has more ideas, too.

6. Double Light Eye Tag- Use two different colored lights (light-topped pens work well). Flash one color on and then the other. Kids can move their eyes from color to color or follow directions to look at the two lights when they change.

Hopefully, these activities to improve visual pursuits is a helpful addition to your therapy toolbox. Use these strategies to work on various visual processing skills and oculomotor skills.

7. Hands-on visual tracking therapy activities- Use the ideas below to target visual tracking skills through play:


More visual processing activities

For even MORE visual tracking and pursuit activities to use in your occupational therapy practice, you will want to join our free visual processing lab email series. It’s a 3-day series of emails that covers EVERYthing about visual processing. We take a closer look at visual skills and break things down, as well as covering the big picture of visual needs.

In the visual processing lab, you will discover how oculomotor skills like smooth pursuits make a big difference in higher level skills like learning and executive function. The best thing about this lab (besides all of the awesome info) is that it has a fun “lab” theme. I might have had too much fun with this one 🙂

Join us in visual processing Lab! Where you won’t need Bunsen burners or safety goggles!

Click here to learn more about Visual Processing Lab and to sign up.

Free visual processing email lab to learn about visual skills needed in learning and reading.

Visual pursuits visual tracking activities to help kids with the visual skills needed for learning, reading, and everything they do!

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

oculomotor tools

In The OT Toolbox Membership, you’ll find oculomotor tools that support visual tracking, smooth pursuits, and much more.

Visual Motor Skills By Age

visual motor skills by age

This resource includes visual motor skills by age and lists visual motor integration developmental milestones. Visual motor development is part of hand eye coordination skills that happen from a very young age. From shaking a rattle and reaching for baby toys, to holding a pencil and writing letters, the developmental milestones are something to guide functional skill achievement! Let’s explore these visual motor developmental milestones!

Visual motor developmental milestones

Visual Motor Skills by Age

If you’ve followed along with us here at The OT Toolbox, then you know that I love to pull my background as an occupational therapist into posts.  The crafts and activities that we do are more than just fun and cute.  There are important skills that a child develops through play.

Visual Motor Skills are needed for many functional tasks like handwriting and pencil use, scissor use clothing management, and many more tasks. 

How does Visual Motor Integration develop in kids?  We put together this list of  developmental milestones  for a general idea of development and so parents can tell when a problem might be present.  

It is important to note that every child is different and every child develops differently.  These milestones are organized by developmental stages.  Be sure to contact your pediatrician for medical advice. If occupational therapy is needed to assist with delays in visual motor integration, an assessment from a licensed occupational therapist is necessary to determine individual needs and treatment.

This hand eye coordination activities for toddlers post has more ideas.

What is visual motor integration?

Visual motor integration is often times presented a Hand eye coordination.  It is the ability to use your hands and eyes together in a coordinated manner.  

However, visual motor integration has some difference: The visual perceptual skills that are necessary for the visual component of visual motor skills play a major part in perceiving and interpreting visual information.

With skill achievement comes greater precision and dexterity, as well as the motor planning needed in order to accomplish more difficult tasks.

Visual motor development is needed for many functional tasks:

  • Shake a rattle
  • Reach for toys
  • Bring toys to the mouth
  • Reach for a face when held (babies)
  • Pick up food from a high chair tray
  • Reach for a bottle or cup to the mouth and putting it back down
  • Releasing objects or toys (babies dropping things from their high chair continuously and love seeing someone older pick it up and put it back so that they can drop it again reinforces this skill)
  • Coloring with crayons- progression of coloring skills happens with age along the milestone achievement
  • Scribbling
  • Playing with toys- shape sorters, puzzles, cause and effect toys, etc.
  • Holding a pencil and drawing shapes, forming letters- This level of visual processing is necessary for copying forms and identifying inconsistencies in written work. It plays a part in letter reversals and letter formation.  
  • Cutting with scissors
  • Navigating stairs
  • Throw a ball
  • Catch a ball
  • Pouring and scooping
  • Using utensils- progression from spoon, to fork, to knife- Check out this resource on how to hold a spoon and fork for specifics.
  • Riding a bike
  • So many more tasks that require visual motor skills!

In eye-hand coordination specifically, the eyes and hands work together to move the pencil, catch a ball, thread beads on a pipe cleaner, or other tasks that require the eyes and hands to fluently coordinate in actions.

You can see how, with development of both the eyes and motor skill dexterity and strength of the hands, feet, core, and legs allows for progression of skills.

The visual component and the motor skills begin working together at a very young age and continue to develop in efficiency as a child grows.  This is visual motor development!

Visual Motor integration and developmental milestones
Visual Motor and Developmental Milestones
visual motor skills by age

Developmental Milestones for Visual Motor Integration 

These visual motor developmental milestones are listed by age of typical development, however, these are general guidelines of development. There can be many other considerations impacting skill achievement. If a child hasn’t achieved a skill by the dates listed below, it’s not a huge issue. It could be that the path to skill progression is varied, and that’s ok!

If you have questions about these milestone skills and dates, especially if it seems there are many skills that aren’t being achieved within months of the dates listed below, it may be beneficial to seek out input and individualized evaluation from a pediatric occupational therapy professional.

Resources may include our parent toolbox, getting started with OT, and what you need to know about child development.


  • Tracking a rattle while lying on back                
  • Tracking a rattle to the side                


  • Infant regards their own hands
  • Tracks a ball side to side as it rolls across a table left to right and right to left
  • Tracks a rattle while lying on back side to side


  • Extends hands to reach for a rattle/toy while lying on back


  • Reaches to midline for a rattle/toy while lying on back
  • While lying on back, the infant touches both hands together.


  • Brings hands together to grasp a block/toy while sitting supported on an adult’s lap
  • Extends arm to reach up for a toy while laying on back


  • Transfers a block/toy from one hand to the other while sitting supported on an adult’s lap.
  • Touches a cereal piece with index finger
  • Bangs a toy on a table surface while sitting supported on an adult’s lap


  • Claps hands together




  •  Turns pages in a board book
  • Imitates stirring a spoon in a cup


  • Imitates tapping a spoon on a cup
  • Begins to places large puzzle pieces in a (Amazon affiliate link) beginner puzzle


  •   Scribbles on paper


  •   Imitates building a tower of 2-3 blocks


  •  Builds a block tower, stacking 4-5 blocks



  • Removes a screw top lid on a bottle
  • Stacks 8 blocks
  • Begins to snip with scissors


  • Imitates horizontal strokes with a marker
  • Strings 2 Beads (read about fine motor skills with beads for more ideas to support this development)
  • Imitates folding a piece of paper (bending the paper and making a crease, not aligning the edges)


  • Imitates building a train with blocks
  • Strings 3-4 Beads
  • Stacks 10 blocks


  • Builds a “bridge” with three blocks


  • Copies a circle


  • Builds a “wall” with four blocks


  • Cuts a paper in half with scissors



  • Cuts within 1/2 inch of a straight line
  • Traces a horizontal line


  • Copies a square
  • Cuts a circle within 1/2 inch of the line
  • Build “steps” with blocks


  • Connects two dots to make a horizontal line
  • Cuts a square within 1/2 inch of the line
  • Builds a “pyramid” with blocks


  • Folds a piece of paper in half with the edges parallel
  • Colors within lines
What is Visual Motor Integration?  This blog has a lot of information on visual motor integration developmental milestones and activities for kids.

This post contains affiliate links.  You can read our full disclosure here.

Activities to help develop visual motor integration:


Developmental milestone achievement in children occurs through play. Use these play ideas to get you started on building skills:

Some more of our favorite OT activities for supporting development of visual motor skills includes:

Blue-Themed Sensory Play for Babies and Toddlers

Fine Motor Play with Tissue Paper

Baby Brain Building

Invitation to Scoop and Pour

Baby Ice and Bath

Playing With Color

Learning Apples and Red

Learning Colors Cup Play

Cups and Spoons

Tracing Letters: Letter Formation Handwriting Practice with Chalk

Tracing Lines with a DIY Light Box

Pencil Control Worksheets You Can Make At Home

Christmas-Themed Pencil Control Activities-DIY Worksheets for Pencil Control

Line Awareness with Beads 

Scissor Skills: Activities for Kids

Improving Scissor Skills with Play Dough

Cutting Foam Beads

Using  Stickers to Help with Scissor Skills

Finger-painting Fireworks for Scissor Use

Icicle Winter Scissor Skills Activity

Bunny Tongs Scissor Skills Activity

Color Sorting Scissor Activity

Use the fine motor kits to support development of visual motor skills and visual perception development through hands-on, play-based activities:

Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

Ocean Animals Matching Game

sea animals matching game

This ocean animals matching game was originally published when many OT professionals were conducting virtual therapy sessions a few years back. Now that therapy is back to in-person sessions, resources like this sea animals matching game slide deck are a useful tool for many reasons! It’s a great addition to a summer occupational therapy session or any sea animal theme.

sea animal matching game

Sea Animals Matching Game

Animals of the sea are a fun and engaging theme for kids, so this sea animals game is a motivating way to build on that.

Originally, this slide deck was a tool for targeting skills in visual memory, visual perceptual skills, attention, executive functioning skills, handwriting, and more. Therapy providers could access the slide deck and work on specific skills with kids over virtual therapy sessions.

Now, a few years later, the same therapy tool can still be used in several different ways:

  • Print off the slide decks and use them as Ocean animal “Spot It” worksheets.
  • Pull up the sea animal game on a tablet or computer in face-to-face therapy sessions to work on visual perceptual skills.
  • Use the slide deck on a larger screen such as a Smart board or TV. Add gross motor actions for each sea creature. Use the visuals as a prompt for various gross motor coordination tasks by acting out the sea creatures.
  • Use the slide deck as a prompt for sea animal yoga, ocean animal brain breaks, or in a Simon Says command.
  • Work on handwriting by writing down the names of the ocean animals that the user spots in the matching activity.
  • Print off the slide decks and ask the user to cut out the circles for each matching game. Then, they can clip a paper clip onto the edge of the circle when they find the match. This is a powerful hand strengthening activity that addresses bilateral coordination and motor planning. (Here are more paper clip activities to build fine motor skills.)
  • To really ramp up the gross motor skills and incorporate visual scanning skills, print off the pages as PDFs and then cut out the individual circles. Place them at greater distances around the room. This activity targets visual attention as well. It’s a great way to grade the task to foster near point copying skills and far point copying skills.
  • Incorporate the activity with other ocean animals games like “guess who” to identify features in the mind’s eye and work on executive functioning skills.

Matching games are such a great way to work on visual perceptual skills that are needed for hand writing and reading. This ocean animals matching game is a therapy activity that helps kids to work on several visual perceptual skills including visual discrimination form constancy visual scanning and other skills. Add this idea to your summer occupational therapy line-up!

Ocean animals matching game to work on visual perceptual skills

Ocean animals Matching Game

This is a great activity for an ocean theme this summer.

Kids that love ocean animals like fish seahorses seahorses octopus and see turtles will get love working on this spotting game.

To play children can look at the two circles on the slide deck. They can visually scan to locate the identical ocean animal that is the same on each part of the slide. Then the interactive piece of this game is a movable seaweed option. They can click and drag on the seaweed icon and drag it over to cover up the matching animals. By doing this interactive piece kids can improve eye hand coordination and visual tracking skills as well.

Ocean animals writing prompts

Then after the students find the matching ocean animal there is a slide that is a self-checking exercise. The slide asks “did you find the missing item?” and then offers an ocean animals writing prompt.

On the handwriting portion of this ocean animals activity kids can copy the ocean animals word from the slide.

They can work on letter formation and copying skills from a near point or a distance point.

There’s also an open ended writing prompt where kids can copy a full sentence.

You can then expand the activity to an open ended writing prompt by asking that student to expand on that topic or ocean animal.

For example kids can copy the word octopus and work on letter formation letter size and spacing between letters. Then they can copy the octopus sentence. They can work on spacing between letters and words, letter formation, line use, punctuation, capitalization, and overall legibility.

Then finally expand on the activity and ask students to continue to write about an octopus they can either write a silly sentence or another fact if they know one. This slide deck includes many ocean animals that kids will have fun finding and writing about. Other ocean animals included in this slide deck include:

  • seahorse
  • sea turtle
  • crab
  • puffer fish
  • octopus
  • jellyfish
  • whale
  • shark
  • conch shell
  • school of fish

Sometimes kids will have difficulties copying or reading without losing their place on the paper. Convergence insufficiency can be one cause for this. Other reasons can be visual scanning or visual attention skills. This slide deck is one way to work on these skills.

Copying from a near point is a great way to work on visual shift visual attention and visual memory skills that are needed for kids to copy words from a workbook onto paper or from some other source like a book into a notebook.

By shifting the slides to an overhead screen such as a SmartBoard that is positioned across the room children can work on distance copying. This visual motor skill can be a challenge for some kids who struggle with visual attention and visual memory. In order to copy from a source children need to visually recall where they left off and then shift their vision while holding the visual information in there our minds eye and then realizing where to go back to on the board to copy from. That shift can be difficult for kids so this open ended and fun activity can help with visual motor skills and copying from near and far points.

This matching game is similar to others that we have here on the website so if a spotting and matching game is an interest and helpful for you and the children that you serve check out these other spotting and matching activities:

Want more ways to play and build skills with a beach or ocean theme? Check out these fun ideas:

Use the cards along with other sea creature games and activities like…

Free Ocean Animals Matching Slide Deck

Would you like to access this free ocean animals activity to work on visual perceptual skills, eye-hand coordination, and handwriting? Enter your email into that form below and you can access this resource to use in teletherapy sessions in home programming in face-to-face therapy sessions or in homeschooling activities. Another option is to also use for hand writing prompts in the classroom.

FREE Ocean Animals Matching Game

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

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

    Ambidexterity or Mixed Dominance

    What is ambidexterity

    Many parents see their child switch hands during tasks, or show refined use of both hands and wonder if their child is ambidextrous. Maybe a child uses their left hand to throw a ball, but bats with their right hand. Maybe they kick a ball with their right foot, but hold a pencil with their left hand. Ambidexterity is a common question among parents of kids who switch hands in activities or don’t use one hand consistently.

    In this blog post, you’ll find information on

    Ambidextrous Or Mixed Dominance?

    Here, we are covering several aspects of ambidexterity. We’ll go over the difference between being ambidextrous and having mixed dominance. We’ll cover what it means when a child uses both hands to write or color. And, we’ll go over some activities to support a dominant hand.

    How do you know if your child is ambidextrous or if they are showing signs of mixed dominance? This post will explain a little more about ambidexterity as well as mixed dominance and what it means in motor skills.

    Ambidextrous refers to use of both sides of the body in equal ability and refined dexterity. This can refer to a bilateral refined movement and skill in the hands, feet, and eyes. Ambidexterity is the ability to use both hands equally well. It means that a person can perform tasks with either hand without any noticeable preference.

    Cross dominance refers to a situation where a person’s dominance does not favor one side over the other. In simpler terms, it means that your child hasn’t developed a clear preference for using either their right or left hand for tasks.

    Mixed dominance is an other name for cross dominance. It can extend beyond just hand preference and also involve other body parts like the eyes or feet. For example, a child with mixed dominance may have a dominant hand different from their dominant eye or foot. This means that their dominance is spread across different sides of their body.

    In other words, cross dominance or mixed dominance is different than ambidextrous in that an individual with cross dominance might switch between dominant sides depending on the task they’re performing. For instance, they may write with their right hand but prefer to eat with their left hand.

    Let’s break this down further to explore ambidexterity.

    What is ambidexterity? Is my child ambidextrous?

    What does Ambidextrous Mean?

    The definition of ambidextrous is use of both hands with equal refined precision and motor skill. This means that each side of the body is equally able to write with natural motor planning, fine motor control, strength, and refined motor movements.

    According to the definition of ambidexterous, there is equal refinement and precision. You might think this means just the hands and fingers are involved with equal use of both sides. However, that’s not exactly the case.

    Those who are truly ambidextrous may have equal use of hands, as well as feet, eyes, and even toungue motor skills.

    An ambidextrous child will play naturally with toys using both hands. You might notice equal use of the hands and feet, or switching left to right or right to left during play, sports, school work, and other tasks.

    When it comes to someone being ambidextrous and fine motor involvement, this can refer to:

    • Writing
    • Scissor use
    • Clothing fasteners
    • Play
    • Hand strength
    • Brushing teeth and hair
    • Many other every day tasks

    Ambidextrous also refers to the feet too.

    An ambidextrous person will be able to kick equally strong and with the same amount of force with both feet. They are able to “take off” from a running stance with equal feet placement, whether they start out running on their left foot or their right foot. Gross motor ambidexterity can be seen in:

    • Jumping
    • Running
    • Skipping
    • Hopping
    • Balance
    • Kicking a ball
    • Throwing a ball
    • Catching a ball
    • Among many other every day tasks

    Ambidexterity can be observed in the eyes, too. Typically, all of us have one eye that is stronger, or a naturally dominant eye. We can complete a visual screening to identify this, or a visual exam may be in order.

    Finally, an ambidextrous individual may show motor overflow movements with the tongue to both sides of the body.

    Are you wondering about a child who uses both hands to write or perform tasks? Maybe you know a child who uses both hands equally and with equal skill. Perhaps your child uses one hand for specific tasks and their other hand for other tasks.

    Mixed Dominance or Ambidexterous?

    Just yesterday on The OT Toolbox, we discussed mixed dominance. In this post, we will cover more about true ambidexterity and what that means.

    A child with mixed dominance demonstrates clear, stronger patterns based on the side of the body they are utilizing to complete the task.

    For example, a child who is left hand dominant will develop a stronger fine motor pattern then a child who is not left side dominant but compensating for fatigue and is moderately adept at utilizing the left hand as a coping skill.

    Is my child ambidextrous

    A child who is truly ambidextrous will be equally as skilled at utilizing both sides of the body and it will look and feel natural to the child. Statistically, only 1% of the population is truly ambidextrous—it’s really very rare, and it is more likely that your child is experiencing mixed dominance patterns.

    True ambidexterity requires both hands to be used with equal precision and there is no true preference in either the right or left hand for either both fine or gross motor tasks.

    Can you make yourself ambidextrous?

    This is an interesting question. Many times there is a perceived benefit to being ambidextrous, or switching hand or foot use during a task. Some perceived benefits might be:

    • Switching hands when one is fatigued from use during a task
    • Switching dominant sides during a sport such as baseball or softball to pitch with the other arm, batting from another side, dribbling to the other side when bringing up the ball during basketball, or kicking a ball with the other foot during soccer.
    • Writing equal legibility with both hands

    Actually being ambidextrous is different than teaching yourself to become ambidextrous.

    To use both sides of the hand as a learned concept takes cognitive attention whereas natural ambidexterity occurs without thought. Because of the neuroplasticity of the brain, humans have the ability to teach themselves to use their non-dominant hand or side to complete tasks. It takes practice, practice, and more practice.

    Read here on motor planning where we cover this concept.

    Ambidexterity or Mixed Dominance?

    Is my child ambidextrous? Isn’t that what mixed dominance is? These are two questions that therapists get asked frequently when evaluating a child for the first time for mixed dominance and other concerns. The answer is no, they are not the same thing.

    This is a tricky area. Therapists recognize mixed dominance as a miscommunication or poor integration of the left and right sides of the brain and that’s how it’s explained to parents. However, there is a lot of information out there on this topic that may or may not be relevant to your child and her struggles— keep this in mind when Googling information.

    It is more likely, that your child’s brain is utilizing the left and right sides for very specific motor skills such as writing, eating and throwing a ball. This can lead to motor confusion—this is where the poor integration and lack of communication between the left and right sides of the brain comes into play.

    When the child is not utilizing one side of the brain more dominantly for motor patterns, confusion and poor motor learning occur leading to delays and deficits in motor skills.

    how to tell if your child is ambidextrous

    It is unclear why the brain develops this way, but it does happen, and it is okay. In fact, it is easily addressed by an occupational therapist.

    Determining if your child is ambidextrous, meaning they have equal proficiency and comfort using both hands, can require some observation. Here are a few signs that may indicate ambidexterity in your child:

    • Equal use of hands
    • Kicks a ball with either foot with equal distance and force
    • Balances on each leg equally
    • Equal tongue movements laterally
    • Proficient functional performance with either side of the body
    • Efficient use of tools with assistance of the other hand: scissor use, pencil use, feeding utensils, and other functional tools

    In addition to these abilities, you can take a look at areas of functional performance. These include the underlying skills that impact function.

    • Frequent hand-switching: Observe if your child regularly switches hands during activities such as writing, drawing, eating, or playing sports. Ambidextrous individuals often demonstrate fluidity in using either hand without a clear preference.
    • Equal proficiency: Notice if your child shows similar levels of skill and coordination when using both hands for various tasks. They may exhibit no significant difference in handwriting quality, drawing ability, or manipulating objects with either hand.
    • Ease in learning new skills: Ambidextrous children tend to adapt quickly when asked to perform tasks with either hand. They may show little to no difficulty when switching hands for activities.
    • Mirror-like movements: Pay attention to your child’s movements. Ambidextrous individuals may display symmetrical movements, where actions performed with one hand can be mirrored almost identically by the other hand.
    • Lack of hand dominance: Ambidexterity implies the absence of a clear hand dominance. If your child does not consistently favor one hand over the other for a majority of tasks, it suggests a potential ambidextrous inclination.

    Ambidexterous Motor Development

    I already touched on this a little, but a child with mixed dominance may switch sides for task completion when experiencing fatigue. Due to this, their motor development and precision is typically delayed.

    The most common area that this is noted in is in fine motor development for handwriting. This is because the child is equally, but poorly skilled with both hands, and will switch hands to compensate for fatigue.

    Motor delays may also be noticed later on when it comes to the reciprocal movements needed to throw/catch or kick a ball and when skipping. A child with mixed dominance may attempt to catch and throw with the same hand, hold a bat with a backwards grip, or stand on the opposite side of the plate when hitting.

    They may also experience a moderate level of confusion, and frustration as they are unsure of how to make the two sides of their body work together leading to overall poor hand/foot-eye coordination skills.Ambidexterity or mixed dominance and what this means for kids who use both hands to complete tasks like handwriting.

    For a few fun hand dominance activities, try these ideas to help kids establish a

    Ambidextrous hands and eyes

    If you have more questions and want to learn more on a dominant eyes and understanding how the eyes and hands work together during activities, you’ll want to check out our Visual Processing Lab.

    It’s a 3-day series of emails that covers everything about visual processing, visual motor skills, and eye-hand coordination. We take a closer look at visual skills and break things down, as well as covering the big picture of visual needs and how the hands and eyes work together.  

    In the visual processing lab, you will discover how oculomotor skills like smooth pursuits make a big difference in higher level skills like learning and executive function. The best thing about this lab (besides all of the awesome info) is that it has a fun “lab” theme. I might have had too much fun with this one 🙂  

    Join us in visual processing Lab! Where you won’t need Bunsen burners or safety goggles!  

    Click here to learn more about Visual Processing Lab and to sign up.

    ambidextrous eye dominance

    Hand preference is something we are often aware of, whether we are right-handed or left-handed. However, many parents may not realize that we also have a preferred or dominant eye. This aspect of eye dominance is often overlooked because we typically use both eyes together for most activities.

    So, how can you determine which eye is dominant?

    Observing monocular tasks: When using a camera, telescope, microscope, or squinting with one eye. Pay attention to which eye you naturally prefer to use. This eye is typically your dominant eye. In most cases, eye dominance aligns with handedness, meaning that if you are right-handed, you are more likely to be right-eye dominant. However, there are instances where the dominant eye may differ from handedness.

    Knowing about eye dominance is important because it can help to gain insights about a child’s visual processing and to identify any variations in eye-hand coordination. This knowledge can be particularly helpful when engaging in activities that require controlled motor planning, speed and timing of movement, and accuracy.

    Free visual processing email lab to learn about visual skills needed in learning and reading.

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

    Letter Learning with Bottle Caps

    bottle cap letters

    In this older blog post, we shared how to make your own bottle cap letters for multisensory learning and fine motor play. Creating DIY instructional materials can be both educational and fun. One creative idea is to make bottle cap alphabet letters.

    Bottle Cap Letters

    By collecting various bottle caps and adding individual letters to them, you can create a unique set of bottle cap letters. This homemade alphabet set can be used for matching big and small letters, helping children learn the alphabet in an engaging way. Kids can enjoy the tactile experience of sorting and matching the big and small bottle cap letters, making it a hands-on learning activity that enhances their letter recognition skills!

    This Letter Learning game was something I made for Big Sister a couple of years ago.  We have played with the letter bottle caps so many times and in a ton of ways.


    How to make bottle cap letters

    You’ll need just a few materials:

    • 26 bottle caps (one for each letter of the alphabet)
    • Label paper
    • Marker
    • Cardboard for a play mat
    The cardboard has upper case letters and the bottle caps are used to match the letters. 
    It doesn’t matter what size bottle caps you use because you cut the label paper to fit the caps. If you use a lot of milk in your home, or have access to a bunch of bottle caps in the same size, use those.
    In our case, we had a case or two of Gatorade bottles and used those bottle caps to make our letters.
    1. I used a sheet of label paper to make the lower case letters.
    2. Trace a bunch of circles in the correct size.
    3. Cut out the circles.
    4. Write the letters.
    5. Stick them to the bottle caps.  Easy!

    How to use alphabet bottle caps

    Our homemade bottle cap letters are a great DIY instructional material to use in learning and play. 
    • We’ve also played with the bottle caps in play dough,
    • Use them to spell names and words.
    • Move the bottle cap alphabet to label objects with it’s starting letter.
    • Work on learning which direction the “p”, “b”, and “d” should go. This is a great hands-on activity to target letter reversals!
    • They are so great to manipulate and play with in a sensory bin filled with corn, too.
    • Or, pair the letter bottle caps with our alphabet exercises to target fine motor and gross motor skills. 
    How else can we play with these bottle caps??
    bottle cap letters


    Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

    Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

    Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

    Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

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

    DIY Light Box for Tracing

    DIY light table for tracing

    This DIY light box for tracing is an easy light box we put together in minutes. All you need is an under the bed storage container and a string of lights to make a tracing tool that kids will love. There are benefits to tracing and this tool is a fun way to build fine motor skills and visual motor skills as a visual motor skill leading to better handwriting.

    DIY light box for tracing

    A light box is a fun activity, and one you see in preschool classrooms, as it’s intended for hands-on play and exploring the senses. But did you know there are many benefits to using a light box for tracing (and other exploring play)?

    How to Make a DIY Light Table for Tracing

    This DIY Light Box was something I’ve seen around Pinterest and have wanted to try for a while…Once we had our Christmas lights outside, I thought we would definitely be doing this project after we pulled all of the lights back in.  So, after we brought the Christmas lights in from the outside bushes, this was easy to put together for a cold evening’s play!

    You need just two items to make a DIY light table:

    (Amazon affiliate links)

    1. Strand of white Christmas lights
    2. Clear, plastic under-the-bed storage bin

    Important: The under the bed storage bin needs to be made of clear plastic or have just a slight opaque color to the plastic. Also, the top should be smooth. Many storage bins have textured surface or a white surface. The flat, smooth lid is important for sensory play as well as tracing with paper on the DIY light table. This brand is a good one to use.

    Instructions to make a DIY light box:

    1. Plug in the lights.
    2. Place them into the bin.
    3. Either cut a hole in the base of the bin for the lights to go through or cut a small notch into the lid so the strand of lights can go under the lid.

    To make this homemade light box safer and not use plug in lights, you can use battery operated button lights inside the storage bin. Or, there are many battery operated LED lights available now too. These are a great idea because many of them have a color-changing capability and can be operated from an app on your phone.

    IMPORTANT: This homemade light box project should always be done under the supervision of an adult. The lights can get warm inside the bin and they should be unplugged periodically.

    This is not a project that should be set up and forgotten about. The OT Toolbox is not responsible for any harm, injury, or situation caused by this activity. It is for educational purposes only. Always use caution and consider the environment and individualized situation, including with this activity. Your use of this idea is your acceptance of this disclaimer.

    I put all of the (already bundled-up) strands of Christmas lights …seriously, this does not get much easier…into an under-the-bed storage bin, connected the strands, and plugged in!


    DIY light box for tracing

    A DIY light box made with Christmas lights

    Once you put the top on, it is perfect for tracing pictures!
    Tracing on a DIY light box

    Tracing pictures on a light table

    This is so great for new (or seasoned) hand-writers.  They are working on pencil control, line awareness, hand-eye coordination…and end up with a super cool horse picture they can be proud of!
    Use printable coloring pages and encourage bilateral coordination to hold the paper down. You can modify the activity by taping the coloring page onto the plastic bin lid. 
    Tracing a picture on a DIY light table
     Big Sister LOOOOVED doing this!  And, I have to say, that she was doing the tracing thing for so long, that we had to turn the lights off because the bin was getting warm. 
    trace letters on a light table

    Other ways to use a DIY Light Table

    We went around the house looking for cool things to place on top of the bin.  Magnetic letters looked really neat with the light glowing through…Baby Girl had a lot of fun playing with this.
    You can add many different items onto the DIY light table:
    • Magnetic letters (the light shines through them slightly)
    • Sand for a tracing table- We cover how to use a sand writing tray in another blog post and all the benefits of tracing in a sensory medium. With the lights under the tracing area, this adds another multisensory component to the learning.
    • Shapes (Magnatiles would work well)
    • Feathers
    • Coins
    • Blocks
    • A marble run
    letters on a light table
    What a great learning tool…Shapes:
    Letter Identification, spelling words:

     Color and sensory discrimination:
    …All in a new and fun manner!  We had a lot of fun with this, but have since put our Christmas lights back up into the attic.  We will be sure to do this one again next year, once the lights come back out again 🙂

    Please: if you do make one of these light boxes, keep an adult eye on it, as the box did warm up…not to burning warmth, but I would worry about the lights becoming over heated.  This is NOT something that kids should play with unsupervised!

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

    Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

    Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

    Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

    Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

    How to Improve Working Memory

    working memory

    Working memory is a skill we need for everything we do!  From answering the phone to shopping at the grocery store; working memory is happening at every given moment.  Kids who struggle with executive functioning skills often times have working memory challenges.

    working memory activities

    working Memory

     Let’s talk about what working memory is and how to improve working memory in kids so they can be successful in those everyday tasks.

    Use these strategies to help improve working memory in kids with sensory processing struggles or executive functioning difficulties.


    What is Working Memory?

    Working Memory is the ability to act on past memories and manipulating the information in a new situation.  

    Processing short term memories and using it allows us to respond in new situations.  

    Working memory allows us to learn. Using working memory skills we can use past information in reading in order to read sight words.  

    We can remember math facts, state capitals, mnemonics, phone numbers, addresses, and friends’ names.  We can then use that information to answer questions based on what we know and apply that information in new situations.

    Executive functions are heavily dependent on attention.  Read about the attention and executive functioning skill connection and the impact of attention on each of the executive functioning skills that children require and use every day.

    In order for working memory to be used in daily tasks, we need a few key items.  Our brain might be considered a memory soup and the key ingredients to working memory are attention, focus, auditory memory and visual-spatial memory.

    Read more about visual memory and how to incorporate strategies into play.

    Use these strategies to improve working memory skills in kids.


    Mix all of those ingredients together and you will end up with working memory that can be used to problem solve any given situation.

    You can see how children who struggle with the underlying “ingredients” of attention, concentration, auditory processing, and visual processing will be challenged to pull that information into an unrelated event.  The child with sensory processing disorder who is also struggling with social emotional issues might end up in meltdown mode.  The child who can not generalize facts to a new environment might withdrawal.

    Read more about attention and how to help kids improve attention with easy strategies for home and school.


    All of these situations can potentially lead to difficulty with problem solving. Children are developmentally growing every day in relating past information. Yes, we say thank you EVERY time someone holds the door for us, not just that one time last week.  By going through our day, kids learn these things!

    The child who is struggling with any of the key ingredients related to working memory, it can be really hard to generalize.

    Many parents, teachers, and therapists of kids with executive functioning skills or sensory processing challenges wonder how to improve working memory. These strategies for working memory skills will help.


    How to Improve Working Memory

    Try these working memory strategies to help improve this executive functioning skill:

    1. Take notes
    2. Daily Journal- The Impulse Control Journal is a great tool for keeping track of day to day events
    3. Notebook with times for daily tasks
    4. Practicing the ability to stop and think in practice and in real-life situations. This skill allows one to complete tasks or respond using past experiences.
    5. Writing down information (opposed to typing or tracking on an app)
    6. Setting an alarm for tasks
    7. Second set of school books for home
    8. Dry erase board notes to be used in tasks like cleaning a room
    9. Mnemonics
    10. Guided imagery
    11. Mental rehearsing
    12. Imagine a task in pictures (like a cartoon strip of a day’s event)
    13. Analyzing problem areas
    14. Practice through rehearsal
    15. Routines
    16. Rewards
    17. Reminder messages including verbal, picture, or app-based
    18. To-do lists with physical action (pull off a post-it note when completed)
    19. Task sequencing lists
    20. Play memory games, such as matching games or memory card games.
    21. Use mnemonic devices to help remember information, such as acronyms or visual cues.
    22. Repeat information to yourself multiple times to help solidify it in your memory.
    23. Use visualization techniques to create mental images of information you need to remember.
    24. Break down complex information into smaller chunks to make it more manageable to remember.
    25. Use repetition and rehearsal to help remember important information.
    26. Practice active listening by summarizing and repeating back what someone has said to you.
    27. Write down important information or ideas to help reinforce them in your memory.
    28. Use technology, such as digital reminders or voice memos, to help you remember important information.
    29. Practice mindfulness exercises to improve focus and concentration, which can help with working memory.
    30. Engage in regular aerobic exercise, which has been shown to improve working memory.
    31. Play strategy-based games, such as chess or Sudoku, to help improve working memory skills.
    32. Use self-testing or quizzing techniques to help reinforce information in your memory.
    33. Break tasks down into smaller steps to make them more manageable to remember.
    34. Use different sensory modalities, such as sight and sound, to help reinforce information in your memory.
    35. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to help reduce stress and improve working memory.
    36. Engage in activities that challenge your working memory, such as learning a new language or musical instrument.
    37. Use context cues or associations to help remember information, such as associating a person’s name with a visual cue or location.
    38. Prioritize and focus on the most important information to remember.
    39. Get enough sleep, as lack of sleep can negatively impact working memory skills.
    40. Repeat complex instructions
    41. Break down complex instructions into step-by-step directions with pictures, such as a more detailed version of a visual schedule

    Working Memory Activities

    In addition to the working memory strategies listed above, there are specific activities you can do to build working memory. Try these ideas:

    Digit Recall Activities- Work on repeating numbers in a series. The individual can repeat back numbers in 2 to 3 digit series in both forward and reverse. Then, you can add on additional digits. Continue to grade the digit activities in greater difficulty by adding digits to the thread of numbers or adding letters. To increase the difficulty of this activity even further, ask the individual to write down the series of numbers and letters, and add time in between the given number and when they are asked to recall the series.

    Word Sequences- Similar to the number sequences described above, you can use visual pictures of words, or auditory word sequences. Ask the individual to repeat back the series of words.

    Ordering Activities- Another great working memory activity is sequential ordering of images or objects by size. You can target this activity to meet the interests of the individual. Think about ordering animals, sports balls, toys, or other items by size. Offer a specific number of items and challenge the individual to remember all of the objects in the series. Increase the difficulty by asking the individual to order objects by largest to smallest and then by smallest to largest.

    Instructional Sequencing Activities- This working memory activity focuses on functional tasks and can target goals of the individual. For example, a child working on brushing their teeth can order the steps of the activity from memory. Then, you can ask the child to list the steps in reverse. 


    More tools for addressing attention needs in kids

    There are so many strategies to address attention in kids and activities that can help address attention needs. One tactic that can be a big help is analyzing precursors to behaviors related to attention and addressing underlying needs. 

    The Attention and Sensory Workbook can be a way to do just that. 

    The Attention and Sensory Workbook is a free printable resource for parents, teachers, and therapists. It is a printable workbook and includes so much information on the connection between attention and sensory needs. 

    Here’s what you can find in the Attention and Sensory Workbook: 

    • Includes information on boosting attention through the senses
    • Discusses how sensory and learning are connected
    • Provides movement and sensory motor activity ideas
    • Includes workbook pages for creating movement and sensory strategies to improve attention

    little more about the Attention and Sensory Workbook: 

    Sensory processing is the ability to register, screen, organize, and interpret information from our senses and the environment. This process allows us to filter out some unnecessary information so that we can attend to what is important. Kids with sensory challenges often time have difficulty with attention as a result.

    It’s been found that there is a co-morbidity of 40-60% of ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. This workbook is an actionable guide to help teachers, therapists, and parents to help kids boost attention and focus in the classroom by mastering sensory processing needs. 

    You will find information on the sensory system and how it impacts attention and learning. There are step-by-step strategies for improving focus, and sensory-based tips and tricks that will benefit the whole classroom.

    The workbook provides tactics to address attention and sensory processing as a combined strategy and overall function. There are charts for activities, forms for assessment of impact, workbook pages for accommodations, and sensory strategy forms.
    Grab the Attention and Sensory Workbook below.


    Attention and sensory workbook activities for improving attention in kids


    These strategies to improve working memory are helpful tools for addressing short term memory in tasks.

    Gentry, T. (2015, September). Mobile technologies as vocational supports for workers with cognitive-behavioral challenges. Technology Special Interest Section Quarterly, 25(3), 1–4.

    FREE Attention & Sensory Workbook

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


      OT Spot it game for occupational therapy

      Children love Spot It games and OT professionals love to use Spot It in occupational therapy to develop skills! Today’s free resource for OT month is a fun OT Spot It type of game. This occupational therapy supplies match it activity develops visual perceptual skills and uses common OT materials and supplies. If you are working with kids, you’ll want to grab this freebie as a tool to use during OT month, but also all year long!

      OT Spot it game for occupational therapy


      This therapy game is part of a larger set that you can find in our OT Materials Bundle. And, incase you missed the OT month freebie that we shared already, be sure to grab this set of OT coloring pages, too. Both are great resources to add to your toolbox.

      If you have ever played the (Amazon affiliate link) Spot It card game, you will love these Occupational Therapy Supplies Match it Cards!  Spot it games come in dozens of different styles to motivate even the most resistant learner. With these occupational therapy tools matching cards, learners can practice visual perceptual skills using a familiar platform. 

      Why are visual perceptual skills important?

      We’ve previously shared a great post explaining the importance of visual perception on learning.  Visual perception is important for reading fluency, decoding words, scanning a page, remembering what has been seen, finding things in a drawer or closet, playing games like puzzles, recalling/recognizing correct spelling, completing math equations, and so much more.

      As a related resource, this free visual perception packet covers many different visual perceptual skills.

      Spot It Game for Visual Perception

      If you’ve seen the Spot It game being used in therapy sessions as a tool for development, you may have wondered how this popular game supports visual perceptual skills.

      What visual perceptual skills are used in the occupational therapy supplies match it game?

      • Visual Attention: The ability to focus on important visual information and filter out unimportant background information.
      • Visual Memory: The ability to recall visual traits of a form or object.
      • Visual Spatial Relationships: Understanding the relationships of objects within the environment.
      • Visual Figure Ground: The ability to locate something in a busy background.
      • Visual Form Constancy: The ability to know that a form or shape is the same, even if it has been made smaller/larger or has been turned around.

      All of these skills are addressed through the use of the Spot It games, and that’s why we wanted to create an OT version to develop skills!

      Use the OT Match IT Game

      Because April is OT month, it is a great time to talk about the role of occupational therapy with other students, or to work with learners on understanding why they get OT. 

      They may not understand why they get to see this awesome person every week.  By educating learners about the role OT plays in their lives, they can begin to explain it to other people.  When we educate other adults about occupational therapy, we are advocating for the profession, as well as teaching them how we can help.


      1. A great place to start would be by ordering the rest of this occupational therapy supplies match it cards HERE. This bundle of occupational therapy activities includes 13 printable products that can be printed off and used with students in therapy sessions to celebrate all of the therapy tools kids use. This packet is great for OT month, and all year long.
      2. An all inclusive lesson plan can easily be made by using all of the occupational therapy month themed activity freebies:
      1. Create a visual perception theme addressing several of the important visual perceptual skills.  The OT Toolbox has some brand new resources for visual perception. 
      2. Color and laminate these cards to build a reusable game set.  Make a special game set for your learners to take home and share with family
      3. Have learners research and learn more about occupational therapy and the supplies or tools we use

      HOW TO DOCUMENT Spot IT Games in Therapy

      If you are using these occupational therapy supplies match it cards as part of your treatment plan, you will need to accurately document your learner’s skill level. 

      • The percentage of correct cards matched
      • How long it takes to do each card
      • Attention to detail, following directions, prompts and reminders needed, level of assistance given
      • Can your learner scan the page to identify the correct items?  Are they recognizing what they are matching or merely matching shapes?
      • How many times do you need to repeat the directions so your learner can follow them?
      • How many reminders does your learner need while doing this activity?
      • First determine what goals and skills you are addressing. Are you looking strictly at visual perception and picture matching?  Or something else entirely such as executive function and behavior?
      • Focus your observations on the skills you are addressing.  It is alright to address one (or ten) skills at once, just be sure to watch for those skills during the activity.  This can take practice to watch everything all at once. Newer clinicians often videotape sessions and go back and review clinical observations they may have missed.
      • Use data to back up your documentation. Avoid or limit phrases such as min assist, fair, good, some, many, etc.  They are vague and do not contain the numbers and data critical to proficient documentation.  Instead use percentages, number of trials, number of errors, time to do a task, number of prompts, minutes of attention.  You get the idea.
      • This type of documentation may feel foreign at first if this is not what you are used to, however insurance and governing agencies are becoming more strict on accurate documentation.


      Take time this month not only to advocate for occupational therapy, but to celebrate each other for the fabulous work we do!  Share stories of success, funny moments, learning opportunities, and resounding failures.  Every time I think I have heard or seen it all in my thirty years practicing, a new surprise or hilarious moment comes my way!  Someone should publish a book or page about all of the funny things people say during a therapy session. 

      This profession is rewarding but also very tough.  Burnout is common among health professionals. In fact, caregiver stress and burnout applies to many therapy professionals! If you can’t find a moment of levity, it will break you.  

      While this post is highlighting the occupational therapy match it cards, take time to reflect about what great work you are doing, spread the word about OT, and practice your own self care.

      Free Match IT Game for OTs

      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 Spot It Game

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        Victoria Wood, OTR/L is a contributor to The OT Toolbox and 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.