Vision 101 Course

Vision 101 course for occupational therapists

You might know that there is a lot of vision information and resources on visual processing here on the website. Today, I’m excited to bring you all of those vision resources in one place and to to share information on Vision 101, a new vision course that you will find useful.

The Vision 101 course is a giveaway item today in the Therapy Tools and Toys Giveaway series. (Giveaway now closed)

Vision 101 for vision resources, visual efficiency, and occupational therapy resources and OT interventions for visual processing in kids.

Vision 101

Vision problems are very common in children that receive occupational therapy.

If you are looking for information on visual processing and vision in kids, then you are in the right place. Check out the various resources and tools available here on The OT Toolbox:

Free Visual Perception Packet– Print and go! These free visual perceptual skills worksheets cover a variety of topics and themes. Work on visual closure, visual scanning, visual discrimination, and more.

Vison Screening Packet– Use this vision screening packet to screen for vision issues that impact occupational performance and education in learning and school tasks.

Vision Information– Check out all of the vision blog posts here on the website.

Vision Activities– Let’s break down vision! These vision activities address specific skills in fun and creative ways. You’ll find information on vision definitions and activities to work on each aspect of visual processing.

Free Visual Processing Lab– This free email course covers tons of information on visual processing and breaks down this massive topic into visual motor integration, visual perception, and visual efficiency…and then explains each aspect.

Visual Processing Checklist– This printable checklist is perfect for screening visual needs in the school setting.

Vision’s Impact on Learning– The fact is that children with vision issues are impacted in their learning. Here’s what you need to know.

Visual Motor Skills– Let’s face it. Much of what we do on a daily basis involves visual motor integration. Here is all of the info and resources to address visual motor skills in kids.

Visual Processing Bundle– This resource is a must-have for all things vision. It includes 17 products that you can use in therapy sessions to work on vision needs impacting occupational performance.

Want to gain continuing education credits while you learn how to apply vision interventions into your school-based practice? Vision 101 is your resource!

Vision 101 course for occupational therapy practioners

Vision 101 Course for School-Based OTs

Vision 101 is a course created by my friend Jaime at Miss. Jaime OT. She’s created this AOTA-approved course as a tool to help you improve your skills as a school-based occupational therapist. In the course, you can learn how to detect, screen for, and treat the visual difficulties that impact students’ learning

Vision 101 for School-based Occupational Therapy Practitioners is a tool to help you understand how vision deficits impact a child’s ability to learn and participate in school work.

The course offers resources on how to help students learn and participate in school tasks.

Included in the Vision course is information on:

  • Vision and the school-based therapist
  • Recognizing possible visual impediments to learning
  • Understanding visual diagnoses
  • Assessing and documenting eye movements
  • Visual characteristics of common pediatric diagnosis
  • Treatment Ideas
  • Vision and telehealth

Vision in the school setting

Check out the blog comments below for common questions about vision in the school setting.

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.

Cookies Activities for Therapy

Cookies activities for occupational therapy intervention

I am excited to share another free slide deck for virtual occupational therapy! This cookies activities slide deck includes cookie themed activities for building skills in therapy. The virtual slide deck goes nicely with our recent gingerbread man virtual activity slide deck. It’s a free slide deck that is interactive AND addresses areas such as working memory, eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, visual attention, and other areas.

Cookie activities for occupational therapy with a virtual therapy slide deck.

Cookies Activities

This is the time of year for holiday baking. Because perhaps this year needs a little more of the comfort that holiday cookies bring, I thought that a Christmas cookies theme would be appropriate.

These cookies activities are meant to be motivating and an encouraging way to work on specific therapy skills.

This year, especially, it’s all about getting creative with motivating strategies to work on the skills kids need support with.

These Cookies Activities are therapy activities that work on the following therapy areas:

  • Working Memory
  • Visual Attention
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual Perception (visual figure ground, visual discrimination, form constancy, visual spatial relations, form constancy, visual closure)
  • Visual Efficiency (visual scanning)
  • Visual Motor Skills
  • Handwriting
use this holiday cookies activities for therapy planning using a cookie theme in teletherapy.

Cookie Theme for Therapy

This therapy slide deck is an outline of therapy activities for this time of year and addresses different areas that can be worked on in occupational therapy sessions, and even speech therapy!

Cookie activities for working on working memory, visual perception, handwriting and more.

Working Memory Activity with a Cookie Theme

The first several slides include “I Spy” cookies activities, with a direction to locate specific cookies in the kitchen. Students can follow that direction and move the interactive cookie pieces to drag that specific cookie onto the baking sheet.

The directions are text boxes, so that therapists using this slide deck can adjust the directions as needed. You can make the directions more complex or easier, depending on the needs of your client, student, or child. Add 2 or multi-step directions or work on positional terms, too.

The cookies are in the same place on each slide so that children can work on working memory as they look for specific details according to each slide’s directions.

TIP: After your child’s therapy session, click on history at the top of Google slides and reset the slide to it’s original state so that all of the cookies are positioned at the original placement.

Visual Perception Cookie Activities

There are many visual perceptual skills that children can work on with this slide deck:

Visual figure ground– Scanning the image and identifying and locating items hidden in a busy background. This is a skill needed for reading, finding items in a drawer, locating a paper in a homework folder, and other similar tasks.

Visual discrimination– Students can visually scan the kitchen slide deck and identify differences and similarities between the cookies to locate the correct item. Visual discrimination is a skill needed for handwriting, reading, math and other skills.

Form constancy– This visual perceptual skill allows us to recognize similarities and differences between forms and images. This skill is needed for reading, writing, math, and functional tasks.

Visual spatial relations– Understanding positional terms is an important skill. This slide deck works on this area by moving the cookies to different places on the slide. Therapists can make this part of the activity more or less difficult to grade the activity to meet the needs of the child by adding additional directions to the slide to work on positional concepts. Try adding directions that ask the child to move a specific cookie to a different place in the kitchen on the slide.

Form constancy– Students that need more work with this visual perception skill can have several of the cookies duplicated and added to the slide. Then, work on size differences and positional concepts by moving the cookies to different places. You can adjust the directions to ask the child to find all of the same cookie.

Visual closure– Students can work on this visual perception skill by moving some of the cookies to partially hide behind other items on the slide.

Cookie activity for handwriting with kids.

Handwriting Cookie Activity

The next part of the slide deck is handwriting prompts in a write the room style of handwriting practice. Students can copy the word in print or cursive, depending on their needs. They can write a sentence using the word, if writing sentences is something they need to work on. Work on letter formation, legibility, and copying skills.

Use this cookie activity for visual motor skills in kids.

Visual Motor Cookie Activity

The last part of the cookie activity slide deck includes figure copying tasks. The slides include basic cookie forms that students can copy while working on visual motor skills. This is a nice activity to help children with the visual motor skills needed for forming letters and numbers.

This cookie slide deck should be a motivating a fun way to work on so many areas!

Free Cookie theme Slide Deck for therapy

Want to add this cookie slide deck to your therapy toolbox? Enter your email address into the form below and a PDF will be sent to your inbox. Save that PDF, because you can use this slide deck each year to work on therapy goals with a holiday cookie theme.

When you click the link in the PDF, you will be prompted to make a copy of the slide deck onto your Google drive. Make a copy for each student on your caseload so they have their own slide deck and you can adjust the slides according to their needs.

Get this Holiday Cookie Theme Therapy Activities Slide Deck

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    Enjoy!

    Want more VIRTUAL LEARNING SLIDE DECKS?

    Don’t miss this Gingerbread Man Slide Deck.

    Here is a Community Helpers Theme Slide Deck.

    Here is a Football Theme Slide Deck.

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

    Here is a Space Theme Therapy Slide Deck.

    Here is a Therapy Planning Interactive Slide Deck.

    Here is a Back to School Writing Activity Slide Deck.

    Here is an Alphabet Exercises Slide Deck.

    Here is a Self-Awareness Activities Slide Deck.

    Here is a Strait Line Letters Slide Deck.

    Here is a “Scribble theme” Handwriting Slide Deck.

    Teach Letters with an interactive Letter Formation Slide Deck.

    Here is a Community Helpers Theme Slide Deck.

    Here is a Football Theme Slide Deck.

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

    Here is a Space Theme Therapy Slide Deck.

    Here is a Therapy Planning Interactive Slide Deck.

    Here is a Back to School Writing Activity Slide Deck.

    Here is an Alphabet Exercises Slide Deck.

    Here is a Self-Awareness Activities Slide Deck.

    Here is a Strait Line Letters Slide Deck.

    Here is a “Scribble theme” Handwriting Slide Deck.

    Teach Letters with an interactive Letter Formation Slide Deck.

    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.

    Vision Problems or Attention

    Vision problems or attention issues

    Visual deficits and occupational therapy interventions go hand in hand. And, the connection between vision problems or attention issues impacts children when it comes to ADD and ADHD. In fact, the connection between visual deficits and attention is especially a factor in OT treatment. Trouble paying attention, difficulty with reading, finishing work on time and staying on task can be signs of both attention issues or a vision issue. So, how do you tell the difference, and what do you do about it? Knowing if a visual impairment is present can mean the difference between accommodating for vision difficulties and a different diagnosis, such as attention deficit disorder. 

    Vision problems or attention issues

    Vision or Attention Deficit Disorder

    Children with vision deficits work twice as hard, and use more “brain” power to make their eyes work correctly as compared to peers without vision deficits. 

    Children with vision deficits may also experience fatigue more quickly, have frequent headaches, or blurry vision.

    When they begin to experience the above symptoms, it is easier for the child to look away, leading them to appear to be “staring off into space” or lose focus. These behaviors are often mistaken for ADD in the classroom setting. Vision deficits that may be behind these symptoms and actions include: 

    • Poor tracking 
    • Poor teaming
    • Poor convergence and divergence
    • Eye muscle imbalances 

    All of these issues can impact learning.

    Vision and Social Skills

    Like kids with ADD, kids with vision deficits often appear to have poor social skills. Behaviors include a lack of response to their name, missing social cues or facial expressions, and not attending to others in the room. 

    This apparent “lack” of social skills is also related to how hard they are working on using their eyes. When this happens, the level of executive function left for other tasks significantly decreases. 

    This may also make the child appear “scatter brained” or disorganized. 

    Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms

    Vision concerns outside of acuity are FREQUENTLY missed due to limited vision screening protocols and the desire to quickly remediate behavior.

     In addition to limited vision screening, vision deficits are not widely recognized as a potential reason for distracted or inattentive behavior. 

    Attention issues and vision Problems

    If you have concerns, or concerns have been brought to your attention, regarding your child and ADD, rule out vision deficits first. A trip to a developmental ophthalmologist may help better explain your child’s behavior concerns and provide them the help they truly need.

    WHAT IF YOU SUSPECT VISION PROBLEMS?

    Now what?  When vision problems are suspected after a screening by the OT, it is best practice to refer the family to a developmental optometrist.

    A developmental optometrist will complete a full evaluation and determine the need for corrective lenses, vision therapy or a home program to address vision concerns.

    As occupational therapists, it is imperative that we rule out vision problems before treating handwriting or delays in visual motor integration, to ensure the best possible trajectory of development and success for the child.

    OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY VISION SCREENING TOOL

    Occupational Therapists screen for visual problems in order to determine how they may impact functional tasks. Our newest Visual Screening Tool is a useful resource or identifying visual impairments. Visual screening can occur in the classroom setting, in inpatient settings, in outpatient therapy, and in early intervention or home care.

    This visual screening tool was created by an occupational therapist and provides information on visual terms, frequently asked questions regarding visual problems, a variety of visual screening techniques, and other tools that therapists will find valuable in visual screenings.

    This is a digital file. Upon purchase, you will be able to download the 10 page file and print off to use over and over again in vision screenings and in educating therapists, teachers, parents, and other child advocates or caregivers.

    Click here to read more about the Visual Screening Tool 

    Visual screening tool for vision problems in kids

    Fine Motor Skills with Building Blocks

    Fine motor development with blocks

    As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’ve used wooden building blocks in occupational therapy many times. For my own children, I’ve used regular wooden blocks as a fine motor tool too! In fact, building with blocks is a fine motor skills that kids need in order to fine motor development many, many, (MANY) times.  Wooden blocks are a tool that are used for development of goal progression in treatment activities and in assessment of fine motor developmental level.  They are used in visual perceptual skills, and are the perfect open-ended play item. 

    Fine motor development with blocks



    Many parents ask “is stacking blocks a fine motor skill?” The answer is YES!
    As a Mom and OT, I’ve made sure my kids have a lot of wooden blocks (and a couple of varieties of toddler large blocks of the foam and plastic blocks, too!)


    Today, I’m sharing how to use wooden blocks in fine motor skill development with kids…all while they play and don’t even realize their fine motor skills are being assessed or worked on! This is a great way to address skills for children and adults…anyone who needs to work on fine motor skill development.

    Fine motor skills building blocks for kids

    Fine Motor Skills and Building Blocks


    Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

    Stacking blocks is a fine motor skill. And, when children stack blocks, they develop and refine fine motor skills. Check out the list of benefits of playing with blocks that are described below. Each area of development can be developed using a set of building blocks.

    Looking at various building blocks from the perspective of an occupational therapist, my favorite wooden blocks are Melissa and Doug Wood Blocks Set.  The set is huge and comes with a variety of bright colors in solid wooden blocks, which are sized just right to help kids build fine motor skills.

    Fine motor skills and building blocks go hand-in-hand…literally! There are SO many benefits to playing with blocks. Let’s break down all of the benefits of playing with blocks…

    Benefits of playing with blocks include development of fine motor skills, gross motor skills, visual motor skills, and more.

    Benefits of Playing with Blocks

    1. Building with blocks help kids develop grasp- From the time toddlers can grasp a block with their whole hand, grasp development begins. Blocks are a fine motor power tool when it comes to working on grasp development! Read below for the specifics of small kids playing with blocks. By picking up on block, manipulating it in the hand, and placing it on a stack of blocks, children progress from a gross grasp to a radial palmer grasp and then to a digital palmer grasp, followed by a tip-to-tip grasp using the pointer finger and thumb.

    Check out this developmental checklist for more information.

    2. Building with blocks helps kids develop graded fine motor skills- As small children progress through typical grasp progression, they begin to gain more control over those motor skills. This occurs on a stability basis (use of the core and shoulder to stabilize the arm) and on a dexterous basis (precise, small, and graded movements of the fingers). By gaining these skills, children are able to pick on one block from a stack without toppling the entire block tower. They are also able to place a block onto a stack of blocks without knocking over the entire tower. These graded movements are essential for precision and dexterity in functional tasks as children gain a sense of personal awareness and how their body moves through space in order to pick up and manipulate objects.

    This blog post on fine motor precision and graded release explains more on this skill and has a fun fine motor activity to develop graded precision in fine motor skills.

    3. Building with blocks helps children develop eye-hand coordination- From a very young age, when babies develop the ability to see and move their arm to reach for a block, those eye-hand coordination skills are beginning to develop. Visual motor integration is a main piece of the visual processing skills puzzle, and coordinating movements with visual information is essential for so many functional tasks in learning and play. Catching a ball, writing with a pencil, cutting with scissors, are just a few examples of eye-hand coordination tasks that rely on the baseline skills developed from a young age. Toddlers can manipulate and build with blocks while developing this skill through play. Stacking, knocking blocks over, building a block train, making towers, and using blocks in constructive play are powerful tools to developing eye-hand coordination skills.

    Like blocks, there are many toys to promote eye-hand coordination.

    4. Building with blocks helps children develop bilateral coordination– Establishing a hand dominance and laterality is an important fine motor skill that transfers to tasks like writing with a pencil and holding the paper with the nondominant hand. Another example is mastering a zipper while stabilizing the material with the other hand. Still another example of bilateral coordination is cutting with scissors while holding and manipulating the paper with the nondominant hand. All of these tasks requires one hand to manipulate objects with more precision and dexterity while the other acts as a stabilizer. Building with blocks builds bilateral coordination as children stabilize a stack of blocks with one hand and use the other hand to release a block at the top of the stack with graded precision.

    Here are more bilateral coordination activities that develop this essential motor skill.

    5. Building with blocks helps children develop motor planning skills– Motor planning is a physical action that requires observing and understanding the task (ideation), planning out an action in response to the task (organization), and the act of carrying out the task (execution). Building with blocks is a great way to build these sub-skills as kids attempt to build with blocks to construct with blocks.

    Here is more information on motor planning in kids.

    6. Building with blocks helps children integrate the proprioceptive sense– Proprioception is one of our sensory systems that focuses on awareness of how one’s body moves through space, and how much effort is needed to move in certain ways. The proprioception system receives input from the muscles and joints about body position, weight, pressure, stretch, movement and changes in position in space.  Our bodies are able to grade and coordinate movements based on the way muscles move, stretch, and contract. Proprioception allows us to apply more or less pressure and force in a task. Instinctively, we know that lifting a feather requires very little pressure and effort, while moving a large backpack requires more work.  We are able to coordinate our movements effectively to manage our day’s activities with the proprioceptive system.  The brain also must coordinate input about gravity, movement, and balance involving the vestibular system. Building with blocks is a great way to develop and refine this skill. How much effort is needed to pick up a block and place it in a specific spot without moving other blocks while building a tower of blocks or a block building?

    To take this a step further, use larger blocks that require gross motor skills, and more awareness of proprioception skills. Here are DIY cardboard blocks that we’ve made for this very purpose.

    Here is more information on proprioception activities.

    7. Blocks help children integrate midline awareness– Crossing midline can be developed from a young age when playing with blocks. This is a great way for babies and toddlers to work on crossing midline, by reaching for blocks, building, and creating.

    Here is more information on crossing midline.

    8. Blocks help children develop visual motor skills- Visual motor skills (and visual motor integration) are needed for coordinating the hands, legs, and the rest of the body’s movements with what the eyes perceive.  Visual  motor skills are essential to coordinated and efficient use of the hands and eyes. Visual motor integration is a skill we require for functioning. There is more that plays into the integration of visual motor skills into what we do and how we use our hands in activities. Building with blocks helps children develop skills in visual perception, eye-hand coordination, and visual processing skills play a part in the overarching visual motor skill development so we can perceive and process visual information and use that information with motor skills to manipulate and move objects in tasks and activities.

    By building with blocks, areas like form constancy, visual attention, visual discrimination, spatial relations, visual memory, visual sequential memory, and visual figure ground are developed in accordance with eye-hand coordination, and visual efficiency.

    Here is more information on visual motor skills.

    9. Building with blocks develops learning too! Beyond fine motor skills, building with blocks helps kids develop other skills too. What will your toddler learn by picking up Wood Blocks Set, placing them into a container, and stacking towers? (Among other skills):

    • Cause and effect
    • Problem solving
    • Spatial awareness
    • Copying a design or visual prompt
    • Problem solving
    • Math: patterns, sizing, spatial concepts
    • Literacy 
    • Manipulation
    • Depth Perception

    Here are more ways to use blocks to build skills in babies and toddlers.

    By stacking blocks developmental milestones are created in children.

    Building Blocks and Development

    From developing a palmer grasp transition to a radial grasp to a tripod grasp and precision with graded release of motor skills, building with blocks help kids develop so many skills.  For today’s activity, we pulled out the one inch square blocks from the set and we used classic Alphabet blocks.  (This set has been chewed on and played with by all four of my kids so they look well loved aka have chew marks!) 

    First up in developing fine motor skills with wooden blocks is the grasp. This is important in fine motor skills in toddlers. Blocks, for toddlers are a fine motor tool that builds on so many areas.

    Stacking Blocks developmental milestones

    The developmental ages of this progression are as follows:
    Grasps a block with whole fist, lifting it off a table surface without dropping: 5 months
    Grasps a block with all fingers: 6 months
    Drops one block when given another: 6 months
    Brings hands together when holding a block: 6 months
    Grasps a block between the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger (radial-palmer grasp): 7 months
    Transfers a block from one hand to the other: 7 months
    Bangs to wooden blocks together with both hands: 9 months
    Grasps a block between the thumb, and the pads of the pointer and middle fingers with space between the block and the palm (radial-digital grasp): 11 months
    Places wooden blocks into a container: 11 months
    Builds a tower of three wooden blocks given a visual example: 15-16 months
    Copies and builds a tower of 5 blocks: 19-20 months
    Copies and builds a tower of 6 blocks: 21-22 months
    Builds a tower of 8 blocks: 25-26 months
    Copies a four block “train”: 29-30 months
    Builds a 10 block tower: 29-30 months
    Copies a three block pyramid or “bridge”: 31-32 months
    Copies a four block “wall”: 35-36 months
    Builds “steps” using six blocks: 51-52 months
    Builds a six block pyramid: 53-54 months

    Babies can develop the fine motor skill of a Radial palmer grasp with a wooden block



    This Radial Palmer Grasp of wooden block is a beginning grasp in toddlers.

    By playing with blocks from a young age, children can develop fine motor skills including a digital palmer grasp


    After a radial palmer grasp, children progress to using a Digital Palmer Grasp of a Wooden Block. When children progress in development is the digital palmer grasp of holding a block, fine motor skill development speeds up fast.  By holding a block with the pads of the thumb and pointer and middle fingers, kids are working on the in-hand manipulation skills they will need for manipulating a pencil.  Make it fun while working on this area: Spin the block around with the tips of the fingers.  

    How does rotation in the hand help with functional skills?  You need simple and complex rotation to complete these tasks:

    • Rotating a pencil when re-positioning while writing
    • Opening a toothpaste lid
    • Turning a paper clip
    • Turning knobs
    • Rotating the dial of a combination lock
    These block stacking games and block activites can help kids develop skills.

    Block Stacking Games


    Now that you’ve read through the benefits of playing with blocks, and the stacking block milestones that impact fine motor skills in children, let’s cover ways to play with blocks while building these essential skills.

    While stacking blocks and knocking them down are a fantastic way to help small children build essential skills, there are so many more ways to play with blocks, too.

    These block stacking games and block activities can be used for fun block ideas while building skills at home or in occupational therapy sessions.

    1. With my toddler, we used the blocks to build small towers.  So, how can you make this a fun activity?  Usually, just playing with your kiddo and showing them how to build  a tower and knock down a tower makes building with blocks fun at this age. 
    2. These Alphabet blocks are great for working on rotation of the fingers.  Have your child look for specific shapes and letters on the sides of the blocks.

    3. Add small toys like animal figures.  Have the animals walk up and down the block steps. 

    4. Add play dough.  Have the child create “mortar” using the play dough between each block.

    5. Create a train track and push coins around a masking tape track.

    6. Build a wall to divide animal figures into a miniature zoo.

    7. Build a small bridge for small doll or animal figures.

    8. Build a pyramid and place a coin on each level.

    9. Sort the blocks into piles according to shape or color. Create patterns with colors or shapes. Make lines of the blocks and see which line has the most.

    10. Build blocks in water. Use foam blocks or plastic blocks in a low tray of water. How does the water impact stacking? Can you add soap foam? What happens then? There is so much cause-and-effect happening with water and block play! Here you can see how we used water and foam blocks for fine motor skills.

    Let your child use their imagination!  The best thing about blocks are the open ended-ness that happens when playing.  You can create houses, roads, animals, and any imaginative scene possible with just a set of blocks!

    Use these copying block designs occupational therapy activities to help kids develop skills

    Copying Block Designs in Occupational Therapy

    Beyond the fine motor skills listed above, there are visual motor skills that develop as well. This was covered briefly above, but to expand, copying block designs in occupational therapy is a skill that builds visual motor and visual perceptual skills needed for handwriting, reading, math, finding items like a utensil in a drawer, and so much more.

    When children copy block designs, occupational therapists are working on areas such as spatial awareness, visual discrimination, visual attention, visual sequential memory, visual memory, form constancy, position in space, and other areas.

    From top right and going clock-wise: 3 block pyramid or bridge, wall, pyramid, steps, and train.   Copying specific shapes works on the eye-hand coordination, grasp, precision, and visual perceptual skills needed for functional tasks like handwriting, cutting with scissors, manipulating small items, managing clothing fasteners, and tying shoes, among so many other tasks.    

    Development of fine motor skills using wooden blocks

    To make copying shapes with blocks fun, try these ideas:

    1. Build a block design alongside the child.

    2. Build a block design using only one color of blocks.

    3. Build a block design and then cover it with a small dishtowel. Can the child remember the design and build the same design?

    4. Build a design and describe the blocks positions. Is one color on top or next to another? Use positioning words like next to, above, below, beside, to the left, to the right, etc.

    5. Build bridge block designs and use small figures to cross the bridges.

    6. Use different types of blocks. Try using LEGO, duplo blocks, rock blocks, or other three dimensional shapes. The part to focus on is coping forms in the three dimensional aspect, regarding position in space. There are so many different types of blocks on the market that work well for developing these skills.

    7. Try building a small block form and then drawing it on paper.

    8. Play “What’s Missing”. Build a block design and ask the child to look at the design for 20 seconds. Then, cover the design with a small dishtowel and remove one or more of the blocks. Can the child then look at the block design and figure out what is missing?

    9. Make and build- Use colored paper to cut small squares that match the blocks you have in your set. Students can use the paper to “build” a two dimensional block design on paper or on the table top. Then, use real blocks to copy the paper design. This is an exercise in spatial concepts as students need to figure out any blocks that are out of view to hold up the block design.

    10. Build block designs in a window or in a sunny place where the design creates a shadow. A flashlight or small lamp could also work as well. Then, place a piece of paper alongside the block design. Ask students to trace the shadow outline.

    11. Create block forms that resemble real-life shapes, figures, and other relatable objects. Kids can copy block forms that resemble their favorite animals, people, and things like ice cream cones, presents, toys, vehicles, etc.

    Block activities for helping kids learn and develop motor skills

    Looking for more block activities?  

    These Building Block STEM Challenge Cards challenge visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills. They also offer children a chance to build their problem solving skills and engineering skills with a STEM challenge.

    Pair block building with a children’s book in this Ish Block Activity.

    This Fractions with KORXX Block activity is a great hands-on math activity using blocks to challenge children who are learning fractions.

    Use blocks and rubber bands to work on hand strength. Children can copy simple forms and connect them together using rubber bands.

    A Building Block Maze Activity focuses on gross motor skills and builds spatial awareness skills as well as body awareness and self-awareness to position in space.

    This Building Tens Castles is a nice way to help preschool and kindergarten aged students with the concept of tens and place value as they group blocks into groups of tens.

    This Word Family BINGO! challenges kindergarten and first grade students to build words by using blocks. It’s a hands-on learning activity that also develops visual perceptual skills, and visual scanning.

    A Building Block Addition Towers helps students with math concepts.

    Letter matching with this Superhero Alphabet Matching Activity uses blocks to work on letter awareness, recognition, as well as visual perceptual skills.

    This Sight Word ABCs with Blocks allows younger elementary school children to work on sight words as well as visual perceptual skills, eye-hand coordination, and motor planning.

    For a gross motor activity that gets kids moving, use blocks to work on letters and sounds with this Letter Sound Scavenger Hunt.

    Symmetrical awareness is a test of visual discrimination, form constancy, and visual memory. Work on symmetry with this Symmetry with Building Blocks activity.

    This word building activity focuses on Building CVC words with Blocks and challenges children with visual perception and visual motor skills.

    Working on visual attention, visual memory, and visual discrimination is easy with a block activity like this Making Patterns with Building Blocks idea.

    Our favorite block ideas: 

    How do you like to play with blocks?  Have you tried working on fine motor skills using wooden blocks?  Let us know!

    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.

    Vision Activities for Kids

    Vision activities

    Skipping words when reading or copying written work, noticing details about things, reversing letters and numbers, poor eye-hand coordination or being a little clumsy, difficulty with reading comprehension…these are just SOME of the ways that vision impacts functional tasks in kids. Here you will find specific strategies and vision activities that help kids build and develop the underlying areas that impact independence.

    Vision activities for kids to improve visual perception, visual efficiency, visual motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and more.

    These vision activities are outlined by area that they improve, or those underlying skills that therapists work on so that kids can be independent in thins like catching a ball, writing on the lines, building puzzles, and so many other tasks.

    We’ve recently put together a huge resource in our Visual Motor Skills section of the blog, which you can find under the tab at the top of the blog. Be sure to stop by and see all of the fun ways to play and develop visual perceptual skills, visual motor integration, visual figure ground, hand-eye coordination, visual discrimination, visual spatial relations, and more by checking out the vision activities for kids that we’ll be updating regularly.

    Why Vision Activities?

    Vision activities can sometimes be the missing piece to vision problems that we see in kids. Therapists often times working with kids with known or suspected visual perceptual or visual motor concerns, visual acuity issues, or other visual processing needs.

    Teachers often have students that struggle with reading, copying, handwriitng, comprehension, attention, or focus.

    Parents may have a child with a known vision issue or have a gut feeling about visual processing concerns.

    Here is more information on visual processing and handwriting.

    therapist Concerns

    There are many concerns therapists have when it comes to vision needs in kids. Therapists need a quick screen to help identify the visual difficulties Rather than taking the extended time to work through several lengthy assessments, there is a time for evaluation, but a quick screening can pinpoint which strategy to take next.

    Having quick activities to either do before or after an OT session, or to hand off to parents for home occupational therapy activities is a need for OTs. Similarly, quick vison activities that build on those underlying areas and are not disruptive to the class are sometimes needed.

    Teacher Concerns

    One of the main difficulties in the classroom is the impact vision has on learning. Kids struggle with visual stimulation and the inability to stay focused for any length of time due to visually processing so much information around us.  Students may visually dart their eyes from not only reading scripts but anything visually available, and they are unable to filter what isn’t required for the task at hand. When this happens, the eyes don’t know where to focus, therefore tasks take longer or don’t get completed, and it’s a real challenge for the child to focus. 

    Handwriting is another reason to take a look at vision. Many kiddos have difficulties keeping letters aligned on a baseline, or even knowing where to place letters on a blank sheet of paper. 

    So many kids cannot visually attend to an object to even assess tracking.  They will look past the tracking object and say they are looking at it or look at it for 1-2 seconds and their eyes dart in another direction.  How many children have you seen that have not had the capability to maintain visual contact with an object for a sustained amount of time? When this occurs, reading and handwriting can be a real problem?  

    Vision Therapy

    There is an overlap in interventions between vision therapy and occupational therapy. Much of the vision therapy research covers the vary skill areas that occupational therapy addresses in it’s OT activities.

    So often, these two professions intervene in those vision activities that address the very areas kids struggle in:

    -More and more kids who can not visually track- leading to trouble with reading and learning…

    -Kids of various levels and abilities who struggle with interventions to address visual motor deficits…

    -Students with real difficulties with reading and need strategies that make a difference in the classroom…

    -Kids challenged by limited exposure to motor activities that translate to visual motor difficulties…

    Kids struggle with orthographic memory (spelling patterns and knowing if a word looks right), but they have high levels of visual acuity.

    -Many students have difficulty with visual memory and visual attention which makes it difficult for them to copy words or sentences. They require visual and verbal cues to refer back to the sample and often can only recall and copy one letter at a time.  

    Vision Definitions

    Before we cover various vision activities, we will go over the vision definitions for terms that relate to all things vision. This guide to vision can help you better understand what’s happening in those eyes.

    Under each section are links to activities to build each skill area.

    Visual Motor Integration- Visual motor integration includes the overarching umbrella that contains several areas, including visual perception, visual processing skills, and eye-hand coordination. The integration of these areas enables the eyes to perceive information through the vision functions (described in further below) and process information, resulting coordinated hand (and body) motor actions in order to complete a task. Visual motor integration includes a perceptual component that allows for copying of letters and positioning of objects based on perceptual input.

    Here are visual motor skills activities.

    Eye-Hand Coordination- This eye and hand skill allows an individual to catch a ball, hit a target, or complete other motor actions based on visual information. Development of eye-hand coordination occurs from birth and continues as kids develop more physical skills.

    Here is an easy eye-hand coordination activity.

    – work on hand eye coordination using an everyday item…something you have in your therapy bag right now!

    Jumbo Fine Motor Threading Activity– Threading and lacing is a great way to work on hand eye coordination.

    Eye-hand coordination activity with letters– Sorting, manipulating, and organizing small items can be a way to boost skills with coordination exercises.

    Feather Beading– Threading beads onto feathers is a creative and fun way to improve eye hand coordination skills.

    Vision Functions- This includes the actions and abilities of the eyes that allow information to be perceived. Visual functions include visual tracking, visual convergence, divergence, saccadic eye movements, depth perception, nystagmus, disassociated eye movements, eye positioning, teaming, and eye dominance. Here are visual scanning activities.

    • Visual Tracking- The eyes ability to follow a moving target through all fields of vision with smooth, coordinated movements in dissociation; it is also referred to as a pursuit. Here are activities to work on smooth pursuits.

    Here are games for visual tracking.

    • Visual Convergence- The eyes ability to follow a moving target from a distance into the midline with smooth, coordinated movements. Convergence is the technical term for “crossing your eyes”. Convergence should be easily maintained for up to 5 seconds. Here are activities to improve visual convergence.
    • Divergence- The eyes ability to follow a moving target from convergence, or near point, out to a far point with smooth, coordinated movements.

    Here is more information on convergence efficiency.

    • Saccadic Eye Movements- The ability to move one’s eyes simultaneously between two points of fixation with smooth movements. This skill is utilized for near and far point copying without losing your place. Here are activities for visual saccades.
    • Teaming- Fluid, smooth coordinated movements of both eyes in synchrony. Difficulties with teaming can lead to eye strain and fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision. Visual teaming is a big part of visual efficiency. Here are activities and more information on visual efficiency.
    • Disassociated Eye Movements- The ability to move your eyes separately from your head while it is stabilized. Lack of dissociation can indicate under developed motor patterns and eye muscle imbalances. 
    • Eye Positioning- This refers to the position of the eyes when resting. Both eyes should be in neutral, equal position. However, it is possible that one, or both eyes demonstrates deviation in an outward or inward deviation. This can indicate an eye muscle imbalance.
    • Nystagmus- Nystagmus refers to the reflexive lateral movement of the eyes post rotary stimulation. This should be present only after rotary stimulation. If it is present at rest it is considered abnormal. If it is NOT present or limited post rotary stimulation, it is considered abnormal and may indicate a vestibular disorder.
    • Eye Dominance- This indicates the eye that is the stronger of the two. This eye is typically the same eye as our dominant side for motor tasks.  However, mixed dominance does happen and can cause difficulties. 
    • Depth Perception- Allows us to perceive visual input in multiple dimensions (including length, width and depth), and to judge how far away an object is. Here is information and activities for depth perception.

    Visual perception is our ability to make sense of what we see. Visual perceptual skills are essential for everything from navigating our world to reading, writing, and manipulating items. Visual perception is made up of a complex combination of various skills and systems, including sensory processing, visual attention. These visual perceptual skills are necessary together and in coordination with one another in order for use to see information and use that visual information to create responses or react with functional abilities like movement or processing. When visual perceptual skills are delayed or impaired, other areas can suffer, including: learning, social, emotional, self-regulation, behavior, attention, organization, concentration, self-esteem, etc.

    Visual Perceptual Skills make up an important component of visual motor skills. For children, these abilities are necessary for so many things…from self-care to fine motor skills, to gross motor skills…all parts of a child’s development require visual perception. There are many pieces to the giant term of “visual perception”. Sub-components include: visual memory, form constancy, visual spatial relationships, visual attention, visual sequential memory, visual figure-ground, and visual closure.

    Here are strategies for visual perception and handwriting.

    Here are toys and games to improve visual perception.

    Visual Memory– This is one’s ability to store visual information in short term memory.  This skill allows us to recall visual information.  When completing hidden picture puzzles, kids visually store images of items they are looking for when scanning to locate a specific shape or image.  This skill is necessary for handwriting tasks when copying information from a source, such as lists of words, homework lists, and copying sentences. which direction we see them. Here is more information and activities for visual memory.

    Form Constancy– This skill allows us to visually recognize objects no matter their orientation.  When completing a hidden picture puzzle, children can recognize the missing object whether it is upside down or sideways.  In handwriting skills, we use this ability to read and know letters and numbers no matter the position of the letters/numbers. Here are fun ways to work on form constancy.

    Visual Figure Ground is the ability to locate objects within a cluttered area (think “I Spy”).  Finding a red square among the pile of foam pieces is one fun way to work on this area of visual perception.

    Try some of these figure ground activities:

    Baby Ice and Bath

    Bottle cap letters

    Letter Bin

    Sight word sensory bin

    Rainbow sensory bins

    I Spy sight word sensory bottle

    Real toy I Spy game

    Finger dexterity exercise

    Figure ground sight word hunt

    Visual Spatial Relationships- This visual perceptual skill allows us to recognize and understand the relationships of objects within the environment and how they relate to one another. Here are activities to improve spatial relations.


    Visual Attention- This visual perceptual skill allows us to focus on the important pieces or parts of what we see. When we “take in” a scene or image in front of us, we are able to filter out the unimportant information. In this way, a student is able to focus our eyes on the teacher when she teaches. Driving down a road requires visual attention to take in the road so we can drive safely. Visual attention is important in copy work as students copy information from a Smart Board or book onto a piece of paper. As they visually scan from one point to another, they attend to the place they left off. Visual attention is also important and very needed in reading. Here is more information on visual attention.

    Visual Sequential Memory- This visual perceptual skill is the ability to visually take in and then later recall the sequence or order of items in the correct order. This skill is important in reading and writing. Visual sequential memory is important in spelling words correctly and recognizing that words are not spelled correctly.

    Visual Discrimination– This visual perception skill enables us to determine slight differences in objects.  In hidden picture activities, this skill is needed to determine and locate different hidden objects.  When writing and reading, visual discrimination allows us to perceive the difference between “p” and “d”. Here is a visual discrimination worksheet.

    More visual discrimiation activities:

    Color matching Elmer Activity

    Finger dexterity exercise

    Practice “b” and “d” with sensory writing

    Color shape discrimination Sort

    Coin discrimination

    Real toy I Spy game

    Visual Closure– This visual perceptual skill allows us to see part of an object and visualize in our “mind’s eye” to determine the whole object.  When we see part of an item, we use visual closure to know what the whole item is.  This skill requires the cognitive process of problem solving to identify items.  Visual Closure is used to locate and recognize items in a hidden picture puzzle.  In written work, we use visual closure to recognize parts of words and letters when reading and copying work. Here is a visual closure activity.

    Back to School Activity-Writing Slide Deck

    back to school activity slide deck

    Heading back to school? The return of school looks a lot different this year than any other. That’s why I wanted to create this Back to School activity to use in virtual therapy or teletherapy services, or distance learning. In most cases, kids haven’t been writing with a paper and pencil since around March. This back-to-school activity provides a means to get those pencils moving and little hands writing again! Use this free therapy slide deck to get a baseline of where kids are in regards to writing a short list of words, and sentences. The bonus is that this back to school idea has a school I Spy activity, too that boosts visual perceptual skills. Read on to grab this freebie! And, don’t forget to grab this other back to school slide deck to work on more visual perceptual skills.

    Back to School Activity

    This interactive activity is great for getting to know students during the firsts week of school. It’s a fun icebreaker activity for students to do with teachers or therapists.

    Students can complete these slide deck activities as part of distance learning, virtual days on hybrid learning options, and in teletherapy sessions.

    back to school activity slide deck

    When heading back into the school year, it’s a great idea to get a baseline snapshot of where a child is at with handwriting, especially after such a long break from school. In many cases, students have not been writing or putting pencil to paper during the last months.

    With this back to school activity, kids can write a short list of words on paper, as well as use the interactive technology portion of the slides.

    Back to school activity that is a great icebreaker for students returning to the classroom or online learning.

    Here are some of the slides you will find in this icebreaker activity for returning to school:

    Start with an interactive slide deck I Spy game. Kids can search for school items and then type the number of items that they found into the boxes right on the slide.

    Back to school I Spy game to use in an icebreaker activity for students.

    Back to school handwriting baseline

    Use the handwriting slides to get a baseline snapshot of handwriting. Kids can type the words into the spaces on the slides. Then in the next slide, they can check their answers and use the written words to copy a short list of school related terms.

    Use this list writing activity to check skills such as letter formation, letter size, line use, margins, accuracy, efficiency, and functional writing levels.

    Back to school writing activity for students

    The same words can be used for sentence writing. Fill in the space showing the number of sentences the student should write. Using this writing task, check the handwriting baseline for word and letter spacing, margin use, and legibility.

    Use this back to school activity to get a baseline snaphot of handwriting skills level in students returning to the classroom.

    All about Me Activity

    Use the next slide as an icebreaker activity. Students can fill in the spaces on the slide and type in their responses.

    All about me back to school activity

    Continue on with the all about me activity and ask students to write on paper, more about themselves. Use these responses as a quick screening for handwriting and writing abilities.

    Handwriting baseline screening for students returning to the classroom

    There you have it! Want to grab this free slide deck?

    Get this Back-to-School Writing and I Spy slide deck

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      Back to School Slide Deck

      Back to school activities with a free occupational therapy slide deck.

      If you are like many OT professionals, you are looking for back-to-school activities for occupational therapy. That’s why I wanted to get this back to school slide deck into your hands! It’s a slide deck activity for addressing visual perceptual skills and fun for occupational therapy activities that may be occurring via teletherapy this year. Use this OT slide deck to work on visual perception with a first day of school theme!

      Back to school activities with occupational therapy teletherapy slide deck to work on visual perception with a back to school theme.

      Slide Deck for Back to School Activities

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

      Grab this free interactive back to school slide deck activity to work on visual perceptual skills with kids.

      Kids can work through the interactive slides and move the movable parts of the slides to practice visual perceptual skills. The slides are designed to build skills in the following visual perceptual areas:

      Form constancy

      Visual discrimination

      Visual memory

      You can help kids improve their visual perceptual skills with interactive, free, back-to-school activities.

      The slides include school materials for a back-to-school theme.

      Children can use the slides to practice these specific skills while strengthening visual processing skills including visual scanning, visual fixation, and visual attention.

      Use a back to school activity to help kids with visual perceptual skills in occupational therapy.

      Finally, eye-hand coordination is needed to manipulate the interactive portion of these slides to move the outline to select certain images.

      This blog post on visual motor skills really explains these areas of visual processing and offers tons of hands-on activities to help kids build these skill areas so that they can read and write at a functional level.

      Back to school activities with a free interactive slide deck for occupational therapy.

      Why use a slide deck to work on visual perceptual skills?

      There are many functional skills that are impacted by visual perceptual difficulties. Some examples include:

      • Letter reversal
      • Poor line awareness in handwriting
      • Poor margin use in written work
      • Difficulty copying written work
      • Trouble recognizing patterns and completing hands-on math problems
      • Difficulty catching or kicking a ball
      • Trouble with movement games like hopscotch.
      • Clumsiness
      • Difficulty with sports
      • Difficulty drawing and copying pictures or shapes

      Working on the underlying visual processing skills in puzzles and activities like the ones in this back to school slide deck can be one way to build these areas.

      FREE back to school SLIDE DECK

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

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

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

      Now the slide deck is on your Google account.

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

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

      Get a free interactive Back-to-School slide deck

        We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
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        Be sure to check out these other slide decks to use in OT teletherapy sessions, distance learning, or homeschooling:

        This Alphabet Exercise Slide Deck is very popular.

        Here is a Space Theme Therapy Slide Deck.

        Here is a Strait Line Letters Slide Deck.

        Here is a “Scribble theme” Handwriting Slide Deck.

        Teach Letters with an interactive Letter Formation Slide Deck.

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

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L 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.

        Goodnight Moon PDF Printable Memory Game

        Goodnight Moon activity and Goodnight Moon pdf printable

        Goodnight Moon is a classic book by Margaret Wise Brown that teaches so many skills, making it the perfect children’s book to use in therapy activities. We used this book activity and a DIY Goodnight Moon printable PDF memory game. It’s a calming book that inspires sleepy contentment with it’s rhyming text and simple images. The book is a fantastic tools to build visual perceptual skills including figure ground, form constancy, and visual memory. Those skills carryover with our memory game printable you can access below. However, for my own kids, I loved the calming tone that the book offers. It’s a great way to calm down before bed.

        For more calm down activities before bed, try these bedtime relaxation stretches.

        Our Goodnight Moon activity has been played almost as many times as we’ve read the book!  We decided to create a free printable to go along with our memory skills game, so you can play, too.    

        Goodnight Moon activity for kids and Goodnight Moon pdf printable game.
        Goodnight Moon activity with a Memory game inspired by the book, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

        Goodnight Moon Activity…Memory Game!

          Goodnight Moon teaches kids that fear can be caused my our imagination. I loved this explanation of what exactly Goodnight Moon teaches and how this book can be used to help kids build skills.

        This post contains affiliate links.

        Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of those books that we read over and over again.  Each time, the kids will sit mesmerized as I read the quiet rhyming words.  This is definitely a bedtime book that is loved at all times of the day!  When we read through the book, my kids love to look for each item on the pages and find it’s rhyme.  It’s almost like a memory game as you read through the book, especially as the mouse moves around the room in the book.  

        Margaret Wise Brown Book, Goodnight Moon activity for kids.

          To make your Goodnight Moon memory game, grab a couple of pieces of card stock.  We chose brightly colors based on the colors of the book.  Because the setting occurs in a green room, we used green paper for our playing board.  

        You could certainly play this memory game right on a table or floor, but my kids got a kick out of our “green room” and the green paper contained the game for our matches.  

        Goodnight Moon learning Activities

        Make a list of all of the rhyming words as you go through the book.  This is a great preschool book activity, but a powerful visual perception activity for all ages.  Kids can build visual memory skills as they recall each item and the way it looks throughout the book. Some objects change slightly, such as the position of the mouse. So, when kids look for that image on each page, they are building visual discrimination and form constancy. As you read the book, ask them what rhymes with each word.  They can use the book pages as a visual cue to the matching rhyme.    

        Goodnight Moon book activity for kids that builds visual perceptual skills.

        Goodnight Moon PDF 

        Fill in your game pieces with your own drawings (or kid-drawings!) or use our free printable.  You’ll need these three sheets:

        >>Draw your own pictures on the blank picture card printable.

        >>OR, use our picture word card printable.

         >>Printable word cards here. We drew a picture for each rhyme and filled in another card sheet with the written words.  

        Memory game inspired by the book, Goodnight Moon
        Memory game inspired by the book, Goodnight Moon-FREE printable!
        Memory game inspired by the book, Goodnight Moon

          Cut out each block and get ready to play.

        Kids can play this Goodnight Moon activity and work on visual perceptual skills as well as other skills and learning opportunities in Goodnight Moon

          We started with a few matching games.  I placed the written word on our green room paper and had the kids scan the pile of pictures for the matching image.  This is a great way to work on literacy skills as the child matches the picture to a written word, as well as on visual scanning.  Arrange the cards from left to right as a pre-reading skill.    

        Play this Memory Game for kids with the classic preschool book by Margaret Wise Brown.

          We also matched rhyming words.  Arrange a few pictures on the left side of the page and have your child place the rhyming match  to the right.    

          We then arranged the words in a block formation on the green paper.  The kids scanned the pile of pictures and placed the matches together.

        Goodnight Mouse activity for Goodnight Moon book.

          After all of our rhyming games, we played an actual Memory game.  You can also modify the memory game to extend out the activity.  Match word to picture, rhyming pictures, and rhyming words.  This DIY Memory game can be played in so many ways!  

        This is such a fun book activity for kids based on the book, Goodnight Moon
        Memory game inspired by the book, Goodnight Moon

        GoodNight Moon Activities

        First, don’t forget to grab the Goodnight Moon pdf sheets to play this memory game.

        Goodnight Moon inspired memory game blank game pieces.

        Goodnight Moon inspired picture game pieces.

        Goodnight Moon inspired word game pieces.  

        Then, check out these other Goodnight Moon activities. They are great to help kids understand that sometimes scary things are in our minds and that the thoughts we think are not always as scary as things really are.

        Be sure to visit the other bloggers in the Preschool Book Club to see their takes on Goodnight Moon:  

        This I Spy Bottle from Mama Pappa Bubba is another fantastic visual perceptual skills activity and a calming one at that. Check out these sensory bottles and WHY sensory bottles are so calming for kids as well as HOW to make sensory bottles that make an impact.

        This red balloon Art Activity from Buggy and Buddy uses Goodnight Moon’s red balloon with a creative painting activity. Kids can work on fine motor skills and tool use to paint a creative take on the book. Foster scissor use and scissor skills to, meeting therapy goals as well.

        Here are more scissor skills activities kids will love.

        This Goodnight Moon Scavenger Hunt from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails is a gross motor activity that builds skills in visual perception and visual scanning. Love this idea to encourage core strength and stability!

        This Goodnight Moon activity with a Lavender Play Dough kit from Homegrown Friends is a calming olfactory activity that adds sensory play and fine motor skills. Kids will love to pair the preschool book with a play dough activity.

        Here is another purple play dough recipe that use crayons. How fun!

        Books to Build Awareness Skills

        Goodnight Moon and the concepts introduced in the book goes well with this resource for parents, teachers, and therapists. It’s a huge collection of 50 activities based on children’s books and it helps to teach children about empathy, acceptance, awareness of others, and friendship. The social emotional development that kids can gain through play based on popular children’s books is amazing!

        Grab the resource, Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance, and Empathy, that explores friendship, acceptance, and empathy through popular (and amazing) children’s books!  It’s 50 hands-on activities that use math, fine motor skills, movement, art, crafts, and creativity to support social emotional development.    

        GET THE DIGITAL E-BOOK

        Get the PRINT BOOK

        hands-on activities to explore social emotional development through children's books.