Vision Books for Developing Skills

Vision books to develop visual processing skills

In this post, I have highlighted references to vision books that can specifically be used in therapy interventions to support the development of visual processing skills. These are the Top 9 Books for addressing vision concerns, that might be incorporated into visual therapy, or occupational therapy activities.  Each of these visual skill building books covers aspects of visual perception, visual processing, and visual motor skills. 

Start by reading, “Visual Problems or Attention” to help decipher the cause of visual processing difficulties.

After reading Visual Problems or Attention, check out the Visual Screening Packet available on the OT Toolbox to further assist in diagnoses and treatment.

For more information on vision skills, check out this post from the OT Toolbox archives.

Vision books to support visual processing development

Vision Books

Looking for books on vision, visual motor integration and visual perceptual skills? Check out the list of books below that are chock full of information and treatment ideas! 

Many of these books have reproducible pages, or can be laminated/placed into plastic sleeves to be reused.

The list of books below are linked to Amazon affiliate links for ease of searching, however they can be also found by googling the titles.

Vision Book: Eyegames

An OT and Optometrist Offer Activities to Enhance Vision! By Lois Hickman and Rebecca Hutchins is an easy and fun vison book with games and exercises for developing visual skills.

This vision book is an easy read about vision deficits, and how they impact function. It has a checklist of red flags to be on the lookout for. There are also loads of great therapy activities to target each skill deficit. Activities are geared for a variety of function levels, along with easy task gradation. Activities are designed to be completed in the home, clinic, or school settings. 

Vision Book for Visual Tracking Exercises

Visual Perception, Visual Discrimination & Visual Tracking Exercises for Better Reading, Writing and Focus 

The next set of vision books are created by Bridgette Sharp, and Bridgette O’Neil. These books make for a great set of tools to have in your bag. 

The Visual Tracking Exercises Book is a beginner book for developing tracking skills. As a bonus, you can use this with learners who are working on left/right awareness as well. Worksheets are varied with numbers, shapes, patterns, color, and black and white fonts, to help keep things interesting. 

Vision Book for Scanning Skills

Advanced Visual Scanning Exercises 

As it says in the title, this visual perception book is for your advanced learners who are continuing to work on strengthening their eye muscles, gearing up for chapter book reading, and increased desk work. Patterns become more complex, and are in black and white only. 

It can be helpful to read more on what is visual scanning and check out the red flags section and then use this vision book if needed.

Visual Scanning Exercises for Young Students

This visual scanning beginner book has a variety of simple grid patterns with large colorful pictures for younger children, beginning learners, pre-readers, and children who are behind in reading readiness due to tracking and scanning issues. The images are large, colorful, and have plenty of variety to keep them engaged in therapy.

Vision Books, Visual Scanning for Students 

This Ready to Scan vision book is for more advanced scanners, or for kids/learners who are skipping lines when reading or copying. It’s a great resource for building endurance and eye muscle strength. As a bonus, use the patterns for reversal training and directionality! 

BIG BOOK: Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced Visual Scanning Exercises 

Like it’s title says, this book has something for everyone. This is a great place to start your toolbox for visual skills. Patterns work through a progression, starting with large images, moving onto smaller images. They present a variety of pictures and geometric shapes, both in color and black/white. This book is a great place to create home programs with and homework from each session. 

Vision Book for Visual Tracking

Vision books, Visual Tracking Exercises with 100 High Frequency Sight Words 

If you’re looking to change it up from geometric patterns and pictures, this book is a great option. The book consists of a variety of exercises using sight words. Use the pages to work on discrimination and word shape training as well. 

Start by reading up on what visual tracking is and then go from there with this vision workbook.

Visual Skills Book for Reversals

Letter reversals are related to vision skills. You’ll want to start by reading more on p and q reversals or b and d reversals. Others who write letters backwards can benefit as well.

The visual skills book, Brain Training for Reversals, is a brain training vision book consists of exercises specifically for reversals of b-d-p-q. Exercises range in complexity to address all skill levels. These brain training worksheets can also be used for scanning, to practice reading, and directionality. You can also use these worksheets similar to an eye spy game, by having the child look for all of one letter. 

Visual Discrimination Book

Visual discrimination is a visual skill that impacts reading, writing, math, comprehension, and learning.

The Visual Discrimination book is great for grades 2-8 and focuses on finding patterns and solving problems through the use of colorful geometric patterns and images. This is great for critical thinking skills, along with working on spot the difference (visual disclination) tasks.

Book 9 is a higher level book, so save it for your older, more high functioning learners, or adult learners who are working at this reading level.

Spot the Difference Vision Books

Another great resource are “spot the difference” books! There are hundreds of spot the difference books to choose from. These books not only address visual discrimination, but can also be used to work on following directions, scanning, item location in a busy environment, and general visual processing skills.

The OT Toolbox is offering a FREE visual perception packet to download and use with your learners.

Visual Closure Book

The Visual Closure Workbook is a 65 page digital file designed to impact visual perceptual skills for reading comprehension and efficiency, and the ability to visualize a complete image or feature when given incomplete or partial information.

Visual closure skills are essential for reading with fluency.  It’s necessary for written work to happen without concentrating on each letter’s lines and curves. Visual Closure allows us to comprehend words and letters without actively assessing each line.

Challenges with puzzles, identifying sight words, copying in handwriting, math tasks, and other reading or writing activities require visual closure skills.

This workbook includes:

  • Information on visual closure and visual processing
  • Red Flags Indicating a Visual Closure Problem
  • 15 ways to use the workbook and strategies
  • More Visual Closure Activities (use these tactics to grade the visual closure activities to meet individual needs, challenge, users, and support the development of skills)
  • Workbook – Level 1
  • Workbook – Level 2
  • Workbook – Level 3

This workbook is designed to provide background information on visual closure as a tool for understanding this visual perceptual skill. It’s a guide for advocating for common visual closure difficulties through the included screening tool broken down as “red flags”.

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

Contributor: Kaylee is a pediatric occupational therapist with a bachelors in Health Science from Syracuse University at Utica College, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Utica College. Kaylee has been working with children with special needs for 8 years, and practicing occupational therapy for 4 years, primarily in a private clinic, but has home health experience as well. Kaylee has a passion for working with the areas of feeding, visual development, and motor integration.

Scanning Activities for Reading (Free Download)

visual scanning for reading

Today, we have a fun scanning activities for reading using a printable resource that supports the underlying visual skills while using a fun theme that kids engage with. Vision truly impacts learning so if we can support the areas of development that help a child thrive, we are moving in the right direction. One of the ways that occupational therapy professionals support development is through meaningful occupations, and anything fun and playful is a winner when it comes to pediatric OT!

There are many visual scanning activities that support functional participation. Here, we’re talking specifically about reading skills.

Visual Scanning and reading

The end of the school year might feel like coasting into the finish line, however it needs to be focused on meeting goals and preparing learners for summer reading. 

Learners seem to have a love/hate relationship with reading. I believe the people who hate reading struggle with this task.  Becoming a proficient reader takes a combination of skills. Beyond vision, phonics, spelling, and letter recognition, are the visual perceptual skills needed to read fluently. Today’s post is focusing on scanning activities for reading. 

Visual scanning impacts reading in many ways.

  • The child who struggles with letter reversals
  • The child who labors with reading and commonly skips words or lines of words when reading.
  • Saccadic eye movement, or visual scanning, is necessary for reading a sentence or paragraph as the eyes follow the line of words.
  • Visual scanning allows us to rapidly shift vision between two objects without overshooting as when shifting vision during reading tasks.
  • In copying written work, this skill is very necessary.
  • Skips words or a line of words when reading or re-reads lines of text
  • Must use finger to keep place when reading
  • Poor reading comprehension

All of these aspects of reading can be an issue because of scanning challenges.

So what’s going on here, visually?

Visual scanning is one of several visual perceptual skills. These have been highlighted in posts before, but as a reminder, they are:

  • Visual Attention: The ability to focus on important visual information and filter out unimportant background information.
  • Visual Discrimination: The ability to determine differences or similarities in objects based on size, color, shape, etc.
  • 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 Sequential-Memory: The ability to recall a sequence of objects in the correct order.
  • 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.
  • Visual Closure: The ability to recognize a form or object when part of the picture is missing

All of these areas combined make up visual perception, and is part of the bigger picture of how our eyes work functionally.

Visual perception is the ability to organize and interpret the information that is seen and give it meaning.  This is a common thread in therapy treatment, as it is the foundation for many activities addressed daily.

Visual perception is essential for reading, writing, math, self care tasks, instrumental activities of daily living, and play.

How to develop SCANNING Skills FOR READING

There are ways to support the development and accuracy of visual scanning skills.

  1. Reading Readiness Skills- When my girls were young, the summer reading list meant a chance to earn a ticket to Six Flags from the school!  It also meant a dollar per chapter book from mom and dad.  I was out $61.00 just from one kid that summer.  It was worth it. 

In preparation  we did a lot of scanning activities for reading readiness.  These included worksheets like the ones offered on the OT Toolbox, as well as games.  Amazon has their (affiliate link) visual perceptual games chunked into one search category. 

This might include using reading prompts, desired books, and short reading passages.

Other strategies include working on scanning the environment for details. Ask kids to look for items that are all one color, for example.

Another reading readiness activity that supports reading is I Spy activities like these I Spy colors game, I spy with real toys, and printable pages (Many are found in our Membership).

2. Visual Scanning Games- Some activities to develop scanning skills for reading include:

  • Tricky Fingers
  • QBitz
  • Where’s Waldo
  • Highlights Magazine
  • Spot it Games.

3. Vision Activities– Also be sure to check out these vision activities for kids to support all of the underlying skills that impact reading and learning.

Specifically, be sure to check out these visual scanning activities that cover the full gamut!

4. Take a Deeper Look at What’s Going On- When assessing for reading difficulties, once you have ruled out visual acuity issues, use a screening tool or assessment to test for visual perceptual deficits

The Motor Free Visual Perceptual Test, as well as the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills, assesses the different visual perceptual skills, broken down into different areas. 

5. Visual Scanning Exercises- The free spring weather visual scanning exercise (grab it below!) is just a sample of the larger packet offered HERE on the OT Toolbox.  

Below you’ll find a free downloadable spring visual scanning exercise you can use to support visual scanning needed for reading skills. These activities include a weather and Spring theme, but you can use them all times of year. The sun and clouds themes work for everyone!

This visual scanning exercise is a great scanning activity for reading. It relies on visual attention, discrimination, memory, visual-sequential memory, and figure ground.

For more scanning work, grab the Spring Fine Motor Packet. This 97 page no-prep packet includes everything you need to guide fine motor skills in face-to-face AND virtual learning. Includes Spring themed activities for hand strength, pinch and grip, dexterity, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, endurance, finger isolation, and more. 

6. Visual Perception Activities- There are several posts this month highlighting Visual Perceptual Activities for Spring. 

For some therapists, parents, and educators these will be great worksheets for spring break, on those long rides to Grandma’s house.

Others will find these PDF sheets great for a spring lesson plan. Make a great packet of pages to send home, or do during class.  You can laminate these pages to make them eco-friendly and reusable. Some people project these onto smart boards, however I personally prefer the added skills involved in writing on paper.  However you choose to motivate your learners is the key to success.

DATA COLLECTION during scanning activities

Scanning activities for reading readiness are great for data collection. It is easy to measure the number of correct/incorrect guesses.

Of course it gets tricky when other factors such as impulsivity, attention, and compliance skew the data. Be sure to document these aspects of scanning that impacts reading skills as a functional task:

  • Document the number of errors, while adding narrative about the learner’s behavior. 
  • Provide several different types of visual perceptual tasks to try and determine which specific skills (or combination) are deficient.  This way your treatment can be more efficient, if you can hone in on one or two skill areas, such as visual memory, or scanning. 

DOCUMENTATION of Scanning tasks to support reading

  • Does your learner scan in sequential order, or all over the page?
  • Are items completely missed when scanning?
  • Is your learner taking their time, or making random guesses?
  • Does your learner thoroughly look at all the choices before giving an answer?

Some of these questions are not easy to answer. Continue to provide different types of exercises in order to measure progress. 

Progress is often the answer we seek, rather than “why do they do that?”  Often doctors do not know the why, but have to try different things until they find something that works. 

Use spring break (if you are lucky enough to have one) to rest and recharge for all of the fun spring activities that can be added to your treatment plans and OT Toolbox!

Free scanning activity Download to support reading skills

Want to add this printable tool to your therapy toolbox?

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 Visual Scanning for Reading Exercise

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    Victoria Wood

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

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

    Occupational Therapy Word Search

    occupational therapy word search

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

    Occupational therapy word search for OT professionals

    Free OT Word search to celebrate what we do as OTs

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

    That is a big job! 

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

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

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

    Free OT Word search

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

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

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

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

    Occupational Therapy Word Search Treatment Plan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    On to the interesting experiment…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Free OT Word Search for OT Advocacy

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

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

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

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

    Join the Member’s Club today!

    Free Occupational Therapy Word Search

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
      Victoria Wood

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

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

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

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

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

      OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SUPPLIES MATCH IT CARDS

      OT Spot it game for occupational therapy

      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

      OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SUPPLIES MATCH IT CARDS

      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.

      WHERE WILL YOU TAKE THIS ACTIVITY?

      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:
      • Occupational Therapy Coloring pages
      • OT Words Handwriting Sheets– coming later this week
      • Occupational therapy Fine Motor Game– coming later this week
      • Therapy Tools Word Search– coming later this week
      • OT Supplies Match It Game– Grab it below
      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 CARE OF YOURSELF AS WELL AS OTHERS

      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

        We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
        Victoria Wood

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

        Spring Visual Perception Activities

        Spring themed visual perception activities for kids

        Have you been following along with the Spring Occupational Therapy activities this week? All week long we’re covering various aspects of development and function with fun and creative spring-themed ideas. Today you’ll find Spring Visual Perception Activities. These are ways to promote visual perceptual skill development and the visual components that are needed for skills like reading, writing, and functional tasks.

        Spring Visual Perception Activities

         
        Working on visual perceptual skills in kids to help with handwriting, reading, or other skills? These spring themed visual perception activities will help.

        If you missed the other posts this week, you can check them out here:

        For a more exhaustive set of strategies, activities, and ideas, be sure to grab the Spring Fine Motor Kit (PLUS bonus kit which covers everything you need for Spring Break) that is on sale now for just $10. You’ll be loaded up on all kinds of tools that will last all season long.

        Each Spring theme includes activity ideas. To see all of the posts from this week (and to see what we’re coving tomorrow), head over to our Spring Occupational Therapy Activities page.

        For more creative strategies and ideas to use in therapy this time of year, you will want to grab the Spring Fine Motor Kit that includes our Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet. It’s loaded with tools and ideas to put into place in therapy sessions starting today. 

        For OT Toolbox readers and newsletter subscribers, you can access both of these materials in our Spring Fine Motor Kit DEAL which includes the bonus materials at the time of your purchase.

        Use the ideas in fine motor or gross motor warm-ups, or add them to a home program. You’ll find more visual perceptual activities and worksheets that can be used over and over again. You’ll also find handwriting prompts in list form so you can really focus on things like letter formation, spacing, and line use in short writing tasks. You’ll love the Spring themed brain break cards that can be used in the classroom or at home.

        Grab the Spring Occupational Therapy Activities Packet and bonus Spring Break Kit here.

        Working on visual perceptual skills in kids to help with handwriting, reading, or other skills? These spring themed visual perception activities will help.

         

        Spring Visual Perception Activities

        When we breakdown the term “visual perception”, you will see that there are many sub-areas that are needed for functional skills like reading, handwriting, spelling, coordination, and many functional tasks.

        Below, you’ll find an explanation of visual perceptual skills that impact function, as well as Spring-themed activities to help improve these areas.  

        Read more about how visual perception impacts handwriting here.  

        Visual Perceptual Skills

        Visual Memory- This visual perceptual skill allows us to store information that we see and use that information for future use. In order to recall visual information, we need visual attention.

        The selection and perception of visual input requires that information is perceived via the eye’s visual fields, and in coordination with oculomotor control, is processed through the visual cortex in the brain. This is how visual processing happens.

        Visual memory allows for discrimination of details of such things as letter discrimination, sight word identification, etc.  

        Spring Visual Memory Activities-

        • Use different colored plastic eggs or other items such as mini erasers. Put them in a series of three and show the student. You can then cover up the objects and then ask the student to replicate that series.
        • Create a Spring Memory game. Use pictures or stickers of flowers, chicks, bunnies, caterpillars, butterflies, etc. to create a DIY Memory game.
        • What’s Missing Game- Use those mini erasers from a dollar store to create a What’s Missing Game. Place a handful of erasers on a tray. Allow the child to memorize the items. Then cover them and remove one or more. The child needs to recall and identify the missing items.
        • Spring Memory Game (Free download)– print off this free printable and play memory games with a Spring theme.

        Visual Discrimination- This visual perceptual skill allows us to identify the features of a form/object/letter/number so we can tell the difference between objects.

        Using visual discrimination, we can identify similarities and differences related to the objects and use that information in conjunction with visual memory.  

        Spring Visual Discrimination Activities- 

        • Cut a spring picture or card into pieces. Kids can position the pieces to recreate the whole picture. Make this activity easier or more difficult as needed by the child.
        • Use a packet of spring stickers. Many times there are several sheets that contain the same stickers. Use them to make small cards. Mix up all of the cards and ask the child to find the matches.

        Form Constancy- This visual perceptual skill allows for recognition of objects in various environments or with attention to details and orientation.

        This allows us to recognize letters or numbers no matter their font or size.  

        Spring Form Constancy Activities-

        • Write lists of spring words on index cards in different sizes or fonts, or upper case/lower case letters. Hide the cards around the room. The child can look at one card and go off to find the matching font and word.
        • Using plastic eggs, draw shapes that are similar in form, but are different sizes on each half of the egg. Then, mix up the eggs and as the child to find matches and put them together.

        Visual Closure- This visual perceptual skill enables the identification of objects or forms and allows us to identify an object by viewing just a portion and using mental skills to complete the object’s form in our mind.

        Visual closure is a skill necessary for reading and recognizing words by viewing just the beginning letters. Visual closure is related to and requires visual memory and visual attention.

        Spring Visual Closure Activities- 

        • Gather several Spring-themed items such as small animal figures, flowers, cookie cutters, plastic eggs, etc. Place them on a tray and cover half of the items. Ask the child to name each item without seeing the whole object.
        • Make an “I Spy” Frame- Cut a hole or rectangle in an index card. Place it over a spring picture or item. Ask the child to name the object or item by seeing only a portion.

        Visual Figure Ground- This skill enables us to locate items in a busy background.  Finding hidden items in a hidden pictures puzzle works on this skill by visually scanning and identifying items within a busy scene.  

        In handwriting, visual figure ground is necessary for copying written work from a model and locating the place left off when shifting vision.

        Spring Visual-Figure Ground Activities-

        • Use small items such as mini-erasers of various shapes like bunnies, carrots, and flowers. Spread them out on a table in a pile. Ask the student to sort the like shapes into piles.
        • Go on an “I Spy” nature walk and look for signs of Spring.
        • Flip through a catalogue or grocery flier to find specific items on a list. These can be items needed for a Spring event like Mother’s Day or Easter, or items needed for a recipe. 

        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.

        Spring Visual Sequential Memory Activities- 

        • Make an order of three or more items like three flowers. Ask the student to memorize the order and then to replicate it.
        • Talk about the steps to complete a task such as planting a flower seed. Write out or draw the steps. Cut the paper so the steps are separated. Mix up the order by spreading the various steps on a table surface. Ask the student to place them back into order. 

        More Spring Visual Perception Activities

        Spring Fine Motor Kit

        Score Fine Motor Tools and resources and help kids build the skills they need to thrive!

        Developing hand strength, dexterity, dexterity, precision skills, and eye-hand coordination skills that kids need for holding and writing with a pencil, coloring, and manipulating small objects in every day task doesn’t need to be difficult. The Spring Fine Motor Kit includes 100 pages of fine motor activities, worksheets, crafts, and more:

        Spring fine motor kit set of printable fine motor skills worksheets for kids.
        • Lacing cards
        • Sensory bin cards
        • Hole punch activities
        • Pencil control worksheets
        • Play dough mats
        • Write the Room cards
        • Modified paper
        • Sticker activities
        • MUCH MORE

        Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

        Spring Fine Motor Kit
        Spring Fine Motor Kit: TONS of resources and tools to build stronger hands.

        Grab your copy of the Spring Fine Motor Kit and build coordination, strength, and endurance in fun and creative activities. Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

        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.

        Valentine’s day activity sheet

        valentine's day activity sheets

        In today’s free printable the Valentine’s Day Activity Sheet, all the Valentine stuff is certainly mixed up!  This set of Valentines pencil control scanning worksheets combines visual motor and visual perceptual skills in several different PDF forms to delight and entertain even the most picky learner! Add this resource to your Valentine’s Day occupational therapy activities.

        Valentine's Day activity sheets to work on visual perceptual skills

        Valentine’s Day Activity Sheet

        Add this hearts and roses worksheet to your therapy line-up. This is such a fun time of year to add creative resources like the Valentine activity sheet described below. It may even become a new Valentine tradition!

        Do you have any Valentine’s traditions? Maybe making handmade valentines, baking cookies, or going out to a favorite restaurant.  Sometimes traditions are purposeful, while other times they just happen. If something “works” one year, it tends to become a tradition whether you want it to or not.  There are expectations in motion, or maybe just lack of creativity.  Hey, she liked it last year, let me do it again for 25 years.

        For at least fifteen years I received a box of Russell St****rs chocolates for Valentine’s day.  I am not a fan of this kind of chocolate.  I probably faked enthusiasm the first year, thus starting a tradition.  In short, traditions are ok, but it is also awesome to mix things up a little!

        Before looking at the Valentine’s Day Activity Worksheets, we need to understand:

        What is visual perception and why is it important? 

        Visual perception is being able to look at something and make sense of it.  Items have to be “perceived” in the correct way for motor output, reading, following directions, self care, and just about everything we do. That jacket that is inside out?  It takes more than just fine motor skills to right it.  The eyes and brain need to “see” that the jacket is inside out, where the problem stems from, then use motor skills to correct it. 

        Check out this article from the Vision Learning Center about breaking down visual perceptual skills.

        While righting jackets and reading are not the most enticing tasks for developing visual perceptual skills, Valentine Printable Scanning Sheets are!

        Better yet, to avoid having to submit your email address each time, consider becoming a member of the OT Toolbox! Membership has it’s perks. As a member you will not only be able to find every single one of the free printables offered on The OT Toolbox, but you’ll:

        • Be able to download each of them with a single click (No more re-entering your email address and searching through folders!)
        • Receive early access to new printables and activities before they’re added to the website (You’ll find these in the What’s New section.)
        • Receive a 20% discount on all purchases made in the The OT Toolbox shop!

        Valentine’s Day Activity Sheet for Visual Perception

        This great bundle of free visual scanning/pencil control printables works on several different visual perceptual skills:

        • Visual memory – remembering what was seen long enough to find it somewhere else
        • Visual scanning – being able to look at all of the choices (either in random or sequential order)
        • Visual form constancy – looking at items that might be slightly different or in a different position and recognizing they are the same figure

        four more visual perceptual skills

        We use these to make sense of what is seen.  Can you think of examples of activities or everyday tasks that require these skills?

        • Visual figure ground – picking out items from competing backgrounds
        • Visual spatial relations – identify items in relation to other items. What is in front, next to, behind
        • Visual closure – making sense of an item when only given part of it, such as doing a puzzle
        • Visual discrimination – the ability to idenfity differences between objects which may be obvious or subtle

        When thinking about figure ground, picture looking for an item in the refrigerator.  This skill requires being able to perceive or “see” the item among a forest of other items.  Visual spatial relations may be looking at pictures to determine what is in the foreground and what is in the background, or how far something is.  There are a lot of pictures and games that trick the mind’s eye into thinking it is seeing something else.  The brain has to work extra hard to decipher these.

        In case you missed it, Colleen Beck posted a great article on visual perception:

        Some people have amazing visual perceptual skills, while others really struggle. I have mentioned before, there is a gender divide when it comes to visual perceptual skills.  Males were designed to hunt/gather/protect, therefore their eyes do not perceive subtle differences.  Do not despair!  These can be taught, or at least compensated for.  

        Knowing that visual perceptual skills can be a weakness for many, it is important to address these difficulties early, and train the brain to recognize the difference between objects, be able to find things, and solve puzzles.  Learners who struggle with anything, are going to be less likely to want to do something that is challenging.  Make it fun!  Get puzzles that have the theme your learner gravitates toward. The OT Toolbox has a great Valentines Day Fine Motor bundle to add to your theme. Use food or other motivating items to teach these skills.

        While I tend to discourage more electronic use than is already imposed on young minds, here are a couple of fun examples of online games that are motivating AND build visual perception from the Sensory Toolbox.

        As always, there are a dozen ways to adapt and modify these Valentines Day Activity Sheets to meet the needs of most of your learners.  

        This Valentine scanning pencil control worksheet is no exception:

        • Laminate the page for reusability. This saves on resources, and many learners love to write with markers!
        • Print in black and white or color for different levels of difficulty
        • Cut the shapes and make a matching game instead of using a writing tool to draw lines
        • Talk about the items, describe their characteristics, and give context clues to help your learner understand why certain pictures match
        • Copy some of these designs to add to the visual motor element
        • Try different writing utensils. This is not only motivating, but some learners work better with markers as they glide easier on paper. Did you know that golf sized pencils promote more of a tripod grasp than traditional long pencils? Try having your learner color with one inch crayons to enhance their grasp
        • Enlarge the task for beginning writers who need more writing space
        • Shrink the task for older learners who need to learn to write smaller
        • Velcro the back of the Valentine items, after laminating and cutting them,  to create a matching game
        • Have students write on a slant board, lie prone on the floor with the page in front to build shoulder stability, or supine with the page taped under the table
        • Project this page onto a smart board for students to come to the board and write in big lines
        • More or less prompting may be needed to grade activity to make it easier or harder
        • Make this part of a larger lesson plan including gross motor, sensory, social, executive function, or other fine motor skills
        • Don’t miss this great post on Valentine’s Day Activities, including Valentine’s Day Playdough, and a Valentine’s Day Shredded Paper Sensory Bin

        Besides visual perception and/or writing, what else is being addressed using this Valentine’s scanning, pencil control printable?

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

        It can be very frustrating if you have excellent visual perceptual skills and other people do not “see” the world as you do. Take comfort in the fact that these skills can be learned with a little bit of effort.  Until then, make sure the Ketchup is always on the same shelf, and the clothing is never inside out!

        Free Valentine’s Day Activity Sheet

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        FREE Valentine’s Day Activity Sheets

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          Superior visual perceptual skills here! – Victoria Wood, OTR/L

          Victoria Wood

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

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

          Looking for more pencil control activities?  Look no further: