Virtual Visual Motor Room

Visual Motor Skills Virtual Therapy Room

If you are looking for online games to target visual perceptual skills, and ways to build visual motor skills when working virtually, then this virtual visual motor room (or virtual visual perceptual skills therapy room) is for you. This virtual therapy room is based on our virtual sensory room and is designed to develop and strengthen visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, and eye-hand coordination. Let’s play!

This Visual Motor Skills Virtual Therapy Room is going to be a hit with your caseload.

Free virtual visual motor activities for online occupational therapy activities

Online Visual Motor Activities

For therapists working in teletherapy, online puzzles, virtual games, and remote therapy games are one way to help kids build the skills they need for visual perception, visual motor, eye-hand coordination, and even executive functioning.

That’s where this virtual visual motor room comes in.

Therapists can access the free virtual therapy room from their Google drive and use the tools in teletherapy sessions.

This slide deck is just one of the many free slide deck collections available here on The OT Toolbox.

For more teletherapy games and tools that can be done remotely with kids on your therapy caseload, check out this resource on virtual therapy games.

Virtual Visual Motor Activities

There are so many awesome visual motor resources that can be used in occupational therapy teletherapy. In the virtual therapy room, you can find games and activities like these:

  • Online Sudoko
  • Virtual Connect 4 game
  • Online Snakes and Ladders
  • Virtual Bingo
  • Qwirkle
  • Uno
  • Yahtzee
  • Online Tic Tac Toe
  • Tangrams
  • Connect the dots
  • Geoforms
  • Shape building activities
  • Counting and graphing activities
  • Visual memory activities
  • Mazes
  • Word searches
  • What’s missing puzzles
  • MUCH more

All of these virtual therapy activities can be used to challenge kids’ visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills, and motor skills.

You’ll also see links to hands-on visual motor activities listed here on The OT Toolbox as well as a link to our free visual perception packet. Use these hands-on and printable therapy tools along with the virtual games and activities.

Virtual therapy room for visual motor skills.

When you click on the images in the virtual therapy room, you’ll be sent to links to videos, exercises, and resources to promote visual perception activiites and visual motor activities. T

This therapy room is a great resource for kids of all ages. You’ll find therapy activities for all levels of visual perceptual skills and visual motor integration.

Free virtual therapy room slide deck

Want to add this therapy slide deck to your OT toolbox? Enter your email address into the form below and you can access this resource from your email.

NOTE: Lately email addresses from school districts, organizations, and those with strict security walls have had our slide decks blocked. Consider using a personal email address to access this slide deck.

Free Virtual Visual Motor Room!

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    Add heavy work with these heavy work exercises to incorporate many themes into therapy and play.

    heavy work cards for regulation, attention, and themed brain breaks

    Click here to grab these heavy work cards.

    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.

    Visual Schedules

    Visual schedules for kids

    Visual schedules are a tool that help kids in so many ways. As an adult I am constantly writing notes on post it’s to remind me to do things. It helps to be organized. When a child is learning to sequence, they may forget steps. A visual schedule is a great way to increase a child’s independence with toileting, that way they don’t have to rely so much on you for every step. visual schedule is used to help guide them in learning the sequence of steps.

    Visual schedules for kids

    What is a visual schedule?

    A visual schedule is just what it sounds like, a schedule or sequence, that uses pictures. Now the pictures used can by real photos, often I will take pictures with my phone an then print those out to use them. Or you can use clip art. A visual schedule is a way to show a child the beginning of a task and the end of the task. Visual cues that show a specic task can be beneficial for many children, of all ages, abiliies, and cognitive levels.

    Visual prompts are helpful in teaching the steps of toothbrushing.

    Visual schedules can help with toilet training.

    Schedules can get kids organized an on time for morning routines.

    Or, visual schedules can be used to plan and schedule sensory diet activities.

    Visual checklists can be used for classwork, assignments, or chores.


    You can use a visual schedule with any multistep functional task or during a series of tasks. Visual schedules are helpful in the classroom, home, in the community, or during therapy sessions. Other tasks such as homework assignments, projects, recipes, or multistep activities can work well with visual prompts.

    What is a visual schedule

    Reasons to use visual schedules

    There are many reasons to use a visual schedule

    1. Visual schedules can be used with all levels and abilities.
    2. Visuals are consistent.
    3. Visual schedules can reduce worries and anxiety by offering a constant direction.
    4. Visuals allow time for language processing.
    5. Visual prompts can offer a visual image and written word to meet the needs of a variety of student’s abilities.
    6. Visual schedules can promote self-confidence after success
    7. Visuals can help your child with transitions and know “what’s next”.
    8. Visuals help your child see what you mean.
    9. Visual prompts offer a chance to order tasks to take away impulse control.
    10. Visual cues offer strategies to impact planning, prioritization, working memory, organization, attention, and other executive functioning skills.
    11. Visuals help to build independence.
    12. Visual prompts can be flexible.
    13. Visuals are transferable between different places.
    14. Visuals have no tone.

    How to use a visual schedule

    Other students benefit from a checklist of sorts. This can occur with a visual description of the activity or task or simply a list of actions that are to be completed. An example would be toileting. You can start with 2 visuals and work up to as many visuals as needed.

    Pictures can be made into a visual schedule. You can cut the pictures out and then glue them to a piece of paper and have it in the bathroom, showing your child the exact sequence of steps.

    Remember lots of praise and encouragement with visual schedules, especially when setting up a plan.


    For functional tasks like shoe tying, getting dressed, or toilet training, you can have the child pull off the picture each time they complete a task and put it in the “all done” envelope or you can just point to the steps as they do them.


    If you want to be more specific and break down a task even more you just add more pictures for the steps. Here is an example of a handwashing visual schedule, which is great for children who often forget all the steps to handwashing.


    Another way to get a child to participate in toileting is to use a first then schedule. You put what the task is you want them to do, and the “then” would be the reward. For example, I would say, “First you go to the bathroom, then you get to play ball”.

    If you have tried a visual schedule and your child is having some behaviors I would suggest reading this article Attention and Behavior considerations in Toileting and Potty Training the Child. Sometimes there many be other factors that contribute to difficulty with step-by-step tasks such as toilet training.

    Visual Cards

    If adding sensory processing activities to a sensory diet or just to incorporate calming and regulating sensory input into daily activities is necessary, try adding these visual schedule cards into the day-to-day.

    Sensory Diet Cards - The OT Toolbox

    About Christina: Christina Komaniecki is a school based Occupational Therapist. I graduated from Governors State University with a master’s in occupational therapy.   I have been working in the pediatric setting for almost 6 years and have worked in early intervention, outpatient pediatrics, inpatient pediatrics, day rehab, private clinic and schools. My passion is working with children and I love to see them learn new things and grow. I love my two little girls, family, yoga and going on long walks.

    Eye-Hand Coordination Activity

    Eye hand coordination activity

    This eye hand coordination activity is an easy one to set up and can use the materials you have in your home. We used a flower ice cube tray and some craft materials, as well as a recycled scoop to work on eye-hand coordination skills, but the motor activity is very open ended. Let’s discuss hand eye coordination and a few ways to work on this skill area.

    Development of hand-eye coordination is an important place to begin.

    Our movements are guided by vision.  In order for our brains to coordinate a motor plan for a particular task, we need visual input for accuracy.  

    Eye hand coordination activity to help kids with refined motor coordination skills.

    Eye Hand Coordination Activity 

    Visual motor skills or eye-hand coordination impacts our dexterity and motor movements for so many tasks:  handwriting, scissor use, threading beads, reading a paragraph, throwing a ball, placing a cup on a shelf, coloring in lines, and pouring milk into a bowl are just a few skills that require coordination of the vision and hands.    

    If eye hand coordination skills are lacking, then these areas of function will be difficult to do with ease.  Learning, social interactions, and independence in tasks can be limited as a result.  That’s a pretty clear a reason to look at eye-hand coordination when there seem to be “bigger picture” problems. 

     

    What is eye-hand coordination and how does this skill impact "big picture" tasks like reading, writing, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills?  This easy, low-prep eye hand coordination activity can help.
     

    Scooping and Pouring and eye hand coordination

    This scooping activity is a simple way to work on the eye-hand coordination needed for coordinated movements of the hands in relation to visual input.  An activity as simple as scooping beads can help children (and adults addressing physical disabilities!) to improve their visual motor integration.  

    This post contains affiliate links.   We used  a HUGE bin of seed beads and a flower ice cube tray. This is a similar tray. It was a tray of 10 flowers, making it perfect for counting to ten with my toddler and preschooler and working on ten frame math facts with my kindergartner.    

    What is eye-hand coordination and how does this skill impact "big picture" tasks like reading, writing, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills?  This easy, low-prep eye hand coordination activity can help.

    I added a couple of small scoops to our beads.  These scoops came from dry laundry detergent and were the perfect size for scooping the beads into each flower.  

    Scooping and pouring the beads into each flower, one at a time works on eye hand coordination to make sure the beads fall into the flowers and not over the edge of the ice cube tray.  

    What is eye-hand coordination and how does this skill impact "big picture" tasks like reading, writing, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills?  This easy, low-prep eye hand coordination activity can help.

    How to improve eye hand coordination

    Scooping and pouring a material that “pours” is an eye hand coordination activity that helps to refine fine motor skills and motor planning. For children, setting up a scooping activity like the one described here can be graded to make the task more difficult, or easier. Different grades of scooping activities can be more difficult because there is less weight (pouring flour compared to sand) or more mobility ( scooping and pouring liquid compared higher viscosity of the materials.)

    In our scooping and pouring eye hand coordination activity, the beads are smaller and rounder, adding more of a challenge in coordinating the scoop and accuracy of pouring. To further grade this activity, different sizes of scoops can be used, and different sizes of containers to pour the material into.

    Make sure your child is scooping beads into one section of the ice tray at a time.  They need to intentionally fill one section while trying to keep the beads in that section.  If the beads are falling over the edge of the ice cube tray and into other sections, it’s not working on eye-hand coordination.   

    More eye hand coordination activities

    Looking for more creative ways to build eye hand coordination?

    Want more flower activities? Try these: Parts of a Flower Free Resources from Something 2 Offer Fun Garden Center Scavenger Hunt for Kids {Free Printable} from Crafty Mama in ME Flower Dissection from Schooling a Monkey Gross Motor Flower Number Line Adventures of Adam How to Plant Flowers with Your Kids from Living Life and Learning Flower Art for Kindergarten from Kidz Activities Flower Addition Clip Cards from Simple Fun for Kids

    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.

    Flower Visual Motor Therapy Slide Deck

    Flower visual motor exercises for therapy

    This week’s occupational therapy theme is flowers and so today, I have a free flower visual motor therapy slide deck for you. In this free Google slide deck, you’ll find various aspects of visual motor skill work. With the official start of Spring, flowers are starting to pop up all over, so if the daffodils, lilies, and tulips make you smile, these visual motor flower activities are sure to brighten your therapy session!

    Flower visual motor therapy exercises for therapy

    Flower visual motor therapy activities

    If you are looking for Spring occupational therapy activities to help kids develop skills, this flower visual motor slide deck is it. Add this virtual therapy activity to some hands on flower activities and you’ve got a therapy plan for the week. It’s a great way to make a weekly occupational therapy plan and use the same activities again and again all week, saving yourself time and planning hours. Simply adjust each activity to meet the needs of each child on your therapy caseload to work on their specific goals.

    Flower visual motor activities for occupational therapy teletherapy sessions with a free Google slide deck for therapy.

    As you know, visual processing breaks down into smaller components that all work together to allow us to take in visual information, process that input, and complete motor operations so we can complete functional tasks. Visual motor skills include eye-hand coordination, visual perception, and visual skills like tracing, convergence, and other skill areas. All of these aspects of visual processing are important parts of performing day to day occupations.

    That’s why I created this flower theme therapy slide deck that includes different vison exercises.

    In the slide deck, you’ll find pre-writing line activities that ask the user to trace along the forms using a movable flower icon. This eye-hand coordination task requires visual tracking, visual attention, and motor integration with visual input.

    Work on visual motor skills with this flower theme slide deck in occupational therapy.

    Also, the slide deck includes copying activities. Users can copy the simple and more complex flower forms as they challenge aspects of visual motor skills that are needed for handwriting and math tasks.

    There is a handwriting portion as well. Kids can trace the letters on the slide deck using the movable flower piece. This makes the slide deck interactive, as they can work on mouse work, use of a stylus, or finger isolation to trace the flower along the letter. Then, the slide asks them to write words or phrases so they can incorporate handwriting work.

    Then finally, the slide deck includes several visual perception activities. Kids can complete each slide, typing or writing out their responses as they work on skills like visual discrimination, form constancy, visual memory, figure-ground, etc. All of these visual perceptual skills play a role in visual motor tasks that we perform on a daily basis.

    Free Flower Therapy Slide Deck

    Want to add this free slide deck to your therapy toolbox? Use it in teletherapy sessions, home activities to work on visual motor skills and visual processing, and to make therapy planning easier!

    Enter your email address into the form below to add this slide deck to your Google drive account.

    NOTE- Due to an increase in security measures, many readers utilizing a work or school district email address have had difficulty accessing downloads from the delivery email. Consider using a personal email address and forwarding the download to your work account.

    Flower Visual Motor Activities Slide Deck!

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

      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 Maze for Visual Perception Activity

      Valentine's Day maze

      This Valentine’s Day maze is an easy DIY visual perception activity that requires only paper and a pencil. Sometimes an activity can be just easy to throw together and the kids love it.  This Heart Maze is a simple visual perception activity that can be adapted to any season or shape.  We used hearts for a Valentine’s Day occupational therapy activity, while practicing visual scanning, visual spatial relations, line awareness, and eye-hand coordination.

      Valentine's Day Maze for working on visual motor skills in occupational therapy interventions with limited materials, perfect for  virtual therapy at home.

      Valentine’s Day maze activity

      This visual perception maze is an easy way to work on visual motor skills needed for tasks like handwriting, reading, and learning. The hearts are placed in a path-like maze that challenges visual perception skills.

      Kids can help with making this Valentine’s Day maze, or you can make a template and copy it over and over again. Let’s discuss how this maze works and how it and other visual perception skills helps kids with reading, learning, reading, and writing.

      This post contains affiliate links.

      Work on visual perception skills with this heat maze, for a Valentine's Day occupational therapy activity

      Visual Perceptual Heart Maze Activity

      How to make a Valentine’s Day Maze

      You need just a few materials for this DIY maze, making this a good occupational therapy intervention for teletherapy.

      So, grab your materials:

      • Paper
      • Pencil or marker
      • Scissors

      We used construction paper to make a heart, but you could use regular paper as well.

      It really doesn’t get much easier.  

      1. Draw a small heart. You can use regular paper or colored paper.

      2. Using scissors, cut out the heart.

      3. Trace the heart on a piece of white paper.

      4. Place the point of the heart into the top of the heart so the hearts are connected. Trace the second heart on the paper.

      5. Continue tracing, positioning the hearts in a line.  You want a “maze” to form around the paper. 

      A heart maze is a fun visual perception activity to use in a Valentine's Day theme occupational therapy activities.

      6. Fill in the blank space with more heart outlines, but this time, rotate the shape so it’s positioned randomly and not as close to the maze.

      Use this Valentine's Day activity to work on visual perceptual skills in occupational therapy goals.

      Next, you can follow the path of hearts and color them in. You could also place small objects on the hearts, like craft pom poms or mini erasers.

      Another option is to use the heart template to cut more hearts from colored paper.  We used a darker shade to work on patterns as we filled in the maze. If two shades of colored paper isn’t available, just use two different colored crayons to color in patterns as the child completes the maze.

      For children who are working on scissor skills, try using a thicker paper for the heart template. Cardstock is a great option because the thicker paper is resistive and offers proprioceptive feedback through the hands. Here is a link to pink card stock.

      For more information on scissor skills and types of paper, try this crash course on scissor skills.

      Visual perception, fine motor, eye-hand coordination, and other skills can be used with this heart maze in Valentine's Day occupational therapy sessions.

      Visual Motor Maze

      There are many visual skills being addressed in this occupational therapy maze activity.

      Lining up the hearts requires eye-hand coordination to position the card stock hearts within the outlines.  Using the hands in a coordinated manner based on visual input is an important skill for many functional tasks including handwriting and scissor use.

      What Are Visual Spatial Relations?

      Visual spatial relations is the ability to identify a form/shape/letter despite being rotated, and identify it as being rotated.  Children need visual spatial relations to identify the difference between a “b” and “d” and “p”, and “q”.  

      This sheet full of hearts that look the same requires the child to identify the hearts that are following a path.  Some of the hearts not along the path are rotated  and the child should be able to identify by scanning, the hearts that are rotated.

      Valentine's Day occupational therapy activities can include this hearth maze to work on visual perception.

      Looking for more Visual Perception Activities?  

      Try these:   Smashing Peanuts Activity

      Elmer the Elephant Activity

      Toys to Improve Visual Perception

      Tangrams and Visual Perception

      Visual Closure Bugs

      Visual Perception Activities

      Visual processing bundle full of resources and tools to work on visual perception and visual motor skills
      Grab the Visual Processing Bundle to better understand visual perception skills through play and hands-on activities.

      Need help fixing visual processing problems?

      Know a student with identified visual processing problems…but difficulties are brushed over or missed in the school setting?

      Have a kiddo on your caseload that struggles with visual tracking, fixation, eye teaming, or visual scanning? 

      Need tools to incorporate visual perception and visual-motor strategies right into the classroom?

      Wondering how to help kids who can not visually attend to an object in order to focus for more than a few seconds?

      The Visual Processing Bundle is a comprehensive resource on oculomotor skills, visual perception, visual-motor skills. 

      Details about The Visual Processing Bundle:  

      • Over 235 pages of tools, activities, resources, informaton, and strategies to address visual processing needs
      • Classroom accommodation ideas for visual perception challenges
      • Checklists for trialing various activities and strategies
      • 2 leveled visual-motor integration workbooks…with data collection tools to monitor progress
      • Pencil control worksheets to integrate visual input and motor work in meaningful ways
      • Classroom activities that can be incorporated into reading, spelling, math, and other subjects…reducing the amount of extra “work”
      • Activity cards to guide therapy warm-up sessions or used in home program development
      • Specific and open-ended activity cards to address visual attention and spatial awareness
      • Visual tracking guide explain components of visual tracking and specific activities to improve tracking
      • SO much more!

      Click here to get the Visual Processing Bundle.

      MORE FINE MOTOR HEART ACTIVITIES

      The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.

      When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.

      Click here to grab your copy of the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit.

      Valentines Day fine motor kit

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

      The Many Benefits of Coloring with Crayons

      Fine motor skills with coloring

      There are many benefits of coloring with crayons in occupational therapy interventions. Coloring with crayons is a fine motor skill that builds other skills. Did you know that the act of coloring with a crayon can help children develop fine motor strength, dexterity, grasp, and endurance in their hands? And, coloring skills develop by more coloring. Here’s the thing: occupational therapists use crayons to help children develop fine motor skills, but they also work on the development of coloring skills as a functional task that is part of play, and typical child development. Let’s talk about all of the coloring skills that occupational therapy addresses with a simple box of crayons.

      Benefits of coloring in child development

      You know that smell, right? It’s kind of waxy and flaky (if that’s a smell…) and so distinctive! If you open a box of crayons that have the little marks of each crayon inside the cardboard box, it has an even stronger smell.  Crayons smell like childhood! This post on coloring skills is part of my 31 Days of Occupational Therapy series, where each day is a creative activity using OT treatment materials that are free or almost free.  

      Fine Motor Skills with Crayons

      Crayons are something that most homes have in a pencil box, in an old tin, or in a drawer somewhere.  Did you know those childhood memory sticks (aka Crayons) can be used in SO many skill areas?  

      Consider fine and gross motor strength, tool use, sensory processing, pencil grasp, line awareness, hand-eye coordination, dexterity, endurance, self-confidence, creativity, task completion, and learning objectives like color identification, and color matching.  Crayons develop the very skills needed for pencil grasp and carryover of that pencil grasp. Whew!  No wonder crayons get worn down to nubs with all of those areas that they are working on!  



      Coloring is a fine motor skill and it helps kids develop other areas.

      Benefits of Coloring for Children

      There are so many developmental benefits to coloring! It’s more than creating a colorful preschool work of art.

      Related Read: Read about how we worked on carryover of pencil grasp and strengthened fine motor skills and so many other areas with our 3 Crayon Challenge activity.

      There are so many benefits to coloring for kids: hand strength, visual motor skills, visual perception, tool use, creativity, endurance, creativity, self-confidence, task completion, and learning objectives!  Tips from an Occupational Therapist for working on coloring and handwriting in school and at home.

      Coloring with crayons Improves Tool Use


      Coloring with crayons improves a child’s ability to manipulate tools such as pencils, scissors, utensils, grooming and hygiene tools, and other functional tools with ease. By developing coloring skills, kids have a natural opportunity to explore a writing utensil in a way that is fun and creative.  

      They can use different colors by placing crayons back into the box with a coordinated manner.  To further develop tool use with children, offer a crayon pencil sharpener, a small bin or zippered pouch that needs opening or closing, and a variety of crayon sizes and shapes. All of these can extend fine motor skills with more practice in tool use as well as dexterity.

      Coloring with Crayons improves Bilateral Coordination

      Bilateral Coordination is a fine motor skill needed for so many tasks. Using both hands together in a coordinated manner is a skill needed for handwriting, scissor use, and many functional tasks.  When coloring, a child needs to hold the paper as they color.  Using the assisting, non-dominant hand as a stabilizer allows a child to build strength and dexterity in their dominant hand.  This skill will carry over to writing tasks, and makes coloring a great activity for kids who are switching hands in activities.

      Coloring with Crayons Improves Endurance


      Building on the fine motor skill areas, coloring can deepen a child’s endurance in completing writing tasks.  

      Many times, kids will complain of hand fatigue while coloring.  They can build muscle endurance by coloring with the small muscles of their hands and allow for greater endurance when writing, too. To help a child develop hand strength, use coloring!

      You can help kids improve hand strength with this simple coloring exercise: Instruct a child how to color in small circles to work on the strength and endurance of the intrinsic muscles.  Ask them to fill in the complete circle. To extend the activity, create more circles. This exercise can be extended further by working on a vertical surface such as an easel or by taping the page to a wall. This develops proximal stability at the shoulder girdle as well as core strength, allowing for postural stability in written work.

      If a child needs to work on this area, you can show the student how to color on a slanted surface like a slanted table surface or elevated surface. Here is an easy way to create a DIY slant board.

      Broken Crayons help with hand strength! 

      Fine motor skills with coloring

      Coloring develops Tripod Grasp


      Coloring is a fine motor strengthening tool that many Occupational Therapists recommend and use in treatment sessions.  Coloring is a resistive task that provides the small muscles in the hand to work the waxy crayon onto coloring sheets.  When a child holds a crayon, they are working on the strength of the intrinsic muscles of the hand.  

      Using broken crayons requires more work and is a greater strengthening task for kids who need to work on their tripod grasp. For more strengthening, encourage your child to color more resistive surfaces such as construction paper, cardboard, or even sand paper. 


      Coloring offers sensory input


      Coloring with a crayon can be an opportunity to add heavy work through the hands. This sensory feedback is proprioceptive input that “wakes up” the muscles of the hands and can be calming input.

      Unlike a marker, children can color lightly or very dark by exerting more pressure.  The proprioceptive system comes into play when a child attempts to vary the amount of pressure they are exerting through the crayon.

      Coloring with markers just doesn’t provide that resistive feedback that coloring with a waxy crayon does. Markers are smooth and don’t give kids the sensory input that help with learning letters.  For a fun twist on letter formation activities, grab a box of crayons!  

      To help kids write with heavier or lighter pencil pressure when writing, encourage children to shade and combine colors by being aware of how lightly or darkly they are coloring.  There is also that crayon scent that children are aware of, either consciously or unconsciously.  If you recall the scent of crayons from your childhood, then you know what I’m talking about here!

      Coloring Skills Develop Spatial Awareness


      Coloring skill development progresses as children gain experience in coloring. By developing coloring skills, kids can improve visual perceptual skills. Spatial awareness is an aspect of perceptual skills.

      Visual perception is so important to many functional skills in handwriting: awareness of the body’s position as it moves through space, line awareness, using margins on a page, and writing within a given space.  Coloring is a great tool in working on these areas as children color within lines and given spaces.  

      But sometimes, kids have trouble staying in the lines or coloring in areas without leaving large spaces uncolored.  Verbal prompts, highlighted lines, bold lines, thick coloring lines, and physical prompts like raised lines can improve spatial awareness in coloring.

      There are so many benefits to coloring for kids: hand strength, visual motor skills, visual perception, tool use, creativity, endurance, creativity, self-confidence, task completion, and learning objectives!  Tips from an Occupational Therapist for working on coloring and handwriting in school and at home.

      Coloring Skills and Eye Hand Coordination

      One reason that coloring in occupational therapy sessions is so well-used as an intervention strategy is the development of eye-hand coordination skills. There are benefits of coloring with crayons when it comes to coordinating vision and motor skills. When writing or coloring, children must coordinate their physical movements with information received from their visual system.  

      Controlled movements are essential for handwriting, letter formation, and neatness in handwriting.  Coloring helps with practicing coordination of the visual input with physical movements of the hands in very small spaces or large areas.

      Providing smaller areas of coloring require more controlled movements and dexterity.  For difficulties in this area, consider adding boundaries to coloring areas, with darkened and thicker lines or raised boundaries like using Wikki Stix around the coloring area.

      Coloring Benefits Creativity and Self-Confidence


      Another of the benefits of coloring with crayons involves self-confidence. Coloring inspires creativity in kids.  A blank piece of paper and a box of crayons can inspire stories and pictures.  Being creative allows a child to build their self-confidence in other areas, especially handwriting and pencil tasks. If you’ve ever received a coloring masterpiece from a child, then you know the pure delight they have when giving a creation they have made.  That boost of self-confidence will entice them to complete other paper/pencil tasks.

      Coloring helps with Color Identification and Color Matching


      Crayons are color!  Kids can be encouraged to practice color identification with the bright and vivid colors in a crayon box.  Use a color by number activity to work on color matching skills.

      These visual discrimination skills, visual scanning, visual attention, and visual memory needed to identify and match colors are part of the visual perceptual skills we talked about above. All of these are needed skills for reading, writing, math, and other higher level cognitive skills.

      Coloring with crayons in occupational therapy helps kids develop fine motor skills

      Coloring in occupational therapy teletherapy

      All you need to develop the skills listed above is a simple box of crayons. This makes coloring a powerful tool in occupational therapy teletherapy, because many homes have crayons available.

      Working on fine motor skills in teletherapy can be difficult because so many of an occupational therapist’s favorite fine motor tools might not be available. This is where using crayons to work on a variety of skills can be so powerful.

      Try some of these teletherapy activities using crayons:

      So, now you know the many benefits of coloring with crayons.  How can you use crayons in developmental and functional tasks?  Let’s explore crayons for various ages and stages.

      Toys and tools for kids who love to color and ways to incorporate coloring into kids daily lives to work on so many functional skills like fine motor, grasp, visual perceptual.

      Toys for Coloring Skills

      Here are some creative learning and play ideas that kids will love.  Some of these are more pricey than just a box of crayons, but your crayon fan will enjoy using these toys and games and won’t even realize they are working on so many skills!

      (We’re including affiliate links.)   One of our favorite books is The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Dewalt. This is a book for crayon fans! We grab this book from the library anytime we see it, and it’s got a great message, too. Kids will be inspired to color after reading this book about crayons. 

       It’s no secret that crayons are a fine motor powerhouse when it comes to developing that tripod grasp! You can use larger crayons for smaller kids or children who need to work on other grasps, like a lateral key grasp, or children who need to work on thumb adduction in functional tasks like scissoring. These ALEX Jr. Tots First Crayons are just the thing to try! 

       Work on more fine motor skills, like finger isolation when using Finger Crayons.

      Kids can get creative and explore sensory play while using crayons in the bathtub. 


       These Bath Time Crayons are on my list to try!

      Do you remember rubbing crayons over fashion design kits as a kid? There is a reason to do this play activity with kids! 


      This Fashion Design Activity Kit provides proprioceptive input and strength to little hands in a fun and creative way. 


       With 152 colors, this Crayola Ultimate Crayon Case will give your kiddo a color for every creative whim. This looks so inviting! 


       There is a coloring book out there for everyone! Even adults can get in on the coloring fun with creative coloring like this Art Nouveau Animal Designs Coloring Book . Color alongside your child for calming and relaxing art time. 


       I love the large size and big pictures of the Melissa & Doug Jumbo Coloring Pads. They are perfect for the youngest colorers. 


      For more creative fun, try Dry Erase Crayons right on a dry erase surface. This is a great way to practice spelling words on a resistive surface. 


      Little artists will love to create their own t-shirt designs using Fabric Crayons
      . This is a fun way to work on fine motor strength and bilateral coordination. Holding down that cotton t-shirt is a bilateral coordination workout!

      There are so many benefits to coloring for kids: hand strength, visual motor skills, visual perception, tool use, creativity, endurance, creativity, self-confidence, task completion, and learning objectives!  Tips from an Occupational Therapist for working on coloring and handwriting in school and at home.

      Colors Handwriting Kit

      Working on handwriting skills in occupational therapy sessions?

      Need to help your child with handwriting legibility, letter formation, spacing, and sizing in written work?

      Working on handwriting in the classroom and need a fun colors of the rainbow theme for motivating handwriting tasks?

      The Colors Handwriting Kit has you covered!

      In the 60 page printable kit, you’ll find handwriting worksheets, fine motor activity pages for A-Z, colors “write the room” cards for uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and cursive letters. This kit has evertyhing you need for helpiing kindergarten-2nd grade students with handwriting skills.

      Click here to access the Colors Handwriting Kit.

      Colors Handwriting Kit
      Colors Handwriting Kit for working on handwriting with a colors theme.

      More Crayon activities

      Metallic Crayon Dough

      Shades of red crayon play dough 

      Harold and the Purple Crayon play dough 

      Rainbow Crayon Play Dough

      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 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.

      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