Teletherapy can seem overly complicated to some therapists. The truth is, once you get the hang of the platform that you will be using, therapy sessions can look a whole lot like traditional therapy sessions. Therapists have quite a bit of variety as to the specific teletherapy activities they use with their kiddos, and can even be creative when coming up with other ways to aid progress. There are a range of teletherapy games and worksheets that are available for use in occupational therapy teletherapy sessions.
When it comes to virtual therapy sessions, understanding how teletherapy works may be the first hurdle for occupational therapists to overcome.
Here are just a few examples:
Websites that offer teletherapy games and online worksheets for OT virtual sessions
There are many online games out there that can be used in teletherapy sessions. Kids love these interactive games and activities, so they can be incorporated right into therapy sessions to work on visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills, coordination, handwriting, typing, executive functioning skills, and more.
Or, use these online game websites as a reward activity while actually helping kids build skills.
These teletherapy games can be added to Google classroom or other online therapy platforms , or emailed to parents for activity ideas.
I have MANY more online games that build skills listed in the virtual games list below. You can add this to your teletherapy toolbox!
Mazes in teletherapy games
Maze activities are an excellent way to work on spatial awareness, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, bilateral integration, problem solving skills, and more. Here are more specific ways to work on fine motor skills in teletherapy sessions. During teletherapy sessions, children can go “old school” and use a printed maze on a piece of paper with a pen or pencil to develop these skills.
However, some therapists may opt to use digital mazes to incorporate finger isolation and more defined visual skills such as tracking and scanning. Many therapists find that additional variations within mazes (such as hiding a math problem, or a picture to color) at the end of the maze allow them to further address areas of concern for a child, while making the activity fun and motivating.
Puzzles in Occupational therapy teletherapy
As one of the most versatile activities known to therapists, puzzles can easily be graded up or down to accommodate children of all ages, developmental abilities, and needs. Children may use strategy-based puzzles that can be completed right on their computers, or standard print-and-complete activities.
These activities can work on developing visual skills such as perception and recognition, visual memory, spatial awareness, and hand-eye coordination, along with fine motor skills and activity tolerance.
Handwriting in OT teletherapy
Handwriting can be addressed in a variety of unique ways through teletherapy sessions. Therapists may opt to have children use digital features of their teletherapy platform in order to enhance skills such as finger isolation, visual acuity, and tolerance for tasks that may cause visual fatigue (along with practicing taking breaks and chunking the activity as needed).
One way to do this is by using free letter formation worksheets. The therapy provider can print off the resource and send the printed version to the clients on their caseload.
Another way to use these materials is for the therapy provider to upload the resource to a Google drive to use with their caseload. Note that the copyright of The OT Toolbox limits resources from being uploaded to a company wide/school-wide platform.
Therapists can use in-person manipulatives such as playdoh, pom poms, tongs, shaving cream, sand, magnetic letters for tracing, (Check out our resource on tracing sheets) wikki stix, theraputty, theraband, and finger spacers to complete handwriting activities that work on spacing, placement, force modulation, formation, hand fatigue, grasp pattern, and more.
Household items to use in Teletherapy Handwriting Activities
One of my personal favorite handwriting activities that I believe works very well via teletherapy is a “toolkit” of sorts to address appropriate amounts of pressure when writing. Children can use a variety of household materials, such as foil, wax paper, wrapping paper, bubble wrap, toilet paper, and cardstock, to practice using the right amount of pressure with their pencil to elicit the letters they need to write.
You can even turn this into a scavenger hunt where children find these items (with some help from mom, dad, or a family member who conveniently hid them around the workspace in their computer room!).
Helping Kids Understand Teletherapy Games
With just a little creativity (or some searching on the OT Toolbox or Pinterest), therapists can make a teletherapy session both beneficial and fun for the children they are working with. There may be some additional planning on behalf of parents and family members to help things run smoothly, but teletherapy can be an incredibly rewarding experience for children, families, and therapists.
However, children who have previously received occupational therapy services in a face-to-face setting may feel uneasy completing tasks virtually. Here is a fun book to help explain why they are now working on these activities and skills with their therapist through a computer screen.
Affiliate links are included below.
Why is there a person in my computer? is a child’s guide to understanding what teletherapy is and how it can help with a variety of medical concerns. This story follows Andrew, a child with visual deficits who is having difficulty playing hockey, performing well in school, and working on his art. He meets a therapist named Brittany who guides him through his first teletherapy session, and he loves it! This picture book helps children understand what teletherapy is, what makes it different from other therapies, and how it can help them live better lives. Children may also enjoy the supplemental activity guide complete with coloring pages, fact sheets, and more!
Free List of Online Virtual Games for Therapy
Need to add virtual games, online mazes, and puzzles to your teletherapy toolbox? Access this free list so you can click and go to games that help kids develop and build skills.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog post was written by Brittany Ferri. Brittany is an occupational therapist, author, and teletherapy professional. She is passionate about education, health promotion, and disease prevention for all. Brittany currently practices in community-based teletherapy for two platforms, one that serves pediatrics (geared toward mental health diagnoses and