Here is another fun Valentines Fine Motor Worksheet with a sweet treats theme. Add this resource to your Valentine’s Day occupational therapy activities for themed activities that build fine motor skills. This printable bundle is designed to work on in-hand manipulation. What the heck is that?
Valentines Fine Motor Worksheet
In the Valentine fine motor activity using the worksheet below, you can promote fine motor skill development, specifically regarding in-hand manipulation skills.
In-hand manipulation is an essential skill for hand function. Strengthening the muscles of the palm, or intrinsic muscles helps with basic functions such as picking up and releasing small objects such as coins one at a time.
This is how you are able to give something to someone without opening up your whole hand and dumping the contents. We use these intrinsic muscles during finger isolation, pointing, cutting with scissors, writing, or touching each finger tip to tip to name a few.
Motivation, or lack of it, has been addressed several times in previous posts. Some learners are intrinsically motivated, doing their best work because it is important to them. Most people though are externally motivated. They need some sort of reward, praise, or incentive in order to work (especially at a non preferred task). While handing out rewards for each task completed is not sustainable, adding incentives is.
Worksheets found on the OT Toolbox add themes and pictures to incentivize your learners to complete the task more willingly. Our Valentine theme is no exception.
Activities in our popular Valentine Fine Motor Kit include fine motor strips that can be used to develop skills in a fun and motivating way.
Below, you can grab a set of Valentine Fine Motor Strips, whether it be for preschoolers, grade school, or any other entry level learner, are a great bundle of printable worksheets.
While this can have a Valentine theme, it can also be a stand alone activity or fit nicely into your in-hand manipulation treatment plan.
How to use these Valentines fine motor printables:
The classic method of using these Valentines Treats Printables is to have your learner pick up a designated number of small objects one at a time, transferring from the fingertips to the palm of the hand. Then your learner will place the objects down on the diagram one at a time, reversing the process of transferring the objects from the palm to the fingertips before placing them on the page.
What to watch for while using this valentines printable:
- Is your learner using a raking or pincer grasp to pick up the objects?
- Do not let your learner slide the objects off of the table
- Items should be picked up with only ONE hand
- Items should be dropped one at a time by transferring the objects to the fingertips, not just opening a finger or two to release the objects
- While the above are considered “cheating”, they are more likely coping strategies for a learner who does not understand, or is unable to do the task correctly. Modify the task as needed for success.
- Count how many items your learner can hold without dropping any. Try and aim for ten items.
- How many times do you need to repeat the directions so your student can follow them?
- How many reminders does your student need while doing this activity?
- What is your student’s frustration tolerance when they have to start over?
- What compensation strategies is your learner using?
- What is their behavior, social function, and executive skills during this task?
What items can I use for the valentines day treats printable worksheet?
The small objects for this Valentines Day Fine Motor Worksheet can be anything really. You can make the task easier or more difficult depending on the number and size of the objects. Keep a watchful eye on your learners while they are handling small objects. It is important that they learn to work with small objects, but be vigilant about items going into the mouth. Here are some suggestions of items to use:
- Buttons of different sizes
- Pompoms of different sizes
- Mini marshmallows
- Small Legos
- Cheerios or other small food items (this may help incentivize your learner even more!)
- Bingo chips
- Any combination of items you have in your junk drawer
What else can I do with this Valentines fine motor strips printable pack?
- Use different size/number/type of objects to change the challenge
- Use crayons/colored pencils/markers to color the paths or make marks along the way
- Dot markers can be used to mark the items along the paths
- Pages can be colored and cut out, glued onto larger sheets and decorated
- Enlarge or shrink this page to change the level of difficulty
- Change the type, color, or weight of paper. Heavier weight is easier to handle, Colored paper might be more motivating, or provide better contrast
- Make a lesson plan around in-hand manipulation, tasty treats, or fine motor skills for the day/week
- Laminate the page for reusability. This activity can then be done with manipulatives or markers and wipes.
- An alternative to lamination is page protector sheets. These are much more affordable and reusable depending on your current lesson plan. Create a themed binder of worksheets to use with all of your learners.
Whether your lesson plan is preschool Valentine’s printables, worksheets for fine motor skills, coloring activities, Valentines Sensory Bins, printable Valentines hearts, in-hand manipulation, or a combination of all of these, have fun with them! Use the resources at the OT Toolbox to make a challenging task fun.
What if you had themed, NO-PREP activities designed to collect data and can help kids build essential fine motor skills?
Take back your time and start the year off with a bang with these done-for-you fine motor plans to help kids form stronger hands with our Winter Fine Motor Kit. This print-and-go winter fine motor kit includes no-prep fine motor activities to help kids develop functional grasp, dexterity, strength, and endurance. Use fun, winter-themed, fine motor activities so you can help children develop strong fine motor skills in a digital world.
The Winter Fine Motor Kit includes reproducible activity pages include: pencil control strips, scissor skills strips, simple and complex cutting shapes, lacing cards, toothpick precision art, crumble hand strengthening crafts, memory cards, coloring activities, and so much more.
If you regularly use the printables and activities like the Valentines Fine Motor Printables or Treat Worksheet bundle offered at the OT Toolbox, you might want to consider becoming a Member of the OT Toolbox. Membership is a more efficient way to get all of your information and resources than entering your email address each time. Save hours of time with an organized collection of high quality, easy-prep occupational therapy resources right at your fingertips!
In addition to free downloads like this Valentines Day Fine Motor Worksheet, the OT Toolbox also offers themed activities/posts to make treatment planning a breeze. One of them is this the Valentine’s Day Occupational Therapy Activity Post full of activities, crafts, sensory strategies, Valentines Play Dough, resources and products. Included in the OT Toolbox resources is a a great Valentines Day Fine Motor Kit, on special now!
If you are a new therapist/parent/teacher, you could definitely use some resources! If you are a seasoned therapist you could definitely use some NEW resources!!
In preparation for this activity set, I will be scouring my junk drawers looking for miscellaneous objects to put this task to good use. Does anyone even have coins anymore?
Free Valentine Fine Motor Worksheet
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Victoria Wood, OTR/L
Victoria Wood, OTR/L is a contributor to The OT Toolbox and has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.
*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.