Graph paper comes in many sizes! Graph paper activities can be easily graded in difficulty just by making it easier when boxes are large and of course more challenging as boxes become smaller in size. Here are some things to try at home!
1. Graph paper is great to use for math problems! Simply place one number in each box and line them up so numbers are easily read and there’s a spot for each number in your answer. Your math work just might be easier to do and it will for sure be easier to read.
2. I love to use graph paper for imitating drawings. I will draw an odd shape or maybe even a specific item and ask a student to copy my drawing by counting and using the boxes to replicate my shape. Students can also draw their own shape and try to “stump” the therapist or other player.
3. If the adult/other player is creative, s/he can label the boxes with letters and numbers across the top and side edges (kind of like a BINGO board) and the student is asked to fill in box A-1, or C-3, etc. to create a picture that will mysteriously become visible at the end. The one helping here must do a little homework on their own first to make sure the colored in boxes will actually create a picture.
4. The student can also be instructed (verbally or with written cues) to draw shapes, lines, letters, etc. in certain boxes or at the intersection of certain lines (e.g. put a yellow circle in box A-1, or draw a tree at line F-7 or similar). This helps to follow written instructions, draw a specific shape, and locate the correct space on the graph paper. Be creative and make it fun!
5. Finally, it would be an injustice to graph paper if I didn’t mention the use it can play in creating letter boxes. Your student may already be familiar with this through OT sessions. Graph paper lines can be used to outline the space in which a letter sits, using one single box for lower case letters. Upper case letters and lower case letters that are tall (tdfhklb) will need to include the box ON TOP to make it a one wide by a 2 tall defined space. Lower case letters that are descending below the line (qypgj) must include the box BELOW, making it also a one wide by 2 space, but the box on bottom goes below the line on which the letters are written. Making up a “key” of words, or a game, have the student place the letters in the proper defined word space that has letter boxes outlined or maybe even just the word outlined. This may be a fun way to practice spelling words. 6. If nothing else, you can always use graph paper to practice cutting on the lines, creating a colored picture, making paper air planes, or crumpling into a ball to play a game. I’m sure your student can think of many non-traditional things to do with it on his/her own!
If you don’t have graph paper on hand, below are resources I have found which may be helpful.