One thing about the winter season is that cold wintery days inspire winter craft time with kids! These crafts for kids actually build skills, too. They are great for occupational therapy sessions during the winter months.
As school based occupational therapy practitioners, we love these winter crafts as therapy tools that can be classroom decorations, too. They make great kid-created classroom door winter decorations or winter bulletin board decorations to show off therapy skills.
Engaging in winter crafts for kids and winter crafts for preschoolers can be a delightful way to combine fun and learning during the chilly months. These winter occupational therapy activities provide an excellent opportunity for children to develop crucial skills while crafting winter-themed masterpieces.
Here are some winter craft ideas that double as winter art and craft activities, with a focus on enhancing skills targeted in occupational therapy sessions, making them perfect for occupational therapy sessions. Some of the skills addressed by winter OT crafts include:
- fine motor skills (here are more winter fine motor activities)
- improving scissor skills
- visual motor skills
- providing sensory input
- executive functioning skills
Some of these are great December crafts for Christmas time, and others are nice ways to build skills after the holidays with January crafts.
Select a few of these ideas for building skills.
You’ll also love some of these other winter therapy ideas to support skill-building:
- Indoor Recess Ideas
- Winter Brain Break Ideas
- Winter Bilateral Coordination Activities
- Winter Mindfulness Activities (Be sure to check out these hibernation activities, too. They make a great calm down space!)
Easy Winter Crafts for Kids
Use these winter crafts for kids to support skill development in occupational therapy sessions.
Snowflake Cutting: Encourage children to practice their scissor skills by cutting out intricate snowflake shapes from white paper. This activity helps develop fine motor skills and visual motor coordination as they create unique snowflake patterns. Use other paper types like construction paper to slow the scissor speed to target graded precision. Or add heavy work through the hands by cutting cupcake liners into snowflakes.
Penguin Finger Puppets: Crafting penguin finger puppets is a creative way to engage kids. As they decorate and assemble the puppets, they enhance their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Sensory Snow Globes: Craft sensory snow globes using clear plastic containers, water, and glitter. Children can manipulate the glittery snow, providing tactile sensory input. Decorating the globes with miniature winter scenes enhances fine motor skills.
Winter-Themed Collages: Collect various textured materials like cotton balls, tissue paper, and fabric scraps. Kids can create winter-themed collages, improving fine motor skills as they glue, tear, and arrange these materials.
Snowman Building: Crafting paper plate snowmen involves cutting, gluing, and decorating, all of which contribute to fine motor skill development. Adding sensory elements like cotton balls for snow enhances the tactile experience.
Hot Cocoa Mugs: Decorate paper or cardboard mugs with marshmallow shapes made from cotton balls. This craft encourages fine motor skills during gluing and enhances visual motor skills as children design their mugs.
Ice Painting: Freeze colored water in ice cube trays and let children paint with the colorful ice cubes. The sensory experience of cold and slippery ice enhances sensory input while refining fine motor control.
Winter Wonderland Dioramas: Craft winter scenes inside shoeboxes with miniature figurines and cotton ball snow. Assembling these dioramas refines fine motor skills and encourages creativity.
Snowman Paper Chains: Cutting and decorating paper strips to make snowman paper chains is an enjoyable way to improve scissor skills and fine motor coordination. Our New Years paper chain is a great craft for scissor skills, and can be adapted to count down the days until Christmas, Hanukkah, or Valentine’s Day.
Arctic Animal Art: Explore winter-themed art projects featuring arctic animals. Coloring, painting, and crafting animal figures offer opportunities for fine motor skill development and sensory engagement.
Winter crafts for kids and preschoolers not only spark creativity but also provide valuable opportunities for developing essential skills.
January Bulletin Board Ideas
The crafts listed above and below are great ways to display student skills achieved through crafts. If you have a space where you can create a bulletin board for occupational therapy materials, or even a door to decorate, these ideas are great for January crafting.
Include some of these winter phrases:
- “New Year, New Goals: Celebrating Every Achievement”
- “Winter Wonders: Showcasing Our January Accomplishments”
- “Snowflakes of Success in OT”
- “Chill & Achieve: Embracing the Winter of Learning”
- “Our January Journey”
- “Winter Wonderland of Learning: January’s Bright Moments”
- “Sparkling Success Stories: Our January Achievements in OT”
Try more of these craft ideas:
Winter bird crafts– These winter bird crafts support skills in fine motor, visual motor, and direction following skills.
Groundhog’s Day Puppets– incorporate sensory input using the scented craft.
Icicle Scissor Skills Craft– Adjust the line thickness or the amount of scissor turns by modifying the icicle craft.
Pipe cleaner and bead snowflake Craft– Make this fine motor craft (other snowflake activities included in that link as well.
December classroom door ideas
The ideas listed below are holiday crafts that are great for a December classroom door decoration. Simply have the whole classroom or your whole therapy caseload do the same craft (with graded tasks for individual needs) and then hang the crafts on the door. This is an easy way to decorate during a busy holiday season.
- Advent Calendar Banner Craft
- Christmas Stamp Art Craft
- Golf Tee Christmas Wreath Craft
- Pine Cone Christmas Tree Craft
- Spaghetti Wreath Christmas Ornament
- Christmas Tree Sun Catchers
- DIY Handprint Ornament
- Gingerbread Salt Dough Garland
- Homemade Nativity Set
- Visual Christmas Countdown Paper Chain
- Glitter Paint Snowman Craft
- Handprint Ornaments
These winter crafts might not make a great door or bulletin board decoration, but they are cute if you have space to decorate where a table can be involved for holding the winter crafts:
- No-Sew Felt Christmas Cookies for Pretend Play
- Fine Motor Egg Carton Christmas Tree
- Kid-Made Christmas Ornaments
- Soda Dough Snowmen
February Bulletin board ideas
These February classroom door ideas are great for leading up to Valentine’s day. A February classroom door decorated with hearts and some kid-made Valentine’s Day crafts are all you need. If you are using your therapy crafts on a February bulletin board or a door decorated for Valentine’s Day, you can display student projects or achievements alongside the phrases listed below, in order to highlight the progress made during the month of February.
Add some of these phrases to a February bulletin board or Valentine’s Day classroom door decorations:
- “Our Hearts Shine Bright: Celebrating Individual Brilliance!”
- “Love and Learn: Our February Journey”
- “Hearts Full of Achievements: Our February Success”
- “Building Bonds, Sharing Smiles: Our February OT Adventure”
- “Learning, Loving, Growing Together: OT in February”
- “Every Heart, Every Ability: Celebrating Our Diverse Achievements”
- “A Bouquet of Success: Each Petal Represents a Student’s Achievement”- For this Valentine’s Day bulletin board, you can display student’s heart flower crafts for each student.
Use these Valentine’s Day crafts to display work done in the month of February:
DIY Heart Maze– This would be a fun craft to add to a phrase about the students being “A-Mazing”
Here are more winter crafts for February:
- Heart Deep Breathing Exercise– This is a great addition to a February bulletin board to encourage self-regulation strategies in the whole school.
- Valentine’s Day Activity Sheet
- Valentines Fine Motor Worksheet
- Valentine’s Day Noodle Painting garland
- Valentine’s Day Recycled Materials Banner
classroom door winter decorations
We love using these winter crafts listed above to work on skills in occupational therapy sessions. A bonus is that you can include any of these winter crafts as classroom door winter decorations. A school based occupational therapy provider might have a classroom of their own…or not! It might be a closet or a nook in a hallway corner, but some lucky OT providers have a classroom of their own that they can decorate with winter decor.
Other therapy providers have a bulletin board to show off all that occupational therapy has to offer. Filling that space with winter crafts that build skills is a fun way to tell the team about things therapy kiddos have been working on in OT sessions.
The winter crafts we shared above can be featured on a winter classroom door or winter bulletin board and show off skills like:
- fine motor
- visual motor
- scissor skills
- direction following
- problem solving
- body and spatial awareness
A few tips for a winter classroom door decoration that supports therapy goals includes:
- Select a craft that can be used by all of your students that are working on a specific goal and modify the craft to make it easier or harder to meet different levels. For example, students working on scissor skills can cut out paper icicles. Some students can cut the straight lines through the page to work on cutting and snipping. You can make the lines thinner or wider depending on the level of the student. Other students that need a more difficult cutting task can cut zig zag lines across a page to create paper icicles. Then, you can layer them on the classroom door or bulletin board.
- Make paper snowflakes. You can use different thicknesses of paper to challenge students. Offer them a template or ask them to create small paper snowflakes. Then, you can add them to a winter classroom door collage or a winter bulletin board.
All of the crafts listed above can be modified to make them easier or more difficult.
Winter classroom door ideas
Then, you can hang the crafts along with a phrase that shows off the work of your clients or students. Select from one of these phrases. They can be used on a winter classroom door, a winter bulletin board, or even hanging in a hallway space or therapy classroom wall.
We selected phrases that incorporate occupational therapy and developing skills, so showcasing crafts done in OT sessions can be hung around the words.
- “Snowflakes are like students, each one is unique!”
- “Chillin’ and Thrivin’ in OT”
- “Winter Wonderland of Learning New Skills”
- “Flurries of Progress in Every Snowflake”
- “Catching New Skills Like Snowflakes”
- “Frosty Weather, Warm Hearts”
- “Bundle Up Your Brilliance”
- “Snowy Success Stories In Occupational Therapy”
- “Snowballing into Success”
- “Reading, Writing, and Snowflake Delighting”
- “Sparkling Minds, Glittering Snowflakes”
- “Navigating the Winter of Wisdom”
- “Each Snowflake Shows Growth in OT”
- “Skiing through Skills, Sleighing in Success”
- “Thawing Potential in Occupational Therapy”
- “Snowy Steps to Achievement in OT”
- “Sweaters and Scholars: A Perfect Blend”
- “Blizzards of Brilliance in Occupational Therapy”
- “Winter OT: Where Every Flake Counts”
- “Snowy Days, Bright Ideas”
For more winter crafts and ideas, check out the Winter Therapy Kit.
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.
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 email@example.com.