OT Activities with Kitchen Tools

These activities work on several underlying skills at one time using objects you may already have in the house. If you have any questions about these activities, please email me at dandroe@dearbornschools.org

Sorting Silverware, and Folding towels
Stacking Paper Towel Tubes, and Nesting Measuring Cups
Opening and Closing Containers, and Stabilizing/Pouring Rice and Corn
Unwrapping Foil, and Placing Pegs/Straws in Putty

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Is your student working on their pre-writing shapes? Tic-Tac-Toe is a great way to practice writing Crosses and Circles!

  • For Crosses, remember to practice starting at the top when making the vertical line, and moving left to right when making the horizontal line.
  • For Circles, remember to practice starting and stopping at the same spot.
  • Remind students to use their helper hand to keep the paper still while they write.
  • Use a small writing utensil (broken crayon, small chalk piece) to build fine motor strength

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Moon and Stars Craft

Here is a link to a fun Moon and Stars Window Hanging Craft for Ramadan: https://nurturestore.co.uk/paper-plate-moon-ramadan-craft

You will need scissors, a paper plate, tissue paper, glue, and paint/markers/crayons. Adults will likely have to cut out the crescent and star shapes, but younger hands should be able to help with all of the other steps!

  • Tearing tissue paper is a great way for students to practice using both of their hands, and it is a great hand strengthening activity as well.
  • Cutting the tissue paper is another great option to work on scissor skills.
  • Helping to hold and squeeze a glue bottle or paint bottle is a great way to strengthen hands and practice using both hands.
  • Coloring or painting the paper plate is a great way to practice using our “helper hand” to stabilize the plate while we paint or color with the dominant hand. This will also work on fine motor skills needed to grasp and manipulate a marker, crayon, or paint brush.

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Free Library Resource

Open Library is a free resource that allows access to a ton of fantastic books! Here is the link: https://openlibrary.org/

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Howe Elementary Google Hangout Meetings

Ms. Dawn and I will be hosting Google Hangout Meetings for Mrs. Kubert’s Classroom and Mrs. Roskelly’s Classroom on the dates listed in the attached PDF:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rN6TR-rtjPDVSlpg0p0YjC0z_uNzwOcg/view

For the protection of our students, the invitation link and phone number for the meetings will not be sent out until a few minutes before the meetings start.

Tip: If you want to see more than 4 screens at once, add the (free) Google Extension “Google Meet Grid View” using the following link:

Please email me at dandroe@dearbornschools.org with any questions you may have!

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Let’s Practice Buttons, Zippers, and Ties!

Practicing fasteners can be tricky, don’t force students when they become frustrated. Try to give your student what occupational therapists call the “Just Right Challenge.” This means your student will be slightly challenged by a task, but will still be able to complete the task successfully. This prevents children from becoming discouraged. Start by letting your student try each fastener to see how much help s/he needs. Then let your student complete all of the “easy parts” of the task, while you complete the trickier steps. Gradually show your student how to complete more and more of the task. Remember, most children start by unfastening first (unsnapping, unbuttoning, unzipping, untying), then learn how to fasten (snapping, buttoning, zipping, tying).

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Monkey Stretches and Breathing

Follow along and copy the Monkey’s movements to practice peaceful stretching and breathing exercises. This will help reduce anxiety, and to improve coordination skills. I encourage families to join their students in these stretches. Practice healthy habits together!

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Puffer Fish Breathing Exercise

Parents, try this breathing exercise with your child. Practicing slow and steady breathing helps us become mindful of our bodies, and helps calm anxiety. While this video is meant for children, adults may be surprised at the relief that can be found from breathing exercises during stressful times. Join your child and practice good habits together!

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Gross Motor Alphabet Exercises

This is a link to the Alphabet Exercises https://www.theottoolbox.com/alphabet-exercises-for-kids/?ck_subscriber_id=637308162

If you scroll down, there is a description of how to do an exercise for each letter. These gross motor exercises help students build their muscles, coordination skills, and balance skills. This is also a great way to get some wiggles and energy out!

*This resource is from the OT Toolbox Website, a great resource for Occupational Therapist. I encourage you to explore the site, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at dandroe@dearbornschools.org. I can answer questions, and help you modify tasks to your student!

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Let’s Practice the Pre-Writing Shapes!

The Pre-Writing Shapes are typically mastered in this order:

  • Vertical line
  • Horizontal line
  • Circle
  • Cross
  • Square
  • Diagonal line /
  • Diagonal line \
  • X
  • Triangle

Tips for practicing the pre-writing shapes with correct formation:

  • Always start from the “TOP TOP TOP” (this is a phrase I use with many of my students)
  • Always move from the Left to the Right
  • Add a sound when making strokes to encourage engagement (I use “SHOOP!” with many of my students, as well as “CIRCLE…..STOP!” and “DOWN and ACROSS”)
  • Practicing on a vertical surface helps to develop muscles in the arm needed for better handwriting skills
  • Use small writing utensils – small piece of chalk, broken crayon, small pencil, small marker. Using small writing utensils encourages students to use a developmentally appropriate pencil grasp
  • Remind your students to use their “Helper Hand” to hold their paper still as they write
  • Have fun! It is important that students enjoy these activities or they will grow to dislike all writing activities.

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