Happy soon-to-be Spring! Are you a newly graduated therapist? New to the school system?
If you’re anything like me and many of the new school OTs out there, you are excited yet overwhelmed at the thought of treatment planning for a large caseload of students (and a variety of ages and skill sets). I was extremely lucky to have a level II fieldwork mentor in the school setting who set me up for success out in the field by sharing fun craft and writing activity ideas for each month, season, and/or holiday. With the help of her recommendations for some great resources, I created my own “School OT Toolbox.”
And let me tell you… the bit of extra time I took to prepare this while still learning, now saves me SO much time planning and gives me more time to actually treat and document. It has been a lifesaver. I highly suggest organizing a file with a variety of craft and writing handouts and resources for each month/season to make it easy to “grab and go” with your busy schedule of treatments! Anyway, enough of that… you came here for Spring-specific activities so let this be your own little grab-and-go toolbox for activities to do with your little ones this Spring!
Spring Handwriting/Fine Motor Activities:
- Spring Egg Hunt: My absolute favorite seasonal activity! Gather some plastic eggs and fill them with fun writing prompts and candies! The best part is it involves a built-in movement break and sensory warmup! You can place the eggs in different locations to target skills like crossing midline or reaching the arms above 90 degrees.
- Check out some free online resources for more writing prompts and activities and save them to a folder for easy access. Here are some of my favorites:
Lakeshore Learning has great (and free!) online resources for writing activities. One of my go-to handouts to have on hand is their monthly writing prompt calendar. This is always a great activity to fall back on if you are busy with other parts of the job and need a quick treatment activity - or just an extra choice for your kiddos! Find cards and coupons for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day here, too!
Check out Your Therapy Source free stuff for fine motor and handwriting activities and information sheets. For a St. Patrick’s Day activity, try some tracing and copying worksheets here.
Spring Activities & Craft Ideas:
What a fun season for crafts to work on those fine motor skills and attention while keeping our kiddos engaged!
- For a coloring activity that also works on number recognition and visual motor skills, try Simple Everyday Mom’s Dr. Seuss Color by Number. Her craft templates are just the cutest and provide some structure while also letting students’ creativity shine. Use these holiday crafts for Saint Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Easter. A great way to work with your students on sequencing steps, cutting, gluing, coloring, and writing their names! Some of my favorites are the shamrock craft, leprechaun face, rainbow and pot of gold, and chick craft.
- Your Therapy Source also has some great mazes and coloring pages to target visual perceptual and visual motor skills necessary for handwriting.
Another great source is social media! There are truly so many wonderful therapists out there sharing so many great activities and tips. Search for pediatric or school-based occupational therapy in the Instagram app or do a quick Google search - you’ll be amazed how many resources are right there at our fingertips!
These are just a few sites and activities I have used but I am always excited to hear about new resources other therapists use! And if you decide to be a real go-getter… create your OWN craft to share! We have so much room for creativity with treatments in this job, I truly think that is one of the greatest parts!
Author: Amber Ferrari, M.S., OTR/L