9 Fine Motor Occupational Therapy Exercises

Right before the plague happened we took Kinsley to occupational therapy in the clinic for the first time in her entire life. The only time she'd had OT outside of what she got at school was the last six months that she was eligible for early intervention services when we lived in Georgia. Because money had been tight it felt like we needed to pick and choose which therapies were most important. We always picked PT over OT, but now that Kinsley is on medicaid, we felt like we should really hone in on all the therapies available to her. 

Fine Motor strengthening activities. Fine motor skills activities for 5-6 year olds. Fine motor activities for 8 year olds. Fine Moto activities occupational therapy. OT activities for toddlers. OT toolbox. Fine motor activities with household items. OT ideas for kids. Fun fine motor ideas for kids. Cheap and inexpensive fine motor activities for kids. Ideas for at home occupational therapy. #ot #occupationaltherapy #finemotor #crafts #kids #fun #therapy #pt #physicaltherapy

We've seen our therapist three times now and are finally in a routine with implementing these things at home. A lot of what Kinsley is working on right now is building simple hand strength. For the most part she does really well and is certainly functional with her hands, but if we want to see some real progression with handwriting (as opposed to just tracing), cutting, and being able to do a lot more things independently, that basic hand strength and coordination is really what we need to hone in on.

Here are nine occupational therapy exercises we're currently working on in our house, and hopefully they can help you in your home! Most of the "supplies" we have you can get at Dollar Tree. I'll note where I got everything below, and will leave links for things when possible. 

Fine Motor strengthening activities. Fine motor skills activities for 5-6 year olds. Fine motor activities for 8 year olds. Fine Moto activities occupational therapy. OT activities for toddlers. OT toolbox. Fine motor activities with household items. OT ideas for kids. Fun fine motor ideas for kids. Cheap and inexpensive fine motor activities for kids. Ideas for at home occupational therapy. #ot #occupationaltherapy #finemotor #crafts #kids #fun #therapy #pt #physicaltherapy


Threading Beads on Pipe Cleaners:  This activity is really great because you can get beads and pipe cleaners at dollar tree. I like using pipe cleaners because the beads don't fall off them as easily as they would with a piece of string and it helps to keep the activity going in the right direction when things aren't falling apart. We love to make these into bracelets and it's pretty much always a hit! 

Fine Motor strengthening activities. Fine motor skills activities for 5-6 year olds. Fine motor activities for 8 year olds. Fine Moto activities occupational therapy. OT activities for toddlers. OT toolbox. Fine motor activities with household items. OT ideas for kids. Fun fine motor ideas for kids. Cheap and inexpensive fine motor activities for kids. Ideas for at home occupational therapy. #ot #occupationaltherapy #finemotor #crafts #kids #fun #therapy #pt #physicaltherapy

Cutting a Straight Line: Kinsley has gotten really good at cutting this last year and now we're working on cutting straight lines. Her OT recommended drawing lines on index cards or card stock because of how sturdy they are, and because they won't flop around all over the place like a normal piece of paper. Her OT also recommended the paint strip samples from Home Depot since they're colorful, already have lines on them, and they're free!

Fine Motor strengthening activities. Fine motor skills activities for 5-6 year olds. Fine motor activities for 8 year olds. Fine Moto activities occupational therapy. OT activities for toddlers. OT toolbox. Fine motor activities with household items. OT ideas for kids. Fun fine motor ideas for kids. Cheap and inexpensive fine motor activities for kids. Ideas for at home occupational therapy. #ot #occupationaltherapy #finemotor #crafts #kids #fun #therapy #pt #physicaltherapy

Snapping Math Cubes Together: We got these math cubes from the Target Dollar Spot ages ago, but they're really great for working on hand-eye-coordination and putting things together, and are also great for hand strength for pushing them together and then pulling them apart. If you can't find these locally, here are some on amazon for $12. (They're likely a lot better quality than the ones we have anyways).

Fine Motor strengthening activities. Fine motor skills activities for 5-6 year olds. Fine motor activities for 8 year olds. Fine Moto activities occupational therapy. OT activities for toddlers. OT toolbox. Fine motor activities with household items. OT ideas for kids. Fun fine motor ideas for kids. Cheap and inexpensive fine motor activities for kids. Ideas for at home occupational therapy. #ot #occupationaltherapy #finemotor #crafts #kids #fun #therapy #pt #physicaltherapy

Picking Things Up With Tweezers: We found these same kid tweezers that her OT  uses at Dollar Tree, although they are available on Amazon as well, but they're $8 for literally the same thing. Tweezers are really great for hand-eye-coordination and hand strength and you can use them to pick up beads, learning cubes, connect four pieces, really anything. This is pretty hard for Kinsley and becomes frustrating fast, but I'm holding out that it will pay off dividends later. 


Playing With Thera Putty: Thera Putty is essentially glorified silly putty. It comes in a bunch of different consistencies from really loose to really firm. The firmer the putty, the harder it is to manipulate. Kinsley's OT gave us some to take home with mini beads in it, and Kinsley loves playing with it and digging out all the letters. Thera Putty is actually really affordable. You can purchase one pack for less than $5 on Amazon, or all of the different levels of firmness in a multipack for $12!

Fine Motor strengthening activities. Fine motor skills activities for 5-6 year olds. Fine motor activities for 8 year olds. Fine Moto activities occupational therapy. OT activities for toddlers. OT toolbox. Fine motor activities with household items. OT ideas for kids. Fun fine motor ideas for kids. Cheap and inexpensive fine motor activities for kids. Ideas for at home occupational therapy. #ot #occupationaltherapy #finemotor #crafts #kids #fun #therapy #pt #physicaltherapy

Sticking Coins In A Tennis Ball: This is super cheap and easy to do! I bought a pack of tennis balls on Amazon for $2 (yes I was as shocked as you are that something on amazon was actually $2 shipped!). Then I used a knife to cut a hole in the tennis ball, and drew a face on it. When Kinsley squeezes the sides of the ball, it opens up the mouth and she can stick coins inside. This is an awesome hand strengthener, and is another activity that tends to lead to frustration quickly, but I know it's doing good things for her!

Squigz: You can get a pack of these on Amazon for $9. They're little rubber pieces that suction to each other so you can build random structures and and stuff. They also stick well to walls and windows. If you have your child stick them to a surface, and then pull them back off, it takes quite a bit of strength to get them apart/off of things, which makes them really great for building those hand muscles. 

Button Art Game: Kinsley's OT introduced this to us in the clinic and I think I'm going to grab it for Kinsley's birthday coming up. You put different pictures down on a board, and then you have to put the corresponding color peg into the picture to fill it in all the way. It's really fun and helps with hand-eye-coordination and also cognitive skills such as seeing which color you need, finding the correct color, and then getting it where it needs to go. 

Cupcake Party Game: This was another game that got introduced to us in the clinic that might go on the birthday list. Each cupcake is coordinated in color to match a Disney Princess. You get a card, and then it tells you which color piece you need for the top, middle, and bottom of the cupcake, and then you find the pieces and put them together to match the card. It's a really great multi-sensory learning activity! 

I hope this list of activities was helpful for you! I want to do better at sharing OT/PT things on the blog in hopes of it helping other mamas! Be sure to follow along on instagram @thahappyflammily where I share therapy activities and other things a lot more frequently!

No comments