Skip to Main Content Accessibility Settings
  • Website Accessibility Settings
  • Provider Login (Opens in a New Window)
  • Get Directions
  • Get Directions

April 16, 2024

April is OT Month!!

Occupational therapy (OT) provides a therapeutic method that uses daily activities as ways to promote further skill development and independence. Specifically, when working with children, we use child-preferred and age-appropriate tasks to develop the skills a child needs for everyday life and skills they will need for school. Occupational therapists often target fine motor skills which are the small precise movements made by our hands. For children, occupational therapy especially looks at upper body strength, finger isolation and hand manipulation, body movement, and academic readiness skills such as scissor skills, pre-writing and writing skills, grasp, and visual skills. Pediatric occupational therapists use play, coloring, crafting, movement, and much more to provide a fun experience while also targeting the needs of the child.

Some of our Occupational Therapist’s favorite tools include:

  • Obstacle courses: Obstacle courses are a great way to target a variety of skills at once. Upper body strength is worked on by crawling, climbing, carrying, and pulling. Children are required to use both sides of their body together in a coordinated manner (bilateral integration) to safely move around obstacles. Within the obstacle course children are required to coordinate vision tasks and body movements to scan their environment, judge distances, and pick up and transport manipulatives.
  • Clothespins: Clothespins are a great household item that can be used to work on hand strength, finger isolation, visual motor skills, and visual perceptual skills. Children are required to isolate their finger to pinch and must coordinate movements to pinch the clothespins and place them on paper, string, or other materials. You can use colored clothespins or clothespins with letters/numbers written on them to target matching and identification skills as well!
  • Theraputty: Theraputty is a great tool to work on hand strength, using two hands together, and finger isolation. You can complete hand exercises by pulling, pushing rolling, and squeezing the putty. You can hide small objects inside and have children pull them out using their pointer and middle finger. Theraputty also provides a fun tactile experience for children to play with a “messy” tool.
  • Tweezers: Tweezers are a great tool to work on finger isolation and hand strength needed for holding writing utensils like pencils and markers. When using tweezers, children are working on using a “three-digit grasp” using their thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger to pinch and release the tweezers. You can make this task harder by using tweezers that are more resistive or by picking up objects that are smaller. You can make this task easier by using tweezers that are less resistive or by picking up objects that are bigger. Tweezers can easily be incorporated into any board game or game with small pieces.
  • Crafts: Crafts are a great way to work on a bunch of pre-academic skills. Children can cut lines and shapes working on scissor fluency and endurance. They can use crayons, markers, and pencils to work on pre-writing and coloring skills such as coloring in small spaces or drawing lines, circles, and squares. Children can crumple tissue paper to work on using two hands together and using their fingertips for appropriate manipulation. They can use paint, glue, and markers to get messy practice cleaning up.

The best part of occupational therapy is that the therapeutic focus is based on what motivates the child! Children learn through play and exploration of their environment to develop new skills and learn to use those skills across settings. Occupational therapists provide fun treatment sessions led by the child’s interests but focused on developing skills to meet their milestones!

mail_outlineContact Us