A pediatric occupational therapist.

Ideas for children aged 3 and up

OT Activities

Fine Motor
  1. Games such as Thin Ice, Ants in the Pants, Cooties, Lite Bright,Battleship, Trouble
  2. Use tongs, chopsticks, tweezers to pick up snacks such as cheetos, chips, pretzels (be creative- will also work on grading pressure)
  3. Cut slit in tennis ball, kids can draw on the face, use slit as a mouth-feed your new friend beads, candies, pegs
  4. Hide small objects in large ball of play-doh, have kids try and find them (also works on tactile processing)
  5. Create sticker chart or sticker book using small stickers, have children remove and place them independently
  6. Fuitloop necklace- have kids place cereal on string using fun cereals, place on neck, can eat afterwards
Visual Motor/Visual Perceptual
  1. Balloon volleyball, have kids use hands or racquets, tie up a net or string, practice hitting back and forth
  2. Bubbles- great for tracking, kids love to pop them, works on oral motor skills when blowing them
  3. ABC water game- write alphabet in mixed up order using sidewalk chalk, kids can help make ABC’s , call out a letter, use squirter bottle or water gun to spray letters (make sure to use both hands)
  4. I Spy - call out a color, have kids spray objects of that color with squirter bottle or water gun
  5. Play games such as badmitton, fling toss, tee ball
  6. Hot potato with water balloons
  7. Create mazes/connect the dots (numbers or ABCs) with sidewalk chalk - have the kids move through them with their body (different positions - jumping, skipping, crab walking, one foot) then have them use sidewalk chalk to complete themselves- have them create one for you
  1. Create obstacle course both inside and outside (use cushions, chairs, couches, playground equipment, benches, tables - go over, around, under) – have writing or coloring activity at end or in the middle, can use sidewalk chalk, paper/pencil, shaving cream)
  2. Shaving cream, tray of sand, salt, rice, pudding- write words, draw what they wrote, practice letters, name, numbers
  3. Use play-doh, molding clay, etc make letters, numbers, words (flatten and write or roll into letters/numbers)
  4. Go to playgrounds, amusement parks, fairs
  5. Take classes such as tennis, karate, gymnastics, dance, swimming
  6. Finger paint letters, pictures, words
  7. Use an air-mattress as a tumbling area
  8. Wrap child up in sleeping bags, blankets, roll them around

Tips for hand weakness

Hand strengthening activities
  1. Putty 3x daily (3-5 minutes)
    • squeezing in hand
    • each finger to thumb
    • rolling snakes
    • finding beads in putty
  2. Hand strengthening object sold at sports stores (squeeze tool that isolates each finger)
  3. Theraband activiy (3-5 minutes)
    • tie to doorknob and pull horizontally, vertically, across body 5-7x each direction (take breaks as needed)
  4. squeeze bottles that spray water
Energy Conservation
  1. Use light pencils when writing (mechanical pencils)
  2. Use keyboard when needed
  3. Take breaks as needed
  4. Write in anti-gravity positions when possible (over cushion or ball) Use dicem under writing activity to prevent pressing too hard

Home Suggestions for Writing Difficulites

  1. Use shaving cream, pudding, etc to practice writing letters, words spelling list
  2. Have tray with rice, salt, grits, and practice letters, words, spelling list
  3. Make an obstacle course (including running, jumping, and writing/drawing on a vertical surface)
  4. Use play dough, flatten into a smooth surface, write on play-doh with pencil, roll into segments of letters
  5. Play games that require eye-hand coordination using gross and fine motor skills (tennsi, basketball, playing catch, fishing games, etc)
  6. Play Simon Says or the mirror game and the child has to copy body movements

Recommended Toy List – Ages 3 and up

Fine Motor/Visual Motor/ Visual Perceptual
  1. Thin Ice/Ants in the Pants/ Coodies
  2. Light Bright
  3. Dot-to-dot, Mazes
  4. Mr. Potato Head
  5. Puzzles (magnet, blocks, floor puzzles)
  6. Dot-to-dot Paints
  7. Lacing
  8. Wikki sticks
  9. Spray bottles
  10. Bead sequence
  11. Rush Hour
  12. Fishing game
  13. Animal grabber
Sensory (Tactile/Vestibular/Proprioceptive)
  1. Dizzy disc/Sit’n Spin
  2. Tunnel
  3. Ball Pit
  4. Trampoline
  5. Vibrating Pen
  6. Play-doh, Floam, Putty, Molding Clay, Play Foam
  7. Tray of sand, rice, beans
  8. Finger Paints
  9. Koosh balls, textures fidget toys and balls
  10. Bouncer
Praxis/Bilateral Coordination
  1. Zoomball
  2. Accordian Tube
  3. Supercatch (Velcro ball game)
  4. Badmitton
  5. Nuts and Bolts
  6. Stepping Buckets

Occupational Therapy Supplies (Catalogs)

Company Website Phone Number
Abilitations abilitations.com 800-850-8602
Pocket Full of Therapy pfot.com 800-736-8124
OT Ideas otideas.com 877-768-4332
Sammons Preston sammonspreston.com 800-323-5547
Therapro theraproducts.com 800-257-5376
Pro-Ed proedinc.com 800-397-7633
Sensory resources sensoryresources.co 888-357-5867
Beyond Play beyondplay.com 877-428-1244


The material presented here is not medical advice, and should not be considered as such. The information contained on this website is intended ONLY as an educational resource. It is not intended to convey advice for any specific child.

The Occupational Therapist is responsible for providing appropriate therapy based on an individual clients need and goals. The owner of this site will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising there from.

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