Kaitlyn Nathem, former board member and Occupational Therapist and Jessica Puls, also an Occupational Therapist, joined the 2 and Under program last week virtually and they shared a lot of great at-home occupational therapy activities. Together, they created this blog of OT activities for you to do at home! Thank you Kaitlyn & Jessica for your time and expertise.

Activities To Do At Home

  • Heavy work!! Always begin with heavy work for the body before sitting at a table and expecting them to hold attention. Heavy work will calm the body and give it awareness to complete more fine motor work but also will strengthen core, arms, legs, neck
    • Wheel barrel walks
    • Animal walks: Bear walk, Frog jump, Crab walk, Snake, Turtle (add pillow on back)
    • Obstacle course – crawling under chairs, tables, over couch cushions, through a tunnel
    • GoNoodle (youtube movement videos)
    • Throw bean bags
  • Hold and Do tasks (Bilateral Coordination):
    • Cutting playdough with safety scissors or plastic scissors
    • Lacing cards
    • Pushing legos together
    • Turning pages in a board book
    • Opening various sized containers with lids
    • Tearing anything…paper, tissue paper, newspaper, cardboard
  • Visual motor skills:
    • Stacking (cups, large blocks, legos)
    • Putting pegs into a hole (hedgehog I mentioned, qtips into a colander/egg carton with hole to push in)
  • ‘Put in’ activities: putting an item (cotton balls, q-tips, etc.) into a jar or bowl. This could also be putting toys away into a bin or cut a X slit into top of old butter container. Use repetitive ‘put in’ phrase as you are doing this. As they progress, you can work on picking the item up with the left hand and transferring it to the right hand before putting into the jar (or vis versa). Additionally, you could work on ‘crossing midline’ by placing the items in various places in front of them, encouraging them to have to reach across the middle of their body to get the items.
  • Sensory activities:
    • Helping with baking (squeezing dough, exploring the taste by touch and bringing to lips, feeling the difference between the dry ingredients vs. when the wet ingredients go in)
    • No mess painting- put paint on a piece of paper and place that paper inside of a ziploc bag (tape the top just in case), then allow them to explore the feeling of the paint inside the bag by pushing it around with their fingers.
    • Sensory boxes- putting different items like beans, sand, pom-pom balls, etc. into various boxes for exploration. You can also hide different items into those boxes (such as little plastic bugs, shop-kins, etc.) so they have to search for those items in the box.
    • Shaving cream- putting it on a mirror or in a plastic bucket and drawing in it, just pushing fingers through it, starting to draw shapes or copy lines.
  • Fine motor grasp activities:
    • Sticky note peek-a-boo: printing off pictures of friends and family and placing a sticky note over top of the picture, encouraging them to take the sticky note off to play peek-a-boo. This works on fine motor grasp, bilateral coordination of holding the picture and peeling off the sticky note at the same time, and it is super fun to see who they are playing peek a boo with. You can also turn this into a memory game- “where is uncle joe?” and see if they remember which order he was in.
    • “Painting” with water on cardboard. Using a paintbrush, sponges, a spray bottle, or anything else, allow them to dip it into water and “paint” onto the cardboard. This works on grasping writing utensils if using the paintbrush, as well as strengthening hand muscles if using a spray bottle.

OT Activity Videos

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