DIY Occupational Therapy Tools for Kids

DIY Occupational Therapy Tools for Kids

Kids love to create. From fingerpainting to building forts in the living room, children have very creative minds. So, why not use their creative juices to help them in their therapy! Doing arts and crafts is not only fun for children, but it can also help them develop valuable skills. Thanks to these brilliantly simple ideas, you can engage your younger clients with activities they’ll go absolutely love! So, here is a list of 4 easy and fun DIY occupational therapy tools to use with children.

diy occupational therapy tools

4 Easy DIY Occupational Therapy Tools

Here are just a few examples of do-it-yourself activities that can help your younger patients learn AND have fun!

Homemade Stencils

Using stencils is a fun way for young children to enhance their motor skills. Homemade stencils are a cheap and easy option when it comes to DIY occupational therapy tools for kids. Plus, they will keep the children entertained for hours!

What you’ll need:

  • Paper plates
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Pens or Pencils
  • Paper

Steps to create the stencils:

  1.  Draw pictures onto the plates
  2. Cut them out (duh!)
  3. Get the kids painting!

Aside from developing their motor skills and keeping them occupied, the kids can keep the paintings! These projects are something that they can be proud of and they also make great gifts.

Tabletop Soccer

With just a few basic objects, you can make a kid-friendly activity that helps to improve their oral-motor skills. So, bring some outdoor fun right to your office by putting together this tabletop soccer field!

What you’ll need:

  • Green poster board
  • Pizza box
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Box-top ads and glue or tape (optional)
  • Cotton ball

Steps to create a tabletop soccer field:

  1. Trim green poster board to fit inside an opened pizza box and glue it down
  2. Draw the details of a soccer field onto it
  3. Cut holes for goals at each end
  4. Add goalposts made from pipe cleaners
  5. Attach cut-out box-top ads to the arena sides (Optional)
  6. Place the pizza box on top of books or boxes so that the ball can fall cleanly through the goals
  7. Children can use the straws to blow the cotton ball across the field and try to score!

It may not be a traditional field, but soccer rules still apply — no hands allowed!

Stuffed Animal Weighted Lap Bag

Among the many benefits of weighted blankets, the sensory input that they provide can be beneficial to child-learning. The “stuffed animal” weighted blanket is a fun variation of it and it’s another great form of pediatric occupational therapy to employ!

What you’ll need:

  • Stuffed animal or dog toy (Remove stuffing and squeaker)
  • Aquarium rocks, beans, rice, etc. (For weight)
  • Sewing kit
  • Scissors

Steps to make a stuffed animal weighted lap bag:

  1. Fill the empty stuffed animal with objects of your choosing (aquarium rocks, beans, rice, etc.)
  2. Sew it up

Pretty easy, right? Keep in mind that you might want to adjust the weight depending on the size of the child you’re working with. If you’re a skilled seamstress, try adding a zipper so you can add or remove weight as needed. This tool is great for kiddos that have trouble sitting still at their desks or while they’re eating!

Added bonus: they also can be used as great homemade medicine balls for children.

Visual Tube

Are you looking for a way to practice hand-eye coordination, visual-motor skills, motor planning, and visual tracking with your younger patients? Try using this simple tool can be used for two separate therapeutic activities.

What you’ll need:

  • Recycled cardboard tube (from a paper towel roll)
  • Tape
  • Balloon
  • Colored paper
  • Yarn
  • Small object

Steps for Option #1:

  1. Wrap three pieces of colored construction paper around the tube (Each piece should be spaced a few inches apart)
  2. Blow up three small balloons with colors that match the tube
  3. Suspend the balloons from the ceiling
  4. Have the child hold the tube horizontally
  5. Call out one of the colors
  6. Have the child hit the balloon of that color with the corresponding section on the tube
  7. Repeat with the other colors

Steps for Option #2:

  1. Cut a small hole near one end of the tube with an Exacto knife
  2. Put a clear piece of tape over the hole (On both the outside and the inside)
  3. Give the child the tube and a small object to place into it (Bouncy ball, quarter, etc.)
  4. Place both of your hands over the sides of the tube so that the object won’t fall out
  5. Instruct the child to tip the tube up and down until they can see the object through the tube’s “window”

This is one of the more versatile DIY occupational therapy tools on our list. You can use either option depending on the needs of the child!

Have you used DIY occupational therapy tools with your younger clients? What were the outcomes? Are there any fun and easy options that we missed on this list? Share your input with us in the comment below!

Author: Allied Travel Careers

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