Top 10 Winter Activities to do with OT Patients


OT winter activities

In celebration of the first snowfall of this upcoming (for most people–dreadful) winter season, at least in some parts across the nation, we thought it’d be the perfect time to show your creative side off with some fun winter activities you can do with patients! Most of the ideas are child-directed, but elderly OT patients can enjoy them as well! All of the activities work on patient’s fine motor skills and get’s their creative juices flowing while having a blast!

1. Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

I’m sure you’ve done this yourself while growing up, this is a fun event for all and gets patients creative juices flowing, uses the following skills:

  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual
  • ADL knife use
  • sensory, tactile
  • motor planning

For this holiday activity you’re going to need:

  • graham crackers
  • vanilla frosting (or your favorite flavor)
  • plastic butter knife or spoon (to spread frosting)
  • multitude of candy decorations (gumdrops, nerds, etc.)
  • paper plates

More details can be found at Therapy Fun Zone.

2. Ice Painting

This cold, creative AND edible activity is loved by all! Have patients create a painting to give to their parents and loved ones for the holidays! This activity exercises skills such as:

  • fine motor
  • handwriting
  • sensory motor

The ice acts as a paintbrush and the added food coloring is what makes the painting show up! It can get a bit messy so just keep that in mind, however it is completely safe if eaten! For this holiday activity you’re going to need:

  • ice tray
  • water
  • food coloring
  • tooth picks
  • paper

More details can be found at Therapy Fun Zone.

3. Mr. Snowman & Pom-Pom Snowballs

This is very interactive and fun activity, you can use it for almost anything you’re teaching at the moment! The objective is throwing “snowballs” into the larger or smaller holes of the snowman, whichever hole your patients makes it in can choose what they’d like to work on! For example, if your patient makes it into the small hole they get to pick from their favorite motor/oral/visual skills exercises; if they make the snowball into the larger hole, they still get to pick but from a general list! The skills targeted with this activity are:

  • motor skills
  • visual perceptual
  • oral/SLP skills
  • sensory motor

For the snowman part you’re going to need:

  • tri-fold project board
  • scissors
  • pencil (for outlining)
  • glue
  • google eyes
  • glitter

For the snowballs part you’re going to need:

  • white yarn
  • pom-pom maker tool

Or you can simply use balled up paper or Styrofoam balls.

More details can be found HERE.

4. Roll-A-Snowman

This game is sort of like a snowman bingo! The first patient to draw the entire snowman wins! The skills involved are:

  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual
  • sensory/tactile

You will need dice for this game, otherwise you can download instructions HERE.

5. Blizzard Card Game

This fun activity is for 2 or more players! The skills exercised are:

  • fine motor
  • memory

You can download the PDF & items you need HERE.

Directions:

  • cut apart cards
  • roll up each card into a small “snowball”
  • place all cards into a hat
  • player 1 reaches in and grabs a snowball
  • open the ball and if it’s a snowflake, keep it; if its a blizzard card you must place all your cards back into the hat
  • first player with 4 snowflake wins

6. Disney’s Frozen Build a Snowman Craft

This is a fun winter activity that allows patients their own freedom of arranging Olaf, the snowman, any way they want to!

The skills targeted with this activity are:

  • motor
  • visual perceptual
  • ADL- scissor use
  • sensory motor

You will need scissors to cut out the pieces, other than that you can get the cut-outs from HERE.

7. Snowy Silhouettes

Snowy silhouettes allows patients to create their very own winter scenery! Patients will be utilizing skills like:

  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual
  • ADL-scissor use

The materials you will need to complete this activity are:

  • black paper
  • scissors
  • water color/ finger paint
  • white paper (back ground)

More details can be found at Apex Art.

8. Snowflake “Sewing” Cards

This is a great activity and you can even hang the results up around the room or let patients take them home and decorate with them! Snowflake sewing cards use the following skills:

  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual
  • sensory/tactile

For this fun winter activity you will need:

  • 4×4 colored construction paper squares (for the background)
  • a hole puncher
  • colored yarn

You’re going to cut the construction paper into 4×4 squares, then punch holes all around it, where the string will be “sewed” through with patient’s fingers. You can find an image of the end result HERE.

9. Winter Snowflakes

This is one of the most popular past time activities during winter time, but it never gets old! Winter snowflakes allows patients to draw different shapes and practice skills like:

  • cutting
  • fine motor
  • visual perceptual

Children will fold the paper in half multiple times, then draw shapes throughout and cut them out so when they unfold the paper it will take the shape of a snowflake that they can then decorate to their liking! Materials you will need are:

  • construction paper
  • crayons
  • glitter glue
  • glue
  • markers
  • scissors
  • sequins
  • stamps
  • sticker
  • tempera paint

More details can be found at OT Plan.

10. Snow Slime

This snow slime is icy cold to the touch and sparkly white–just like snow! It will allow patients to make snowmen and pull this faux snow in ways the real stuff could never allow. Targeting skills are:

  • motor
  • visual perceptual
  • sensory

The Snow Slime recipe and directions are as follows:

Combine in a small bowl:

  • 2 cups of white school glue (or silver glitter glue)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of very warm water
  • Iridescent glitter
  • peppermint extract to make the snow smell yummy (optional)

In a second bowl combine:

  • 3/4 teaspoon of borax
  • 1 & 1/3 cups very warm water

Combine and mix all ingredients very well and snow slime will form.

For more details click HERE.

 

Author: Allied Travel Careers

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