Tag Archives: occupational therapy activities to do at home

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Free Printables

A printable that spans the interest of my 2-year-old, my 4-year-old and my 6-year-old with Down syndrome?


Can you say JACKPOT?


This is a printable palm tree with all the letters of the alphabet in round circles (coconuts).

For the 2-year-old, I called out a letter and pointed to it and he dotted it with a bingo dauber.  As I pointed to it, I would say whether it was at the top of the page, the middle, the left or the right.  The point was just to give him exposure to the use of those words.

For the 4-year-old, I called out a letter and told her approximately where it was on the page, “near the top, near the bottom, in the middle, to the left, to the right, on the trunk.”  Since she already knows all her letters, she could find them on her own, and the use of the prepositions and directions gave her some good practice at these often overlooked words.  She would find the letter and dot it with the bingo dauber.

Noah – 6 with Down syndrome used this as a matching activity.  Before we started, I printed all the letters of the alphabet on some round pricing stickers I had.  I pointed to a letter on the printout, named it and pointed to the area on his sticker sheet where the matching letter was located.  He took off the sticker (yay fine motor skills!) and placed it on the matching letter on the printout.

When he was all finished, he took a bingo dauber and dotted all the stickers.  I don’t know what it is about those bingo daubers, buy my kids LOVE them!

Here’s the link to the free printable alphabet palm trees:


Pinned It, Did It – Fine Motor Chalkboard Painting

Here’s a little alphabet work we did at the chalkboard last week, courtesy of Pinterest pin http://pinterest.com/pin/234961305529928791/:








You can find the original blog post over at www.homeschoolmama3.blogspot.ca – a blog by one creative homeschooling mama.

The process was really very simple, and since Noah loves anything associated with paintbrushes, I knew this would be right up his alley.  I wrote all the lower case letters with chalk on a chalkboard and let Noah trace them with a paintbrush he dipped in water.  I did have to supervise him closely, because he was trying to get away with blotting out the letter with big strokes rather than tracing them.  With a little verbal cueing and hand-0ver-hand assistance, he got back on track and did most of this work independently.  Sitting next to him while he did it also allowed me the opportunity to say each letter as he trace it. 

We’ll definitely be doing this again – next time with numbers or shapes.

You know, I’ m thankful once again for all the moms out there that take the time to blog about the activities they do with their children.  This was such a simple and fun activity for Noah, but there’s no way I would have come up with this on my own.  Isn’t it great in this day and age to not have to reinvent the wheel?  I always say I could easily homeschool my children for free just by using all the things available on the Internet, if I only had the time to find it all.




Pincer Grasp and Finger/Hand Strength – It’s For the Birds . . .

. . . Chickens, I mean it’s for the chickens.

One things most books about teaching children with Down syndrome will tell you is that you have to make the lesson or activity you’re teaching relevant to the child. In other words, they need to see a real-life purpose and payoff to their effort. From experience I can agree that “because I said so” is not generally a good enough reason to get Noah motivated when it comes to learning something new.

Today after lunch Noah ran into the kitchen and pointed to the tortillas but signed chicken. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what he wanted, but Andres decided Noah must want to feed the chickens a tortilla. Whether that is what he really wanted or not is debatable, but Noah said his trademark “yeah”, took his tortilla outside, and promptly used a beautiful Pincer grasp to tear a strip off his tortilla and throw it to the chicken who was pecking at his feet.

A strip for the chicken, a strip for Noah – ew ew ew – patterning – check.

Holding tortilla in one hand and tearing pieces with the other – bilateral coordination – check; Pincer grasp – check; one more thing Noah can do independently – check.

I know what you’re thinking – like you’re really going to rush right out and buy a chicken for junior just so he can practice his Pincer grasp. Hmmmm. I’ve read your blogs – you might.

For the fainter at heart, how about a trip to the park to feed the ducks? Even the neighborhood birds might volunteer to entertain your little guy if you can attract their attention. For them, scatter the pieces on a bird feeder and keep an eye out from a window. If you already have feeders that birds use, this will be a breeze; otherwise, you may have to prime them with birdfeed for a couple weeks. Kids love the blessing of being a part of God’s provision for the birds and the beasts.

If no birds are available, make this into a snack activity. Have your child tear the tortilla into strips and then into pieces and then dip them into applesauce.

Another snack idea is to have your child use a dull knife to spread peanut butter on a tortilla they can then eat or roll and eat.

Of course, you can use bread for this activity, but the tortillas hold their shape when torn, so it allows for more precise hand and finger work.

This post comes to you today courtesy of Noah – I doubt I could have come up with this on my own. Thanks, Buddy.