Teletherapy. If you work in the school setting like me, chances are you have at least one teletherapy session under your belt by now. For many of us, we have completed weeks, if not months, of treating students through a screen.
Because my school district has offered families a remote learning option this school year, I have embraced my role as an OT both inside school walls as well as virtually. As I sat down at the beginning of the school year to plan my virtual sessions, a big question came to mind:
What can I do with my teletherapy students without my trusty " tote bag of tricks?"
After completing a semester's worth of virtual sessions, I have found five common household objects that are perfect f or targeting fine motor skills. Under each object, I listed sample activities that I have personally used during teletherapy sessions, targeting a wide range of skill levels.
1) Paper Clips
- An adult places the paper clips around the edge of a piece of paper. The student pulls off the paper clips and places them into the container.
- The student places paper clips around the edges of an index card or sheet of paper.
- The student forms a paper clip chain.
- An adult dispenses tape and tapes small toys/objects onto the table. The student grasps a corner of the tape and pulls off the tape to "rescue" the toy.
- The student dispenses tape and tapes a paper or worksheet to a vertical surface.
- The student dispenses tape and forms t ape loops to secure a paper or worksheet to a vertical surface.
3) Cotton Balls
- The student pinches and pulls apart t he cotton ball.
- Next, the student glues the cotton to paper along the outline of a letter or shape.
- The student uses kitchen tongs to pick up and transfer cotton balls from the table to a
- The student blows a cotton ball through a straw to a target on the table (e.g. a cup on its side).
4) Rubber Bands
- An adult places rubber bands around a cup, and the student pinches and pulls off the rubber bands.
- The student places rubber bands around a cup.
- The student places rubber bands around a small ball or other household object.
- The student practices folding the paper in half along the short edge or long edge.
- The student cuts long strings of paper and then practices folding paper, accordion style.
- The student completes an origami activity.
When families are faced with limited resources, planning teletherapy sessions can be challenging. However, by using these five simple materials, your sessions will be even more effective because these families can start practicing these activities at home, every day!
About The Author
Tahnee earned her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010. She has worked with the pediatric population in the school setting since 2010 and in the outpatient clinic setting since 2013. Outside of work, Tahnee enjoys spending time with her husband, Nathan, her daughter, Zoe, and her dog, Ruthie.