The Frugal OT Series: Race to Erase the Heart

This activity was a hit with the kiddos! It’s a very simple, low prep way to target many skills. For a Valentine’s Day theme, I used a heart as the object to erase. This can be modified to suit any time of year. You can draw a shamrock for St.Patricks Day, an egg for Easter, etc. You can personalize the activity by having the child race to erase their name or initials. Even better, have them write it. For this activity, I simply drew a heart on the chalkboard. Children then raced to erase the heart using a pump spray bottle that I picked up at the Dollar Tree. They come in packages of 2! A fun way to build strength both proximally and distally (from the shoulder girdle down to the fingers). 

Pump Spray Bottle Available at Dollar Tree

This activity targets:

  • Grasping skills
  • Finger isolation
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Visual scanning and tracking 
  • Isometric exercise challenge (shoulder joint)
  • Strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the hand
  • Motor planning 
  • Crossing midline
  • Builds endurance

You can make the heart smaller for those that do not have the strength and/or endurance to tackle big hearts. For those that can not operate the pump spray bottle, use a plant sprayer instead. If that is too hard, you can also use a small sponge or a paintbrush. 

For 1:1 sessions or when working with one child, I think it’s a good idea to allow for enough time for him/her to actually beat the clock! I usually time the child on their first run to see how long it takes them to finish the task. Then I have them try to beat their own time.

At home, this would be a great activity to do with sidewalk chalk. Draw a heart, or whatever you choose, on the ground/concrete and race to erase the heart!

As always, have fun!

Disclaimer: 

The Fun Strokes blog is designed for educational and informational use only for teachers, therapists, and parents. It is not intended as medical advice or therapeutic treatment that would be provided in an individualized treatment plan. If you suspect a child has delays, please consult an occupational therapist.

Published by Linda Craig Dennis

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Author and Creator of Fun Strokes Pre-writing Program

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