The Frugal OT Series: It’s O-FISHally Summer!

Summer is finally here! Kids have worked hard all school year and it is time for a much-needed break. These pool noodle fish are a fun way to welcome summer vacation and all the excitement that comes along with it. This craft will evoke thoughts of trips to the beach, ocean life and all the fun summer brings. A great way to embrace summer vacation while working on fine motor skills. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Mother’s Day Blooms

As a mom, I know how special it is to receive a handmade Mother’s Day gift from my child. The time and energy spent to make something memorable for Mommy is priceless and preferred over any store-bought gift. I save them for as long as they’ll hold up. Mother’s Day is just around the corner so now is the time to create sweet and unforgettable gifts for moms. This craft is sure to bring a smile to any mom’s face, it’s just so cute. A great way to celebrate Mother’s Day while working on fine motor skills. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Sock Bunnies

Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner. This simple, no-sew craft is just so adorable. It makes for a great spring or Easter decoration, an Easter basket stuffer, or a wonderful gift for parents or grandparents. The sock bunny can also double as a fidget tool. Children can squeeze and squish the rice in the bunny to get the proprioceptive input they need. If you plan to use the sock bunny in this way, I suggest you use extra elastic bands to make it more sturdy. A great way to celebrate spring and/or Easter while working on fine motor skills. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Little Leprechaun

As a child, I marveled at the tale of the leprechaun. According to Irish legend, a leprechaun is a type of fairy that is short in stature, usually bearded, and wears a green suit and hat. They are shoemakers who live in the forest. Leprechauns are thought to be tricky little fellows who are delighted by mischief. The story states that every leprechaun has his very own pot of gold that he hides in the Irish countryside. He must give his fortune to anyone clever enough to capture him. He’s not easy to catch though. As legend has it, the leprechaun is very sneaky and can vanish in the wink of an eye. This fun craft pays homage to the Irish legend. A great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while working on fine motor skills. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

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! In 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). 

The Frugal OT Series: Lace My Heart!

This craft is super sweet! Hearts that are laced and adorned with pony beads. A great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Once complete, children can write an endearing message to their special family member or friend. All you need is a package of foam hearts (one package goes a long way, containing 12 foam hearts each), a spool of yarn, and a package of pony beads. Many fine motor skills are addressed in this fun Valentine’s Day-themed activity. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Let It Snow!

This craft is a classic, snowflakes made from craft sticks. They are super simple to make! All you need is 4 craft sticks. Using two craft sticks, make a cross and glue them together in the middle where they meet. Then make an oblique cross (an X) using the other two craft sticks. Glue them together where they meet. Done! The addition of a few Dollar Tree finds creates the perfect fine motor boost. Build fine motor strength and coordination by placing two mini clothespins on the ends of select craft sticks to make the dendrites of the snowflake. Ditch paintbrushes and create a greater fine motor demand by using a pump spray bottle to paint the snowflake. Add another element of design and motor challenge by using an eye dropper to apply glitter. Embellish with buttons, beads or whatever you have handy. I used glass mosaic tiles. So many fine motor skills are addressed in this fun winter themed activity. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local Dollar Tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Holiday Bonus Activity

Who doesn’t love a sweet homemade holiday momento, made by the precious little ones in your life? I know I absolutely adore taking the ornaments made by my kids out of the box every Christmas. Instant memories are recaptured and experienced again as I examine each one. I love reminiscing about the time when they gave it to me or the time spent making it together. I fondly decorate my tree with the love each ornament represents. Holiday trees feels especially meaningful when adorned by homemade ornaments. Children love making gifts for their family, and feel super proud when they see their contribution hanging on the tree.
The memento presented in this post can be fun for younger and older children. I often feel like older kids are forgotten during the holiday season. You no longer see the cute little crafts coming home in their backpacks. But they still like making festive crafts, just like the littles do. This charming holiday ornament appeals to all ages. Numerous fine motor skills are addressed, both simple and complex, making it an appropriate fine motor feat many. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home with your little one. An of course, all the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local dollar tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Festive Fine Motor Trees

This super cute holiday tree packs a lot of bang for your buck. So many fine motor skills are addressed in this time efficient craft. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home with your little one. Children will be pleasantly challenged by the fine motor demands that will result in a sweet holiday craft ready to gift to a loved one. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local dollar tree.

The Frugal OT Series: Fine Motor Monsters

These cute little monsters are perfect for building fine motor skills. Run to your local Dollar Tree and grab a container of Play Doh. Pop over to the craft section and toss some wiggle eyes into your basket, grab a bag of beads and a box of toothpicks and you are all set! Children will enjoy making a cute little monster of their own. Of course, while working on the following fine motor skills.