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Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Coloring Dot Marker Pictures

Work on distal rotation, coloring inside the lines, tool use, separation of the two sides of the hand, precise fine motor control, finger dexterity, executive functioning skills, play and leisure exploration and participation

Use dot marker pictures to work on distal finger control and coloring inside the lines. So often kids that can't color inside the lines are coloring straight lines from the wrist. Coloring in these small circles is a good way to practice controlled, circular movements, like those also needed to round lower case letters. I color along with them on my own sheet and show them exactly what I want, and I bring their attention back to me for an example as often as necessary. I buy these sets from Oriental Trading. They also have a sticker art picture that is made up of even smaller circles (see below).  I use that one for coloring in as a second step. I usually use crayons on the bigger picture, then transition to colored pencils for these pictures. This set also comes in a firework theme.

If you get on their mailing list, about once a month Oriental Trading will send you a special offer to make any purchase and pay no shipping. When I have a smaller order, I wait for those offers. But they always offer free shipping on $39 or $49 orders. I have also seen many free pictures of the larger "dot marker" type on Pinterest.

If you would like to read more about games that require writing or drawing in some form, check out my post Games That Require a Writing Tool


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