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With short treatment times in school therapy, and lots to accomplish during that time, I will make good use of my time by combining a strengthening activity with a writing activity.

You could think up many variations and pairings of hand strengthening and writing. My favorite includes letter beads, theraputty or squishy cheese, and a munchy ball.

First the kids have to dig a letter bead out of the theraputty or the squishy cheese and then feed it to the munchy ball. The student then needs to write the letter down They then dig another letter out of the theraputty and feed it to the munchy ball, then write the letter down. Once they have found all of the  letters and written them, I have the kids write a word that starts with each letter.

Depending on the student’s ability (and the time available), I will have the kids pick one of the words that they wrote and write a sentence based on that word. For the advanced kids, I have them write a sentence using all of the words that they have.

What I love about this activity is that it works on hand strength

at multiple points of the session with the putty and the munchy ball. It also works on memory because the kids feed the letters to the munchy ball before they write them down, so they have to remember what their letter is. It is a short span of time, but some kids struggle with that amount of time. For the kids that need to work on remembering for a longer span of time, I will have them find all of the beads and feed all of them to the munchy ball before doing any writing. That way they have to remember multiple letters before writing them all down.

The kids have fun digging through the putty and LOVE feeding the munchy ball, so it makes the writing part enjoyable as well.

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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