*Items within the toolkit will be in bold letters*
A packet of upper and lowercase alphabet letter worksheets. These worksheets consist of large, plain, bubble letter text to ensure the visibility of these letters for the students. Each sheet consists of the upper and lowercase letter, e.g. “A a”. These sheets have multiple purposes for this kit and will work as the “alphabet mats”. It gives the child a visual focal point using large lettering as well as providing them with an empty space within the letter for them to fill in order to understand form constancy of both upper and lowercase letters.
A plastic sleeve will be in the kit in order to protect the sheet being used for therapy services. Practicing your letters can get messy! Using a plastic sleeve when working with paper worksheets will provide the student with a sensory stimulus of using the material with a smooth surface if they have sensory sensitivities to the grain within the paper.
Playdough has multi purposes for this kit. Students can roll the playdough and sculpt the letters on the sheets, providing them with sensory stimulation to roll and form each letter. This method could be modified for each child by only working with the upper case letters or lower case letters, or allowing them to see the letter from a distance and sculpt the letter on the desk just by looking up at a reference of the letter. Using this method would address the child’s visual motor skills of convergence and divergence.
Playdough can also be thinly rolled out onto the table which would provide the child with sensory input and sensory feedback for those who seek it. The student can use one of the wooden sticks in the variety pack to practice drawing letters in the play dough, also known as playdough writing. The wooden sticks each have different width to them in order to support or challenge the child’s fine motor needs. When the student is all done with their letters they can re-roll the playdough and start over again.
Legos have multi purposes within this kit. Students can use the legos to fill in letters the alphabet mat to demonstrate form constancy. For children who have sensory sensitivities using playdough can use the legos to fill in the alphabet letters. Using legos will provide children with the motivation to use their fine motor skills by working with their pincer grasp development by using tiny objects to complete an alphabetical task. Leggos will also be used for building letters based on the lego cards (in the next step).
ABC Lego Cards. ABC Lego cards are a set of lego cards consist of legos built in the shape of each uppercase letter. The student can look at the card and use their cognitive skills to use legos to build the letter. This activity will address the child’s ability to demonstrate their understanding of form constancy while incorporating their fine motor skills using pincer grasp and manipulating objects to create other objects.
Colorful pom-poms. These pom-poms can be used in many ways when working with students. Students can use the colorful pom-poms to fill in the letter on the alphabet mats to demonstrate form constancy. Using pom-poms will also provide children with sensory stimulation who may have sensory sensitivities using playdough or for children who have poor fine motor skills and cannot work with Legos. The pom-poms could also be used for children as an orientation guide if you glue the pom-pom on the top left corner of their desk or table to ensure they are looking in the correct direction when completing handwriting or classroom-based activities.
Thick chalk. Big egg chalk will be included in this kit to provide children who have fine motor skills the equipment to write using a modified grasp on the sidewalk outside. The therapist can bring the alphabet mats out with them to provide the student with a visual reference during chalk time. Using a visual reference will challenge the child’s visual motor skills of convergence and divergence. By requiring the child to walk outside in order to complete this activity, it will enhance their participation and concentration. Movement is a key factor in engaging the student’s senses.
Alphabet letter formation templates. Alphabet letter formation templates require students to use cut-outs in order to form/build letters. This template provides students with the ability to build lower or uppercase letters. There will be a set of foam pieces that students will use in order to complete the letter. There are two separate sheets that explain the letter formation. The tiny sheet allows students to visually see which pieces are required in order to form the letter but must understand how the letter goes together in order to form it properly. The big worksheet provides the student with an example of how the letter is formed but does not provide the list of foam pieces required to finish the letter. The templates challenge different aspects of letter formation and can be used in different ways for each student. This method of letter formation challenges the child’s cognition level and allows them to demonstrate and practice their understanding of letter formation.
Frames of Reference
Sensory integration- Sensory integration focuses on the process in which children organize sensory stimulation. Sensory stimulation provides children with integrated information that impacts a child’s learning experience and adaptive behaviors. Each child organizes sensory stimulation in their own individual way which can stimulate sensory sensitivities, preferences, and avoidances. This OT letter formation toolkit addresses the importance of promoting the concept of basic letter formation to allow children to demonstrate and practice how to form letters using multisensory techniques.
Compensatory- Compensatory frame of reference focuses on modifying the activities or environment to ensure the completion of an occupation based activity based on the individual’s strengths and needs. This OT letter formation toolkit addresses the importance of providing children with modified techniques in order to complete letter formation tasks. Each activity has a different method in which it can be modified or changed according to a child’s needs.
PEO- Person, environment, and occupation frame of reference refers to how these three domains impact an individual’s overall occupational performance. This toolkit is geared towards students who have a hard time forming letters or understanding the concept of letter formation. It is important to provide these students with different techniques such as using playdough, legos, letter templates, pompoms, and building letters to demonstrate letter formation. The overall goal is to address these domains in order to address the initial concept of the child’s occupational performance of handwriting specifically focusing on the child’s participation in letter formation.
The wooden sticks have been cut down to a size where children can challenge their fine motor skills to perform the usage of correct grasp by limiting the length of an object and giving the child no choice but to use their fine motor skills in order to complete the task.
There are multiple grips available within the letter formation toolkit. A modified foam grip is available to use with the wooden sticks to provide sensory stimulation. This grip is made of a paint roller that has been cut down to proper size in order for a child to be able to use it. Multiple silicone grips are available within the toolkit that can be manipulated to provide a smooth sensory stimulus for students. The regular grip promotes tripod grasp providing barriers and places to stimulate the grasp while turning the grip inside out provide smooth sensory stimulation for students who have sensory sensitivities to the wood. The wooden stick could also be rolled in playdough in order to soften the stimulus of the stick but provide children with a more firm grip approach.
By using the lego platform to build letters on top of instead of building letters flat on the table will provide children with the stability they need in order to complete the task as well as provide them with the visual stimuli to see how to the legos correctly form the letter.
There is a modified gripper for chalk to ensure the children with sensory sensitivities are able to use it on the playground.
Instead of writing letters, students will be building letters to understand the concept of letter formation which in itself is a modification.
By changing the entire environment, it makes this activity have a purpose of enhancing the child’s senses. We take the child outside on the blacktop in order to complete the activity. It will allow the child to experience a new environment. Using chalk time as an outdoor activity will motivate the child to want to participate. This activity can also be done during recess.
Using the pom-poms on the desk for orientation purposes is an environmental modification.