Starfish Therapies

October 23, 2012

A Multi-Tasking Activity

Filed under: Developmental Milestones — Starfish Therapies @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

One of our OT’s was so excited last week to show us the new activity she was doing with a few of her kiddos.  She had just started it so she hasn’t had time to embellish it for pictures and make it look pretty!  Also, we had to wrangle one of our other OT’s in for the picture because no kiddos with photo rights were available at that time.

Basically she has a few kiddos who are working on balance, visual motor control and letter recognition.  So, in order to combine all three she has them standing on a spot (their feet aren’t allowed to leave the spot) and throwing the ball at whatever letter she calls out.  She currently has capitol and lower case letters because the kiddo this set up was for is working on being able to tell the difference.

When she showed me, I immediately loved the idea and came up with all different variations.  As the kiddos’ balance improves you can have them stand on one foot, or on a balance board or a balance disc.  You can have them work on maintaining stability in other postures such as high kneeling (like pictured) or half kneeling or staggered stance.  I also thought it could be used for numbers or colors as well and the ‘pictures’ on the wall could be adjusted depending on the child’s visual needs.  For instance, the white on white may be too challenging for some kids.

In addition to the learning and balance, it also helps kids with throwing and eye-hand coordination.  They have to be able to throw the ball (you can have them do overhand, underhand, two handed overhead, chest pass) and they have to be accurate with their throws.  It also assists with auditory processing because as the therapist calls out the target they have to figure out what they are hearing and then translate it to what is in front of them.

Another variation of this could be letter bowling.  You could have bowling pins with letters/numbers/colors on them and the child would have to work on rolling (which can be a hard skill to learn) the ball to knock over the correct pin or hit the correct target taped low to the ground.

How else have you used this idea and what skills have you worked on?



  1. I have done this activity with a large therapy ball as well. When you change it to a large ball you really increase activation of the trunk musculature. The child should roll the ball along the wall to the correct letter without letting the ball leave the wall. You would need to spread the letters out more. Another option I do is to put the letters in a vertical position in two columns. Put the child on the floor and he/she has to roll the large or small ball over the correct letter using his/her feet to control the ball – lots of abdominals!

    Comment by Margaret@YTherapySource — October 23, 2012 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  2. I do it with spelling sight words, etc. Dana, PT

    Comment by Dana — October 23, 2012 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

  3. oh i love this idea! we are working on some of those with my son, so i’ll have to try this out at home!


    Comment by Maya (@MarfMom) — November 2, 2012 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

  4. I love this idea!! I have an alphabet mat game the school baught, can’t think of what it is called, but this would work great for this idea. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Comment by melissa b — December 15, 2012 @ 2:28 am | Reply

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    Pingback by Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012 « Starfish Therapies — December 31, 2012 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  6. Thank you for sharing Ideas, definitely will apply it in my clinic . GO OT GO

    Comment by Fadi — February 23, 2013 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  7. I’ve added visual discrimination component, especially for my kiddos with letter reversal issues. My favorites : (B,P,R) (p,q) (b,d) (W,M) (O,Q) (v,r) (m, n).

    Comment by Emilee — July 12, 2013 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

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  11. I like this idea learning letters is fun great,

    Comment by genevieve mariolle — June 4, 2016 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  12. STOP calling our children “kiddos”!

    Comment by Concerned Mother — November 27, 2017 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  13. […] 4.  A Multi-Tasking Activity […]

    Pingback by Top Ten Blog Posts of 2017 | Starfish Therapies — December 30, 2017 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  14. I love the program,it’s helpful to my classes

    Comment by Ellirose — July 16, 2018 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  15. I absolutely love this activity. I teach Pre-k and can’t wait to incorporate this into my lessons. There are so many skills that you can adapt it to. I can see this game being a hit especially for my hands on kiddo that need the extra gross motor activities to keep them going and interested!

    Comment by littlebookworms — February 18, 2021 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

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