RecyclingOT's Videos

Fan and Switch Make Fine-Motor Activities- FUN! 1m47s

Fan and Switch Make Fine-Motor Activities- FUN!

My client loves the fan! He is nonverbal, developmentally delayed and has cerebral palsy. I noticed that he has a picture of a fan on his communication board but since it was not summer, there wasn't a fan in the room. I set-up a large button switch that activates a small (safe) fan so that he can turn it on anytime he chooses. He is also able to point to the "fan" picture on his communication board to indicate that he wants the fan and switch set up. Enabling the client to communication what they want and be in control of sensory stimulation such as a fan or music may decrease agitation and increase happiness! Learn more about activity adaptations at:

Make-your-own Valentine Hearts and Arrows 2m25s

Make-your-own Valentine Hearts and Arrows

This video demonstrates how to cut plastic containers to make one or several sets of Valentine hearts and arrows. Children and adults with developmental disabilities may enjoy celebrating the holiday with this activity. They may 1) put them together or 2) take them apart and then 3) insert the pieces into a container Explore how to use these with your children or clients as they develop fine-motor control and strong fingers. More activity ideas at

Love Trumps Hate 1m12s

Love Trumps Hate

Sharing a little Etch-A-Sketch fun and showing off my fine-motor control!

Form Board Picture Activity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities 2m11s

Form Board Picture Activity for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Form boards are designed for young children to learn how to fit shapes into corresponding openings. My older clients with developmental disabilities are also working on these skills. However, this form board is made with meaningful, age-appropriate pictures that I printed and laminated. Learn more about activity adaptations at

Make Zoom Ball for Individuals with Autism 3m57s

Make Zoom Ball for Individuals with Autism

Zoom Ball (also called "Forward Pass") is a great activity for all children and especially helpful for those with visual attention and/or motor coordination challenges. How to play: 1)Each player holds a handle in each hand 2)One player keeps hands close together while the other player moves arms apart. 3)The "ball" flies across to the other player 4) Reverse and repeat over and over again This activity strengthens shoulders, arms and hands. It develops coordination between the right and left sides of the body and rhythm as the ball moves back and forth. Visual attention and tracking skills may improve as children or adults watch the "ball" move quickly back and forth. My clients on the autism spectrum and those with other developmental disabilities have really enjoyed playing this partner game...... Tip: the shorter the cord, the easier to play.... Learn more about activity adaptations at:

Simple Social Ball Game 1m20s

Simple Social Ball Game

Children and adults with developmental disabilities may enjoy this simple ball game. I filled up a long sock with sensory type objects like bells, marbles, foam, etc. and tied the ends to handles. The handles you see in the video were cut from large bottles but you can create any type of handle you choose as long as it is easy and comfortable to grasp. Players are learning to follow my directions. Perhaps after they learn the steps to this routine another client can position the balls on the table. That will take teamwork! This activity works on developing motor planning skills, visual attention and social skills. Learn more about activity adaptations at

Plastic Manipulation Snowman 4m47s

Plastic Manipulation Snowman

Weaving the plastic snowball head onto the snowman's body develops strong fingers and dexterity. Parents can cut plastic to make clothing, attach hair, buttons, buckles or tie on a scarf so that children can manipulate the snowman or snow woman who never melts. This is a great way for typically developing children or those with fine motor challenges to develop eye-hand coordination during pretend play. Check out the Recycling Occupational therapist website for more activity adaptations that build hand skills:

Unscrewing Bottle Caps to Insert or Stack 2m09s

Unscrewing Bottle Caps to Insert or Stack

Collect caps or covers to screw on or off the threaded tops and make the following repetitive fine-motor activity. The young man in the video is blind and loves to match, sort and use his advanced cognitive skills. He used to avoid using his hands together but has gotten quite good at it because I keep creating variety and challenging manipulation tasks that he enjoys.... Some children or older individuals may enjoy matching a variety of covers/caps to the corresponding threaded pieces. These may come from detergent, dishwasher soap bottles, vitamin jars, juice or milk cartons or countless other sources. The covers may be screwed on lightly at first and later on more tightly as skill and hand strength develop. Visit my website for more ideas and adaptations:

How to Make a Jig for Coloring 3m48s

How to Make a Jig for Coloring

My client has spastic hands and is unable to use them. This video demonstrates how to make a jig for someone like her so that she can color. I used this at work and discovered that 1) she loved it 2) its a great way to open her hand, stretch and move her arm bit and... 3) her knuckles were pressing so hard into the plastic her skin got red. Watch the video to see how I revised the jig so that her knuckles press into soft fabric instead of plastic. Learn more about activity adaptations at

Make-Your-Own Buckle Manipulation Toys 2m50s

Make-Your-Own Buckle Manipulation Toys

Parents, therapists and teachers.... cut up your round containers to make toy buckles. Pushing the tab in and out of the notches develops strong fingers and eye-hand coordination. Use super large food containers for large rings and smaller shampoo bottles for smaller rings. Children can choose to buckle, pull rings open, toss them onto a ring stack or even string them on big strips of fabric. This activity is especially beneficial for children or adults with fine motor challenges who may struggle to close a belt. Make-Your-own buckles are easier than using real belt buckles and there is opportunity for REPETITION! Learn more about activity adaptations at

Types of Cues/Prompts to Support Learning 3m36s

Types of Cues/Prompts to Support Learning

This video demonstrates the types of cues or prompts that may be used to support learning in educational or training settings. These include: 1) Hand over hand assistance 2) physical assistance 3) touch prompts 3) point cues and 4) verbal cues. I frequently use a combination of these supports. For example, I might give physical assistance to reach toward the spoon and then a touch and verbal cue to bring it to his mouth. As a person practices a skill, try to provide the least amount of prompting needed in order to be successful. In addition, pictures may be used, especially when teaching a multi-step task such as laundry or setting the table. Learn more about activity adaptations on my website at:

Matching Lids Sensory Activity 2m13s

Matching Lids Sensory Activity

When my son was little he loved helping me make activities such as this for my occupational therapy clients. Many of these clients had developmental disabilities, including autism and challenges such as weak hands, short attention spans and poor coordination. The bottle tops are attached to the big detergent container with strips of stretchy fabric. Pulling on the fabric provides sensory stimulation to muscles and joints. Screwing or unscrewing the covers develops strong fingers and coordination. Matching the covers to the bottle tops develops visual perceptual skills. Learn about other activity adaptations at

How to Make an Adapted Handle for Sponge Painting 2m25s

How to Make an Adapted Handle for Sponge Painting

People who have difficulty grasping a paintbrush perhaps...due to hand weakness, arthritis pain or spasticity may be able to grasp this adapted Handle for sponge painting. This is one of the many adaptations described in my book: THE RECYCLING OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. Learn more at

Improving Function with Adapted handles 2m24s

Improving Function with Adapted handles

People with spasticity may have difficulty grasping or stabilizing objects. This video demonstrates how to adapt with handles cut out of detergent, dishwasher or other bottles. The handles can be attached to activities such as ring stacks, sorting containers or shape sorters using Velcro or tape. This adaptation enabled the little girl in the pink sweater to grasp the green handle attached to the coffee can while inserting picture cards. At the same time her little hand is opened up instead of fisted, helping to maintain her range-of-motion. Learn more about activity adaptations at

Prompts for  WH Questions and Answers: Walking in the Woods 5m00s

Prompts for WH Questions and Answers: Walking in the Woods

I made this video to use with developmentally disabled individuals and others who need conversational prompts to ask and answer simple WH- "who", "what" "why", "when" and "where" questions. Sometimes staff find it challenging to promote these types of social exchanges and I am hoping that videos with built in questions might help them. I realize that many clients will not relate to the experience of walking in the woods and seeing a lake but this happened to be where I spent a lovely fall weekend in New Hampshire. Enjoy! Visit my website for lots of other activity ideas...

PUlling Objects Out of Sensory Socks 1m55s

PUlling Objects Out of Sensory Socks

The young man in this video typically does not like to use his hands together to stabilize materials. His attention span is very short and after a few repetitions he usually throws or pushes objects away. I knew that he liked deep pressure and his eyes lit up when he felt his arm inside the tight sock as he removed objects. I am sure that he would do even better if there were an electric toothbrush attached to the bottom. However, I am very proud of him for telling me that he wanted "more" and attending for over a minute.... More sensory strategies at

Spider and Web Fine-Motor Activity1m55s

Spider and Web Fine-Motor Activity

Wrap and knot cord all over a weighted ball and then tie several black fabric strips all over them. Some of my clients love to untie the "spider legs" and then insert them into the "web". The weighted ball is calming to use on one's lap or table. Children and adults with fine-motor challenges will have a fun opportunity to develop strong fingers and dexterity as they repetitively tie or untie these knots. Learn more about sensory activities and adaptations at

Ring Stack Color Matching Activity1m35s

Ring Stack Color Matching Activity

Many children and adults with developmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorders enjoy repetitive hand activities. The client shown in the video is very active and easily distracted. By adapting the activity to involve movement to retrieve rings she becomes more focused and completes the task. I use flat ring shapes cut out of detergent bottles instead of beads because they will not roll away and many more will fit on the dowels. Learn about activity adaptions on my web site:

Container Lids Sensory Activity2m18s

Container Lids Sensory Activity

Pulling and unscrewing lids is sensory fun while developing eye-hand coordination and dexterity. First cut off the tops of containers and punch holes in them. I demonstrate how in the video.... Attach them to a sturdy board using stretchy cord or elastics. Young children will enjoy the sensation to skin, muscles and joints as they pull unscrew or pull the lids. Next you may teach how to match up the lids to the corresponding container tops and put them back together. But, remember..... taking apart is easier and a better place to start teaching a new skill. Learn more about activity adaptations at

DIY Fine- Motor Activities for Toddlers5m04s

DIY Fine- Motor Activities for Toddlers

These Do-It-Yourself activities for toddlers are easy to make, free, versatile and entertaining to play with. Simply cut up containers with large screw lids to make toys to stack like blocks, string, insert objects into and place on a ring stack. Materials are large, therefore, easy for learning and pose no choking risk. (But supervise your little ones anyway...... ) These materials also help older children with developmental delays to improve hand strength and eye-hand coordination. Learn more about simple activities and adaptations that build hand skills on my website:

Word Completions for People with Memory Impairments6m37s

Word Completions for People with Memory Impairments

When my mom developed Alzheimer's disease she gradually lost the ability to think of the words she wanted to say. She had always loved word games and singing. So I made up games that required her to complete a word, phrase or sentence. Because the phrases were so familiar, they jogged her memory. We did this over and over again during my nursing home visits and each time was fun and exciting for her. She felt like a winner! I describe many of these games and activities in my book- Still Giving Kisses: A Guide to Helping and Enjoying the Alzheimer's Victim You Love. I didn't have a smart phone or tablet a decade ago when I needed them. But you can share this video with a loved one, friend or patient. Encourage the person to guess or repeat the word that completes the phrase. Press pause if they need time to respond. It will give caregivers a fun activity to do with a loved one at home or while visiting in a care facility. Please read my book and visit my web site for more fun activity ideas at

Make Your Own Apple Toys for Preschoolers2m58s

Make Your Own Apple Toys for Preschoolers

This video demonstrates 3 different apple fine motor activities made out of plastic bottles. Bending and lacing plastic apples strengthens fingers and develops eye-hand coordination. Inserting or removing worms from apples is great pretend play and pushing the circles down hard to decorate the big apple develops the motor control needed to grasp a pencil. These activities are fun and help both typically developing children and children with challenges such as autism to build hand skills. Learn more in my books and website at

Binder Geoboard to Develop Fine-Motor Skills 3m11s

Binder Geoboard to Develop Fine-Motor Skills

Purchase a geoboard or make your own using 2 old book binders, contact paper and elastics. Occupational therapists love using these because they help children or adults with developmental or learning disabilities to strengthen their hands and improve eye-hand coordination. Stretching the elastics provides sensory stimulation to muscles and joints that may help individuals on the autism spectrum to focus and learn. Attaching the board to a raised or angled surface may help children better visually attend to the activity because the board is right in front of the person's face. Try experimenting with color matching or copying designs from a picture or model. Learn more about activity adaptations at

Sensory Visual Perception Writing Activity 3m41s

Sensory Visual Perception Writing Activity

This activity teaches children the spatial relationships between small and large letters and how they fit on writing lines. Practice this activity with children before offering paper and pencil. Pulling the shapes off the Velcro "lines" and wiping them clean requires using force and force provides sensory stimulation to muscles and joints. Learn about other easy to make and effective adaptions that help children and adults on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities at