Pre-K Community OT


  • Fine Motor Development

  • Learning Without Tears Lessons

  • Sensory & Self Regulation

Meet Your OT


Fine Motor Development

Occupational therapists provide various reasons to use broken crayons. Broken crayons prevent poor habits from forming while eliciting fine motor development.  

How to Teach a Tripod Grasp (Using the Broken Crayon Trick)

OT and Handwriting Without Tears Instructor explains why broken crayons are a great way to promote functional grasping patterns.

Learning Without Tears Lessons

Phase 1 - Objectives & Guidance of Sequence:

  • Assemble a head

  • Assemble entire Mat Man

  • Draw head/ face

  • Draw entire body

Stage 1: Assemble face and labeling - head (2 big curves) eyes, nose, mouth (little curve), ears (2 little curves).

Stage 2: Review- Assembling of face and labeling -eyes, nose, mouth, ears, big/ little curve. Then add next steps - body (rectangle), arms (big lines), hands, legs (big lines) and feet (little lines).

*Emphasize working top to bottom to practice sequencing-prerequisite for letter formations.

Stage 3: Once students demonstrate proficiency with assembling Mat Man with the manipulatives, now you can try drawing out all the steps. You can use the pieces during a review, warm up, sing it out, and/or hand the manipulatives in sight to aid with cueing.


Whole Body

Video Resources

Get Set for School Curriculum Overview

Tap Big Lines

Preschool Lesson: Forming Capital Letters

Where Do You Start Your Letters?

Handwriting Lesson: Capital Letter Cards

Monday Roll-a-dough: Letter "G"

Scissor Skills

Introduction Video for Stage One-Cutting with Scissors.

Scissors are another import tool for children to develop fine motor skills including bilateral integration (using both hands simultaneously for a common purpose). 

Video to explain Stages Two, Three and Four-Cutting with Scissors

As the child's skills develop, careful planning to progress through the stages of development in a successful "just right" challenge is important.



The child learns to place the scissors on their hand. Then they practice and experiment with opening and closing the scissors to snip. That being, just one repetition without aiming for a given target. At this stage snipping playdough, straws or strips of heavier paper are all good options. At this stage, the child may require cues and demonstration on using scissors in a thumbs up position.

*If this early stage is too difficult for the child, opt for alternative activities, such as, tearing paper with two hands.



Once stage one is completed, the child is ready to start the next goal which is learning to chain together a series of opening and closing with their scissors. At this stage, the child is practicing a "thumbs up" position and learning to hold the paper with their opposite hand. When at this stage, the child may use the tabletop to help with controlling the paper.



Once the child can cut a six inch paper in half while safely controlling the paper using their opposite hand independently, they are ready for the next stage. Which is cutting a straight line on a given target. Start with a target about 1/2" in width then decrease the width as the child's accuracy increases. Adults can use a wide marker with high contrast (red is usually a good color to start with). At this stage, the child benefits from tracing over the target with a crayon or marker as a rehearsal before cutting.



Now that all prerequisite skills are mastered, the child can now attempt cutting out shapes. Start with having the child cut out straight edge shapes (square, rectangle and triangle); the corners allow for a place to "stop" then turn the paper. Continue to practice. Once these shapes are mastered, start cutting out curves and circles. Curves require a higher level of bilateral integration -using the opposite hand to turn the paper while the cutting hand is manipulating the scissors. This may be a "hurdle" for some children, you may need to widen the target during the early stages of learning this skill.