The most common areas that Occupational Therapists support within preschool and kindergarten classrooms are:

 

  1. Fine Motor Skills: This includes how children use and control the muscles of their hands and fingers. Fine motor skills include activities such as drawing, cutting, coloring, two-hand coordination (e.g. beading, lacing, fasteners on clothing) and how a child holds and manipulates objects in their hands and fingers.

  2. Organizational Skills (Praxis of Motor Planning): This is how children plan, organize and carry out the tasks of an activity (e.g. craft, getting dressed/undressed, movement and action songs etc.).

  3. Visual Processing Skills: This is how children interpret the visual information from their environment. For example: sizes, shapes, and colors.  This is important for early literacy skills (e.g. reading and writing). 

  4. Gross Motor Skills: This area involves coordination, balance, core strength and endurance focusing on how children are using the big muscles of their body to support functional participation.  Gross motor skills are an important precursor to developing their fine motor skills using the smaller, more precise muscles of their body. 

  5. Task Engagement: Learning and Play skills: We look to see how children can concentrate and maintain their attention with an activity. We also support children in learning how to problem solve, play and follow routines.

  6. Self-help Skills: This includes dressing, hand washing, feeding, and toileting etc.

  7. Sensory Processing: Sensory processing refers to the way that the nervous system receives, interprets and responds to sensory input.  Sensory processing is a complex process that affects functional performance in daily routines and activities.  Every person has 7 sensory systems: taste, touch, sight, sound, smell, balance (vestibular) and body awareness (proprioceptive) which help shape our understanding of the world and how we respond to it.  

  8. Self-Regulation: This includes our ability to regulate our brain and body (i.e. nervous system) as well as our emotions to meet the needs and demands of the environment and situation.