Education Professionals

As a teacher you no longer require to simply know your own subject, you also have to know how to support children with a range of abilities and a variety of conditions. The following activity suggestions, advice and downloadable resources may help.

Helping You To Help Your Pupil

Being a child or a young person isn't always easy.  They are constantly having to learn new skills such as looking after themselves independently, learning new subjects in school, and navigating the world of social interaction; all of which can bring their own challenges.

We hope you will find something to help you and your pupil on their journey to adulthood within these pages.

Occupational Therapy Programmes for Schools

Fine Motor Activity Kit

The following activities have been recommended as they allow individuals to practice the essential fine motor skills required to carry out day-to-day functional tasks, both at home and in school.
If you are looking for ideas and activities to help develop the fine motor skills of your pupils why don't you create a fine motor activity kit that can be used either individually or with small groups of children.
The items for this kit can be easily sourced around the class and from your home.  Keep all the items in a small plastic box and they will always be ready to hand.

Click here to download


The Theraputty Programme is an occupational therapy intervention for children who have difficulties with fine motor skills or limited hand strength.  The following are some examples of important functional tasks that the children may have difficulties with:
  • Writing legibly
  • Drawing, painting, and colouring in pictures
  • Managing scissors
  • Tying shoes
  • Zipping and unzipping
  • Buttoning and unbuttoning
  • Screwing and unscrewing
  • Playing games that require precise hand and finger control  (i.e. playing cards or board games)
  • Holding and using cutlery properly and effectively
Theraputty is a strong, non-toxic, latex free putty-like material that leaves no residue and won’t fragment, separate stain or stick to skin.  There are a range of strengths which come in different colours, each having a different degree of resistance when handled.  The putty can be stretched, pinched, kneaded, squeezed and separated.
The programme gives a list of activity suggestions which may help develop fine motor skills using the theraputty.  Ideally the programme should be carried out at least 3 times a week for at least 10 minutes.

Please note that you need to use the theraputty on a clean smooth surface, preferably a table.  When the theraputty is excessively stretched it can break down into fine strands, therefore care should be taken with these as they ‘stick’ to carpets and clothing.

For more information

In Hand Manipulation Programme

In-hand manipulation is the term used to describe the ability to move a small object around within a single hand.  It is an essential component of the development of fine motor control.  Good fine motor control enables you to carry out such tasks as holding pencils, fastening small buttons, using cutlery and being able to tie your shoelaces.

The In-Hand Manipulation Programme is a good way of helping in-hand manipulation to develop.  The programme contains exercises which should be carried out by both hands in turn, but always start with the dominant or preferred (writing) hand.  These skills develop in a particular order and the exercises suggested are listed in sequence. 

It is recommended that this programme be carried out a minimum of 3 times a week in 10 minute slots for a 3 week period.

For more information

FIZZY Programme

The FIZZY and Clever Hands programme has been developed by therapists in Kent Community NHS Trust. 

It has three stages
  • Beginners (level 1)
  • Intermediate (level 2)
  • Advanced (level 3)
The FIZZY and Clever Hands Programmes are recommended by occupational therapy as programmes for schools to use to assist in the development of motor skills for those children who find this challenging. 
It can be helpful to use this programme when you are concerned about a child's motor skills.  It can help you to establish whether or not a referral to occupational therapy is required or can be used while a child is waiting to be seen by occupational therapy.

Clever Hands Leaflets

Clever Hands works on developing fine motor skills required for participation in every day school activities.



Scissor Activities

Developing scissor skills is an important milestone in a child’s life.  By learning to use scissors they practice using a tripod grasp (using thumb, index and middle finger together) which then develops into the ideal grasp for writing.  It is important that the child uses the appropriate scissors for their dominant hand (left or right handed scissors).


For further activities suggestions have a look on the Activity Village Website.

Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)

Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) is the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people. It supports them and their parent(s) to work in partnership with the services that can help them.

The Scottish Government states that the key elements of the GIRFEC approach are:

  • A description of how people working with children, young people and parents understand and consider a child or young person’s wellbeing.
  • Children, young people and families can expect services to work together to provide support and help.
  • Children and young people who need extra support which is not generally available will have a Child’s Plan.

Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland

About the Commissioner

The Children and Young People's Commissioner is a person. Their job is to help you understand your rights and to make sure those rights are respected. Their goal is for children and young people in Scotland to be as safe and happy as possible.

Future Training Modules

It is important to understand what typical child development looks like in order to know when a child may require additional support. 

  • Fine Motor Development: from First Grasp to Tool Use This page will give you a basic understanding of the stages of fine motor development and its importance in participating in everyday school tasks.
  • Using the Fine Motor Kit - Within this platform we provide you with a list of materials to create your own fine motor kit and an instruction manual to print off.  This short module provides more information on using the kit effectively with your pupils.
  • Comfortable Learning: the Importance of Positioning and Postural Management - For children with a physical disability the importance of postural management cannot be over-emphasised. 



Many children experience differences in how they process sensory information.  This can be due to an underlying neurological condition or developmental disorder, or simply because their sensory systems are still in an immature state of development.  Being aware of the impact of these differences can make life easier for both the pupil and the educator.

  • What is Sensory Processing?  This module provides the educator with a basic understanding of sensory processing and the possible behaviours that you may see in children with sensory processing differences.
  • Classroom Strategies.  Once you understand how children process sensory information it is useful to know how to adapt the learning environment to suit their needs.

Occupational Therapy - Accessing the Curriculum

For more downloadable resources from Occupational Therapy with regards to Getting to and around Nursery/School, Organising Yourself, Participating in and Recording your Work and Paying Attention

Click here