OT PLAYBOOK

Empowering occupational therapy practitioners with a playbook of functional tasks to use with their geriatric clients

Making Snowflakes (Or Flowers)

Making Snowflakes (Or Flowers)

One of my favorite intervention activities to do with clients each winter is making snowflakes. I don’t use a lot of arts and craft activities in my practice. However, whenever I do this activity, both clients and the rest of the therapy staff seem to enjoy it. Many clients have staff have memories of making snowflakes in the past. They also seem to enjoy engaging in a productive task that contributes to the festivities of the season.

This task is very useful in addressing functional cognition skills. It can also be used to address fine motor coordination and balance.

Objective

Develop executive functioning and visuospatial reasoning skills

Players

Great for 1:1 treatment – Great for concurrent or group treatment

Time Frame

10-60 minutes

Materials Required

  • White office paper
  • Scissors
  • Pen, pencil, or marker (optional)
  • Examples of 2-3 snowflakes of varying levels of complexity or instructions to create a snowflake
  • Tape or string and paper clips to hang snowflakes

Preparation

  • Create a folder with examples of 2-3 snowflakes or instructions to create a snowflake. Ensure that all instructions that descriptions as well as pictures or diagrams. Include instructions for objects with varying degrees of complexity.
  • Identify an area where snowflakes could be hung

Steps

  1. Direct the client to create a square piece of paper by folding the paper diagonally and cutting off the excess paper.
  2. Direct the client to fold the paper in half again, with the points together. Have them repeat this step twice.
  3. Instruct the client to cut simple shapes into each side of the folded paper, being careful not to cut all the way through from one side to another.
  4. After cuts have been completed, instruct the client to unfold the paper.
  5. Using adaptive devices as needed, ask the client to hang the snowflake in an area where it can be displayed.

Special Notes

Clients who have strength or coordination deficits in their hands may have difficulty cutting or folding paper, especially for more complex designs.

This activity can be graded by progressing from:

  • Creating a snowflake with simple shapes to creating a snowflake with complex shapes or words
  • Following a therapist demonstration to following written instructions
  • Following instructions to create an object to teaching a peer to create an object

This activity can be completed in the spring or summer by making flowers using brightly colored papers (pink, yellow, purple, red, etc.)

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