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These Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities are great for addressing listening skills in kids with or without auditory processing difficulties.  Try these creative ideas at home or in the school yard to easily strengthen auditory abilities for better learning. Perfect for children of all ages and developmental levels, it's a Fall themed activity that will help kids learn to listen to details!

Listening isn't easy for everyone.  For children with auditory processing disorders, learning is difficult. Imagine identifying and localizing sounds in a classroom that is filled with chattering children, scooting chair legs, pencils scratching on paper, and moving, sound-making children.  The process of localizing sounds, recognizing sound patterns, discriminating between different letter sounds, and interpreting auditory information can be less than optimal for the child with difficulty processing the sound information that is coming in.  

Try these listening activities using Fall's leaves in a backyard auditory processing activity!


Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

Auditory Processing Activities Using Fall Leaves

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When there are auditory processing difficulties present, a child may tend to have the following problems that interfere with learning:



  • Poor direction following
  • Appear confused
  • Distractibility
  • Short attention spans
  • Sensitive to loud sounds
  • Inconsistently aware of sounds
  • Poor listeners


To build and strengthen auditory skills, try using leaves this Fall.  The crunchy, dry leaves that cover the ground are nature's sensory tool when it comes to auditory processing needs.  

We first talked about the fall leaves that are covering our lawn and read through this month's Virtual Book Club for Kids book, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  We talked about how the leaves of fall are all different colors, shapes, and sizes but have one thing in common: a great crunch when they are dry!

To do these sensory Fall Leaf Auditory Processing activity, you'll need a bunch of leaves that have fallen from trees.  Dry leaves will work best, so if the leaves are newly fallen, you will want to gather leaves up in advance.  Let them dry indoors for several hours or overnight to get a great "crunch".

Next, spread out the leaves in a big bin.  An under the bed storage bin works great for this activity.

Show your child how to squeeze and crumble the leaves using their hands.  Ask them to listen to the crunch of the leaves.  Notice how the leaves crumble and give off a satisfying noise as they are shifted around in the bin.  

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

Use the dry leaves to address auditory sensory needs:



  1. Where is that leaf? Ask the child to sit in front of the bin (or if you are outside, sit in front of the adult.  Ask the child to close their eyes.  Using one hand to crunch leaves, ask the child to say or point to the side that the leaf crunch is coming from.  Add a high/low and front/back component by moving around to crumble the leaves, too.
  2. Leaf Pattern- Ask your child to gather a bunch of dry leaves.  Using a pile of leaves of your own, complete a crunching pattern as you crumble leaves at different speeds and in each hand.  The child can then repeat the pattern.
  3. Sound Stop- Crumble and crunch the leaves.  At intervals, stop crunching leaves and wait for a moment. Ask the child to say "Now!" when the leaves stop crumbling.
  4. Falling Leaf Sounds- With the child's eyes closed, crumble leaves high and low above and below the child.  Ask the child to determine if the leaves are above them or below them as they determine the location of the sound.
  5. Lots of Sound Leaves- Add other sounds to the background noise: talking, music, rattle toys, birds chirping, etc.  Ask the child to determine when the sound of crunching leaves stop.  You can also add a localization dimension to this activity to work on auditory figure ground awareness.
Kids can complete these activities on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting.  For kids with sensory issues, or those that are sensitive to crumbling leaves, try using gardening gloves while crumbling.

How would you use Fall's leaves in a sensory or auditory processing activity?

Fall Leaf themed auditory processing activities for sensory needs in kids.

Looking for more leaf themed activities? Try these from the bloggers in the Virtual Book Club for Kids series:

Alphabet Activities


Name Activities
Learning Fun With Leaves – Clare’s Little Tots
Sensory Activities
Fall Loose Parts Sensory Invitation  – My Storytime Corner

Science Activities
Preschool Leaf Science Experiment  – Preschool Powol Packets

Color Activities

Leaf Color Sorting – My Bored Toddler

Pre-Writing Activities

Leaf Tracing Pre-Writing Activity  – Books and Giggles

Leaf puppets – messy little monster  – Messy Little Monster
Movement Activities

Number Leaf Scavenger Hunt – – The Educators’ Spin On It

More leaf themed books that would go along great with this activity (Grab them via the links below to read before trying a leaf listening activity:







This handwriting trick is one that will get the kids excited about practicing their letter size, line awareness, letter formation, and pencil pressure when writing.  It's a power tool that works on so many aspects or written work, making it a simple way to practice many components of handwriting at once.  What is this super handwriting tool?  Transfer paper!


Follow along in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook page, where over 300 readers and Facebook users are coming together to share and find handwriting tricks and tips.


Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.

Use transfer paper to work on many handwriting skills


This post contains affiliate links.

There are so many ways you can build the skills needed for legibility in written work with a simple transfer paper notebook or transfer paper sheets.

First, what is transfer paper?  It is that sheet of paper that creates a copy in memo notebooks.  It's a sheet of paper that is used to create an instant copy by simply hand writing on paper.  It can be a fun surprise for kids that allow a moment's focus and attention to writing practice that just doesn't happen with regular paper and pencil.

Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.

Build handwriting skills with transfer paper:


Letter size and Line awareness- This messages book is perfect for helping kids work on letter size and line awareness.  It's a great way to build the skills needed for keeping letters and words within writing spaces on worksheets and forms.  The act of writing on the given spaces with an awareness of how the letters will look on the copy is rewarding for kids.

Letter formation- When kids are writing and flipping over the sheet to see how their writing looks, they slow down.  A slower speed can help kids work on letter formation.  Try verbal prompts for accurate letter formation with this slower speed.

Pencil pressure- Transfer paper is a great tool for building an awareness of pencil pressure and writing with a "just right" amount of pressure through the pencil.  Read more about proprioception and handwriting.

Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.

Use transfer paper to work on letter formation, size awareness, line awareness, and pencil pressure in handwriting with this easy writing trick that will help kids write with neater and legible handwriting.

This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series

You'll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Practice Facebook group for more handwriting tips and tools.

MORE Creative Handwriting Tricks you will love:

http://www.sugaraunts.com/2015/11/benefits-of-playing-with-stickers-occupational-therapy.html   


  

                                    Toys and Games for Reluctant Writers













This handwriting trick is an easy one to teach to kids.  It's a quick lesson in written work that may be just the thing that turns sloppy writing into neat and legible handwriting.  It's a quick tip in our 30 day series (that is running just a tad behind schedule. Don't fret though, all quick tips will be here as soon as they are up on the blog.) You can find all of the handwriting tricks here.  

Follow along in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook page, where over 300 readers and Facebook users are coming together to share and find handwriting tricks and tips.

Soppy writing tips for better handwriting

Sloppy Handwriting Quick Fix 

You've probably seen it before.  Written work that is all over the page in terms of letter size and formation, letters that are big and some that are small, and little awareness to lines.  

When a child writes quicly, sometimes letter formation suffers.  For other kids, they tend to write with poor letter formation all the time.  Letters have big gaps between parts of lines and there is very little re-trace.  

When writing letters accurately, there should be a certain amount of re-trace.  Letters that are formed by the pencil tracing back over a line have re-trace.  Letters "a, d, h, m, n, r, and p" are just a few examples with re-trace.

When a child omits that re-trace, they make letters that have a "kickstand".  There is a big gap between parts of the letters and the size suffers.  Letters are formed haphazardly and illegibly.  It's sloppy.

To improve neatness in written work, try this easy trick:

Grab a highlighter or yellow marker and go over your child's written work.  You might use a list of spelling words or a response to a writing prompt.  Scan through the handwriting with your child and fill in the gaps with the yellow marker.  As you go through the letters, show your child how you can find all of those gaps and spaces that should be closed up tight.  

Handwriting tricks for neater letter formation

When letters are formed accurately and with nice re-trace, just a dot is all that is needed to fill in the gap.  Kids can even go through their written work and self-check for gaps in the letters.  Tell them to look for "kickstands" on their letters and to try to form the letters with just a small dot of space.

RELATED READ: Learn more about re-trace in letter formation.

Did this quick tip work for you and your kiddo?  Let us know in the comments below or in the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Facebook group!

Try this trick for neater letter formation and handwriting

MORE Creative Handwriting activities that your child will love:

http://www.sugaraunts.com/2015/10/visual-tracking-tips-and-tools-for.html 
















Kids who struggle with spacing in written work sometimes write withallthewordstogether.  That's pretty tough to read, right? When kids struggle with spatial awareness may write words and letters with little regard to spacing. 

A visual perception difficulty prevents kids from writing with adequate spacing on the page.  Other times, kids have trouble copying written work with appropriate spacing.  Still other kids might show difficulty with spatial awareness when writing at a fast speed or when writing in a journal or with free writing.  

These spacing puzzles are a great hands-on activity for helping kids to recognize and become more aware of spacing between words.  It's a hands on approach to addressing visual perception in handwriting.

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

Spatial Awareness Puzzles for Helping Kids Space Between Words When Writing


To practice spacing with a hands-on approach, try this spacing puzzle.  You'll need just a couple of materials for the activity.

Affiliate links are included in this post.

Cardstock cut into squares.  
Marker

Cut the cardstock into squares.  Write letters on the cardstock squares.  Spread the letters out on the table.  You can use the letters in several different spatial awareness puzzles.

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

Construct sentences with the letters, positioning the words in a jumbled manner regarding spacing.  A sentence such as "Can we play ball?" Might present as "Ca nwe playb all?" 

In this puzzle, kids can re-arrange the letters to accurately space between the cardstock letters.  

Use the jumbled sentences to practice spacing on paper by asking the child to copy the sentence with accurate spacing.  They can first re-arrange the letters on the table or just copy with accurate spatial awareness.

Another activity might include writing a jumbled sentence on paper.  Kids can use the letter pieces to construct the sentence appropriately and then write it on paper. 

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

A third activity involves writing jumbled sentences on paper and asking kids to circle the letters to form words.  They can then copy the sentences using appropriate spacing between letters and words. 

All three of these spacing puzzles require the child to become aware of space between words.  When they slow down to position the words appropriately, they are likely to space between words when writing functionally. 

Let me know if these puzzles work for your child who is working on spatial awareness!

Spatial awareness puzzles for helping kids address visual perception skills needed for spacing between letters and words when writing.

This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series

You'll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Practice Facebook group for more handwriting tips and tools.


Looking for more activities to help kids work on spacing between words and letters?  Try these:

Handwriting Spacing Tools

Space Martial Spacing Tool

Spatial Awareness in Handwriting


Kids love to have a secret.  

Sometimes that secret is told to the next unsuspecting person they come into contact with, and other times that secret is held tight. 

(Helllo, Who-Squeezed-the-Entire-Tube-of-Toothpaste-Into-the-Sink!) 

This super easy handwriting trick will help kids work on their pencil grasp in order to promote a more functional grip on the pencil. It's a handwriting trick that might not be obvious to the other student's in the classroom or even the student at the next desk. 

And whether your kiddo tells their pencil grasp secret or holds it tight to themselves, it will be a trick that helps them to write with better pencil control and letter formation.

Pencil grasp trick that places a small item like an eraser in the palm of the hand.

Hold an Item in the Palm When Writing to Help With Pencil Grasp


This post contains affiliate links.  

For this easy pencil grasp trick, you'll need only one item:

Show your child/ student/ OT client how to tuck the pencil eraser into the palm of their hand to help with pencil grasp.  While they are writing, they should hold the eraser in place using their pinkie and ring fingers. 

Why does this pencil grasp trick work?


When kids hold a small item like a a pencil cap eraser in the palm of their hand, they are using motoric separation of the two sides of the hand.  This encourages the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger to manipulate the pencil with more control using the skilled side of the hand while the remaining fingers curl in to provide stability.  

This is a trick that you won't want to keep a secret.  Grab enough pencil cap erasers for the whole classroom.

Love this handwriting trick?  Stop over to see all of the simple handwriting tricks for better handwriting in our 30 handwriting series. This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting seriesBe sure to check out all of the easy handwriting tips in this month's series and stop back often to see them all.  

You'll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Practice Facebook group for more handwriting tips and tools.

Pencil grasp trick that places a small item like an eraser in the palm of the hand.

What kid wouldn't love to hold these secret erasers when they write?


This handwriting technique is a strategy that I've used many, many times in school-based Occupational Therapy.  It's a handwriting strategy that uses boundaries of boxes and starting dots to help kids become more aware of letter size, letter formation, spatial organization, and use of lines.  

The box and dot handwriting strategy is perfect for kiddos who are working on placing letters appropriately on the lines with awareness of tall letters (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) that should touch the top line, small letters that should reach half-way between the top and base stimuli lines (a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, z), and tail letters that should drop down below the base line (g, j, p, q, y).

Use a visual cue of boxes and starting dots to work on letter formation, line awareness, space awareness, and size awareness of letters when teaching kids to write.

Box and Dot Handwriting Strategy for Better Letter Formation and Spatial Organization

The dots in the boxes allow kids to practice letter formation by starting at the start point using the visual cue of a starting dot.  This is perfect for kids who are working on improving letter formation in a single stroke (r, m, n, etc) or letters that require the writer to pick up their pencil for portions of the letter formation (a, d, etc).  Sometimes, kids form the letters in "parts" as they build the letter instead of forming it accurately for speed and legibility.  The starting dot can help with pencil placement to address this part of letter formation. 

The sized boxes of this handwriting strategy are great for allowing kids to form letters with appropriate spacing, giving kids a definite visual cue for spatial awareness between letters and words.

Use a visual cue of boxes and starting dots to work on letter formation, line awareness, space awareness, and size awareness of letters when teaching kids to write.

This handwriting technique can be used as an accommodation that allows students to learn letter size, placement, and formation.  This accommodation can be used on regular paper, graph paper, or worksheets.  When students start to demonstrate better understanding on letter characteristics, the boxes and/or dots can be faded out and eventually removed.  

One strategy for grading down this tool is to first remove the dots from the boxes.  Other students may benefit from removing the boxes before the dots.  Simply adding a dot to writing spaces can provide the visual prompt needed for letter formation and placement. 

Another technique for lessening the amount of visual cue is to transition students to a highlighter space for the bottom space or bottom half of lined paper. 

Other times, using the boxes and dots on the words that are being copied are all that are needed for carryover of line awareness, letter formation, and spatial awareness. 

Use a visual cue of boxes and starting dots to work on letter formation, line awareness, space awareness, and size awareness of letters when teaching kids to write.

Love this handwriting trick?  Stop over to see all of the simple handwriting tricks for better handwriting in our 30 handwriting series. This post is part of our Easy Quick Fixes to Better Handwriting series. Be sure to check out all of the easy handwriting tips in this month's series and stop back often to see them all.  

You'll also want to join the Sweet Ideas for Handwriting Practice Facebook group for more handwriting tips and tools.