Occupational Therapy Activities for the Car

Project Play’s best pediatric occupational therapy practice activities to do with your kids on the go!

After blogging about speech-language activities for the car a few weeks ago, curious parents asked what their kiddos could do to practice occupational therapy goals in the car! Many families leave their pediatric occupational therapy with some sort of homework, but here at Project Play Therapy, we understand just how busy life can be. Being able to practice a few things in the car is a great way to maximize your time! Check out this list, put together by our very own OTs, of skills you can work on in the car!

1. Wikki Stix Letter Practice

Wikki Stix are simply wax covered yarn and they are WONDERFUL. Kids are enamored by them (and some of our therapists admit to playing with them too)! You can bend them, mold them and twist them into any letter, shape or form. Plus they stick to various surfaces with just a little pressure and can be reused time and time again. No matter what your kids are using them to create, they will get great fine motor practice!

One way for your child to target two skills at once is using Wikki Stix in the car to practice forming letters. You could use an old cookie sheet, clipboard or binder as the surface for the letters! While driving, call out different letters for your child to make and check their work once you’ve arrived at your destination.


2. Animal Lacing Cards

Lacing is a task that develops fine motor skills and the pincer grasp. The pincer grasp is the ability to grab an object with the thumb and forefinger. Both skills are building blocks for developed handwriting. BONUS: these animal lacing cards promote quiet play!

While there are many lacing cards you can purchase, you can also make your own at home by cutting an animal shape out of construction paper or cardstock and punching holes around the perimeter of the shape. You can use ribbon or a shoelace to lace!

3. Sticker Fun!

Stickers help develop the pincer grasp, visual motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. Stickers can be both affordable and entertaining like these simple, big dot stickers or colorful smiley face stickers like these. Kids can use their stickers in a coloring book or create their own work of art on a piece of construction paper. National Geographic sticker activity books are also a great way to get sticker practice along with other exciting educational games!

4. “Water WOW” by Melissa and Doug

Do your kiddos love painting? With “Water WOW” by Melissa and Doug they can now “paint” in the car. Each $5 (that’s right!) pack comes with 4 reusable pages and a water pen. The water pen reveals color with every stroke and as the page dries it erases the colors and can be painted again. The water pen is big and easy for kids to grasp helping them practice their writing grasp and fine motor skills.

5.  Magnetic Puzzles

This DIY car game only requires an age appropriate puzzle, a roll of magnetic tape and a cookie sheet. Stick the adhesive side of the magnetic tape on each puzzle piece, stash a cookie sheet in the car and you’re ready for on the go puzzle fun! Puzzles further the development of visual motor skills, visual perception, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. 

Pictured below are a couple examples from Pinterest:



Have you found creative ways to sneak some OT practice into car rides with your kids? Let us know by commenting below!