One of the best ways to be an efficient therapist is to find activities that combine multiple skills at once and this printable hot chocolate craft does just that! Building crafts in occupational therapy is a tool that combines critical skills of coloring, cutting, and gluing that ends with a (sometimes) recognizable product. While it is “easy enough” to hand draw circles and squares for students to practice coloring and cutting skills, why not challenge learners to go one step further? This post not only introduces a great new printable, but offers ways to use and adapt it.
BUILD A HOT Chocolate CRAFT
The older I get, the more I hate winter, especially cold weather. Introducing hot cocoa into my diet this time of year helps make this season more bearable. For those of you who do not love coffee, with all of its variations and super special flavors, cocoa is a great winter substitute to hit the spot.
I am not sure if children share the same fondness for this wonderful drink, but they certainly love the marshmallows, sprinkles, and whip cream that decorate the top!
Motivating learners to work hard is difficult. It takes an engaging assignment that is meaningful to them to produce a willing crowd.
That’s where this winter craft comes in!
This build a hot chocolate craft has a cup that is reminiscent of a very popular drink store.
Won’t it be fun to see how your learners decorate this cup, given what they know about popular culture? My cup might not have a lid, but be overflowing with marshmallows and chocolate chips!
Color Cut and Glue Crafts in Therapy
You can use this printable hot chocolate craft template and modify the activity to meet a variety of needs in therapy sessions.
Modify the Hot chocolate craft download:
- Lowest level learners may need the pieces cut for them ahead of time, so they can practice color and paste. Alternatively hand this out and see what is created!
- Middle level learners can cut, color, and paste the craft, working on basic level skills and following directions
- Higher level learners can decorate their cup, add details, or try and copy a coffee shop logo onto their cup.
- Add a writing or story telling prompt to go with this. Something as simple as, “what do you think this is” or “what would be the best drink to put in your cup”
- Make this part of a larger lesson plan including gross motor, sensory, social, executive function, or other fine motor skills
- Gross motor – run across the room collecting pieces to add to the build a hot cocoa craft. Gather pompoms by squatting and bending to retrieve them.
- Sensory – touching all of the elements of hot cocoa. Describing it in detail. Talk about how it feels, smells, and tastes, or what emotions it might evoke.
- Executive function – hand the papers out with very limited instruction. Record how well your learners can follow instructions and make the picture look exactly like the example
- Social skills – sharing resources promotes social function. Talking about a themed lesson plan builds social skills
- Branch out – add a cooking activity, field trip, movie, or a book to make this build a hot cocoa craft multi-level. This snowman activity pack is full of fun activities
- Check out these Winter Snow Day activities for more fun
- Vary the paper. Cardstock might be more challenging to cut through, but it is sturdier to work with
- Use different writing tools for different effects and skills. Watercolor, paint, dot markers, chalk, glitter glue, crayons, and markers are some of the options
- More or less prompting may be needed to grade the activity to make it easier or harder
- Drippy wet glue is messy, and not as convenient as glue stick, however it is superior for different reasons. The added benefit is the sensory input from touching the wet glue, as well as fine motor strengthening from squeezing the bottle is amazing
- Learners can explore other games they could make using this activity
- Write a report about hot cocoa, different variations, the history of hot cocoa, jor different celebrations or activities that go with this hot beverage
- Have students write on a slant board, lying prone on the floor with the page in front to build shoulder stability, or supine with the page taped under the table
- Add glitter! Glitter makes everything wonderful
Make clinical observations using the hot chocolate craft
When you use this printable color, cut, and glue craft in therapy sessions, you can make several clinical observations using this single printable.
Collect Data- This printable has a top portion with areas for data collection. The printable includes space to document the amount of support, modifications, verbal cues, and accuracy for coloring, cutting, and glueing aspects of the craft building process.
Set up the craft at the level needed for the individual user. Then, make observations for collecting data on goal areas:
- There could be 1,000 observations to be made during any one activity. The key is to know what you are looking for and measuring. Coloring skills, executive function, fine motor strength, following directions, attention/focus, self regulation, scissor skills, grip strength, and bilateral coordination, are just a few
- Watch your students closely as they do their task. Sometimes teachers and other providers sit back while learners complete their activities. This reveals an end product, but gives no clues how they got there. What skills were lacking to make this look nothing like the model?
- The “how” is very important as skills get progressively harder. Some learners can get by with poor grasping, strength, or coordination skills while learning to snip with scissors or scribble with a crayon, however, intricate coloring and cutting requires a more mature grasping pattern, executive function, and overall attention to details
- Observe which skills are holding the learner back, which need more direct practice, and what compensatory strategies you see struggling learners use
- Need more scissor skills practice? Check out this color, cut, paste workbook!
- Here is an Animal Cut and Paste pack.
More Winter cut and paste crafts you might like include:
Free Hot Chocolate Craft Printable
All this talk about cocoa has me craving some. I’ll take mine extra hot, dark chocolate with whipped cream. Throw in a piece of cake, a chilly day, and a great book, and you have the makings of a wonderful afternoon.
Don’t forget to put your email in the box to receive your free worksheet!
- Level 2 members can access all winter themed activities in one place in our Winter Therapy Theme.
- Level 1 members can access this resource in our Scissor Skills area along with other free downloads on this site.
Victoria Wood, OTR/L has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.