Pencil Obstacle Courses -
and HOT OFF THE PRESSES! NEW Pencil (Etc) Obstacle Courses!!
Pencil Obstacle CoursesCloseupNew Pencil Obstacle Courses

These are available through two partners as downloads of PDF's. Each packet costs $7.50. Choose either link below to purchase through Paypal and immediately get the files.

Therapy Fun (Packet 1) and (Packet 2)
OR (Packet 1) and (Packet 2)

(There are lots of other fun activity ideas and things to buy at each of these sites)

Once you have the files you can print and copy them as many times as you like to use with your caseload/students/children. Please do not share the files with other adults to use, but you may send home a few with a particular student/client/child for extra practice.

I started making these when I worked at Fourt Therapy Center in Menlo Park, California. Barbara Fourt and a couple of the other therapists started making little mazes and "obstacle courses" for children to practice pencil skills without the dreaded tasks of writing or coloring. Kids love them! I have made more and more as the students I work with ask for more of them, give me ideas for them, and as specific needs arise. I have been very pleased with the results.

Packet 1 includes:
  • Ten pages of Obstacle Courses to work on accuracy with a pencil while making all different shapes. These have themes such as Ancient Cave Ruins, Mars, and Pirates!
  • Two of these specifically target speed of production (ADHD-specific) in clever ways that kids will actually TRY to slow down!
  • One Obstacle Course to practice erasing - a skill that many children need practice with and that impairs legibility.
  • Two Obstacle Courses to work on cutting with scissors!
  • Tips on using them.
After only 7 years (WHAT?!), I have finally gotten a second packet of Pencil (Etc) Obstacle Courses ready! I’m excited to share them with you to use with students to build pencil control and other school-tool skills.

Packet 2:

This all-new set includes ideas on some different skills. For example, cutting accurate corners with scissors is a specific skill set that often needs to be taught. This packet includes a page to practice how to STOP at corners and turn the page with the other hand (Scissor Driving Exam Obstacle Course), and then a fun Secret Message page to increase the skill level with a mystery reward.
Hole punching, lacing, ruler measurement, straight-edge lines and more are also included in these activities, as are themes of bugs, construction equipment, trains, BMX, and other adventures to get kiddos engaged.

I have found it really amazing how much students seem to love doing these – I think the lack of play-based teaching in most school days make them hungry to use their imaginations and get a little silly while working on problem-solving. And as Occupational Therapists know, learning through challenging play is the best learning there is!

Free sample: click here to download a free sample:
 Circus Pencil Obstacle Course.

This file is in jpg format. If your computer doesn't automatically know how to open it, you may have to tell it. Here is a link to a site that lists programs that know how to open jpg's.  Most likely, you will have
Apple Preview
if you are using a Mac, or on a P.C.,  Microsoft Photo Editor.

(Note:  This web-based file is a different format from the more-common pdf files that are sold in the packets above)

Also, there is  an app that will allow you to use these on an ipad! It is called Top Notes, and as of my writing this (late summer 2016), it is free! (in a version without ability to export the edited files)
You can transfer pdfs to make them act like a worksheet on an iPad. Add a stylus and you have simulated paper-and-pencil activities for those kids who will only be interested if its on a screen.

Another app, PDF Notes, is a bit more complicated but it is also free and allows you to save and print or email the results, too. 
And something else I love: there is a "palm rest" area that you can place where you like it, so kids can actually stabilize on the side of their hands while using the stylus!
The only problem: the program is REALLY complicated and has many features and controls. There are something like 26 electronic pages of directions. Best idea is to learn the basics and set it up a page at a time for each child.