These free printable lacing cards are the perfect way for kids to practice beginning letter sounds in a fun, hands-on way that targets fine motor skills too!
Lacing cards are one of the most quintessential occupational therapy supplies out there. They’re great for promoting coordination, bilateral hand skills, and more!
But…if you work with kids who are really struggling with fine motor skills, it doesn’t take long for a lacing card to become a giant tangled mess. Or, if you use lacing cards during a group session, you might spend your whole session scrambling to help each kid before they turn their lacing cards into big knots.
Obviously, to get the fine motor benefits of lacing cards, kids don’t need to come out with a perfect finished product – but if your kids are anything like ours, they get frustrated when they create tangled knots on their lacing card and end up shutting down and giving up pretty quickly.
Awhile back, I decided to come up with a modified version of a lacing card that would be a better fit for younger kids and kids who are struggling with coordination and fine motor skills. I wanted kids to be able to be successful with this task that might usually cause frustration and annoyance.
I quickly realized that this format could be used to target a huge array of early academic skills too!
Below, you can grab a free set of modified lacing cards – perfect for helping kids practice beginning letter sounds in a hands-on way that targets fine motor development too!
Modified Lacing Cards – Beginning Letter Sounds
What You’ll Need:
-Printable cards (enter your name and email address in the boxes below to subscribe to our newsletter and get your copy sent right to your inbox!)
What to Do:
-Laminate the cards and cut them in half.
-Punch holes where indicated (below each letter and below each picture).
-Thread a shoelace or pipe cleaner through the back of the page under the letter. Have kids find the picture of the object with the same beginning letter sound and thread the lace/pipe cleaner through the hole below that picture.
-Repeat with all of the cards for lots of great beginning letter sound practice and fine motor practice too!
How to Change it Up:
-Add a gross motor component! Place the cards on one end of your play space or at the bottom of a set of stairs. Place a container at the other end of the play space or at the top of the stairs. Have kids thread the lace through the hole below the correct picture and then move across the play space (or up the stairs) to deliver the card to the container. They can ride a scooter, gallop, skip, hop, jump to get their card to the container!
-Once the kids thread the lace through the correct hole, use dry erase markers and have them trace the letter, staying “inside the road” of the bubble letter.
-Before laminating, use marker to add “starting points” to each letter to show kids where to start tracing.
For Virtual Sessions:
For virtual therapy sessions, try having kids open the modified lacing cards on an iPad, using the “Books” app. Using the draw tool in the app and a stylus, kids can draw a line from the letter to the corresponding picture. They can also practice tracing the letter as well.