Occupational therapy fact sheets

  • Children may have difficulties doing some things because of conditions they have been born with, an illness or injury. This can affect their independence, their health and how they feel about themselves.

    Occupational therapists (also called 'OTs') can work with children of all ages and their families to help them do the things they want or have to do including playing, getting dressed, handwriting and sports. Occupational therapy also includes making changes to the child's school or home environment to help the child be more independent.

    The occupational therapists at the RCH in Melbourne have developed some practical, user-friendly health information fact sheets. They are a resource for OT's, parents and older children in an occupational therapy intervention program.  Information includes:

    • Pre-writing skills
    • Holding and using a pen and pencil
    • In-hand manipulation 
    • Hand preference
    • Encouraging babies and toddlers to use their hands
    • Encouraging toddlers and children to use two hands
    • Hand and finger strength 
    • Hand, thumb and finger exercises and stretches
    • FDP and FDS tenolysis exercises
    • Supination exercises 
    • Arm co-ordination, strength and endurance
    • Shoulder stability and control 
    • Playdough and exercise putty 
    • Low muscle tone
    • Splints and pressure garments
    • Scar management 

    Click here for the fact sheets

    Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital OT Department. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.

    Reviewed June 2023 

    Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit www.rchfoundation.org.au.


This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.