Praxis (Motor Planning)

Dr Laura Mraz and Praxis (Motor Planning)

What is it? “The ability to conceptualize, plan, and execute a non-habitual motor act” (Case-Smith & O’Brien, 2015, p. 272). 

Why is it important? The ability to motor plan allows for safe navigation through the environment. Praxis is a skill necessary in occupations throughout the lifetime, such as: 

  • Activities of daily living (feeding, dressing, functional mobility, bathing, grooming, toileting) 
  • Academic performance (navigating the school environment, writing, cutting, sitting in chair) 
  • Play and leisure activities (playing sports, playing age-appropriate gross motor games) 
  • Job performance 
  • Driving 
  • Grocery shopping and meal preparation (navigating the store and kitchen, putting food in oven, etc.) 

5 activities to try at home: 

Dr Laura Mraz and sequencing

1. Navigating obstacle course. 

Tip: Create an obstacle that is the just-right challenge for your child (asktherapist about this) and has your child moving over, across, under, and through objects.  

Dr Laura Mraz and Praxis (Motor Planning)

2. Following lines/patterns on the floor with ball. 

Tip: Tape patterns on the floor for your child to follow along either by walking, hopping, or moving a ball along. To make it more difficult, try taping hopscotch onto the floor! 

Dr Laura Mraz and Praxis (Motor Planning)

3. Playing the floor is lava. 

Tip: Create “islands” for your child to stay on without touching the floor! 

Dr Laura Mraz and Praxis (Motor Planning)

4. Playing on a playground. 

Tip: Head to a playground and allow your child to motor plan and navigate their way through the equipment! 

Dr Laura Mraz and Praxis (Motor Planning)

5. Playing Simon Says with gross motor movements. 

Tip: For example, “Simon says hop on one foot across the room.” 


American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (3rd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(Suppl. 1), S1-S48. 

Case-Smith, J., & O’Brien, J. (2015). Occupational therapy for children and adolescents (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby, Inc.