Buy & Explore ShoeboxTasks

ShoeboxTasks are one-unit activities, presented to the student in a way that reinforces  working in a left-to-right manner.  Objects to be moved begin on the student's left, while the Finished Area is to the student's right.  All manipulatives are easy to handle and large enough to prevent swallowing.

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Basic Curriculum: Full Set of Tasks 1-16  $325.00


SIMPLE PUT-IN TASKS: Tasks 1, 3 and 4 encourage taking (1) manipulative at a time and moving it into a nearby container. Task2 is for the student who is able to reach into a container containing many blocks successfully. Tasks 2, 3 and 4 have lid options requiring greater focus for success. Lids for Tasks 2 and 4 with the “X” slot require greater pressure and persistence to push the object through and into the container. Each Task is complete when the all manipulatives have been moved.


TASKS REQUIRING GREATER FINGER DEXTERITY AND HAND COORDINATION: Tasks 5 and 6 continue moving objects into openings where they disappear; however, how the student gets the object is different. Task5 requires a squeezing and pulling motion while Task6 involves pulling the beads off a moving pipe cleaner. The “finished” openings in the lid are smaller, requiring greater focus and hand control.

Task5Diagram Task6Diagram

ONE-TO-ONE CORRESPONDENCE: Tasks 7 and 8 involve moving loose objects from a container on the left side of the lid and placing them in smaller openings to the right.  Some students will do this in a very methodical way and that's OK. These Tasks require greater focus to see which of the smaller openings are still empty.



PULL APART & PUT-IN TASKS: Tasks 9, 10 and 11 require (2) steps to complete.  First separating (2) objects and then placing them in designated openings in the lid.  Tasks 9 and 10 have (1) opening. Task11 is a “self correcting activity”--the card only fits in the slot and the clothespin only fits in the round opening. Also called a “forced sort,” Task11 is the precursor to sorting (2) objects.


STACKING TASKS: Tasks 12, 13 and 14 involve stacking objects. Task12 requires applying hand pressure to lock the megabloks together (the teacher sets up the “starter blocks”).  Greater use of a hand clasp is needed when stacking the cups in Task13. Task14 requires the greatest focus and hand control when placing the beads on the dowel.


SORTING TASKS: Tasks 15 and 16 develop sorting skills in very different ways. Task16 sorts (2) objects with the potential to sort up to (4) objects. If the student can easily sort (2) objects, add a third and then a fourth, letting success dictate these changes. Task15 may be used to sort and stack pegs of up to (3) different colors. Doing a two-color sort and stack may be appropriate for some students while others may be successful just stacking a variety of pegs.


ShoeboxTasks: Assembling the Basic Curriculum from Ron Larsen on Vimeo.



Task17-2013Task17 Red Buttons in Water

An all-time favorite, designed for those who are challenging to motivate. The buttons' slow descent through the water, disappearing into the bottom of the Shoebox, captures  students' interest and motivates them to finish the Task.

Task25-2013Task 25 Flex Tube

Designed to hold the student’s attention, the sight and sound of each ball rolling down the tube into the Shoebox adds interest. Using coordinated effort of two hands, the student is encouraged to repeat the activity until finished.

Task27 Drum Roll

For the student who may not have  necessary motor control to place an object in a small opening, the ball rolling around and around before disappearing into the opening encourages independent action and holds the student's attention. Task27Diagram

Task34-2013Task34 Positive Attraction

The curious behavior of magnets encourages concentration and fine motor control while stacking magnets on the dowel. Versatility in uses of the wand to maneuver the magnets makes completing the Task attainable and interesting across many levels of motor skills. T34 Revised Diagram



Task21 Bead Slide
Task21 Bead Slide
Designed for students who have difficulty using their fingers in a coordinated manner or are easily distracted from attaining a designated goal. Parallel tracks have finished openings at opposite ends, engaging the student to slide the beads beyond the mid-line to complete their action. Task21-2013
Task22 Lacing
Lacing provides students the opportunity to use two hands in a coordinated fashion. Designed to accommodate a wide range of skill levels, creating an attainable challenge: maneuvering the attached shoelace through a prescribed course to end at a clearly defined point.
Task24 Pipettes
Squeezing the end of a transparent pipette, the student draws colored water from a hidden source. Move up to 3 colors and mix them for greater variety—an important skill and a fun activity that could end up in your “choice area.” Task24DiagramCorrected
Task28 Pom Poms
Builds hand strength by encouraging the student to move Pom Poms with tongs from one container to another.  Vibrant colors and soft texture encourage fine motor practice, with the possibility for up to a 4-way sort and match. Task28 Diagram
Task29 Closure
An activity that encourages the use of fine motor ability and the coordinated effort of both hands. Students put over-sized pompoms into containers before screwing down the cap for closure, providing a clear end point when all four tubes are capped. Task29 Diagram
Task31 Stretch
The student stretches loops between dowels to create a variety of patterns, encouraging development of fine motor skills and coordinated effort of two hands. The Task is finished when all loops are stretched onto dowels and the container is empty. Task31 Diagram
Task35 Twister
An open-ended Task to encourage fine and gross motor development, eye-hand coordination and opportunities to engage the mid-line by winding a link-chain around dowels in varied ways. The visual effect  motivates students to make this transfer. Task35 Diagram



Task18 Bead Stack

Bead Stack visually demonstrates
quantities 1-5 by associating
numerical characters for each dowel
with the number of beads to be stacked. Each dowel is just long enough to accommodate the number of beads on its label, creating a clear finishing point.

Task18 Diagram

Task20 Letter, Shape, Number, Color Match
A one-unit matching task to encourage independence while practicing academic readiness skills. Includes (4) sets of discs to be matched: letters, numbers, (9) colors, and (9) shapes. The discs are presented upright, encouraging the student to choose one symbol at a time to match on the right. Task20 Diagram
Task26 Color Match Sequencing
The educator creates a pattern of colors on the top line, which the student replicates with the remaining discs on the two lines below. Versatile enough for a wide range of skill levels from simple matching to more complex sequences of colors. Task26 Diagram
Task30 Bead Patterns
Coordinating the use of two hands, the student strings beads on either a pipecleaner or shoelace while following a prescribed pattern of colored discs. Use of the shoelaces instead of pipecleaners for stringing increases the fine motor challenge of the Task. Task30 Diagram
Task32 Shape Up
Teaches basic shape matching, as well as object-to-picture matching skills. Placing one of the (3) different plastic shapes at the base of each wooden dowel creates a template from which the student can match and stack shapes. Task32 Diagram
Task33 Around The Block
The educator velcroes up to (9) colored discs to the lid in any combination of (3) colors.  The student must retain the goal of matching a color while looking for it among the other colors on the blocks to be matched, while also practicing fine motor skills. Task33 Diagram
Task36 Bullseye
The student matches puzzle pieces from one of the (4) puzzles included to a pattern. Once the puzzle pieces are in place, the Task is finished. The one-unit presentation encourages independence and serves as a precursor to FolderTasks. Task36 Diagram



Task19 Megablok Assembly
The individual matches a given order of red, yellow and blue megabloks, assembles the pieces, and puts them in the finished area. Mastery of this type of visual instruction and organization is foundational to many students attaining meaningful work later in life. Task19 Diagram
Task23 Match, Assemble, Package
A multi-step activity: matching objects to pictures, assembly and packaging—a simple format teaching a variety of skills. Teaches organization through the use of visual structure and includes two distinct packaging activities. Task23 Diagram
Task37 Variations
Variations demonstrates that objects can be used in a variety of ways. A bead can be matched to a picture, dropped in a hole, and stacked on a dowel. The Task is finished when all three sets of objects are in their designated places. Task37 Diagram



ShoeboxTasks: Activities Designed
with Success in Mind Handbook

TEACCH Instructional DVD-$25

An in-depth look at ShoeboxTasks and
their use within TEACCH's Structured
Teaching Approach in subjects such as
motivation, routines, eliciting
communication, and One-on-One and
Independent Work sessions.
Filmed at the Western Regional Autism
Preschool Program, this 16-minute film
highlights the three important aspects
of the TEACCH approach: elements and
structure of the physical environment,
independent work systems, and
daily schedules.
Corrected EdCD
ShoeboxTasks Educational CD-$30
FolderTasks, Set of (3)-$30

Establishing an Independent Work Setting,
the CD includes (7) interactive
games: matching shapes, colors, letters
& numbers; sequencing lights & sounds;
& finding missing parts to make (2)
identical pictures. Teachers report positive
results with students not normally
motivated to use the classroom computer.

In TEACCH preschools, a common skill
progression is for the student to go
from all ShoeboxTasks to some folder
tasks, then to all folder tasks and other
more abstract activities. Our FolderTasks
are constructed of sturdy vinyl, using
images students find familiar after
working with ShoeboxTasks.


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