Birthday Cake

Purpose:

This activity primarily focuses on fine motor skills and hand strengthening. You can grade this project to involve as many skills as necessary.

Skills: Bilateral Hand Use(?) The use of both hands simultaneously, in a controlled manner, to perform an activity (i.e. clapping hands, using your one hand to hold a pencil while the other is used to stabilize the paper)., Finger Strength(?) The use of both hands simultaneously, in a controlled manner, to perform an activity (i.e. clapping hands, using your one hand to hold a pencil while the other is used to stabilize the paper)., Pincer Grasp(?) The pincer grasp is the coordination of the index finger and thumb to hold an item. Each time you hold a pen or button your shirt, you’re using the pincer grasp. Pincer grasp is a hand grasp that develops around the time a baby is 8-10 months old. This grasp corresponds to the time a baby is beginning to feed themselves finger foods. The pincer grasp is needed in order to grasp a small item, pinch it between the index and thumb and bring it to the mouth., Proprioception(?) Proprioception is how your body knows what position it is in. It is the sense that enables us to know where the different parts of our body are, how they are moving, and how much strength our muscles need to use. Our muscles, joints, and skin all contain sensory receptors that contribute to proprioceptive input., Self Help (Feeding)(?) Proprioception is how your body knows what position it is in. It is the sense that enables us to know where the different parts of our body are, how they are moving, and how much strength our muscles need to use. Our muscles, joints, and skin all contain sensory receptors that contribute to proprioceptive input.

Pretend the play-dough is the dough to make your cake.

To develop hand strength and increase joint compression have the child roll, and push flat with both hands or rolling pin.

Once the cake is established have the child push the candles/cut straws (of whatever size, length, and color desired) into the play-dough, and decorate as wanted (sprinkle sequins or rice for sprinkles).

After you sing and blow out the candles, have the child remove the straws. With the straws that have “cake” stuck in them, have the child use an unbent paper clip/pipe cleaner (depending on straw width) and poke it out from the other end. Sometimes you can get it out by pinching at it after pushing a little out.

If working on utensil manipulation, have the child cut up the cake with a plastic knife, serve to a group (for socialization), and fake eat with a plastic fork.

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