Playdough Therapy Treasure

For this activity, you can use pegs, beans, beads, coins, and small toys.

Hide the small objects in the playdough and ask the child to dig his fingers in and search for the hidden treasure.

Encourage the child to stretch the playdough and work his fingers in.

When the child finds the treasure, ask him to take the object out using his thumb and pointer to promote pincer grasp.

If using pegs, you can use the pegboard and have the child design a picture on the board or you can ask him to draw lines, shapes, or letters.

If you choose to use beads you can have the child lace them on a string and make a necklace.

Fun Jar

Use a large, empty, and clean jar for this activity.

Provide the child with pipe cleaners and/or straws and instruct him to insert the items through the holes on the jar’s lid.

You can ask the child to sort the items by color or size before placing them in the jar.

If using a jar that has holes and a small opening on the lid, you can use additional items to place through the opening, such as pom-poms, buttons, large beads, coins, etc.

The child can use tongs or tweezers to catch the items before dropping them through the large opening.

If you cannot find a spice jar, you can use a regular container and poke holes in the lid, using a hole-puncher or cut holes with scissors.

Small Button Box

Take 4oz putty container or container of equal size with a lid and use scissors or box cutter to slice a 2 inch x 1/8 or 1/4 inch rectangular slot into the top of the lid.

Place sticky back Velcro hook on bottom of container. Wrap a Velcro hook strap around the child’s chest or abdomen. The small constructed “Button Box” is placed on the Velcro strap on the child. The angle of the slot can be changed to suit the child’s abilities or needs.

Have the child use appropriate grasp to pick up buttons or coins of various sizes and place into the button box on self.

This activity can be modified in many ways to suit the child’s needs:
– Adjusting size or shape of the slot to accommodate the items placed inside.
– Weights can be used for upper extremity strengthening.
– Markers can be used to provide color around slot hole for children with Visual Perceptual difficulties.
– The items placed in the slots can vary in size, shape, density, and texture for added ease or difficulty

Feed the Ball

Cut a 3-inch horizontal line across the tennis ball (so when you squeeze the ball, it looks like the tennis ball is opening a mouth). Put the coins (beans or beads can be used as well with older kids) on the table, in front of the child.

First, show the child how to squeeze the ball so it opens its mouth using only one hand (preferably the dominant hand). Then have the child pick up the coins, one coin at a time, using a pincer grasp and “feed” the ball by squeezing it with the other hand and opening its mouth.

To work on finger translation, ask the child to pick up 2-3 coins at one time and “feed” the tennis ball one coin at a time.

Mac and Shake

Poke a hole in the container’s lid.

The hole should provide enough resistance to make it challenging for the child to insert the macaroni inside.

Have the child insert large macaroni one at a time through the hole in lid into the container.

To work on finger translation, ask the child to collect two macaroni pieces at a time and store one in his/her palm while inserting the other into the container.

The child should use one hand to hold the container and the other one to insert the items.

Children enjoy listening to the sound the container makes when they shake it.

This activity can be done using other items such as coins, beans, or smaller macaroni.

 

Touch and Match

For the purpose of describing the activity, we chose beans and foam sheets. You can use any media you would like to fill up your container (i.e. corn kernels, cotton balls, macaroni, bird’s seeds, send, etc.)and any objects to hide (i.e.buttons, pom-poms, pegs, coins, etc.).

Use the foam sheets and cut pairs of different shapes (you can also use different color sheets and cut a pair of the same shape in each color). Fill up the container with the beans. Hide one shape from each pair inside the container and place the other shape in front of the child.

Have the child dig his hands through the beans and find the matching shapes, taking them out one shape at a time.

Tactile Container

Fill up the plastic container with beans, rice, or sand.

Add coins or beads to the container and mix with the selected container contents.

Ask the child to use his hands and pull out the different objects you hid inside the container.

To grade this activity, you can hide a variety of items in the container and ask the child to sort the items and put them in separate smaller containers.