Buttoning Board

Buttoning is a fun fine motor skill to work on! It is more motivating when it involves our children’s favorite characters; in this case, Noodle & Pals from Super Simple Songs on YouTube!

Here, we created peek-a-boo buttoning boards that progressed from easy to more challenging buttoning skills.

Preparation:

Step 1: Cut up a piece of cardboard of your desired size (Our cardboard is the blue & white checkered print in the photo).

Step 2: Cut felt to your desired size. Ensure there will be enough overlap between the felt pages when you close the buttoning board.

Step 3: Glue the edge of the felt to the edges of the backside of the cardboard.

Step 4: Glue/sew the buttons on one side of one of the felt pages.

Step 5: Cut out slits to match the sizes of your buttons on the other felt page.

Step 6: Optional – take a marker & outline the edges of the button openings (the slits you just cut), so it makes it easier to visually identify the location of the buttonhole opening.

Step 7: Print, cut & glue on your child’s favorite character at the top of the cardboard sheet.

Tips and Grading Options:

Warm-Ups:

  1. Insert popsicle sticks through slits on a coffee cup lid.
  2. Insert coins into piggy banks.
  3. Pick out buttons from playdough.

To make it easier:

  1. Start with fewer buttons.
  2. Create larger buttoning hole openings.
  3. Highlight the buttoning hole openings by drawing around them (such as the black markings in the photo).
  4. Use larger buttons.
  5. Demonstrate how to button & use simple language.

To make it more challenging:

  1. Increase the number of buttons.
  2. Create smaller buttoning hole openings.
  3. Use smaller buttons.
  4. Use fabric with busy patterns.
  5. Use fabric with flimsier material.

As always, ensure safety in all activities. Provide assistance and supervision as needed.

Enjoy!

Guess the Toy

Guess The Toys

Step 1: Take an empty cardboard box & glue construction paper around it. This simplifies the exterior to eliminate distractions.

Step 2: Use any toy or item in the house, so long as it is safe, to put in the box. Make sure the toy or item has an identical partner (i.e. use 2 identical markers, 2 identical stuffed animals, etc.).

Step 3: Place each toy or item inside the box (3-6 toys/items at a time), and keep the toy’s/item’s identical partners right next to you, so the child does not see them.

Step 4: Lay the box on a horizontal surface.

Step 5: Take any of the toys/items right next to you, and place 1 of them on top of the box.

Step 6: Ask, “Which one of these (the toys/items inside the box) feels like what this (the toy/item on top of the box) looks like?”

Step 7: Have the child reach into the box to feel all items, making sure they do not see.

Step 8: Have them place their answer on top of the box in order to see if they got it right.

Step 9: Repeat until they have correctly identified all items.

Snowflake Sisters

This activity was inspired by our kiddo’s favorite movie involving a strong sisterly bond, a talking snowman, and the journey to discovering their strengths. 

Blue Snowflake
Step 1: Fold construction paper in half.
Step 2: Fold it in half, again.
Step 3: Cut small snips off the corners & edges of your folded paper.
Step 4: Unfold & enjoy your magical snowflake!
Step 5: Try a new cutting & folding pattern to see which you like best.

Purple Snowflake
Step 1: Outline the shape of a snowflake with a marker.
Step 2: Trace the outline with glue from a glue bottle.
Step 3: Sprinkle salt on the glue & discard the extra salt that landed elsewhere on the paper.
Step 4: Let dry.
Step 5: Use watercolor paint to dab the salted lines & watch the magic travel through the snowflake!

 

Cutting Dr. Seuss’s Hat

DrSeuss hat and materials

Use the provided Dr. Seuss’s Hat shape template (download here) or draw your own on a construction paper with markers.

To work on snipping, cut long strips of red construction paper, and mark short lines for the child to snip (see image).

Provide the child with the hat template and the red paper stripes.

Instruct the child to snip on the lines.

Have the child glue the pieces that he cut into the hat template. If needed, provide the child with visual cues where to glue the pieces.

Grading Options

  • Work on hand strength by asking the child to tear the paper into small pieces, instead of cutting.
  • Use pieces of tissue paper and have the child crumble them, then glue them to the paper.
  • If the child is able to cut on a line, or to practice cutting on a line, draw long lines for the child to cut and match to the size of the stripes on the hat.

 

Crumples

Crumples glue

On a piece of construction paper, draw a simple shape or a simple picture.

Let the child tear out small pieces of tissue paper and ask him to crumple the pieces into a small ball, using his fingers. If the child is too young or if his hands are too weak, you should provide him with smaller pieces of tissue paper

Older children should be encouraged to use only their thumb, index finger, and middle finger.

Have the child glue the little balls he crumpled on the drawing.

In addition, this activity allows you to work on eye-hand coordination and visual integration as you may ask the child to glue the crumpled balls on a straight line, circle, or a simple picture.

Christmas Circles Tree

For this activity you will need green (tree), brown (tree trunk), red (ornaments), and yellow (ornaments) construction paper.

Draw different sized circles on the green construction paper. Make sure the circles do not overlap. These will be used to create the tree.

Cut the circles out by following the lines using scissors.

If you have a circle puncher, you can have the child punch circles from the construction paper. This will enhance hand strength.

Instruct the child to use a single hole puncher and punch holes in the yellow and red construction paper. These will be the ornaments on the tree.

Glue the green construction paper circles together in a triangular shape (to resemble a Christmas tree).

Using a pincer grasp, instruct the child to pick up the little yellow and red dots, one at a time, and glue them to the green circles.

Cut a rectangle shape from the brown construction paper. Attach it to the tree as a trunk.

Fingerprint Turkey

For this activity, you will need washable tempera paint or finger paint in 4 colors (e.g. yellow, red, pink, and brown).

Ask the child to dip the tip of the thumb into the brown color and press the thumb onto the paper twice. Thumbprints should be one next to the other. This will be the body of the turkey.

Ask the child to dip the tip of the index finger into the pink color and add a row of pink fingerprints above the brown ones. This will be the feathers.

Ask the child to add more rows of fingerprints (feathers) in yellow and red colors.

Glue the wiggle eyes to the brown turkey body. Add feet using the markers or crayons.

Catch the Turkey

Catch The Turkey Activity - final

For this activity, you will need a brown construction paper, yellow construction paper, and an orange construction paper. If you don’t have any colored construction paper, you can use a piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box or any other dry food box can be used) and white paper.

On the brown construction paper or cardboard, draw half a circle. This will be the turkey’s body.

Use the orange construction paper and draw a circle big enough to be used as the turkey’s head.

On the yellow construction paper draw a small triangle, to use as the turkey’s beak. If using a white piece of paper, draw a circle and a triangle, and let the child color these shapes orange and yellow.

Ask the child to cut the brown half of a circle, the orange circle, and the triangle.

Have the child glue the orange circle in the middle of the half-circle. Then, provide the child with red tempera or finger paint, ask him to dip his pointer finger in the paint, and then stamp it in the middle of the orange circle. This will be the turkey’s wobble.

Next, use the glue to glue the yellow triangle on the top part of the wobble. Use the marker or crayon to draw the turkey’s eyes. You can also use googly eyes.

Using the clothespins, instruct the child to pick one clothespin at a time, pinch it, and place it on the curved part of the half-circle, stabilizing the paper (turkey’s body) with the non-dominant hand. Cover the turkey’s body with as many clothespins you can. These are the turkey’s feathers.

Grading Option

You can use specific colors of clothespins, draw matching dots of colors on the turkey’s body, and have the child match the color of the clothespin with the colored dot.

Fall Crunchy Art

Gather dry leaves.

Use both hands to crunch the dry leaves into smaller pieces. This helps promote bilateral hand use, tactile perception, and auditory input.

On a piece of construction paper, use glue to create a shape or drawing. We choose the heart shape but you can use a smiley face, a house shape, letters, numbers, etc. Working on grading the force on the glue bottle addresses the proprioceptive system.

Transfer the crunched dry leaves pieces onto the construction paper covering the wet glue shape.

Let dry for a few minutes and shake off the leaves that remained unglued.

Use markers to decorate.

Tactile Bowl

Yarn Tactile Activity

Blow up the balloon 1/4 way.

You may tie a knot or tape the tip of the balloon to hold the air in.

Have the child cut the yarn into long strips.

In a bowl, help the child mix the glue and water together until you get a viscid mixture.

Ask the child to dip the strips of yarn in the glue mixture and then use it to wrap around the balloon, starting from bottom to top (the child might need help with the bottom part where the yarn should be rolled tightly).

Encourage the child to use a pincer grasp (tip grasp) to take the yarn pieces out of the mixture.

Continue until the balloon is 3/4 covered in yarn. Allow to dry, then pop the balloon and take it out.

To make the bowl colorful, use different colors of yarn.