Feed Me

In this activity, imagination and creativity are key components.

Begin by drawing the face of a child, a character (clown, robot, princess, etc.), or an animal that the child likes on the shoe box’s cover. Then, cut out the mouth of your figure so that it looks like the figure is opening its mouth. Make sure the opening is big enough so that the child is able to place the small objects through the opening.

Place the cotton balls (see additional ideas for objects below) on the table in front of the child or in a shallow bowl.

Give the tongs to the child and instruct her to hold it with her thumb, pointer, and middle fingers only, while tucking the pinkie and ring fingers into the palm of her hand. Then, ask the child to use the tongs to pick up one object at a time and feed the figure by placing the object into the figure’s open mouth.

This is where creativity comes into play as you can use the child’s imagination to decide what kind of food the cotton balls represent.

If you chose to draw an animal, you can have the cotton balls be the type of food this specific animal eats (i.e. monkey = bananas, dog = bones, bunny = carrots, etc.)

Based on the child’s developmental skills, you can have her draw the figure (can be a very simple figure) and cut the mouth opening independently.

Additional ideas for small objects (depending on the child’s age and abilities): pasta, beads (large and small), beans, cotton swabs, marbles, and Lego

Can You Feel It

Fill up a large container or a bucket with beans, rice, macaroni, sand, or birdseeds (you can mix a few media together if you wish to).

Let the child put his/her hands in the container and pour, sift or move the media from side to side.

When using bird seeds it is recommended to powder the child’s hands with some baby powder to keep the birdseeds from sticking to the palms of the hands.

Mixing small plastic shapes, plastic letters and numbers, small plastic animals and any other educationally related items in the media can be a fun way for the child to develop his/her stereognosis sense.

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.

Multi Step Shamrock

Print and cut the provided picture below of a shamrock (about 7 inch in size). You will use this as your stencil.

Provide the child with a green or white page of construction paper.

Ask the child to trace the shamrock on his paper using the stencil you made.

Instruct the child to cut out the shamrock.

Allow the child to spread some glue over the shamrock he cut. You may use a paint brush or a craft stick if the child avoids sticky materials.

Place the different manipulatives in front of the child inside a shallow container or a paper plate.

Instruct the child to glue the different objects on the shamrock transferring the objects from the container to his paper using the tweezers or the tongs.

The child may also use his fingers to reinforce pincer grasp and in-hand manipulation skills.

You may also have the child crumble pieces of tissue paper into small ball to work on dexterity and strengthening of the small muscles in your child’s hands.