Rainbow of Skills

For this activity, you will need to use a red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple construction paper.

Draw a line in the middle of the paper plate and have the child cut along the line you drew. Using the pen, draw 5 curves, spaced 1-inch from each other.

Draw a vertical line on each of the construction papers, making a 1-inch strip. Ask the child to cut along the lines you drew. Before the child tears the strips, ask him to arrange the strips in the correct order of the colors of the rainbow.

Have the child tear each strip into pieces. Encourage him to use both hands and tear the pieces from top to bottom. If you want to work more on scissors skills or visual-motor skills, you can draw lines on the strips (straight, crocked or curved) and have the child cut along the lines you drew.

Finally, have the child glue the small pieces onto the paper plate, using the curved lines you drew to place the colors in the correct order.

Thumb Opposition with Finger Paint


For this activity, you will work on thumb opposition and provide sensory input by using finger paint.

You should use 5 different colors of finger paint.

Pour the different finger paint colors into the paper plate.

Ask the child to dip each finger in each one of the colors. Provide help as needed.

Draw a pattern on the construction paper. For example draw a pattern like a blue dot, a green dot, a red dot, a blue dot, a green dot, a red dot, etc.

Ask the child to follow your pattern using the paint on his/her fingers.

You can also have the child mix the colors and create new colors by touching his/her thumb with any other finger (i.e. thumb to the pointer, thumb to the middle finger, and so on) to work on and promote thumb opposition.

Hand Strengthening Artwork

Instruct the child to turn the cup upside down and dip the rim into the paint. Fingers should spread across the bottom of the cup for a firm grasp.

Place the paint covered rim firmly on the paper to make the ring. Repeat desired amount of times with each color chosen. The cup should be re-dipped for each new ring.

Be sure to instruct the child to keep the cups on the designated color plate so the colors do not run and blend. (E.g. blue cup with blue paint, red with red, etc.)

Benefits of this activity:

1. Holding the cup with the fingers all spread apart strengthen the thumb muscles and deep muscles in the hand that play a key role in the dexterity required for moving a pencil for writing and drawing.
2. A motor sequence occurs as the child dips, places the cup on the paper and repeats this.
3. Eye-hand motor coordination occurs as the child plans where to place the cup. The dramatic colors draw the child’s eyes to the paper.
4. Matching colors-correct plate for the paint covered cup
5. Planning a design may occur.

Note: For children with tactile sensitivities, be sure to have a towel or source for washing hands nearby.

Paper Plate Web

In this activity, pipe cleaners are optional.

Help the child to cut out a large circle from the center of the paper plate, leaving about 1-inch from the edge, and creating an outer ring.
Ask the child to punch holes all around the outer ring.

Give the child a long piece of yarn and instruct him to string the yarn through the holes he punched. Have the child string the yarn from one hole to the next going back and forth to form a web.

On the construction paper (preferably black or gray), draw a medium size oval for the spider’s body and a smaller size circle for the spider’s head. Let the child cut out the shapes you drew to make a spider. You can also ask the child to draw a spider and cut it out.

If you are using pipe cleaners, have the child punch 3 holes on each side of the oval (the spider’s body) and place a small piece of pipe cleaner in each hole (to form the spider’s legs).

Have the child glue the spider on the web or attach the spider to the web by banding the pipe cleaners onto the yarn.

Hats for All

Draw a line from the outside edge of the paper plate into the center.

On the construction paper, draw different shapes (note: some ideas for shapes your child can cut are red, blue, and white stripes, stars, or circles for 4th of July, hearts for Valentine’s day, or flowers for springtime).

Provide the child with a pair of scissors and ask him to first cut along the line you drew on the plate and then cut the different shapes you traced on the paper.

Overlap the edges of the paper plate to create a hat shape and staple them together.

Have the child glue the different cut out shapes on the hat.

Finally, help your child poke two holes on each side of the plate and put the lace through each hole.

Marshmallow Stamper

Place paint in a shallow bowl or a paper plate. Have the child dip a piece of marshmallow or foam in the paint and stamp it onto the construction paper.

You can let the child create his own picture or if you would like to work on visual-motor skills, you can have the child trace lines, shapes, and letters.

You can use small or big marshmallow for this activity.

For children that tend to place objects in their mouths, you might want to try using Jell-O mixed with a small amount of water and use it as your paint.

Cut Me a Slice

This is a fun way to help you child prepare his favorite pizza.

On the paper plate, draw a horizontal line and a vertical line, in such a way that you divide it into 4 equal parts (just like you would slice a pizza pie). Use green, red, yellow and brown construction papers to draw different shapes such as rectangles (for pepper), curved lines( for cheese), circles (for pepperoni), etc.

Ask the child to first cut the plate, following the lines you drew on it. Instruct the child to color each quarter in red (using a crayon, a marker, or a colored pencil). Then, provide the child with the different shapes you drew on the construction papers and ask him to cut these shapes following the lines. Let the child glue the different shapes on the paper plate quarters based on what he would like to have on his pizza.

Yarn Painting

Draw a geometric shape or a picture on the paper and fold it in half (i.e. square, pumpkin, a person, butterfly, etc.). Let the child cut out the picture and open the paper.

Cut a piece of yarn (about 6-inch long). Put paint into the container and ask the child to dip one end of the yarn in the paint while holding on to the other end. Instruct the child to place the painted end of the yarn on one side of the paper, at the top. Fold the paper again and tell the child to pull the yarn out, from the bottom.

Open the folded paper, place the painted yarn at the top again, fold the paper, and pull the yarn out. Repeat these steps until the picture is painted.

You can use different colors and cut a piece of yarn for each color the child is using.

Paper Turkey

On a brown construction paper, trace the child’s hand or have the child trace his own hand using the pen/markers/crayons.

Make sure the thumb is extended and the fingers are spread apart while tracing the hand.

Let the child cut the traced hand. This will be the turkey’s body.

Glue the traced hand in the middle of the paper plate.

Use one bean as the turkey’s eye and glue it on the traced thumb. On the rest of the fingers, let the child glue feathers.

Take a piece of orange or red tissue paper and let the child crumble it. Glue the crumbled piece as the turkey’s wattle.

Using the markers or the crayon, let the child draw the turkey’s legs.