The Battle of the Bottles

This activity should be done outdoors and is designed for more than one child.

For each child, fill 3 bottles one-half or two-thirds full with water. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil, a couple of drops of paint, and a handful of sequences. Mark a “START” point and place all the bottles at this point.

Mark an “END” line on the opposite side (you can use a rope, a blanket, or some chairs).

Ask the children to line up at the starting point and pick up a bottle.

On your mark, ask the children to walk as fast as they can, without dropping their bottle, to the endpoint.

Once they get to the end point, have them put their bottle down and walk back to get another bottle.

The first child that transfers all his/her bottles from the starting point to the end point, wins!

Paper Star Fish

Download and print the Star Fish template.

Ask the child to cut out the star fish image. For children that have difficulties with cutting skills, it is recommended to cut on heavier paper (i.e card-stock or construction paper), and provide with thicker lines/boundaries.

Using the tissue paper, instruct the child to tear pieces of the paper and crumble them into small balls. Encourage the child to move his thumb, pointer, and middle fingers in a circular motion.

Have the child glue the tissue paper balls on the star fish.

If you are using construction paper only, you can cut strips of paper, and let the child tear small pieces to glue on the star fish. If using beans, buttons, or sequins, you can promote pincer grasp by using tongs/tweezers to pick up the items to glue. Stickers can also be used.

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.

Winter Snowflakes

Have the child fold the paper in half vertically (independently or with assistance). Ask the child to draw any half-shape to be the base of the snowflake(i.e. half circle, half diamond, etc.). Instruct the child to draw more geometrical shapes along the edges of the paper, which can be cut out. Once the child is done drawing, let the child cut out all the shapes.

Let the child unfold the snowflake and decorate using crayons, markers, glitter, dot paint, stickers, etc.

To grade this activity you can:

1. Have lower/younger kids just cut out the big shape and then color in shapes that you draw for them (or you can draw and they can trace) if cutting the small shapes is too difficult

2. To make this activity easier you can also do half sheets of paper to make smaller snowflakes, less to color/cut/fold.

3. Have older/higher kids try to cut out shapes without drawing them first if they can. They can also fold the snowflake in half a second time (so it is in quarters) and do more cutouts on the snowflake.

Hearts and Oval Butterfly

On the construction paper, have the child draw, copy, or trace, 2 hearts and an oval (depends on child developmental abilities).

Using child scissors, ask the child to cut out the shapes, and glue them so the oval is in the middle, between the two hearts (see image).

Allow the child to color and decorate the butterfly using crayons, markers, stickers, glitter, etc.

To make the antennas, let the child pick a pipe cleaner and help him to cut it into three pieces. Demonstrate twisting the pipe cleaners around your pencil or finger. Ask the child to do it independently, or offer assistance. Tape the antennas on the back side.

When the butterfly is done it can be glued to a craft stick and the child can “fly” their butterfly around.

If you wish, a writing component can be added and attached to the butterfly instead of gluing it to a craft stick.

Birthday Cake

Pretend the play-doh 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-doh, 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.

Fall Foot Tree

Have the child trace their foot on brown construction paper to make the trunk of the tree. Then have the child trace their hand in different fall leaf colors. Have them glue on the pieces they cut onto a larger piece of construction paper. Provide assistance as needed. For older children, working on handwriting, place lined paper on the bottom of the tree, and have them write a story about the tree or about fall. Both older and younger children enjoy decorating the tree and its surroundings with tissue paper (crumbled), sequins, pom-poms, etc.

You can relate this activity to a specific holiday or the different seasons.

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.

Paper Fish

Prepare Ahead: 
– Trace a triangle shape from the edge of the paper plate towards the middle part of the plate.
– On the construction paper, draw 2 ovals and one triangle.

If the child you work with has higher skills and can trace the shapes, let him complete this step independently.

Ask the child to first cut out all the shapes from the construction paper and the triangle on the paper plate. the triangle on the paper plate will be the mouth.

Once the shapes are cut out, ask the child to use the triangle as the tail and glue it on the back of the paper plate, on the opposite side of the mouth. Then, use the ovals as the fins and glue one oval at the top and one at the bottom.

Instruct the child to glue the pom-pom as the eye (wiggle eyes or buttons can also be used).

Use the crayons/markers/stickers to decorate the fish.

You can also provide the child with some blue and green construction paper to create an ocean scene