Jump and Kick

Jump and Kick for Balance

Place steppingstones along a path.

Place cardboard blocks to the left and to the right side of each steppingstone.

Ask the child to stand on the first steppingstone and use the right leg to kick the cardboard block on the right side and the left leg to kick the cardboard block on the left side.

Next, instruct the child to jump to the next steppingstone and repeat the previous step.

The child will continue jumping to the ext steppingstones ad knocking down the cardboard block until the end of the path.

Don’t have steppingstones? Use pillows instead (this also increases the challenge for your child’s balance).

Don’t have cardboard blocks? Use water bottles instead (empty for an easier challenge, and filled with water or rice/beans/sand for more challenge and increase the proprioceptive input) or use empty shoe boxes, paper rolls, paper cups, or plastic containers.

Grading option:

  • The challenge can be graded by placing the blocks further away (see the 2nd video below)
  • Ask the child to frog jump from one steppingstone to the other, then stand back up, and kick the block.

Basket Sock for Eye-Hand Coordination

This game is all too familiar for many of us: Laundry Basketball.

Challenge your child’s core muscles by having them stand in a tall kneeling positioning.

Place about 10 laundry items on the ground, to the child’s left and right. Have them side bend to retrieve the laundry items from the ground.

Position the basket in front of the child and have them shoot the laundry items into the laundry basket.

Increase the challenge by:

  • Moving the laundry basket further away from the child.
  • Scattering the laundry items further around the child.
  • Holding the laundry basket while moving around the room.
  • Tilting the laundry basket away from them, then toward them.
  • Having the child kneel on a more unstable surface (such as a pillow or dyna disc).
  • Having the child kneel on one leg.
  • Having the child shoot smaller laundry items/laundry items that weigh less.
  • Placing a timer.
  • Setting a goal for how many baskets to make.

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

Matching Socks Game

Present the child with a clean box/basket/bucket of separated pairs of socks.

Provide the child with additional empty baskets, one for each member of the family.

Show the child one sock and ask him to find the other sock that looks the same (i.e. the matching sock).

Fold the socks together (or have your child fold them to work on additional skills such as motor planning and eye-hand coordination) and ask the child to put the pair of socks in the right basket, based on whose socks are they (mom’s, dad’s, child’s, sister’s, etc.).

Stereognosis Shape Finder

Shape Finder

Setup the Game

This activity is a game that you can play with the child, or have two children play together.

For this activity, you will need to use a shoebox with a lid.

Using scissors, cut open a circle on the side of the shoe box.

Make sure the hole you cut is wide enough for a child to put a hand through easily.

Insert different shaped blocks (i.e. triangle, circle, square, etc.) into the box, and tape down the lid to close the box.

Cut the construction paper to 8-10 squares, and draw shapes on them. The shapes should match the shapes of the blocks you put in the box. If you don’t have construction paper available, you can use any white piece of paper.

How To Play the Game

To play the game, pile the cards and place them in front of the child, facing down.

Let the child go first and flip a card. Then, instruct the child to put his hand in the box and find the block that has the shape that is shown on the card.

If the child pulls out the right block shape, he can keep the block and have another turn. If he pulls out a different shape, it’s your turn.

Grading

To grade the activity you can use a timer or a sand clock and have the child find the matching block shape in the allotted time.

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.

Push Ins

Start by making the shoe box and the cardboard discs. Cut a narrow slit on one side of the shoe box top and a small circle on the other side. The narrow slit will be used to insert the discs and the small circle will be used to insert the clothespins.

On the cardboard, draw 10 or more circles, about 3 inches in size. Cut out the circles and attach a clothespin to each circle.

Have the child separate the clothespins from the discs and insert the items through the right opening on the shoe box.

You can also place stickers on the circles and matching ones on the clothespins. After the child inserted the items, ask him to take them out of the shoe box and match each circle with the corresponding clothespin. You can also color the circles and the clothespins in different colors, and ask the child to match the items by color.