Cotton Balls Music

Musical Clothespin

Have the children sit in a circle.

Give each child a clothespin and a cotton ball.

Instruct the children to pick up and drop the cotton ball on the lap of the child sitting to their right when the music starts.

When the music stops, each child should pick up his cotton ball using the clothespin and raise their hand.

You can make it into a game by giving an additional cotton ball to a child who raised their hand but did not have a cotton ball caught on his clothespin.

The child with the least number of cotton balls at the end of the game wins.

Game Variations:

  • Instead of using a clothespin, you might want to use tongs or tweezers.
  • If you are playing with 1 child, you may want to just use one cotton ball and see who has it when the music stops.
  • After a few times passing the cotton balls to the right, switch and have the passing go left.

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.).

Stamp it up

Ask the child to hold the stamp with his/her thumb, index finger, and middle finger.

You may want to set the stamp pad on the opposite side to the hand holding the stamp so that it encourages the child to reach over his/her midline.

To promote the development of visual motor skills have the child stamp between two vertical lines, horizontal lines, or around a circle.

To encourage wrist extension and stabilization place the stamping paper on an inclined surface.

Colored Pipes

Colored Paper Rolls

Label each roll or tube by color.

Attach the tubes onto a wall, door, or window using some tape or clear self-adhesive magic cover.

Place pom-poms in a container.

Ask the child to kneel while sorting the colored pom-poms into the right tube.

Use tongs to work on hand strength and grasp.

 

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.

Hang Up a Pattern

Hang Up a Pattern

On an index card or a piece of paper, draw a pattern of colors, letters, or numbers (you can also mix the symbols).

Draw the matching symbols on the bottom part of the clothespins.

Place the index card and the clothespins in front of the child. Ask the child to hold the top part of the hanger with his non-dominant hand.

Review the pattern with the child first, then ask the child to use the dominant hand to find the clothespin that has the first symbol in the raw.

Instruct the child to place the clothespin he found on the hanger, reinforcing him to use pincer grasp to open the clothespin, and crossing his mid-line by placing the clothespin on the opposite side of the hanger (i.e. if the child is right hand dominant, he will start placing the clothespins on the left side of the hanger).

Have the child continue following the pattern, placing all the matching clothespins on the hanger.

Crossing Colors

Draw two (2) vertical lines about three (3) feet apart.

Instruct the child to stand in between the vertical lines. Suggestion: use a small piece of tape to mark an area on the floor that the child has to stay in (see pictures for an example).

Provide the child with a variety of chalk color or dry erase markers.

Instruct the child to draw a curved line from one vertical line to the other while maintaining position standing on the floor.

Note: if the child is rotating or pivoting his pelvis or trunk area, hold the child gently around the waist to inhibit the movement and reinforce crossing midline.

You can also have the child draw diagonal lines from one vertical line to the other making an ‘X’ shape.

Cut Me a Tree

For this activity, you will need to use brown and green construction paper. 

Have the child trace your hand on the green paper, then trace one or two of their own. On the brown paper, ask the child to draw a large rectangle (depending on the child’s developmental skills, you might have him trace or copy the rectangle). Let the child cut the traced hands and rectangle he drew. 

On a large piece of construction paper, have the child glue the large hand on the rectangle, fingers pointing down, then the other hands, fingers pointing down as well (for a blooming tree, have the child glue the traced hands with the fingers pointing up). Using colored foam sheets, let the child draw and cut other shapes, then glue them on the tree as ornaments or flowers. To promote pincer grasp, have the child use the stickers for additional decorations.

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.