Pick the Toothpick

Put a piece of styrofoam sheet or block on the floor or on a slanted surface and have the child push the toothpicks into the styrofoam.

If the styrofoam is on the floor have the child lay prone and weight bear on the elbows.

Give the child a shape, a letter, or a pattern to trace over in order to develop visual-motor skills.

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

Make a Puzzle

Hand the child a xeroxed page of a holiday design (with multiple items to color) or draw a picture on the paper/construction paper.

Use the ruler to draw horizontal and vertical lines for the child to cut (number of pieces depends on the child’s age and skills).

You can also draw curved or wiggly lines depending on your child’s cutting abilities.

Have the child follow directions based on skill level.

Start with simple directions and progress to harder instructions if appropriate.

Once all items are colored, have the child cut across the lines.

Once cut, the child should reassemble the puzzle.

Place the pieces in a ziplock bag to take home if desired.

Playdough Therapy Treasure

OTPlanDough Unicorn kit

For this activity, you can use pegs, beans, beads, coins, and small toys.

Hide the small objects in the play-dough and ask the child to dig his fingers in and search for the hidden treasure.

Encourage the child to stretch the play-dough and work his fingers in.

When the child finds the treasure, ask him to take the object out using his thumb and pointer to promote pincer grasp.

If using pegs, you can use the pegboard and have the child design a picture on the board or you can ask him to draw lines, shapes, or letters.

If you choose to use beads you can have the child lace them on a string and make a necklace.