Running Water

Place two containers or buckets on opposite sides of the room or the area you play at.

Fill up one of the containers with water.

You may add food coloring if you wish.

Have the child transfer the water from one container to the other using a squeeze bottle or an eyedropper.

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.

Sorting Buttons

For this activity, you will need a number of small containers, depending on the sorting criteria you chose, and an assortment of buttons (i.e. size, color, number of holes on the button).

Place the buttons on a plate or in a larger container. place the small containers in front of the child as well. Allow the child to sort the buttons by size, color, number of holes, etc.

As the child picks up each button, encourage him to use his thumb and pointer fingers to help with developing pincer grasp.

To work on thumb opposition, ask the child to pick up each button with his thumb and middle finger, thumb and ring finger or thumb, and pinkie.

Beads for All

Provide the child with different size beads and encourage him to use only his thumb and index finger to pick up one bead at a time.

The child strings the beads using his dominant hand to manipulate the lace and his non-dominant hand to hold the bead.

You want to make sure the child does not stabilize his arms on the table or push his elbows into the sides of his body for stabilization.

Remember that stabilization should occur at the shoulders and make sure the elbows are a couple of inches away from the trunk.

Mac and Shake

Poke a hole in the container’s lid.

The hole should provide enough resistance to make it challenging for the child to insert the macaroni inside.

Have the child insert large macaroni one at a time through the hole in lid into the container.

To work on finger translation, ask the child to collect two macaroni pieces at a time and store one in his/her palm while inserting the other into the container.

The child should use one hand to hold the container and the other one to insert the items.

Children enjoy listening to the sound the container makes when they shake it.

This activity can be done using other items such as coins, beans, or smaller macaroni.

 

Squirt Till it Drops

Fill up the bucket/container with water to the midline and drop in the Ping-Pong ball (you can use more than one ball, or different size plastic balls). Fill up the squirt bottle with water and let the child squeeze and squirt the water out into the bucket/container until the Ping-Pong ball falls out of the bucket/container.

This activity can be done with more than one child. The first child that has his/her Ping-Pong ball fall out of the bucket/container wins!

To work on developing visual motor skills, fill up the squirt bottle with shaving cream or foam and let the child squeeze the bottle to draw shapes and letters on a concrete surface or an easel.

Punch It

For this activity, you might want to use a one hole or a shaped hole puncher.

Have the child punch random holes on stiff paper/index cards using the hole puncher.

Promote the child to alternate squeezing the lever with their thumb and first finger, then thumb and middle finger, and so on. This will help in developing the small muscles of their hands in addition to thumb opposition.