Ice Painting

Put a small amount of paint on a sheet of construction paper.

Let the child hold an ice cube using the thumb, index finger, and middle finger only.

Have the child move the ice cube over the paint and spread it on the paper.

You may also use powder paint for this activity.

You can use the Colored Ice Cubes activity to make the ice cubes for this activity.

Tactile Paint

For this activity, use a gallon size Ziplock bag.

Place approximately 1/2 cup of tempera paint in the ziplock bag, remove air and seal. Work the paint around until it filled the bag.

Have child make lines, shapes or letters by moving his finger along outside of the bag.

As an alternative, you can use shaving cream mixed with food coloring instead of the tempera paint.

Your Very Own Fish Tank

For this activity, you need to use blue, orange, and yellow construction paper. You would also need to use a single hole puncher.

On a piece of blue construction paper, draw a square (in a size that will fit inside the ziplock bag) with wiggly lines. Ask the child to cut the square that you drew and stay within the wiggly lines (thickness of the line depends on the child’s skills and development).

Draw a fish on the orange or yellow paper and have the child cut it out. Depending on the child’s skills, you can have the child trace a picture of a fish or draw his own fish.

Glue the fish onto the blue sheet. Ask the child to draw eyes, fins, gills, and mouth on the fish and add any plants on the blue paper. Use a hole punch to punch bubbles in the blue paper (coming out of the mouth of the fish and above). Place the blue sheet into the ziplock bag. Place the oats on the table or in a small shallow plate and ask the child to pinch the oats and drop into the bag, to represent the floor of the tank. Repeat this activity a few times, until there is enough oats on the bottom of the bag. Seal the bag nice and tight.

Drawing in the Sand

In a container full of sand or in the sandbox, have the child imitate you drawing shapes using a straw or large stick.

Let him/her try holding the stick in either or both hands.

Chalkdraw

For this activity, you can have the child draw on a chalkboard or on the sidewalk.

While large chalks would work better on the sidewalk, try to use small (or even broken) chalk to promote a tripod grasp.

Textured Paper Painting

Draw (or depending on the child’s developmental skills, have the child trace or independently draw) a large rectangle on the paper bag (use the blank side if the paper bag has a design or picture on it) and ask the child to cut it out.

Fill the squirt bottle with water and have the child spray water all over the cut out rectangle. Encourage the child to utilize his thumb, index finger, and middle finger to press on the handle of the squirt bottle. Once the paper is moist, ask the child to use both hands and squeeze the paper into a little ball (have him squeeze as much as possible and drain out as much liquid as possible).

Then, ask the child to open up the paper and use both hands to flatten the paper back to a rectangle shape.

Allow the paper to dry up before you start drawing or painting on it. For a rough texture, let the paper dry on a flat surface in the sun. For a smoother texture, you can place the paper between to flat heavy objects.

Once the paper is dry, have the child use markers to draw the outline of the desired picture and use the paint to paint it. To work on pre-writing skills, you can outline lines and/or letters and have the child paint them.

To promote sensory processing and tactile perception, you can have the child use the paper with a rough texture and paint with finger paint.

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.

Water Board Tracing

On a chalk board write the letters of the alphabet with chalk.

Add water to the container and place it next to the chalk board.

Ask the child to dip the paint brush in the water and trace the letters of the alphabet. Alternatively, you can use a sponge to enhance the tactile and grasp skills.

For grading, draw shapes on the chalk board instead of the letters of the alphabet.

Magnadoodle

First, have the child explore the Magnadoodle by scribbling and drawing anything they wish.

To work on pre-writing skills ask the child to imitate or copy certain strokes such as horizontal line, vertical line, circle, cross, and X.

For writing skills, you can have the child imitate or copy letters and numbers.
To promote wrist extension and proximal stabilization, place the Magnadoodle on a vertical surface.