Christmas Circles Tree

For this activity you will need green (tree), brown (tree trunk), red (ornaments), and yellow (ornaments) construction paper.

Draw different sized circles on the green construction paper. Make sure the circles do not overlap. These will be used to create the tree.

Cut the circles out by following the lines using scissors.

If you have a circle puncher, you can have the child punch circles from the construction paper. This will enhance hand strength.

Instruct the child to use a single hole puncher and punch holes in the yellow and red construction paper. These will be the ornaments on the tree.

Glue the green construction paper circles together in a triangular shape (to resemble a Christmas tree).

Using a pincer grasp, instruct the child to pick up the little yellow and red dots, one at a time, and glue them to the green circles.

Cut a rectangle shape from the brown construction paper. Attach it to the tree as a trunk.

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.

Catch the Turkey

Catch The Turkey Activity - final

For this activity, you will need a brown construction paper, yellow construction paper, and an orange construction paper. If you don’t have any colored construction paper, you can use a piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box or any other dry food box can be used) and white paper.

On the brown construction paper or cardboard, draw half a circle. This will be the turkey’s body.

Use the orange construction paper and draw a circle big enough to be used as the turkey’s head.

On the yellow construction paper draw a small triangle, to use as the turkey’s beak. If using a white piece of paper, draw a circle and a triangle, and let the child color these shapes orange and yellow.

Ask the child to cut the brown half of a circle, the orange circle, and the triangle.

Have the child glue the orange circle in the middle of the half-circle. Then, provide the child with red tempera or finger paint, ask him to dip his pointer finger in the paint, and then stamp it in the middle of the orange circle. This will be the turkey’s wobble.

Next, use the glue to glue the yellow triangle on the top part of the wobble. Use the marker or crayon to draw the turkey’s eyes. You can also use googly eyes.

Using the clothespins, instruct the child to pick one clothespin at a time, pinch it, and place it on the curved part of the half-circle, stabilizing the paper (turkey’s body) with the non-dominant hand. Cover the turkey’s body with as many clothespins you can. These are the turkey’s feathers.

Grading Option

You can use specific colors of clothespins, draw matching dots of colors on the turkey’s body, and have the child match the color of the clothespin with the colored dot.

Squeeze this Puffy Paint

Puffy Painting

For this activity, you will need to use flour, salt, and water to add to the puffy paint.

In a mixing bowl mix an equal amount of flour, salt, and water.

Add the paint and mix well.

Fill the squeeze bottle with the paint mixture and let the child squeeze the puffy paint onto cardboard to create a picture.

When dry, the paint becomes hard and shiny.

To work on visual motor skills you can have the child imitate or copy different strokes, shapes or letters.

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.

Clothespins Butterfly

ClothespinsButterfly-front

Body Shape

Take one of your clothespins and paint it with colors. This will be the butterfly body.

Wings

To make the wings, take some colored construction paper and fold it in half.

Draw a pair of wings on the folded side of the paper, and cut around them using the scissors.

Unfold the wings and you will have two sets that are exactly the same.

Draw colorful lines and patterns over the wings.

Assemble Everything Together

Pinch open the clothes peg and glue the wings onto the top prong.

It is best to clip the clothes peg onto something so that it doesn’t get glued shut.

Decorate the body of the butterfly with your buttons and beads, and stick the googly eyes onto the top of the peg.

Acorn Stamper

Acorn Stamp

Draw an acorn on the construction paper (see images for example) or you can let the child trace an acorn stencil to promote fine motor control and visual-motor skills.

Let the child cut the acorn shape using scissors.

Using a piece of small sponge instruct the child to pinch it and dip it into the paint then stamp and paint the bottom part of the acorn cut out. You can also use q-tips or cotton balls to paint.

Encourage the child to fill in the entire bottom part of the acorn.

Have the child spread glue on the top part of the acorn.

Provide the child with a few dry leaves. Instruct the child to crumble the leaves inside the palm of his hand and then spread them on the glue. This will promote finger strength and finger translation.

You may also use beans to cover the top area of the acorn.

Fine Motor Marble Maze

Marble Maze playing

In this activity, we create a marble maze to promote fine motor skills.

Start by gluing the straws on the cardboard. You will need to glue each straw on the opposite side as follows:

  • Glue the 1st straw aligned to the left edge of the cardboard
  • Glue next straw aligned to the right side of the cardboard
  • Keep gluing straws all the way to the bottom of the cardboard
  • Make sure to create a space for the marble to go through between the straws
  • The end result should look like this:
    Marble Maze straws

Let the glue dry.

We used a gallon size zip lock bag but you can use a smaller zip lock bag to create a smaller maze.

At the bottom edge of the zip lock bag, cut a small slit. Make sure you cut it on the side the marble will come out from.

Once the glue is dry and the straws are secured, insert the cardboard into the ziplock bag.

Close the ziplock bag almost all the way, leaving a small opening for the marble to fit in.

Put the marble through the opening and start moving it with your finger through the maze until it comes out at the bottom.

You can alternate the fingers you use to move the marble or you can use both hands to hold the cardboard and move it from side to side, letting the marble slide out.

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.

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.