“The Claw”

Preparation:

  1. Take an empty cardboard box (with openings that create handles), and insert a gift wrapping paper tube through the openings.
  2. Tape a long piece of yarn to the gift wrapping paper tube.
  3. Draw a Toy Story Alien & cut it out.
  4. Tape the alien to the other end of the yarn.

Play:

Have the child place both hands toward the ends of gift wrapping paper tube (“The Claw”), to reel in the alien.

Instruct the child to use alternating hands, or both hands at the same time.

To add a challenge, have the child use their non-dominant hand, create a longer line of yarn, or add resistance.

To add resistance, draw and cut out an alien on 2 pieces of paper, place beans on one paper, then staple the other paper on top to seal the beans inside.

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

Tactile Cards

Preparation for activity: creating the tactile cards

    • Step 1 – Create the tactile cards by writing letters or sight words on each card.
    • Step 2 – Create a matching set of cards
    • Step 3 – Go over each letter or word with puffy paint or glitter glue. Let dry overnight. This creates raised letters on the cards.

You can have the child help you with the preparation part by either writing the letters/words or by tracing them (after you write them)with the puffy paint or glitter glue.

Activity:

    • Step 1 – Mix up the cards and place them face down on the table so that the child can not see the letters.
    • Step 2 – Each player takes a turn by turning over two cards attempting to match the letters or words.
    • Step 3 – If the player matches a letter or a word, the player should trace over the raised letter or word using his finger while saying the letter or word aloud.
      If the player is unable to find a match, it is the next player’s turn.
    • Step 4 – Continue play until all the matches are found.

Modifications:

    • Play on carpeted area and instruct the child to play while on all fours instead of sitting at a table. This position provides proprioceptive input.
    • Place a card on the table with the letter or word facing up. Place a piece of paper over the card. The child can then rub the crayon over the letter or word to reveal what letter/word it is.

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.

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.