WEEKLY FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES
- Fill a medium to large bowl with beans or rice.
- Find some small toys or objects that your child can search for and will require them to pick out with their fingers.
- Make it a challenge: how fast can they find all the objects? Can they beat their time?
- Variation: you can also do this using putty or play-doh. Use small objects (small beads, beans, etc) and roll them up in the putty or play-doh. Have your child pick through and find all the pieces of treasure!
- Get 10-20 coins and place them all heads-up on the table or floor.
- Have your child flip every coin to a tails-up position as fast as they can.
- Time them. How fast can they do it? Can they beat their time?
- Try both hands. Which hand are they fastest with?
WRITE A LETTER
- Have your child write or type a letter to a friend or family member they haven't seen in a while.
- In the letter, have your child tell about what daily life has been like lately, something fun they have done in the last couple of months, and have them ask at least 2 questions.
- Help your child send the letter either by email or through the mail.
DO A PUZZLE
- Have fun working on a puzzle with your child.
- Puzzles challenge fine motor skills and visual spatial skills.
- Find puzzles that are age and skill level appropriate for your child that they can be successful with, but will also give them a challenge.
- Try a puzzle race! Who can put the puzzle together fastest?
DRAW A CAT
- Click on this link to open a file to help your child draw a cat! Draw a Cat
- Your child may or may not be able to draw the cat by themselves. If they need help, really encourage them to do their best and to do as much as they can on their own. Let them know that it doesn't need to look exactly like mine. It will be their cat, and everyone's cat looks different. If your child needs help, use one of these techniques:
- Modeling: Demonstrate how to draw the cat for your child. Do one step at a time (for example, draw the circle yourself, then have your child draw the circle immediately after you).
- Tracing: Use a highlighter (an old one that is a bit faded and light works best) to draw the cat. Have your child trace the lines to draw the cat themselves.
WORK ON HANDWRITING
- Practice letter formation using the following links and worksheets. Some children would benefit from tracing first, while others will be ready to write letters on their own if they have a model/example of the letters to look at. Finally, some children are ready to practice writing their letters from memory, without a visual cue to look at. Please email me if you would like more focused direction on which tasks would be best suited for your child.
- When writing the letters, help your child by showing them and bringing to their attention which lines the letters touch. For example, each upper case letter touches the top and bottom lines, but none go above or below those lines. When doing lower case, have them notice that some letters touch the top line, while others don't go above the middle line, and a few go below the bottom line.
- This link will take you to a website where you are able to download worksheets for tracing upper case letters: Megaworkbook.com - Tracing Capital Letters
- This link will take you to a website where you are able to download worksheets for tracing lower case letters: Megaworkbook.com - Tracing Small Letters
- This is a document you can print to give your child a visual cue/model of upper and lower case letters: Upper case and lower case visual cue
- Here is a document you can print if you need blank 3-lined paper to practice writing letters on: 3-Lined Paper
- Now have your child practice writing their name, or a sentence that includes every letter in the alphabet: The quick fox jumps over the lazy brown dog.
WORK ON CUTTING WITH SCISSORS
- Parents, please keep in mind that safety is the top priority. This activity is not appropriate for all students. If you're wondering whether this is a skill that is appropriate for your child, please email me. Use a pair of scissors that is safe for your child and is the right size. Your child will need to be supervised and given help as needed during this activity.
- Follow this link where you will find some worksheets you can print off for your child to practice cutting with scissors. Chicago OT - Cutting Book Activity Worksheets
- Please email me if you would like direction for your child on which sheets would be best suited for them.
- First, find the materials that you'll need. Depending on the skill level of your child, you may choose to use a shoelace, a piece of yarn (tape the end to make it easier to poke through the hole), or a pipe cleaner. You'll also need some blocks that have holes, pasta that can be strung (for example, rigatoni or penne), beads, or cereal (cheerios).
- Now, have your child string the items.
- Add to the challenge by creating patterns with the objects you are stringing. Make a bracelet or necklace. Or simply count the objects.
PRACTICE DAILY ACTIVITIES
- Simply give your child opportunities to practice activities of daily living that require the use of their fine motor skills.
- Look for or create opportunities for them to practice buttoning, zipping, snapping, using utensils/tools, opening caps or lids, picking up small objects (clean up toys).
- The key is to let them do as much as they possibly can on their own. Only help them after they've had some time to try it completely by themselves first (after you show them how it's done). If they do end up needing help, only give them as much help as they need.
- As parents/caregivers, our first instinct is usually to help when we see someone struggling to do something. But giving them some time to struggle, practice, and problem solve appropriately will help them develop the skill to become more independent with it.
- Have your child practice sorting, shuffling, and dealing cards. You can simply sort by color, by suit, or by card value.
- You can click one of the following links to help find a game that might be fun to play
PLAY WITH PLAY DOUGH, PUTTY, OR CLAY
- Use your hands to make different shapes, animals or objects. Make a ball! Make a pancake! Make a snail! Make a tree! Make a bowl!
- Be creative and use different tools. Use a roller, scissors, spoons, or other kitchen utensils.
- Want to add to the challenge? Parents can help students make their own homemade play dough. Click this link for a homemade play dough recipe. Have fun!
PRACTICE KEYBOARDING SKILLS
- Find a website that allows you to practice your keyboarding skills. You could choose from one of these:
- After you finish practicing a bit, take some time to use your keyboarding skills to answer a few questions. These questions are also on a handout. Click this link to get the handout and print it if you'd like: School's Out Handout. This activity can be completed using keyboarding or handwriting skills.
- How do you feel about not going to school right now? Happy? Bored? Sad? Confused? Excited? Why do you feel this way?
- What has changed? What has been different for you?
- What are you hoping will happen during this time?
- What are a few helpful things that you or others can do to help during this time?
PRECISION GRASP AND RELEASE
- Find something small that you can pick up using 1 hand. Small blocks are great for this activity, but you can also use any type of small toy, popsicle sticks, or food (cereal or gold fish crackers).
- You'll also need a container to put your items in (a coffee mug, a bowl...something like that).
- Now...scatter your items. You can do this while sitting at the table or on the floor, lying on your stomach.
- Pick up each of the items and place them into the container.
- Add to the challenge by:
- Counting the items
- If the items are different shapes or colors, use multiple containers to sort the items.
- Stack the items as high as you can! (If you're items are stackable!)
- Use tools to pick up the objects (a spoon or tongs)