Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Finger Frolic

One of our OTs, Heather Galligan, created this great handout for fun stuff to do over the holiday break--check out the Snowman Food idea at the very end of the post. Feel free to pass along the ideas to your students' families, or use them for finger frolic with your own PCs (personal children).

Holiday Activities for Fine Motor Skills

Here are some suggestions for things to do over the holiday break that can help to build fine motor skills and using 2 hands together…….

-Cut out pictures from old Christmas cards – You can draw a circle around the picture to help. They do not need to be exact, just the practice of cutting is good. Use child sized scissors and supervise your child while they practice cutting. With the cut out, they can paste it onto paper to make a new card. Or, instead of gluing, use a hole punch to punch holes around the cut out shape and have them lace around with ribbon for hanging. You can leave the ribbon long at the ends and use it as a book mark.

- Mixing Salt Dough with hands or making cookie dough and using rolling pin and cookie cutters. If you bake salt dough that you have cut from cookie cutters, or that they have shaped, use a straw to punch a hole in the top before baking them. After baking, if you have a set of water color box paints (the simple ones, Crayola or so), use them to paint the ornaments. The colors come out nicely. Decorate further with glitter glue and thread pipe cleaner or ribbon through the hole for a hanger.

Making Salt Dough – This can feel dry on the hands and some kids may not like that but some may be fine with it.


-2 cups of flour
-1 cup salt
-1cup water

They can mix it with their hands until it forms a dough. You add a little water at a time. Knead the dough for 7-10 minutes. Additional water may be needed but not too much or it becomes too sticky. If preparing ahead of time, you can add color to the dough. Store in plastic bags. This dough can be baked or air dried to later be painted. Cookie cutters, rolling pins, a straw to punch a hole and some paint and glitter glue can make some lovely holiday ornaments. Just string ribbon through the hole.

To Harden: Air dry for 48 hours on a screen so air can pass underneath as well.
***Or Bake: 325-350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes for each ¼ inch thickness. Parchment paper works nicely to line cookie sheets.

-Make paper snow flakes: Fold the paper in ½ or 4 ways and draw little guides for them to snip. Triangles are easy, just two lines like a teepee. Decorate the snowflakes with glitter and glue.

-Make a large Holiday Tree - Make a large triangle (about 8 inches for lines). We use our pizza boxes or cardboard boxes from the store to make the tracer. The paper can be the back of wrapping paper or tape smaller pieces together to make a large piece. Help them trace 3 triangles, one on top of the other to make a holiday tree. Tape this to a suitable washable vertical surface, such as the refrigerator, to have them color or paint with washable markers. Also fun is to have them use small pieces of sponge that they have to hold with their thumb and index and middle fingers to sponge paint the tree. Once this is dry, they can put stickers or any other decoration on the tree with tape. Endless ideas.

**Remember, any drawing or coloring on the vertical surface such as with the refrigerator or easel, will help improve wrist and shoulder strength which helps with pre-writing and writing skills.
- Snowman Food – Have them tear any white piece of scrap paper you have in to about 2 X 2 pieces. No need to be exact. Show them how to crumple it up using their finger tips. This is very challenging for some children. Just keep it fun. Keep making them until you can fill up a paper lunch bag or other handy container. To top it off, you can have them sprinkle some glitter or cinnamon in the bag using their finger tips when it is full of little paper balls. Decorate the bag and set it out for Santa to pick up during his travels or just use it when there is a snowman outside! The kids can decorate the paper bag however they wish before it is filled. *** If you happen to have a berry picker or some tongs, the child can practice picking up the paper balls with these to place into the bag! Other wise, hold them in the air, one at a time, for the child to grasp and place into the bag.
Have a wonderful holiday break !

No comments: