Thursday, May 24, 2012

Activities for Summer Home Programs

Of all the handouts I pass along to families, this is the one I use the most to encourage parents to have their kids practice activities which will develop hand strength and coordination at home.

School and Home Activities to Develop Hand Strength and Fine Motor Skills

To Develop Hand Strength for Endurance in Handwriting & Scissor Use:

 After grocery shopping, put away canned goods on shelves.

 Fold clean laundry and carry to rooms.

 Make bed daily.

 Stir cookie dough.

 Remove books from shelves, dust and return to shelves.

 Climb on outdoor play equipment; be sure to hang from your hands as long as possible before jumping down.

 Use safe cleansers to scrub bathtub, sink and countertop.

 When cleaning bathroom, use a “trigger” sprayer to spray water on the surfaces.

 Make creations-gifts out of homemade bread dough (1 cup each of regular flour, plain salt and gradually mixed-in water.)

To Develop Hand Coordination:

 Cut out a simple comic strip, such as Garfield or Beetle Bailey. Cut the strip into individual frames and have your child rearrange the strip in the correct order. Work into cutting out Sunday comic strips with more than four frames.

 Cut out favorite comic strips and glue/tape them into a homemade scrapbook or notebook. Keep adding to favorites and make a collection.

 Put away clean silverware.

 With close supervision, have your child make snacks, involving cutting bread, fruit, spreading peanut butter…

 Check out Ed Emberley books from the public library and draw the designs with your child, step-by-step.

 Use your “double prints” to have your child make his/her own photo album. Demonstrate that it’s okay to cut around the interesting part of the picture. Be sure to add decorations such as star shapes, hearts that he/she traces and cuts out of leftover construction paper. Also look for double-sided photo album tabs on a roll; peeling off the protective strip to expose the sticky tape is a good challenge for little fingers. You might find that the album becomes one of your child’s most treasured possessions.

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