This is a delicious activity. While this activity promotes tripod grasp and bilateral hand use, it is also a wonderful way to introduce new foods and textures to picky eaters or those children who love and enjoy fruit. Suggested fruit: cantaloupe, watermelon, mango, banana, grapes, plumes, and peaches (veggies are welcome as well).
Fruit, Toothpicks, Skills, Bilateral Hand Use and Tripod Grasp
Description: Cut the fruit to bite size pieces and put them on a plate or in a container. Provide the child with toothpicks (you can use different color and size toothpicks, wooden toothpicks, or plastic toothpicks). Let the child poke the toothpicks into the fruit pieces and promote him/her to create a structure using his/her imagination and creativity. When the structure is completed, encourage the child to take it apart by eating the fruit.
This activity promotes the child’s tactile awareness and works on developing fine motor skills.
Construction Paper, Jell-O, Marshmallow, Paper Plate, Tempera Paint
Crossing Midline, Pincer Grasp, Tactile Perception, and Visual Motor
Description: Place paint in a shallow bowl or a paper plate. Have the child dip a piece of marshmallow in the paint and stamp it onto the construction paper.
You can let the child create his/her own picture or if you would like to work on visual-motor skills, you can have the child trace lines, shapes, and letters. You can use small or big marshmallow for this activity.
For children that tend to place objects in their mouths, you might want to try using jell-o mixed with a small amount of water and use it as your paint.
This sensory activity exposes the child to a variety of textures and helps with desensitization.
Beans, Plastic Container, Puzzle, Rice, Tongs, Tweezers
Pincer Grasp, Tactile Perception, and Visual Motor
Description: Fill the plastic container with rice and/or beans.
Hide the puzzle pieces in the rice/beans mixture.
Have the child search for the pieces using his hands (if the child is tacitly sensitive, you may try to put gloves on his hands or let him use tongs or tweezers).
Once the child has all the pieces, ask the child to put the puzzle together.
In this activity the child gets to use his imagination as he works on promoting his fine motor skills and his ability to process tactile input. This is a fun activity to do in a small group for social interaction and promotion of language.
Blocks, Bowl, Buttons, Construction Paper, Paper Plate, Pom-poms, Scissors, Straws, Tongs
Bilateral Hand Use, Cutting, Finger Strength, Pincer Grasp, Sensory Processing, Social Interaction, and Tactile Perception
Description: You will need to use green construction paper (light and/or dark) and assorted small different textured objects (i.e. pom-poms, buttons, small blocks, etc.). You may also want to use different size and color straws.
First, explain to the child that you are going to make a salad. Let the child tear up the pieces of paper using both hands, to make lettuce leaves, and place the pieces in the bowl.
Then, have the child cut the straws into different size pieces and add them to the bowl. Ask the child to add the pom-poms, buttons, blocks, and think of creative things they can be (e.g. red pom-poms for cherry tomatoes, blocks as croutons). Have the child “toss” the salad by hand, allowing him to feel the different textures.
Use the tongs to “serve” the salad. To focus on social skills, ask the child to serve you/other peers/ themselves/co-treating therapists and say things like “more please!”, “no more, thank you”, etc.