Now that the warm weather is approaching, it is likely that your children will be playing outside more frequently. During this time, there are endless opportunities for your children to improve their motor skills through play. But what about those cold and rainy days that are spent inside? No need to worry!
Here are a few fun activities to complete at home that can also help to improve fine and visual motor skills:
Who doesn’t like warm chocolate chip cookies on a rainy day? Completing this activity with your child can be beneficial for developing multiple skills.
- Measure ingredients to assist with fine motor control and bilateral coordination. Give your child a small container with the ingredients and a measuring cup. They will have to demonstrate the motor control to not pour too much or too quickly and use both hands together.
- Mix the dough for upper extremity strength because it will work your child’s arm muscles all the way from their shoulder down to their hand.
- Form each cookie to help with sensory exploration, pinch skills, and bilateral hand use. Have your child grab small balls of dough to improve their pinch. Then have them roll it into a ball to work on bringing their hands to midline and using them together. The sticky mixture is also a new texture that can be explored to provide sensory input.
- Clean up to provide additional sensory exploration and bilateral coordination. While your child is helping to wash the dishes, they have the opportunity for sensory input with the water and soap and both hands have to work together to wash and dry the dishes.
Build a Fort
Sitting in the living room and watching a good movie is always a great option for rainy days. Why not have your child build a fort to watch their movie in? This activity can be beneficial for motor planning, strength and visual perceptual skills.
- Open up the blankets and place them on the chairs to assist with motor coordination skills. Your child will need to use both hands together to stretch out the blankets. They will also have to demonstrate motor control while placing the blankets on the fort to make sure that they do not fall.
- Secure the blankets to help build hand strength. You can use large clips or rubber bands to hold the blankets in place and securing these items will help to improve your child’s hand strength.
- Design the fort to improve visual perceptual skills. Your child will have to visually process which blankets are the right size or if chairs have to be moved to make the blankets fit. It is almost like a giant puzzle!
Puzzles and Activity Books
Activity and coloring books are a great way to address your child’s fine and visual motor skills and hand strength at home. Word searches or finding the hidden picture activities are also beneficial for visual motor skills. Below are some links for activity books that can be used.
– Morgan Petroff, OTR/L