Monday, March 30, 2015

Eggcellent Crafting!

Easter is less than a week away.  I love Easter.  I'm not sure if it is knowing that Spring really has to be close if Easter is happening or if it's the candy or if it is the decorating of eggs that makes this one of my favorite holidays.  Actually, is is the candy...I've been hoarding Cadbury Mini Eggs since Valentine's Day was over.  But I really do love the other things about Easter too.  And I love having a reason to do some fun crafts and activities with the kids I work with.  Holiday weeks tend to mean that I have a week of very focused and organized activities set up.  Since many of the kids I work with don't celebrate Easter, I have backup activities that focus on Spring instead.  Here are a few of the things I will be doing with the kids I work with this week.

Fingerprint Bunnies and Chickens-I am a TOTAL sucker for any activity that involves fingerprints and Spring and Easter lend to this idea quite well.   When I think of spring, I think of bunnies, baby birds, chicks and other animals.  While the image I have shared shows these on eggs, this can be a spring related activity for those kids who don't celebrate Easter.  Fingerprint art is a quick and simple activity for kids of all ages.  It can be easily adapted to increase or decrease the expectations for whatever child is doing it.  For example, for your younger kids, you can have them do the very basic putting their fingers in the ink and pressing it on the paper and the grownups can add the details to the thumbprints.  As they kids get older, you can increase the expectations by asking them to add the details to the pictures.  For even older kids working on handwriting, you can have them make Happy Easter or Happy Spring cards for family and friends.  The best part about this project is that the supplies are minimal and that it takes a short amount of time to finish so the kids can take their picture or cards home with them right away.

Jelly Bean Sorting Game-as I have already mentioned, one of the things I love most about Easter is the candy.  I know that is what makes it a favorite holiday for a lot of the kids in my life.  So, why not make it into a fun learning opportunity?  This jelly bean sorting game is easy and can be easily adapted for kids of all ages.  Minimal supplies needed:  a bag of colorful jelly beans, plastic eggs, an empty egg carton and a pair of child friendly chopsticks (my favorite are the Zoo Sticks by Hog Wild).
For younger kids, place how ever many colored eggs into the carton that you want them to sort.  Put a bowl full of the same colored jelly beans in front of them and have them sort the jelly beans into the proper color.  Encourage them to use a pincer grip to pick up the jelly beans.  For older kids, add more colors and instead of using their hands to put the jelly beans in, have them use the chopsticks. By adding the chopsticks, you are working on increasing grasp strength and in-hand manipulation skills.  If you want to add an element to work on improving bilateral coordination, you can have them pull the plastic egg out of the carton with one hand and have them pick out all the like colored jelly beans with their other hand.  For an increased challenge, you can have the kids open up the eggs and hide a number inside and the kids have to put that number of jelly beans into the eggs.

Tissue Paper (scrap paper) Easter Egg/Tulip-again, another activity that can be easily turned into a spring project instead of an Easter one.  You can either have the outline of an egg or a tulip on a piece of thick white paper.  Have lots of small pieces of tissue paper in pastel colors available for the kids to choose from.  Depending on the skill set of a child, you can have them take the square pieces of tissue paper and place them the picture or have them scrunch them up into little balls (great for working on increasing grasp strength and manipulation skills) before placing them on the paper.  To work on improving grasping skills, you have have the kids use a paintbrush to put the glue on the paper (just a tip that you don't want them to paint the whole picture in but do small portions at a time in order to prevent the glue from drying).  For older kids, you can draw patterns on the eggs and have them use different colored tissue paper for each section.  This is a great activity for not only working on fine motor skills, but can work on color recognition, improving eye-hand coordination, biilateral coordination and focus and attentional skills.  One adaptation you can make to this activity is to use fun scraps of paper and have the kids tear them into pieces and then glue them onto the egg or flower template.

I have already tested these egg-celent activities out at work with the kids and they are all a big hit.  They are all simple, require few materials and can be finished during one therapy session which is a huge thing with the kids I work with.  They LOVE to be able to take their work home and show it off to their people.  

Do you have any great Easter or spring activities you love to do with the kids?  I'd love to hear from any of you with activities that you have found success with and that the kids have really loved?  Please share any ideas that you may have...I'm always a click away and love hearing from you all.

1 comment:

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