3 simple Occupational Therapist-endorsed crafts you can do at home to entertain the kids!
Crafting is so much more than just creativity and art. It’s been proven to be a vital part of a child’s development, as it creates the perfect environment for learning and practising skills. A simple craft activity that takes an hour or so to complete can help with fine motor skill development, gross motor skills, bilateral movement, memory, depth perception and so much more. Not to mention that it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained and have a little fun yourself! Our adult crafting workshop have shown us that parents take great value from having their hands covered in paint and glue. So why not get out the craft supplies and have an afternoon of creative fun with your littlies?
Here are three simple crafts you can do at home. Each has been designed by our team, including our hands-on occupational therapist, who’s always looking for new ways to integrate maximum development into our creative crafting classes.
This craft allows for many different textures to be touched and discussed, along with the development of many other skills, including fine motor skills and plenty of creativity! Use an empty cereal box to make your owl. Simply cut out a basic owl shape from the box. You can then get your child to paint it any colour they like, watercolour paint works well as it dries quickly, and use paper cupcake liners for eyes, with bottle tops or large buttons as the pupils. You can use double sided tape to stick it down. (Peeling the strip off the tape is a great fine motor exercise.) Then take a trip outside to find feathers, leaves or other plant materials to make up the owl’s feathers. Make a hole at the top of your owl and hang it up on the wall. Remember - always supervise glue use and be extra careful with buttons and other small items as they could be a choking hazard to small children.
Introducing your child to music is an easy and fun way to interact with them, and there are many instruments just waiting to be made in your home! Examples include an empty plastic milk bottle with rice inside, an empty formula or coffee tin with a few bottle caps inside or an empty spice bottle with a few stones in. Let your child come up with his or her own ideas for what might sound nice to them and experiment with different containers and fillings. You can also create a fun rhythm by teaching your child to bang the instrument to a certain beat, or make up a silly dance. Decorate your musical instruments with colourful stickers, as peeling and sticking stickers is another fantastic fine motor skill exercise.
A splash of colour
This exercise gives you the opportunity to explain rainbows to your child (good luck with that!) as well as let them mimic a picture of a rainbow, and figure out which colour goes where. Protect your floors and walls with newspaper, then stick a large A1 or A2 white sheet up onto the wall at your child’s standing height and prepare your paint colours. You can do all seven with older children, or paint four colours with a younger child, perhaps three they are familiar with and one they aren’t. Once everything is set up, get your child to dip his/her hand into one colour and paint the first arch of the rainbow, providing guidance if it’s needed. Continue until all the colours have been used. This activity will allow for the performance skill of “crossing the midline” of the body to be practised at home; this refers to the ability to reach across the middle of the body, with the arms and legs crossing over to opposite sides. This fun craft also allows the kids to practice memory, focus and gross motor skills. Once the rainbow is dry, add cotton wool balls to the bottom ends to mimic clouds.
We hope you enjoy these simple crafts and that they bring fun and development opportunities for your little ones. Feel free to share this blog with your parent friends, and if you have any ideas to share with us, please comment below. We’d love to add your crafting ideas to the mix!