Peek-a-Boo Sensory Board

I knew that I wanted to do a fun project involving the tops from baby wipes containers ever since I saw this post from I Can Teach My Child on Pinterest.  I started saving wipes lids and was inspired to create this Peek-a-Boo Sensory Board while wandering the aisles at Home Depot. 20140625-130952.jpg I picked out flooring samples for both indoor and outdoor carpet, as well as linoleum.  When I got home I flipped the samples over and traced the outline of the inside of the wipes lids on the backs of the samples with a Sharpie.  I cut along the outline so they fit perfectly inside! I grabbed a partial piece of foam board and moved the wipes lids around until I was happy with the layout.  Then I simply grabbed my trusty hot glue gun and glued the wipes lids to the foam board.  Finally, I glued the cut pieces of the flooring samples inside. 20140625-131012.jpg When I first presented Paige with the Sensory Board I laid it on the floor.  She had a great time exploring the textures with both her hands and feet!  Later I ended up mounting it to the wall with some Command strips for a little change. 20140625-131036.jpg Paige has really enjoyed exploring this sensory board.  It’s a great way for her to learn about textures and colors too! I just love a simple (and practically free!) project 🙂

EDITED TO ADD:  I have had many people asking about the brand of wipes I used for this project. They are Kirkland wipes found at Costco.

Advertisements

Laundry Basket Rides

Laundry basket rides are a fun way to work on gross motor skills (core strengthening) and vestibular processing as well. Now that Paige is sitting well with support we’re doing a lot of sitting activities to help her develop that core strength so she can sit unassisted. Since laundry basket rides are one of Trevor’s favorite core strengthening activities I thought it would be fun for Paige to try it out too!

image

She loved it, as you can see from her smile 🙂 She enjoyed the slow and steady ride. Trevor, now that he’s stronger, likes going side to side, playing stop and go, and playing slow and fast in the laundry basket.

What everyday objects do your kids like to use as toys?

Pre-Math Skills on the Light Table

I’m slowly getting our playroom more organized.  My goal is to make the sensory- motor room I’ve always envisioned having for Trevor (and now Paige!) to be more functional.  One thing I’ve done so far is to make his light box more accessible and turn it into a true light table.  When I get the room complete I’ll post more about how I’ve created these functional spaces.

But for now I’d like to share a new light table activity!  I’m always on the lookout for new transluscent objects that would work well on the light table.  I found some fruit-shaped reusable plastic ice cubes at the Dollar Tree that are awesome.  The set came with 4 different fruits (4 grapes, 4 oranges, 4 apples, and 4 strawberries).  Trevor loved exploring these:

image

I let him have fun doing some free play with them, then I guided him to try and complete some patterns.  Patterns are a great way to work on pre-math skills.  This month in his preschool class they’re working on patterns, and I always enjoy doing home carry-over activities to help reinforce what he’s learning at school or in therapy.

Here’s a grape-strawberry-orange-apple pattern we did together:

image

We also worked on sorting the fruit.  I found a set of four colored containers (also at the Dollar Tree) and even though they’re opaque and not as cool-looking on the light table as translucent containers would be, they perfectly matched the colors of the 4 fruits.  Sorting is also a great pre-math skill!

image

Hopefully now that the light box is more accessible we’ll soon be doing many more fun activities 🙂

Pool Noodle Marble Run

I saw this activity on Pinterest and thought it would be a great way to work on Trevor’s fine motor skills.

What You Need:

  • Pool Noodle (another great steal from the Dollar Tree)
  • Duct Tape
  • Serrated Knife
  • Marbles
  • Bin or Bucket

How to Make it:

  1. Because Trevor is only 33 months old I first cut about 1/3 or so of the pool noodle off to make the marble run a little more his size.  You could skip this step if your child is older.
  2. With the remaining 2/3 I cut the pool noodle in half, lengthwise, using the serrated knife.
  3. When your two halves have been cut out, put them side by side with the curved edge facing up and tape them together using the duct tape.
  4. Your marble run is now ready to use!  Find a spot a few feet off the ground to angle the pool noodle and put the bottom into your bucket/box/bin (we did this activity at our ottoman and at Trevor’s toy box).
  5. Drop the marbles down the grooves in your pool noodle marble run.  You can even set up a race since there are 2 “tracks”.

Getting the marbles into the tracks the inside of the pool noodle makes is a great way to encourage your little one to use their pincer grasp.  Trevor has a great pincer grasp when using his left hand, but struggles with his right.  He usually uses more of a whole hand grasp, but this activity forces the child to be more precise.  Plus, it’s fun!

All set up and ready to go:

Dropping marbles down the track:

Look at that great pincer grasp:

Shaving Cream Fine Motor Fun

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, but this pregnancy is totally wiping me out.  I’m still working with Trevor of course, but I barely have enough energy for that, let alone the energy to edit pictures and write about it all.  Hopefully with the 2nd trimester approaching I’ll be developing more energy!

One thing we’ve been working with Trevor on is his ability to copy marks (like lines and circular patterns) on paper with crayons or markers.  Unfortunately Trevor is really struggling with using crayons/markers/etc. and he’s really started to resist even trying to color.  He’s starting to realize that things are harder for him and getting upset when they are 😦  His new OT suggested we work on copying marks differently.  Since he’s having such a hard time holding a crayon, we’re now working on copying marks without using any tools.  Hopefully once he gets the concept of imitating marks with his hands it will be easier to try and get him to do it with a tool.  His new OT suggested we use finger paint for this, but I thought shaving cream would be more fun!

I sprayed a bunch of shaving cream onto Trevor’s tray and let him play in it.  I also tried to get him to imitate some lines and circles.  It wasn’t a huge success, but his willingness to try and make the marks was an awesome step.  I also added some food coloring to the shaving cream to spice things up once he started getting restless.

Watching Mommy make a mark:

Trying to copy a line:

He had a great time squishing the colored shaving cream:

After Trevor was done I remembered an art project I’d pinned on Pinterest making shaving cream art.  Since I didn’t have any cardstock on hand I grabbed a couple of white paper plates to use instead.  We squished the plates into the shaving cream, and then let them dry for about 10 minutes.  Then I used a craft stick to scrape off the shaving cream.  This leaves behind some beautiful colored swirl patterns.

The plates after I scraped off the shaving cream:

 

I was planning on just displaying the plates as Trevor’s finished art, but I decided the next day to go a step further.  I cut the plates into sixths, and then cut 3 circles out of one of Trevor’s many sticker pages.  I then made 3 flowers out of the plate pieces and circles.  Trevor loves his flowers!  He thinks they’re pretty cool, so I’m glad I decided to make them for him.  He loves looking at them and studying them.

Cute boy posing by his flowers:

 

Sit-Stand-Sit

When we were teaching Trevor to stand we did this same sit to stand to sit activity.  It  helped him a lot.  Since his recent growth spurt he’s really tightened up and we’ve gone back to doing some of our older gross motor activities to help stretch out his tight muscles.  He’s lost some range of motion recently and so we’re hoping that by focusing on building leg strength and stretching his tight muscles he can reacquire the skills he’s lost.

You can do this activity with a small chair like we used (borrowed from his EI teacher), or simply use a sturdy box (like we used before we were able to borrow this nice chair).  Trevor’s doing this activity at his easel now, but before we had the easel I used painter’s tape to tape the paper to a wall for him.

This activity is just like it sounds: sit, stand, sit.  Repeat.  Have the child sit in a sturdy chair, or on a box.  Then have the child stand up to reach a sticker (if they need to pull up to stand that is just fine).  Give them the sticker to put on the paper, then sit back down.  Repeat until you’re out of stickers or your child is bored.  Trevor loves stickers.  They are a huge motivator for him, so we did this activity for quite awhile.  It’s always great when you can focus on a skill and have tons of fun at the same time.

Standing up:

image

 

Sitting back down:

image

 

Having a great time putting stickers on the paper:

image

Pics

Sensational Saturday: Colored Gel Light Box Fun

Time for a little no-mess messy play!  I’ve seen a colored gel activity on Pinterest before, but I decided to give it a little twist and do it on the light box.  If you don’t have a light box you can just tape the bag to some white paper.  Or of course this could inspire you to make a light box of your own.  It’s so fun!  Go here to see how to make one.

What you  need for colored gel fun:

  • Gallon size Ziploc bag
  • Hair gel (another great Dollar Store item)
  • Food coloring
  • Tape
  • Light box

How to make it:

  1. Squeeze the bottle of gel into the Ziploc bag.
  2. Add in the food coloring of your desired choice.  Trevor chose yellow.
  3. Seal the bag and mix the gel and food coloring together.
  4. Tape the bag to the top of the light box.
  5. Turn the light box on and have fun exploring the colored gel.

Trevor squished the gel, poked the bubbles, licked the bag, lol :), and had some of his light box toys “eat” the gel.  Older kids can draw lines, shapes and letters in the gel.