OT Activities For Home
When you’re a kid, there’s nothing better than snow. Days off from school, afternoons spent sledding, building a snowman with friends, and even impromptu family snowball fights! While it might just look like a lot of fun from the outside, did you know a lot of snow activities can actually help your child strengthen their motor skills or even provide necessary sensory input?
Wolf’s own fabulous Occupational Therapist, Katrina Karpeichik, offers her top picks for snow-themed OT activities you can do at home! So get some mittens and your hat and get ready for some fun!
Fine Motor Skills / Handwriting
Writing in the snow:
Have your child use their index finger (with a glove on!), a stick, or a small shovel to practice writing letters, numbers, or vocabulary words in the snow.
Building snowballs is an easy and fun way to work on finger dexterity and strength as your child works to manipulate the snow to form a round snowball.
Fill a squeeze bottle with some water and food coloring of their choice, put the cover back on & you now have a handheld paint squeezer! Squeezing the bottle to squirt the “paint” into the snow will help work on your child’s hand strength. Encourage them to draw pictures on the snow, make cool designs, or even practice some letters/numbers/vocabulary words.
Gross Motor Skills
Building a snowman:
Upgrading small snowballs to big pieces for a snowman is a great way to work on gross motor skills and strength as your child rolls up the snow and picks the snowballs up to stack on top of each other.
Making snow angels:
Laying in the snow to make snow angels is a great way to work on motor coordination. Have your child try to coordinate moving their arms and legs together like they are doing a jumping jack laying down in the snow.
Bury items in the snow and give your child clues and materials for them to explore and dig.
Snow sensory bin:
Bring some snow inside and put it into a container or on a tray. To make it extra fun, hide different objects like small animal creatures/toys within the snow or use utensils to scoop and manipulate the snow before it melts.
Make your own snow:
If your child is looking to create their own snow in anticipation of the next snow storm, here is a 2 ingredient recipe for fake snow you can make inside! Warning, this can get messy, but messy play is a great way to explore different textures and create an immersive sensory experience. Once you make your fake snow, add in some arctic animal figures, or use a spatula/spoon to act as your shovel. You can use it to form snowballs or a mini snowman, too.
- In a large bowl, mix 2 ½ cups of pure baking soda with ½ cup of white hair conditioner (you can add more baking soda if you want your snow to be thicker / less “wet”).
- Stir the mixture until the two ingredients are combined.
- Enjoy your pretend snow!
While the weather outside might be frightful, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities for fun! Try out some (or all!) of these activities and let us know your favorite in the comment section below!
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