Category Archives: Christmas

Fine Motor Fun Activities For Christmas

Christmas is a hectic and chaotic time. With school holidays, parties and altered schedules Christmas can be overwhelming for adults and children. It can be hard to continue developing and improving specific skill areas, like fine motor or handwriting.

So, I have put together some Christmas-y activities to continue working on occupational therapy areas including fine motor skills whilst simultaneously having fun and connecting as a family. Here are some ideas:

Building a gingerbread house – This addresses fine motor, proprioceptive and olfactory areas. Cut out gingerbread men, encourage pincer grip with small lollies or just play with dough!

Making ginger bread house

Girl making a ginger bread house

Write a letter to Santa – practice letter formation, spacing and legibility.

Boy writing a letter to santa

Writing to Santa can be a great time to practice handwriting

Make a bead ornament. Work on fine motor skills and finger strength by threading beads onto pipecleaners. Threading beads works on a tripod grasp, bilateral hand coordination, hand-eye coordination, visual scanning, visual tracking, patterning, and more.

Pipe cleaner and bead Christmas decoration

Beads made into a Christmas tree shape

Cut snowflakes to work on scissor skills. Try using different textures for line accuracy practice.

snow flake creation

Children cutting snow flakes

Wrapping presents is an activity that requires a lot of fine motor precision.  Measure paper to fit packages, cut paper with scissors in a straight line, fold paper, tear and cut tape, stick tape along edges of paper.  This helps practice motor planning, problem solving, and executive functioning.

Getting all the presents wrapped

Wrapping presents can be a great fine motor activity

Baking Christmas cookies. Choose recipes where children can roll out and squish dough – good for bilateral coordination. Cut out shapes with cutters – good for spatial awareness and planning skills. Choose and measure ingredients – good for math skills, memory skills and following instructions.

Making special Christmas treats

Christmas Baking

Please contact Childworks, if you would like to learn more about how occupational therapy can help your child and their fine motor skills. Please call at 02 9098 1635 or make an enquiry at help@childworks.com.au

Therapy in the Lead Up to Christmas and Holidays

 

Dropping Energy Levels for School and Therapy

The tinsel goes up and the workbooks go away at this time of year. There is not a lot of highly scholoastic work going on at most schools. As for therapy, some children have had enough by the end of November.  Sometimes a change of therapy can help. If the format changes and some fun, new activities are added, that might be enough to keep your child going until the end of the school year. Other than that, if a child is tired and is winding down, it may be counterproductive to try to force therapy on him or her.  Instead, it may be better to finish up for the year, and maybe schedule a few fun therapy sessions during the holidays. Of course, keep up some fun exercises and some reading throughout the holidays.

Fun Activities for the Holidays

Holidays are a time for fun and games and some of these activities can help with fine motor control, gross motor skills, perception and sensory abilities. Vestibular stimulation is often an important component of therapy. It is often also lots of fun! Why not introduce some balance games during the holidays. Swinging, walking along a wall, climbing monkey bars etc can be great stimulation. The important thing is that you keep the activity fun for the child. You can do some fun fine motor activites as well, such as threading beads. An activity I have found that is fun for boys and similar to threading beads is threading the little plastic fasteners from that you find on loaves of bread, onto electrical cables. You can also turn this (and the bead threading) into a sequencing game by asking your child to copy a sequence of colours! Have you considered the range of sensations available in just going for a swim? Development will continue over the holidays. It may not be as specifically directed as in therapy but the first goal is to have fun. Please contact us if you would like some ideas on holiday activities.

A Great Time to Start Occupational Therapy

If your child has not started therapy yet, this could be an ideal time. When other children are not attending therapy, you may not need to wait as long to see an occupational therapist. You may even be able to secure one of the elusive after school time slots and carry it over to the new year!  Also, your child might be very excited about starting a programme and, rather than loosing energy, may be able to devote more energy to therapy while he or she is winding down at school or getting ready for a new year of school. A few therapy sessions toward the end of the year or in the holidays might set him or her up to do well in the following year.

We wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas and all the best for 2015. We look forward to assisting your child in the new year.

If you would like to find out what appointments are available please call Childworks on 0418 447 072.