I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I stink at gardening. I mean I REALLY stink. My boys told me that the flowers I planted in the front yard are “looking sad” – and they’re right. I may not have a green thumb, but the OT in me was still determined to come up with some fun fine motor activities that let my kids grow their own little “garden” anyway!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Kids tongs or tweezers, a bunch of fake flowers with stems (different colors and sizes), large tupperware bin, enough dried black beans to fill your bin about halfway, smaller cups or other containers, spoons, scoops
WHAT TO DO:
Your bin of dried beans will become your “garden” or “flower box”! Show your child how to grip each flower stem using his tongs, pushing the stems down deep into the beans so they stand up on their own like flowers growing in the dirt! Because kids have to hold those tongs tight in order to push the flower down into the beans, this activity provides awesome proprioceptive feedback to those Super Fingers and also helps strengthen the fingers and hands. See below for other fun ways to play!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Can the child sort the flowers by planting the ones you request? Plant the big flowers! Plant all of the purple flowers. Plant 3 red flowers and 2 yellow flowers. How many are there all together?
-Is your little one having a tough time with the tongs? No worries. Encourage him to grasp the stems using his Super Fingers and push them into the dirt. He’ll still get the benefit of the grasping practice and proprioceptive input.
-Have your child scoop some of the dried beans into smaller cups or containers using a spoon or other scoop to make “flower pots” and plant one flower in each! This is a great way to work on bilateral coordination, as the child holds the cup with one hand while scooping beans with the other hand.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, visual motor integration, bilateral coordination, grasp, sensory integration
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