We visit the beach every single summer. Every year when we visit the tourist shops that have aisles and aisles of beach souvenirs to choose from, my children always seem to end up by the bins of shells. Running their hands across all the different textures and shapes. Starfish always seem to win out with their bumpy, pointy textures. I keep hoping one year we will catch a glimpse of a live one in the sand. The kids would be overjoyed! For today, we’ll keep our real shell collections on the shelf and have some fun creating one of my favorite ocean crafts for kids: a textured starfish craft! Get those Super Fingers ready for a fine motor workout!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Printable starfish template, 1 sheet gold (stiff) scrapbook paper, mini alphabet pastas, pencil, scissors, glue, gold glitter, spray adhesive glue (optional)
WHAT TO DO: Print out the free starfish template and cut it out. Have your child trace the starfish template on the back (white side) of the gold scrapbook paper. Allow your child to cut out his starfish. Squeeze glue onto the gold surface of the starfish. Use those Super Fingers to pinch the alphabet pasta and sprinkle it all over the starfish. Feel free to layer the pasta by adding more glue and sprinkling more pasta to build up the texture even more. Next, spray your starfish with spray adhesive glue or apply a final layer of liquid glue. The last step is to have your child pinch gold glitter and sprinkle it over the top of the pasta. The final product is this whimsical, beautiful starfish your child will be so proud of!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Adjust the size of the starfish template depending on your child’s scissor skills. The larger the starfish, the easier to cut! If you need suggestions on teaching kids how to cut with scissors, check out this post called Making the Cut.
-Use a spoon or small scoop to help with “sprinkling” on the pasta for those children who are frustrated by grasping and manipulating small objects.
-Use any combination of little pastas for this fine motor activity! Orzo would work just as well. We love the texture of the mini alphabet pastas, and you could also work on some letter identification skills as you create!
-Toss the remainder of the pasta into a bin and let your child explore! Hide the starfish and let your child find them!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, grasp, sensory integration, visual motor integration
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.