This time of year is great for doing quirky little 5-minute activities to entertain the children in between water fights and screen time. Fun little things that help keep their hands busy and active so that during the holidays their muscles continue developing ready for those back-to-school days.
Firm favourites with my crew are:
• Cutting paper
• Modelling with playdoh
• Tracing shadows
• Drawing in flour or sand
• Wrapping toys in tissue paper and freeing them
• Threading pipe cleaners and straws
• Threading spaghetti through a colander or on a string for a necklace
• Lego building
• Lots of lids – re-screwing them on to the bottles
• Wrapping elastic bands around things
• Balls of playdoh pushed onto a wooden stick
• Fishing objects out of a basket with tongs
Squish and Fidget really love doing things like this and sometimes work together to solve a problem – like the threading of pipe cleaners. It inspired Squish to play with the pasta necklaces and then she took things further when she coloured in the pasta on her necklace using STABILO TRIO Scribbi pens, to make her ‘gems’ look really pretty!
Fidget is working on cutting at the moment – learning to use scissors can be tricky whether you are right or left-handed, so practice makes perfect! The benefit of working on these skills is that it helps our little one’s hand muscles and keeps their imaginations busy. Things like working on cutting with scissors will also indirectly help with little hands coordination when they transfer the skill to using a STABILO Easygraph pencil and practice their handwriting.
I find using things around the house a cheap, simple and quick win – you don’t have to put a lot of pressure on yourself to fund expensive days out or activities. Sometimes the simple fine motor activities that use whatever you have to hand, and are simple to set up, will arouse any child’s curiosity to play and have fun.
Katie Banks of Little House of Words