HH4K News & Events

April is occupational therapy (OT) month and Helping Hands For Kids® is joining in the celebration by sharing a few fun, exciting and creative activities to get everyone mOTivated and moving! As much as kids love jumping in puddles and using their umbrellas, April showers can put a damper on their outdoor play. When it rains, it is difficult to get outside to do what you need to do.  Outdoor activities are some of the best ways to improve fitness,  promote learning, and engage your senses.  If a few days of rain has you singing “rain, rain, go away!,” try some of these simple activities that make being stuck inside an opportunity to learn something new while challenging your little ones’ fine motor, gross motor, and motor planning skills.  Our occupational therapists have put together these indoor activities and  exercises using items commonly found around the house. 

Balloon Tennis

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Gather the supplies: Plates, balloons, glue, (tape optional), and spoons or popsicle sticks.

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Glue the spoon or popsicle stick to the back of the plate fastening it with some tape for extra strength. 

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Let glue dry.

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Inflate the balloon and start having fun!

The Art of Journaling

Gather the supplies you need.  I used a cereal box because the dimensions made it easy for a nice size journal, glue, stapler, paper, tape, scissors, and twine (optional).  

Have your child tear one of the side seams and the bottom seam of the box in order to make it flat.

Have your child cut all the side flaps off the box on each side.  This will allow for two rectangles.  Each cereal box can make two journals.

Take one rectangle and fold it in half with the printed side of the box being on the inside and the blank cardboard portion on the outside.  The blank side will be decorated later.

Collect one of the slide flaps of the box that were previously cut off; it will be used for your bind. Cut the flap so it fits the size of the bind. You can use the printed side to add some contrast.

Using at least 5 sheets of paper, have your child fold the sheets in half horizontally.  Open the folded sheets and place the crease of the folded paper along the crease of the folded box. 

With the paper and box creases lined up, staple along the crease. Cut off any excess paper extending beyond the cardboard.

Now it’s time to glue on the flap you made to bind the journal.

Your journal is now complete.  You can decorate it or just start writing and coloring.  Have fun and be creative!

Swooning Over Tissue Paper

Gather the supplies: Tissue paper, paper, coloring book and glue. (scissors will be needed if you will be cutting out a unique design)

Have your child pick a design from a coloring book or if you're feeling creative, you can draw an image on a blank piece of paper or cardboard.

Have your child rip the tissue paper into tiny pieces or if they are able to, you can have them roll the pieces of tissue into little balls as shown.

Squeeze a little glue in one area and then start placing the little pieces or balls onto the design.

Keep gluing the tissue pieces on!

There you have it…the next Picasso! You can have your child cut off the white borders or you can just leave it as a frame!

Letters Get Jelly

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Gather the supplies you’ll need: Ziploc bag, hair gel, food coloring, glitter (optional) and tape.

Get as much air out of the bag as you can, then seal it closed.  Add some tape along the seal to ensure there are no accidental spills.

While you hold the Ziploc bag, have your child squeeze the gel into the bag.

Once the bag is sealed and taped, your child can squish away and mix the gel, food coloring and glitter together.  Warning, this step is a kid favorite, no need to rush through it, only one more step left…

Then have your child squeeze a few drops of food coloring into the bag with the gel. 

Now that everything is mixed, place a piece of white (or whatever contrasting color you prefer) paper on a firm writing surface with the sealed bag of gel on top.  You can tape the bag to the writing surface for additional stability. 

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Optional Step: Add glitter into the bag.

 Let the endless sensory fun begin.  Your child can trace or copy letters/numbers, trace or copy lines or shapes, and they can also write short words.

Exercise Squared

Gather the supplies: cardboard box, glue (optional), ruler, scissors, tape and permanent marker.

Measure and draw your lines of depending on how big you would like your squares…3” x 3” or 6” x 6”.

Cut out your squares. 

Once you have the squares cut, start writing the activities you want on your squares; then tape (or glue) your squares together.

 Activity suggestions:

 

•10 Jumping Jacks (Feet Jacks can be done depending on skill level

•Spin in a circle 5 times then spin in opposite direction 5 times

•Bear walk around kitchen table 2 times

•10 hops on one leg

•Run down the hallway 10 times

•Climb over a mountain of cushions 3 times

You can make a second cube with other activities that can be done simultaneously with the first cube such as:

 

•Sing the ABCs

•Place a blindfold over your eyes

•With socks on your hands

•Put your hand on your belly

•Hold a piece of paper under your chin

•With a ball in your hand

Start throwing the dice and get ready to sweat!