Play and Activities

Use Everyday Household Items During These Playful Occupational Therapy Activities
Use Everyday Household Items During These Playful Occupational Therapy Activities 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Occupational therapy (OT) can be highly beneficial for your child. This is especially true if your little one faces sensory, cognitive, or physical challenges. OT is essential in helping your child learn and grow, which is why we look forward to celebrating Occupational Therapy Month each April. This month-long holiday provides the chance for us to share some helpful occupational therapy related tips, toys, resources, and activities. In honor of OT Month this year, we wanted to share some occupational therapy  activities that are fun and easy to do at home. The best part? These activities utilize items that you can find around your house! From constructing a sensory bin to making food necklaces and more. Here are some engaging, playful activities that use everyday items in inventive ways:

Make a Sensory Bin

Making a sensory bin from items around your house is an activity that your child is sure to love. They can help you decide what will go into the bin, and when the construction of the bin is complete, it’s sure to keep your kiddos entertained for a long time. One easy bin you can create is a “beach day bin.” Fill it with some brown sugar (sand), a bowl of water (the ocean), gummy bears (beachgoers), and some spoons (shovels). Your child will love pretending like they’re spending the day at the beach, and they can even shape and mold the brown sugar to create a brown sugar sandcastle!

Build a Blanket Fort and “Go Camping”

This activity is perfect for pretending like you’re camping in the wild in the comfort of your own home. Start by running around the house with your little one and collecting as many blankets as possible. Bring them into the living room, grab a few chairs, and make your fort! Help your child reach up high and tie the blankets onto the chairs, or tuck them into the couch cushions. Now, partake in some fun camping activities such as telling campfire stories, singing campfire songs, or consider even making some smores in the microwave!

Create Food Jewelry

One last OT-based activity you can try using items around your house is to create some delicious food jewelry. Find some string or yarn, and then gather food items that you can use to make your jewelry. Some ideas include noodles, round cereal, pretzels, or candy with a hole. Have your child carefully place each item onto their string one at a time, and then help them tie it to make a necklace or bracelet. When you’re all done, you and your little one can wear your jewelry and even sneak in a few bites!

Happy Occupational Therapy Month! Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) for more occupational therapy tips, resources, and activities. If you’d like to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to support children and families in any way that we can.

Celebrating Play Therapy Week With Some of Our Favorite Play Therapy Activities
Celebrating Play Therapy Week With Some of Our Favorite Play Therapy Activities 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

This year, Play Therapy Week is February 6th through February 12th, and we are ready to get the party started! Playing is an excellent way for your little ones to work on their therapy goals while also having a ton of fun in the process. There are so many unique activities and games that you can try at home that will help your children work on various skills, and learning through play also gives you the chance to spend quality time as a family. Ready to have some fun? From playing balloon volleyball to stuffed animal storytime, here are some of our favorite play activities your whole family is sure to enjoy:

Play Balloon Volleyball: Place two chairs 3 feet apart and tie a sheet to both chairs to make a “volleyball net.” Next, blow up a balloon and get ready to play volleyball! Hit the balloon high up into the air to your little one and ask them to use their balance and coordination to try and hit the balloon back. You can either keep score or simply play for fun! Another great thing about this activity is that you can get the whole family involved and play in teams of two or three!

Get Creative With Play-Doh: Get ready to shape, mold, stretch, and roll Play-Doh into some fun objects and shapes. Take turns picking an object to sculpt with your little one, and then do your best to make that item. This activity will give your child the chance to work on their fine motor skills while expressing their creativity in the process.

Stuffed Animal Storytime: Ask your child to grab one of their favorite toys and come up with a story about that toy together. To get the story started, you could ask your child questions such as what the toy’s name is, where the toy lives, what the toy likes to do, etc. Then, if you and your child are feeling up to it, write the story down in a cute book and have them draw the pictures! 

Make Stepping Stones: Gather up some throw pillows around your house, bring them into the living room, and tell your child that you’re going on an adventure! Place the pillows randomly from one end of the living room to the other, but make sure that they’re close enough so that your little one can step from one pillow to the other. Now, ask your child to carefully step from stone to stone without touching the lava (the floor). If they can successfully make it across, move them a little farther apart, and have them try again!

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we continue to share more fun activities. We’ll also be sharing helpful tips, resources, and more! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support both you and your child in any way that we can.

Toy Takeover 2021 – Supporting Local and Sharing Fantastic Toys That Your Child Will Love
Toy Takeover 2021 – Supporting Local and Sharing Fantastic Toys That Your Child Will Love 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Toy Takeover is FINALLY here, and we’re ready to get the party started! Every year, we search near and far for creative toy ideas that your kiddos are sure to love. Each toy we’ve selected this year is a whole lot of fun to play with, works on supporting your child’s development, and can be purchased at local Chicago toy stores!

Our local businesses have been struggling to make ends meet since the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s important to support these stores so that they can continue to be a part of our community for years to come. This year, we’re featuring these 4 amazing local stores – Building Blocks, Cat & Mouse, Play, and Timeless Toys. So, if you see a toy on the list that you want to purchase, simply click on the link to be directed to one of these 4 businesses ’ websites. You’ll feel great knowing that you’re supporting local while also getting your little one a fantastic developmental toy. 

With that said, and without further ado, here’s our 2021 Toy Takeover list:

Baby Paper

The first toy to make our list this year is simple and all about sensory exploration for infants. The colorful crinkly cloth paper helps babies with their isolated finger movement, early grasping skills, as well as their midline orientation. Our favorite part about this toy is that it can be brought with you anywhere to keep your kiddos entertained, and it’s washable!

OgoBolli

The next toy on our list is a brand new sensory development ball for infants. The OgoBolli has a unique design that’s easy to hold and manipulate, and it helps work on grasping, hand-eye coordination, and fine-motor skills. OgoBolli comes in multiple colors, is dishwasher safe, and is a whole lot of fun for your little ones.

Chutes and Ladders

This classic children’s board game is sure to be a hit with your whole family. Chutes and Ladders is the perfect first board game to help with early turn-taking and listening skills. Take turns spinning the wheel to see how many spaces you’ll move, try to climb the ladders to get further in the game, and watch out for the chutes to avoid being sent back down the board!

Pop Toobs

Bend, snap, and connect with Pop Toobs! Your little one can move and expand the tubes to 4 times their original length and connect the tubes with other Pop Toobs to make awesome creations! This colorful and unique toy works on hand strength and dexterity and will provide hours of entertainment for your little ones.

Shape Sorter

This last toy is a must-have for infants and toddlers. Shape sorters are perfect for matching, sorting, counting activities, and so much more. You can start by taking the top off of the box and letting your little one put the shapes in, and then dump them out. Have your child play with this toy while standing to help them improve their balance and practice stopping down to pick up the shapes.

Happy holidays from our entire Pediatric Therapy Network team! To see more toys on our Toy Takeover list, be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest). All month long, we will be sharing even more great toy suggestions as well as fun tips, activities, resources, and more!

5 Fun Activities to Work on Your Child’s Physical Therapy At Home
5 Fun Activities to Work on Your Child’s Physical Therapy At Home 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and we are ready to kick off the celebration! National Physical Therapy Month helps raise awareness of all the excellent benefits that come along with physical therapy, such as improving range of motion, flexibility, strength, balance, and much more.

Physical therapy is such an incredible tool for helping children and adults alike, and working with a physical therapist can genuinely change a person’s life for the better. On days that your child isn’t going to see a physical therapist, there are some wonderful activities that you can take part in as a family that will help work on their gross motor skills. Ready to get started? Here are 5 fun ways to get your child moving at home:

1. Animal Walk

Get ready to bring out your silly side! Place a piece of tape on the floor of one side of your living room and then another piece of tape on the other side of the room. Now, have your child walk like an animal from one piece of tape to the other. For example, you could have them walk like a crab, hop like a frog, walk like a dog, etc. Get creative and try to come up with as many different types of animal walks as you can think of!

2. Floor Ice Skating

If you don’t have time to visit an actual ice skating rink, bring the ice skating rink to your home! Grab two paper plates and have your child sit down and draw their best ice skate on each plate. Once they’re done, find a spot in your house where your child can skate the night away! Help them carefully stand on their skates, and then tell them to slide around on the “ice.”

3. Wheelbarrow Race

For this activity, you’ll need to work with your child to try and get from one point to the other as fast as you can. The tricky part? You’ll need to hold their legs up while they walk with their hands, mimicking a wheelbarrow. Grab a timer and see how long it takes you to get from point A to point B. Repeat the activity, try to beat your time, and see how fast you can go. If you have 4 people in your house, you can race against each other in teams of 2!

4. Traffic Light Stop and Go

You may want to bundle up for this next activity as it works best if you’re outside. Try to find a wide-open space where your child can run around, such as your yard or a park. You’ll begin on one side of the yard, and your child will start on the other side. When you’re ready, yell out “green light” and watch as your child starts running towards you. After a few seconds, you’re going to yell out, “red light.” Your child will need to stop in their tracks as quickly as possible. They must stay still until you decide to call out “green light” once again. Continue the game until your child makes it all the way to your side!

5. Toy Toss

This activity is an excellent way to work with your child on their eye/hand coordination while also cleaning up their toys in the process. First, you’re going to want to grab the basket or bin that you use to store your little one’s toys. Now, have them run around the room as fast as possible and grab each toy one at a time. Once they have a toy in hand, tell them to aim and toss it into the basket. Continue until all of the toys have been cleaned up!

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we celebrate National Physical Therapy Month! We’ll be sharing tips, activities, resources, and more! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support both you and your child in any way that we can.

Ways to Work on Your Child’s Development Using Their Favorite Stuffed Animal
Ways to Work on Your Child’s Development Using Their Favorite Stuffed Animal 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Stuffed animals truly are one of a child’s best friends. They comfort your little one in times of need, allow them to express themselves, are an excellent travel buddy, can help them fall asleep easier, and are the perfect playmate. Stuffed animals are one of the most special things in the world to a child and can help them grow in so many ways. We know that children have a special attachment to their furry friends, and considering that National Teddy Bear Day is on September 9th, we wanted to honor their special friend by sharing some ways for your child to work on their development using their favorite stuffed animal. From fine motor skills to speech development to balance and everything in between – your child will love getting to use their favorite stuffed animal to work on developing their skills. That said, here are some of our favorite ways to work on your child’s development using their favorite stuffed animal:

Stuffed Animal Rescue: Find a spot around your home and hide your child’s stuffed animal (make sure it’s in a place they can reach). Then, tell your child that their favorite stuffed animal has gotten lost and they need to be rescued by a superhero! Allow your little one to run around with a makeshift cape and search for their furry friend. Once they locate their stuffed animal, consider switching roles and have your child hide their toy for you to find.

Obstacle Course: In this activity, your little one will need to hop, skip, and jump through obstacles to get to their stuffed animal. Time your child each time they run the course and see if they can beat their time! Even though there are so many fun and creative obstacles that you could come up with, here are some of our favorites:

  • Jump from one hula hoop to another
  • Throw a ball into a bucket
  • Spin around three times
  • Crawl under a jump rope that’s attached to two chairs
  • Do your best dance move

Once your child has completed each obstacle, have them grab their teddy bear and yell the word “done.” This indicates the end of the course and lets you know when to stop the timer. 

My Favorites: Get your child talking to their furry friend by sharing some of their favorite things. Sit in a circle with your child and their stuffed animal, and then proceed to ask your child what their favorite things are. For example, you could ask about their favorite color, food, activity, book, animal, song, and game. Now, have your child answer with their favorites as well as their stuffed animal’s favorites. Once you’ve run out of questions, have your child ask you about some of your favorite things.

What Am I: If your child has more than one stuffed animal, gather each toy and place them all in a bin. Place the bucket of toys in a different room where you can’t see, and then proceed to sit in the living room. Have your child go to the bucket and pick out a stuffed animal one at a time. Once they’ve made a selection, have them run back into the living room and act out the type of animal they chose. Your little one will make movements and sounds of that animal until you can correctly guess the right answer. Repeat until they’ve acted out all the different animals.

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we share additional activities that your child can do with their favorite stuffed animal friend! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to discuss if your child would benefit from pediatric therapy. Our team is here to support both you and your child in any way that we can.

3 Fun Activities to do At Home With Your Kids This Summer
3 Fun Activities to do At Home With Your Kids This Summer 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

June 22nd marks PTN’s 11th anniversary, and we can’t wait any longer to get the celebration started! We are thankful for the opportunity to serve all of the wonderful families in our community over the last 11 years. We are looking forward to working with each of our incredible PTN kids, families, and therapists for years to come. All month long, we’ve been sharing some of our favorite at-home activities on our social media pages and wanted to keep the celebration going by sharing some more with you right now! Here are three fun activities to do at home with your kids this summer:

Animal Moves

Your kiddos are going to love this silly activity. Grab five pieces of paper and ask your child to draw a different animal on each one. Once they’ve drawn their masterpieces, go outside, and flip each paper upside down so that you can’t see them.

One at a time, flip each drawing over and then have your child perform the action that matches the animal on the page. For example, you could have them flap their arms like a chicken, hop like a frog, roll around like a pig, gallop like a horse, or move their trunk (arm) up and down like an elephant. Once you’ve gone through each animal, add more animals to your pile and repeat!

Hula Hoop Jump

Get up and get ready to move with this next activity. Grab five hula hoops of any size and bring them outside. Place each hula hoop on the ground right next to each other in a straight line or zigzag pattern. Next, using chalk, write one number in each hula hoop, starting at one and ending at five. Finally, have your child jump from hoop to hoop in numbered order or if your child doesn’t know their numbers quite yet, simply ask them to jump from hoop to hoop!

Cup Kick

Our final at-home activity that you can try with your kiddos is cup kick! Gather up some plastic cups and place a different colored sticker on each cup. Then, go outside and put the cups next to each other a foot apart with the different colored stickers facing your child. Give your little one a small ball that they can easily kick and get ready for the fun! One at a time, shout out the different colors of the stickers and have your child try to knock the cup over with that sticker on it by kicking the ball at that cup. Keep shouting out colors until all of the cups have been knocked down, and repeat!

Thanks for celebrating our 11th anniversary with us! We had so much fun sharing these ideas with you, and hope that they keep you busy all summer long. For more at-home activities you can do with your child, follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest). We share activities, tips, resources, and so much more. If you have any questions about your child’s development, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We are happy to help support your child and family in any way that we can, and remember, you’re always at home with PTN.

Family Fun Activities to Try During National Play Therapy Week
Family Fun Activities to Try During National Play Therapy Week 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

National Play Therapy Week runs February 7th through the 13th and we are super excited to celebrate it! Learning through play is one of the most fun and effective ways to help your child work on their development, which is why we always incorporate play into our pediatric therapy sessions. When your child learns through play, they will be motivated to work toward their goals while also engaging in activities that will bring them joy and better their overall mental and physical well-being. 

If you’re looking for some ways to celebrate with your kiddos this week but aren’t sure where to begin, don’t fret.  We’ve put together a list of fun, family activities that you can try during National Play Therapy Week and beyond – enjoy!

Astronaut Scavenger Hunt: Put on your spacesuit and get ready to blast off! It’s time to save the universe in this outer space-themed scavenger hunt. Get together with your family and do your best to draw all of the planets, each on a separate piece of paper. Once you’ve finished, have your little ones go to their bedroom and shut the door – no peeking.

Hide each planet in different spots around the house where your child may have to crouch, squat, or go on their tippy toes to find. Now, explain to your kiddos that it’s their job to save the universe by finding and collecting each planet. They’re our only hope!

Pretend Bake Sale: Have your child round up all of their favorite dolls, action figures, or stuffed animals, and tell them that their toys will act as the customers for your pretend bake sale. Use fake money and divide it up between each one of your child’s toys so that they can use it to purchase some of the delicious goods that you’re about to bake. Then, decide on one or two items that you want to make, and get baking! Let your kiddos help add the ingredients, stir the batter, and decorate. Your child will love being able to “sell” their completed products to their pretend customers The best part? You get to eat all of the leftovers!

Create Rock Friends: Gather up your art supplies and create some colorful rock friends! This is the perfect play therapy activity to get those creative juices flowing. To begin, bundle up, go outside, and find some flat rocks that you can paint on. Then, wash any dirt off of the rocks, dry them, and get painting! You could make a ladybug, bumblebee, turtle, or simply glue some googly eyes onto the rock and paint a smiley face – the possibilities are endless!

Happy National Play Therapy Week! 

If you’re looking for some ways to spread the word about the positive effects of play therapy, the Association for Play Therapy has some incredible resources including images that you can share with your friends and family on social media. As always, if you think that your child could benefit from pediatric therapy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Toy Takeover 2020 – 5 Fantastic Learning and Development Toys
Toy Takeover 2020 – 5 Fantastic Learning and Development Toys 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

December is here!  Can you believe it?  When people say “the year crept up on them”, it really rings true for 2020.  While there was a ton of instability this year, one thing that remains stable is our annual tradition of our December Toy Takeover. There are many wonderful toys that are designed to help with your child’s learning and development, including five we really love for their versatility.

Not only will these five particular toys provide hours of endless fun for your little ones, but they will also help to work on all areas of your child’s development from gross motor and fine motor skills to speech and cognition. The best part? All of the toys featured in our December blog can be purchased at local small businesses in the Chicago area.  At PTN, we believe that shopping local matters and we encourage everyone to support as many small businesses as possible. This especially applies to this year as many of these businesses have struggled during the pandemic.

We’ve decided to feature two local stores in this year’s blog – Building Blocks Toy Store, and Timeless Toys. If you’re interested in purchasing from Building Blocks Toy Store, below is a promotion that they’re currently having for $5 local Chicago deliveries:

With that being said, let’s get onto the list:

Squigz

Squigz are one of the most versatile toys on the market. Not only can your child suction cup them to basically any surface around your home, but they’ll also be able to channel their creativity as they build cool structures and unique objects by connecting the Squigz together. Your kiddos will love gripping, sticking, creating, and separating their fun new toy, and you’ll love the fact that Squigz are safe and easy to clean.

Shape Sorting Cube 

We love to use this toy during therapy sessions and now your kiddo can use it at home, too! This vibrant shape sorting cube is wonderful for helping your child learn their shapes, colors, and sorting, while also working on developing their fine motor skills and gripping. You can even start early with this toy by removing the top and having your child practice putting objects in and out of a container.

The set features 12 colorful shapes that your child will enjoy dropping into the provided wooden cube over and over again. Once they’ve figured out where each shape goes, simply have them dump out all of the pieces and repeat the process.

LED Hula Hoop

Did you know that there are plenty of things that you can do with a hula hoop besides actually hula hooping? Yes, really! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Hold onto the sides and sing, Ring Around the Rosey (the hoop can assist with side stepping, weight shifting or transitions to and from the floor if that is a goal for your child).
  • Turn the hoop so that it is standing straight up to create a tunnel that your child has to squat down and walk through.
  • Make a choo-choo train by having the leader in the hoop while others hold the back and take your train for a spin through the house.
  • Create a “pit” to jump or step in and out of.
  • Make a bean bag toss game and use the hoop for your target.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt and place all of your collected items in the hoop.
  • Have a dance contest and incorporate the hoop into your dance routines.

Stomp Rockets

Get ready.. Get set.. Blast off! Stomp Rockets are the perfect gift for those kids who are always full of energy.  Your child will love setting up their glow in the dark rocket onto the launch pad, stomping as hard as they can, and then watching as it soars over 100 feet in the air. They’ll be entertained for hours on end as they keep trying to send their rocket higher up into the sky than the time before, while also working on their coordination and balance in the process.

Fubbles

Bubbles that have a no-spill design and come in a travel sized container? Count us in!  The container is designed so that the Fubbles will not spill out, even when tipped upside down so you can let your kiddos blow bubbles indoors without worrying about the mess! Pop the bubbles by pointing, reaching, clapping, or stomping, and practice counting and turn-taking along the way.  Each set of Fubbles comes in either a red, yellow, or blue container, and contains a bubble wand and non-toxic bubble liquid.  


Believe it or not, we’re just getting started with our Toy Takeover recommendations this holiday season. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter for more great toy ideas, and be sure to follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) as we’ll be sharing even more suggestions throughout the entire month of December.  On behalf of the entire team at PTN, we wish you and your families the happiest of holidays!

At-Home Therapy Activities That Use Your Child’s Favorite Stuffed Animal
At-Home Therapy Activities That Use Your Child’s Favorite Stuffed Animal 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

When you were a kid, what was the one item that you always had to have with you? Was it a blanket? A toy? Well, for a majority of our staff here at PTN, our special item was a stuffed animal. It’s very common that children have a favorite item, and more times than not, you’ll notice that this item is indeed a stuffed animal. This is because stuffed animals bring on a sense of comfort and joy, and they make it easier for children to express themselves, which makes them the perfect learning tool during therapy sessions.

Using your child’s favorite stuffed animal during at-home therapy can be extremely beneficial as it will keep your kiddos motivated and excited to develop their skills. The best part? Your little one will be ecstatic to be learning with their best stuffed animal friend, by their side.

With that said – and in honor of September 9th being National Teddy Bear Day – we wanted to share some of our favorite at-home therapy activities that use your child’s favorite stuffed animal. Enjoy!

Create a Story 

This activity gives your child the opportunity to be creative while working on their speech development. Sit down with your kiddo and ask them some questions about their stuffed animal such as, “What’s your stuffed animal’s name? Where does your stuffed animal want to go? What’s your stuffed animal’s superpower?”. 

As they’re telling you the answers to the questions, write each answer down on a separate sheet of paper. Once you’re all done asking questions, get ready to help your child create their very own book. Your child will be able to work on their grip strength by coloring each answer page with an image that fits the text, and once they’re done, they’ll have their very own book based on their stuffed animal!

Partake in Sensory Play 

Another great way to use your child’s stuffed animal is for sensory play. Kids (especially toddlers and babies) love to explore different textures, and most stuffed animals have numerous textures on them. For example, if the stuffed animal is a cat, it may have prickly whiskers, soft or fuzzy fur, and hard eyes. Let your child touch each texture one at a time while you ask them to describe what it feels like – soft, hard, fuzzy, rough, bumpy, etc. 

Play Dress Up

Your child will absolutely love being able to use their imagination while dressing up their stuffed animal, and you’ll love this activity because it works on your child’s fine and gross motor skills. You and your kiddo can make up stories about where their stuffed animal is going, and then, they’ll dress up their stuffed animal to fit the story. For example, if you both decide that the stuffed animal is going to a ball, your child could dress their furry friend in a dress or suit, and if you both decide that the stuffed animal is going to a beach, your child could dress their furry friend in shorts and a t-shirt. Your child will have so much fun looking through all of the clothing options and will be entertained for hours on end.

You can find dress up clothes that will fit your child’s stuffed animal on Amazon, at toy stores, or, you can make them yourself!

Let Your Child Be a Caretaker

Allowing your child to take care of their stuffed animal will bring out their nurturing side, and will allow them to work on their fine motor skills, speech, and gross motor skills. You can have your child feed their stuffed animal, give them a pretend bath, place a bandaid on any owies they may have, or put their furry friend to bed – the possibilities are endless! The best part about this activity? Your child will learn responsibility and compassion in the process. 

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest) all month long as we share additional activities.

Fun Family Activities That Will Help Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills
Fun Family Activities That Will Help Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

With all of the uncertainty in the world right now, it’s nice to know that there’s one thing that you can always count on – your family. Through all of the ups and downs that life brings, your family will always be there for you no matter what, and if there’s one positive thing that has come out of these uncertain times, it’s that parents and their children have really gotten to reconnect and spend more time with one another.

With that said, we understand that many of you have had to get creative in finding ways to entertain your kids while also helping them improve on their fine motor skills. If you feel like you’ve run out of ideas, we’re here to help! One of our favorite holidays is celebrated in August – Family Fun Month – so we thought we’d share some activities that your whole family will love, and that will also work on your child’s fine motor skills. 

From q-tip painting to friendship bracelets, here are some fun family activities that will help improve your child’s fine motor skills:

Q-Tip Painting

What you’ll need: Q-tips, paint, paper, stick-on magnets, your imagination!

Our first fine motor activity lets your child’s creativity shine! For q-tip painting, you’ll need to get some q-tips, paint, paper, stick-on magnets, and your imagination. First, you’ll want to sit down with your kiddos and talk about what you’re both going to paint –  the possibilities are endless!

Once you’ve decided on what you’re going to create, use a q-tip as a brush, dip the cotton section of the q-tip into the paint, and then start painting with your q-tip on a plain piece of paper. Once you’re done, you can put stick-on magnets on the back of the paper, and hang your artwork on the fridge, or place your art in a frame to hang around the house. 

Friendship Bracelets

What you’ll need: String, scissors, beads, penne noodles, food coloring dye.

Who doesn’t love a cute friendship bracelet? We know we do! For this next activity, you and your kiddos will get to make some adorable jewelry that you both will love. All you need is some string, scissors, colorful beads, penne noodles, and food coloring dye. Before you begin, grab a couple bowls and fill them with some water and food coloring. Next, soak the penne noodles in the food coloring for a few hours in order to dye the noodles. Now, it’s time to create your jewelry! Help your kiddo out by cutting them a piece of string for their bracelet, and show them how to thread on the noodles and beads. Once you’re both done, you’ll have cute friendship bracelets to show off!

Spray Chalk Art

What you’ll need: Spray bottle, water, washable tempera paint, dish soap. 

Our final activity let’s you and your kids get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Spray chalk art is easy to make and will keep your children entertained for hours on end. To create your spray chalk paint, place a drop of washable tempera paint into a spray bottle along with a cup of hot water and a squirt of dish soap. Shake the bottle well, and get ready to create some art! Show your kids how to use the spray bottle to create unique designs/art on the sidewalk or driveway. When you’re all done, you can simply wash off your art with some water.

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