Fine Motor Skill Activities for Special Needs Children
Many children with special needs have challenges with their fine motor skills. Therefore, it is important to incorporate fine motor skills activities for special needs children in their daily routine. These activities for special needs children can be simple and even fun. Children with special needs will enjoy the activities and, best of all, benefit from them.
While there are many toys that can promote fine motor skills, there are also many activities for special needs children that can be done with items found around your house. Not only are the following activities useful and fun, but also they are inexpensive and can be made by any parent or caregiver.
A great activity for special needs children is a sensory box. Sensory boxes are simply boxes that parents and caregivers can put together. Sensory boxes can be made with a large plastic container filled with many different items. Many parents choose to use dry rice or beans as the base of the box. Alongside the rice or beans, add colorful items such as small toys. Try adding colorful pom-pom balls, spoons, and cups.
The type of items put in the sensory box depends on what you have on hand and your child’s needs. Many special needs children have a problem with fine motor skills, so activities such as handling different textures, using a fork or spoon, or picking up items with tongs will help them. The sensory boxes can also be used to help children learn colors, shapes, and textures.
The sensory box allows your child to put their hands into the contents and feel around. They can sort out different toys or organize items of different colors. They can also dig into and pour out the contents of the sensory box over and over again.
Your child should not be confined to just the box. Allow him or her to put items outside of the box. The sensory box can be introduced to children as young as one or two. However, with any young child, special needs or not, they need to be monitored and watched to ensure they do not eat anything they are not supposed to.
Stringing Activities for Special Needs Children
All children need to practice their stringing and lacing skills. This can easily be done with a thick piece of yarn (tape the ends to prevent fraying) and cereal or pasta with large holes. Kids can also string beads as well. Allow kids to also practice lacing shoes or make your own lacing toys through homemade lacing toys. Simply hole-punch cardboard pieces, such as a circle or heart, around the edges. Children can then thread lace or string through the holes. They can either go around the edges, make a web, or another pattern.
Other Activities for Special Needs Children
There are several types of other activities to enjoy with your child too. Let them play with play dough, giving them cookie cutters and other tools to use. Children also need practice with tearing and cutting. Kid safety scissors are a must. Let them experiment with cutting and tearing different types of paper, such as thin paper, like a newspaper, or thick paper, like a cereal box or magazine cover. Giving them shapes to cut out is also beneficial to their fine motor skills.
No matter how old your child is, chances are they could always use fine motor skill activities to improve their overall development. Try to incorporate an easy fine motor skills activity for special needs children once a day to keep children entertained and learning. Find opportunities in simple items you have on hand to make them learning opportunities.
Photo by woodleywonderworks