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Try some of these fine motor Christmas activities to help improve your child's hand skills while still having SOOOO much fun!
Kids are often so much more motivated to work on hand and finger skills when they are making gifts or something decorative!
Here are the basic fine motor techniques and activities that I try to incorporate into our kids' Christmas crafts:
Cutting with scissors is an excellent way to strengthen your child's hands and get the tripod fingers working together. And at this time of year, it is so easy to get your child interested in practicing scissor skills!
If your child still does not know how to cut with scissors, go and read my how-to article first. Then come back and try these fun Christmas scissor cutting ideas!
Give the tripod fingers a workout and decorate your activities with torn strips of paper or with tiny crumpled paper balls.
Read more about why these finger activities are important and get ideas to help your child.
Chenille sticks (pipe cleaners) make it really easy for kids to thread beads. You can bend the stick into shapes (see my bead angel tutorial) and also use them to decorate gifts.
Let your kids help you tie the ribbons and strings onto gifts. Not only are they giving their fingers a workout, but also their eye hand and bilateral coordination skills.
Therapy Fun Zone has a great idea for a ribbon tree that can give your child some practice in tying. To make the activity a little easier, use fatter sticks, and plonk them in a jar to keep them still while your kids are tying the ribbons on.
If your child finds tying really hard, you may want to check out my article on why some kids struggle more than others with tying skills.
Elsewhere on my site, I have highlighted the many benefits of working with playdough, and the different techniques you can bring into your child's playdough activity time. All that rolling and squishing is great for improving hand skills and bilateral coordination.
Why not extend your child's enjoyment of playdough and strengthen their hands with real cookie dough and craft dough such as salt dough or homemade clay? That way they can eat or keep their creations!
Your Kids OT also has an easy homemade clay that she uses to make simple, beautiful ornaments. Check it out!
Here's a quick round up of some other fun fine motor ideas from therapy bloggers...
Stamping is a lovely activity, especially if you do it on a vertical
surface, as then it strengthens the wrist muscles and helps to develop
upper body endurance, which kids need when they are sitting a desk.
If you have a hole punch or a craft punch, why not let your child use it to punch holes in gift tags or to punch out shapes to decorate cards?
Squeezing the punch shut is great for strengthening little hand muscles - just please be sure to use one that is kid-friendly!
I hope you feel as inspired as I did as I rounded up all these fine motor Christmas activities!
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