Sensory Alphabet Activities

by Katy
Sensory Alphabet Activity
One of the best ways to help a child learn is to have them use more than one sense at the same time.  I’m guessing that’s one of the reasons why Allie is so passionate about doing crafts with kids–all kinds of senses are engaged, which makes learning easier and also fun. It can be hard, though, when your child has issues that prevent them from participating in crafts.  Today I’m sharing three ways to do the alphabet with kids with limited motor skills although I think they would be fun for all kids.
Alphabet StampsSensory Alphabet Activity

I bought a pack of foam letters at Walmart for one dollar and turned them into two activities.  First, I used them as stamps and let Charlie stamp on a sheet of paper.  As we’re stamping out the letter, it’s good to name it and tell your child the sound it makes.
I then took the foam pieces and glued them to a piece of cardboard to make an alphabet puzzle.  Since Charlie’s aim is rough, I put all the letters in and then let him pull them out.  I let him decided which letter looked good and then I would again, name the letter he was touching and say it’s sound aloud.
Big LettersSensory Alphabet Activity
This activity is also great for improving fine motor skills–I don’t completely understand the relationship between big motions and improving fine motor, but multiple therapists have told me this, so I’m going to believe them.  Take a sheet of paper and put it up on your refrigerator. Give your child a crayon or marker and help them make BIG letters on the paper.  I found that Charlie was able to make some c-like motions, which is pretty impressive for him.  Children with poor neck control often do better when activities are propped up in front of them because it requires less head control.
Sugar Writing
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You can also use sand, but sugar is easier for me to find.  Pour about half a cup of sugar into a baking pan.  If you can find one with a dark finish, then that will work great.  Help your child form letters in the sugar with their fingers.  This was probably Charlie’s favorite activity of the bunch–probably because it was one of the few that he was allowed to taste!
As always, don’t be discouraged if you try and activity and your child doesn’t like it.  All children are picky and special needs kids can often be intimidated by new experiences.  Experiment with different ideas, try activities multiple times, and remember that not every activity is going to be a hit.
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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Cupcake Match Game For Kids

cupcake memory game

Matching games not only exercise your child’s memory they teach color recognition, patience and taking turns.  It’s birthday party season around here and this paper was bought for a friend’s party last week, and this week the extra gets turned into fun.  I started out playing it with the cupcakes facing us simply looking for matches, it was way too easy so I flipped them over and we played the game properly, and my son beat me fair and square!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some patterned wrapping paper, some construction paper, scissors and a glue stickcupcake matching game supplies
  2. Cut your construction paper into 12 or more squares.
  3. Cut 2 of each picture out- we did 6 individual picture for 12 cards total.cupcake matching game 6
  4. Using the glue stick glue the wrapping paper down.cupcake match game tutorial
  5. Let dry
  6. Play- either face up searching for matches, with young toddlers.cupcake matching playing game
  7. Or  traditionally face down taking turns .cupcake matchign game match

Book!

“If You Give A Cat A Cupcake!” by Laura Numeroff is the newest installment of her ever popular “If You Give…” series. I like this one , I mean any book with a cat in a bathing suit is worth a look. I am a big fan of these stories not only because they have just the right amount of text for young preschoolers, but also because the illustrations by Felicia Bond are so detailed you can spend ages talking about what your child sees in the book after the words are read. I love the cause and effect , and after a few readings your child will have fun telling you what’s next.

Jack in The Beanstalk Craft

This idea came straight from my son. “What should we make today?” and he suggested a beanstalk and he made it very clear that he wanted to be Jack… so this is what we did.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some craft paper ( you could use thick wrapping paper, just use the reverse side) , paint, a marker, scissors and some fun brushes or sponges for the beanstalk. For your very own “Jack” you will need a photograph,scissors and some double stick tape and a clothes pin.
  2. Take a fun picture of your child posing as Jack- this was what we came up with. I regret letting him stand on the chair I’ve been telling him to get off the chair all day long since … learn from my doppy move and stay on the floor!
  3. Draw a beanstalk with large leaves. Mine was way less than perfect but we loved it anyway, don’t worry about how it looks, just have fun.
  4. Next spread some paint. My son was overjoyed to pour so much paint on the beanstalk.
  5. Spread it with your brushes, we used a bath poof and fun dish sponge.
  6. Add more – for the second round we used yellow and blue to make green!
  7. Let dry , cut out and hang on the wall or the inside of a bedroom door!
  8. Print out the picture or if like me you have no printer, (shocking I know!) run to the store and print one out.
  9. Cut your very own Jack out and tape a clothes pin to the back of the picture.
  10. Add to your beanstalk.
  11. If you want you can add more… we raided the junk drawer for extra pictures and added them.

 

Fine Motor Friday- Lock and Key



Not only does this activity entertain your little locksmith to be, it also develops manual dexterity , hand eye coordination , problem solving and memory! That’s a lot for one simple ( and mess free) activity. My son loved it- it was challenging but not frustrating. My advice is if you think your little one is ready, try it if they get frustrated put it away for a while, then try again.

  1. Gather your materials. I got 3 different lock/ key combos at a discount store, you want them to look different so it’s not too confusing. I also a binder ring for a key chain and a tray to keep the activity in one place.
  2. Put all three keys onto the ring.
  3. Lay out the locks and key chain and invite your child to open these locks.
  4. I helped with the first before I was shooed away by my independent 2 year old.
  5. “Look mama look! Key in!”
** I was just informed that some keys are high in lead, so make sure you wash those little hands throughly after playing, just in case! **