Puling small leaves from the stem of a plant is a great fine motor activity. Students will work on their finger coordination skills, strengthening the muscles of the hand, and using their thumb and pointer finger to create a pincer grasp. Encourage your student to make a “finish pile.”
Encourage your student to use her or his non-dominant hand to hold the stem while s/he uses the dominant hand to pull the leaves.
Use the leaves to create shape outlines, or draw a shape, letter, or number in chalk and have your student place the leaves along the lines to work on visual perceptual skills.
Add another layer to this fun outdoor activity! Not only can you work on fine motor coordination skills while you peel the leaves, but you can also address visual perceptual skills by having your student line the seeds up to make different shapes. Another option is to draw shapes or letters with chalk and have your student place the seeds directly over the lines.
My nieces like to pretend to cook with the seeds. They combine the seeds with other objects they can find in nature to make ‘stone soup’ and ‘dandelion salad.’ Get creative and encourage your student to use her/his imagination!
These activities work on several underlying skills at one time using objects you may already have in the house. If you have any questions about these activities, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need scissors, a paper plate, tissue paper, glue, and paint/markers/crayons. Adults will likely have to cut out the crescent and star shapes, but younger hands should be able to help with all of the other steps!
Tearing tissue paper is a great way for students to practice using both of their hands, and it is a great hand strengthening activity as well.
Cutting the tissue paper is another great option to work on scissor skills.
Helping to hold and squeeze a glue bottle or paint bottle is a great way to strengthen hands and practice using both hands.
Coloring or painting the paper plate is a great way to practice using our “helper hand” to stabilize the plate while we paint or color with the dominant hand. This will also work on fine motor skills needed to grasp and manipulate a marker, crayon, or paint brush.