OT Activities for Young Kids

“Movement is key to learning. Movement and dance activities such as crawling, creeping, rolling, turning, walking, skipping, reaching and swinging are essential for a toddler and a young child’s brain development.” These activities help strengthen muscles, nerves, brain cells, speech centers and vision, so your child can use their hands, eyes and body more efficiently to eat, play, draw, write and read. 

  1. Choose 5-10 minutes of these motor exercises:
    • Crawling under, over and around furniture or through a tunnel if you have one 
    • Crashing into a mound of pillows and being playful with your child after they land. You can include language like “Ready, Set, Go” “One, Two, Three,” or singing traditional nursery rhymes “Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall…” 
    • Laying on belly and going for blanket rides
    • Building a mini obstacle course with chairs, jumping on stickers, pretending to be an animal (hopping like frog, crawling like a bear, wiggling like a worm, moving slow like a turtle on hands and knees, etc)
  1. Massage your child’s head, arms and hands using deep pressure to wake up sensation and muscles of the upper body before practicing one of these fine motor activities 
  1. Choose 5-10 minutes of these fine motor exercises: 
    • Putting coins into a piggy bank (make one with an old plastic container if you don’t have one)
    • Cutting play doh (supervised of course), rolling it out like a long snake, pinching it, rolling it into small balls. If you do not have play doh or putty, there are so many easy to make home made dough. I will share a recipe if you need one!
    • Practicing putting on or taking off shoes, wiping face, brushing teeth, opening food packages, practicing hand washing or any self care activity they are not able to do on their own. 
    • Drawing shapes, letters or writing sight words or making marks with glue/glitter/sand/markers/crayons/chalk on sidewalk/
    • Use clothespins to pick up cotton balls

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