Taking Time to Enjoy Nature
The sun may finally be shining long enough to get outside, enjoy nature, and take in the beautiful spring surroundings. At this time of year, right around Earth Day, the snow is typically gone, the land is turning green, and flowers are blooming. Have a chat with students about different spring items they have noticed around school and homes. What people, places, and different spring “things” have they noticed now that winter is a distant memory.
There are a lot of spring crafts and even games which would be wonderful to do with different therapy groups. Think outside of the box and find items that will actively engage the kids. Remember that hands-on activities for tactile exploration make a powerful impact on younger children.
Just Say Bingo
Getting outside for a game of bingo will be a change in scenery which many students need during the school day. Before meeting with groups, make or print up some spring bingo cards. If there are specific words or themes you want to work on, make several cards of your own and laminate them for multiple kids to use over time. Use time outside to discuss the ecosystem that exists within the area.
If you would prefer to print some spring-themed bingo cards there are a variety online. The Maven has a spring bingo printable on their kids activities page. They have a PDF with three different cards to let you use. These should be laminated and then use a wipe marker when you go outside to play bingo together. If time is limited and space is not right for outside bingo, A Dab of Glue Will Do has a set of Earth Day bingo sheets that may be purchased for download. Simply follow the directions to make them and they will be set for any session. Use them to work on team building, speech and language, or fine motor using the pieces to mark a space.
Robin Feeding for Fine Motor
When fine motor skill practice is needed, crafts which also double as a skill builder after are perfect. The OT Toolbox has a spring robin counting fine motor busy bag. To do this, you will need empty egg cartons, orange paint, brown paint hole punch, scissors, yellow construction paper, black pipe cleaners, and black permanent marker. Follow the steps in the tutorial to make the egg crates into robins.
When the robins are finished, allow practice with fine motor feeding of the baby birds. Put the worms (pipe cleaners) into the mouths of the baby birds. This will help younger students to work on pincher grasp and general hand eye coordination practice.
At the end of the activity, the robins may be sent home for more fine motor practice. Therapists can include a sheet with game instructions for families to participate. Include translations and additional information for any multilingual families who may need them.
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