My graduate student finished last week, so this week I have been back to planning activities and working with all of my students. Some of my favorite activities involve combining fine motor and gross motor skills. My students really enjoyed this, and I found I could target multiple goals with this one simple activity.
I saw this activity on Pinterest before, but I cannot find the link anymore.
Materials: a variety of straws, pipecleaners, scissors
I introduced the task and explained that we would be cutting apart straws; however, I was the keeper of straws and the students would have to request the color they wanted using appropriate grammar (e.g. "I want blue" or "Can I have red, please?"). Many of my preschool students are working on identifying colors, so I made sure to have straws of different colors - blue, red, green, and purple.
For students who have goals that were unable to be targeted through this activity, I used Webber fun decks or articulation cards to target their goals and simply used this activity as a fun motivator.
I work with a student who has a hearing impairment and uses sign language to communicate, and we are working on spelling colors and numbers, so we targeted requesting colors by spelling the color correctly.
Fine Motor: Using scissors to cut straws is a great fine motor task. Many of my students have fine motor goals on their IEPs, so this is a great way to combine speech goals and OT goals in one session. While cutting straws works on fine motor, stringing the straw "beads" is also a fine motor task. I was surprised at how many of my students needed assistance with stringing the straw "beads" on the pipecleaner to make a bracelet.
Gross Motor: We had tons of fun cutting apart the straws! I provided each student with safety scissors and demonstrated the first cut. They were so surprised when the straw pieces would bounce off of the table and land all over my room. Luckily I have a small room, so the pieces were semi-contained. I had all of the students then get on their bellies on the floor and crawl around to pick up the straw pieces. With all of the crawling, pushing with their feet, and grabbing, we worked on some great gross motor goals.
All of my students enjoyed this. Most students wanted to make bracelets for their moms, sisters, and friends.
Our final creation (sorry for the blurry picture):
What have you been up to this week?