Therapist’s Thursday | Angry Birds at Home

By Leann Presley

What child doesn’t love a good game of Angry Birds? Be the coolest parent on the block with a fun craft that turns into a versatile activity you can play indoors, outdoors, set up with obstacle courses, work on balance — all while motivating children to work on motor skills! You could even adapt it to work on homework…every time they get a spelling or sight word correct, they get a “bird” to throw at the pigs! (You may want to use something a bit heavier to throw at the pigs in order to really knock them over.)

Materials you’ll need:
– One (1) or more cardboard paper towel tubes, each cut into 6 pieces (depends on how many you want to make)
– Paint (green for pigs, red, black, white, blue, yellow and grey for birds, or make up your own colors if you want!)
– Construction paper for the beaks, eyes, tufts of hair, eyebrows, pigs’ noses, ears, crown etc. in white, black, orange, yellow, red, etc.
– You can use the end of a paintbrush handle to make the dots for the eyes
– This creator used pieces from a round makeup sponge applicator for the pig’s nose/chin but you could easily use craft foam “paper” or stickers.
-Glue
-(optional) A rolled up sock or other soft item with a bit more weight to it for target shooting to knock down the pigs if the birds are not heavy enough or your child wants to shoot from further away. For this option, I suggest making more pigs and then getting or dying socks to match the color of the desired bird. Another option is to create a “beanbag” from a tube sock by filling it with rice or beans, tying a knot in the top and then cutting the remaining part off. You can easily decorate the sock with a marker to look like a bird if desired.

Directions:
1. Cut up paper towel rolls into 6 pieces each
2. Paint tube desired color (birds are yellow, white, blue, black/grey, and red/grey, pigs are green)
3. Use remaining paint and construction paper and glue to create eyes, eye brows, tufts of hair, etc.
4. After construction, set up the pigs and use birds to knock down the pigs!

Further suggestions:
-Increase the challenge and motor planning by having children come up with different “structures” for the pigs to sit on using household items, on furniture, etc.
-Add a balance challenge by having children stand in different positions (i.e. on one foot, tall kneel, on their belly over a ball, etc.) when attempting to shoot
-Have children come up with an obstacle course to get the bird to a place to shoot at the pigs, each time they have to go through the course in order to get a bird
-Challenge the child’s core strength by having them complete animal walks (bear, snake, frog, etc.) to get from where the birds are to where they are to shoot at the pigs to knock them down

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