by Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L
Allowing a younger child “do” homework with older siblings can be a win-win situation for you. First, the younger child keeps busy and feels important. But as a parent, you can also take this opportunity to strengthen a child’s fine motor and cognitive skills.
Remember to make sure the activities you choose are “special” by bringing them out only at homework time. In last week’s “Therapist Thursday,” we suggested a number of fun and developmentally appropriate activities for toddlers. Here are a few more!
– Special coloring books – Also, try coloring with broken crayon pieces to promote development of the fist three fingers needed to hold a writing utensil
– Play-doh fun – Small rolling pins and cookie cutters are great for hand strengthening.
– Magnets – Playing with magnets on the side of the refrigerator is great for hand and upper body strengthening
– Sidewalk chalk – Let your child to be creative, while using his or her whole body during writing activities. This one is good for the tactile system too!
– Play with pots and pans – Allow your child to be pretend cook, drum, or wear a hat. Fosters creative and imagination!
– Build a fort – Allow your child to get the wiggles out and create a cozy hiding place!
– Screw top bottles – Create maracas, water shakers, or just have fun opening and dumping containers with beads, cotton balls, or straws!