D.I.Y Activities for Skill development in Young children

While you’re stuck at home with the lockdown and with the kids having virtual schooling in this period, don’t despair! It’s easier than you think to grab a few easy things available at home and let their skills develop. These fun activities for kids are easy, DIY, and can mostly be done with everyday items that you have around the house. You just need these sparks of inspiration to get the ideas flowing. What’s that you hear? It’s probably the sound of laughter and concentration, and certainly not a kid yelling, “I’m bored!” from the other side of the house. 

If it’s rainy and you’re stuck indoors, there are tons of painting projects, inside crafts, and small-scale obstacle courses and activities that’ll hold their attention for long stretches of time. Or, if you’re able to head to the terrace/open ground, there are fun ideas for bubbles, water-based activities, and activities that get their little bodies moving. Either way, we’ve got your recipe for happy kids. Best of all, none of these require an electronic device or an app, so you don’t have to worry about too much screen time.

Let’s get started :-

  1. Salt/Powder Number Tray

1. Take a glass tray or any mould available at home 
2. Cut a paper in the shape of the base of mould 
3. Write numbers/alphabets in random order in square boxes 
4. Copy similar numbers/alphabets in a piece of paper separately 
5. Now place the mould shape paper inside the mould and pour some powder or salt or sand on top of it
6. Give a brush, sketch pen and the page with numbers/ alphabets written to your kids 
7. Now, let the kid brush the powder from the mould and discover a number/alphabet; once he does, he should use his other hand to cross out the same number on the other paper placed next to the mould. 
8. This is a super easy activity that you can do at home 
Goals Targeted:-

  • Fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Tactile input
  • Sustained attention
  • Joint attention
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Number recognition
  • Tactile memory
  • Cognition

2. Colorful Rice Sensory Tray

1. Use organic dyes available at home to colour the rice 
2. I used turmeric for yellow colour, beetroot for red, tea leaves for brown ;etc 
3. Soak the rice in water with organic colours and then rinse and dry them out in the sun . Make sure you dry them properly before storing them 
4. Take a Glass Tray and arrange the rice into different colours. 
5. Now, Ask your little one to spread the rice using his/her hands and feel the texture. 
6. Make him/her use the finger to draw various shapes in the rice. 
7. It’s a great way for learning before your child starts writing ; also tactile memory has shown improve learning in the child . 

Goals Targeted:-

  • Fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Tactile input
  • Sustained attention
  • Joint attention
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Number recognition
  • Tactile memory
  • Cognition

3. Soap bubbles

1. Take a plastic bottle. Cut it into half with a scissor. 
2. Now take a mould or glass tray. Use a liquid soap (for better results)/ shampoo/soap + water. Mix both in the tray or mould. 
3. Now take the part of bottle with the mouth open, dip in the water and soap mixture and ask your child to blow in it. 
4. If it doesn’t happen in first attempt, keep trying it; there will be huge soap water bubbles coming out 😍😍😍😍 It’s a Super fun activity and an easy excercise for oral motor skills! 

Goals targeted: –

  • Jaw movement
  • Lip movement
  • Oral musculature exercise

4. Paper Blowing

1. You need colourful paper cut outs 
2. A straw 
3. Mark a border on table using a measuring tape or ribbon 
4. Lay the cut outs on the table in front of the child and ask him to pick up the straw and start blowing in it as to push the paper cut outs towards the border. 
5. The goal is for all cut outs to reach the border line. 
This is an excellent activity to improve your child’s oral-motor skills. 

Goals Targeted: –

  • Jaw movement
  • Lip movement
  • Oral musculature exercise

4. Pillow Balance

1. Stack 2-3 pillows onto each other 
2. Make 4 visual cards. Write “left leg”, “right hand”, right leg” and “left hand” on each of them respectively 
3. Stick them on the floor facing the pillow, with a double tape, in the exact sequence given above. 
4. Now ask your child to climb on the pillow. 
5. He/she has to follow the visual cars from left to right. 
6. While doing so, he/she has to balance the body so as to not fall out of the pillow. A soft mat can be used below the pillows for safety. 
7. Repeat this for 10 counts 
It’s an excellent activity for heavy work, improving balance and coordination and also Motor planning!

Goals Targeted: –

  • Proprioception Input
  • Body Awareness
  • Balance
  • Focus and co-ordination
  • Core muscle building
  • Self-regulation

6. Pillow course

1. All you need for this activity is 2 long pillows. 
2. Make your child stand on one and give the other one in his /her hand to hold. 
3. Now, ask them to place the pillow from their hand down in front of the other pillow and step on it. 
4. Now turn back and pick up the pillow which is behind 
5. Once the other pillow is in your child’s hand, ask them to repeat it! 6. Continue this till your child reaches the end of the room. 
This is a super activity and a nice change in the regular obstacle course.

Goals Targeted: –

  • Proprioception Input
  • Body Awareness
  • Balance
  • Focus and co-ordination
  • Core muscle building
  • Self-regulation

7. Colour Maze Track

1. Join 2 plain white papers 
2. Put colour demarcation on either end with the use of stick on
3. Now, draw a maze leading from one end to another 
4. Use colourful pawns from a board game or coloured coins
5. Ask your child to start the pawns from one end and track them through the other end. 
It’s an amazing activity to work on visual tracking and attention of the child 

Goals targeted: –

  • Visual memory
  • Visual tracking
  • Sustained attention
  • Eye gaze

8. Scanning Activity

1. Write numbers, alphabets or shapes on a paper in a random order making sure each item is repeated sufficient number of times
2. Ask your child to scan or cross out a particular item that u ask him to 
3. This activity is amazing for improving sustained attention and also visual memory as well as tracking 

Goals targeted: –

  • Visual memory
  • Visual tracking
  • Sustained attention
  • Eye gaze

Get started today, and see how wonderfully kids develop with these extremely easy and creative D.I.Y activities! Do leave your feedback and experiences here 😍

Dr. Hetal Dave
Dr. Hetal Dave is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist working in the field of Paediatrics with an experience of over 6 years. She has a special training in treating kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder from Com DEALL, Banglore (2015). She is certified in Hanen’s Early Communication for delay in communication from Hanen’s Centre, Australia (2017). She is also certified in Sensory Integration from the University of Southern California (2018).

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