OT Activity of the Day:
Large paper coloring
Target Age Range: 2 and up
I always say children will do what they can. No child wants to upset their parents or their teachers and if they are struggling to complete tasks there is generally an underlying reason they are doing so. When a child comes to OT to work on fine motor skills I already know they are going to avoid these tasks at all costs. So you have to get creative.
I love this activity. All you have to do is buy large brown shipping paper and unroll it on the ground and you're set. The child isn't sitting at a desk so it doesn't feel like work and they are able to use any coloring tool that they want (I didn't put a pencil in here because that can have a negative association if they struggle with writing, however you can also add pens or pencils). If your child choses finger paint, they are focusing on finger isolation. If they want to color with dot markers, they get to work on wrist forearm rotation and fine motor manipulation to untwist the top. If they chose markers or crayons they can practice the "best way" to hold a marker (between the thumb and index finger web space). Your child can color independently at first, then you can challenge them to try different shapes or letters. You can create a town and write street names, you can trace their body and then they can color or draw in their face and clothes, there are so many options!