I promised you a cute gift box for your holiday ornaments. Here is a template just for you. Have the child color the pictures, maybe even decorate with stickers. Then, cut along the thick, black lines for both sheets of paper. Using bilateral coordination skills, have the child fold the paper INWARD on all the dotted lines. Place the two templates together, glue the designated areas. Hole punch the 4 holes at the top, and then tie some yarn or ribbon on to make handles. TADA a homemade gift box!
One of my favorite things about working with school age children is being able to do fun things for the holidays. Maybe I missed my calling as a camp counselor, but in any event, there are so many *wonderful* fine motor holiday projects out there. This year, many of my students had goals for shoe tying. So, I found this really adorable Christmas-y project - made solely by tying knots! Perfect!
Shoe tying is a tricky skill. It requires fine motor precision to hold and manipulate the laces; bilateral coordination and motor planning skills to move the fingers of each hand in different directions to tie the knot and bow; and visual perceptual skills to understand the front lace, the back lace and concepts like "around, under, through". Kids are very easily discouraged I've found - even my little guy who's motor skills are age appropriate. I've had success with teaching how to tie a knot, then giving the child tons of positive experiences by "tying" (a knot) all by themselves before moving on to the more challenging bow. This is a great project to master knot tying.....
Here's what you'll need:
1. Green yarn (I used dark green and kelly green to make it a little more festive)
2. Pipe cleaners
3. Small items for decorating (I used small gems, but glitter glue, puffy paint, sequins, small buttons or anything like that would be fine too
4. Elmers glue
6. Scotch tape
Here's what you do:
1. Cut your yarn (or have your little one cut your yarn) into string about 3-4 inches long. (Go on the longer side for kids that have poor fine motor control or precision, this will give them more surface to work with)
2. For your younger kids, tape the pipe cleaner vertically on a table top at the top and bottom to keep it stable.
3. Lace one string under the pipe cleaner, then using the two ends, tie a knot around the pipe cleaner.
4. Repeat this process until you have covered the length of the pipe cleaner. You will probably have to slide the knots upward to fill in all the spaces.
5. Pull the tape of the ends, and twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together to make a circle.
6. Use scissors to trim the ends of the knots, so that the string is about 1/2 inch long (an adult will probably need to do this to make it look even around the whole circumference).
7. Using Elmer's glue and your decorations, make your wreath look festive!
Stay tuned for a cute color, cut and assemble gift bag for your ornament, as well as a tear-jerker card, of course! For more holiday fine motor activities, check out my Pinterest page....
Amanda Atkinson MS; OTR/L
Just your average Type-A mom & overzealous Occupational Therapist