Developmental “Quarantivities”

Simple Activities To Support Development Using Household Items

Has this quarantine exhausted all of your efforts to entertain your toddler or school-aged child? Looks like we may be quarantined for a bit longer, so here are some ways to develop fine motor, gross motor, and sensory processing skills and help your little ones stay regulated using common household items. No need to venture out to the store as you probably have most of these items readily available in your home!

Fine Motor

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  • Push toothpicks, small skewers, or q-tips into the holes of empty spice jars
  • Put straws, pipe cleaners, or uncooked spaghetti noodles into the holes of a strainer turned upside down
  • DIY playdoh (see recipe here) – pinch it, squeeze it, roll it, splat it, play hide & seek with small items (*BONUS* great for self- regulation, too!)
  • Make slots in the lid of an empty container (e.g. coffee tin) and place coins through the slots
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  • Help peel an orange or tangerine
  • Use tweezers or tongs to pick up cotton balls or other small items
  • Water plants or “clean” windows using a spray bottle
  • Tear paper into small pieces–a prerequisite for cutting skills– and place the pieces to form shapes or letters
  • Make a dry erase board with aluminum foil on a cookie sheet to practice pre-writing/writing
  • Use paint brushes to “paint” (using water, of course) the house

Sensory/Self-Regulation

  • Create your own sensory bin (click to see how-to video)
  • Fill a laundry basket with some toys (or their younger sibling) and have them push and pull it around the room
  • Stack canned goods or have them help you put canned goods in the cupboards
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  • Place couch cushions or pillows on the floor (think obstacle course) with a puzzle board on one end and puzzle pieces on the other end –have them grab one piece, climb over the cushions and place it in the board, crawl back over the cushions to get another piece, and repeat
  • Chair push ups
  • Self-hugs or bear hugs from mom and dad
  • Play with shaving cream– draw shapes or write letters/words with their fingers
  • Pillow squishes– have them lay between 2 pillows or cushions and give them “squishes” for proprioceptive, calming input

Gross Motor Skills

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  • Yoga poses
  • Climb, crawl, or walk over couch cushions or pillows to build upper body strength or improve balance
  • Change positions during play! Improve core strength by doing activities in tall kneel or half kneel
  • Toss/catch a ball
  • Go outside! Run, jump, spin, crawl, and roll through your yard–no equipment necessary!
  • Hopscotch
Hopscotch Stock Photos And Images - 123RF

There are so many different modifications you can do with these materials and activities! Need more ideas? Contact me!

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