by Amy Bumgarner, OTR/L
What is it that’s so special about homework? Why do younger children beg to “do school” just like their older siblings? Well, from a little one’s perspective, homework really is a pretty big deal. Think about it. When your older child is doing “homework,” he or she is doing something new and important. Students doing homework get to sit in a special place (the kitchen table or maybe a desk), get to use special tools (notebooks and pencil pouches and scissors and books that aren’t storybooks), and earn plenty of praise and attention.
You can create a similar environment for younger children, letting them feel important and busy doing their own special “school work,” while letting your older children focus on their own. Consider some of these “special” activities recommended by the occupational therapists at Fundanoodle, which will help your little ones develop the fine motor skills they’ll need for “big” school:
• Finger painting without the mess – Squirt finger paint in gallon size zipper bag. Let the child make fun designs.
• Sorting – Collect various trinkets from the dollar store and allow your child to sort them into various containers
• Egg Carton Fun – Great for sorting and matching pompoms, stickers and of course, plastic Easter eggs, egg cartons can be used year round. Try filling the plastic eggs with surprises, and coloring the “holes” in the carton to match the colors of the eggs.
• Sticker Fun – Stickers are a great fine motor activity and keep a child busy creating collage and decorating.
Stay tuned for more suggestions in next week’s Therapist Thursday!