Group activities are a great way of stimulating appropriate social skills. They provide opportunities for turn-taking, sharing, communicating and following rules. The activities listed here also focus on development and physical well-being.
Activities to stimulate eye-hand coordination and ball skills:
- Beach/Park mini-golf: Use beach spades or plastic golf clubs to hit the golf ball. Set up your course with features made from the paper cups and shoe box. You can cut the ends out of the shoe box and make a tunnel to hit your golf ball through, and the cups can be used as a hazard too.
- Play tenpin bowling using a ball and some old cold drink bottles that can be knocked down.
- Balloon volleyball: create a net by tying a piece of string to 2 different points. Try to hit the balloon over the net and not let it touch the ground.
- Blanket throw and catch: Each child holds a corner of a blanket. Place a plastic ball or a soft toy in the centre and then lift the blanket to toss the object into the air. As the object falls down, try to catch it using the blanket. You can move around to catch the object if needed.
Activities to stimulate balance and gross motor skills:
- Jumping rope games.
- Obstacle courses: Set up different courses in the house or garden using chairs to climb over, tables to crawl under, cushions to crawl over and rope to jump over.
- Sled races: Have one child pull another child on a blanket around the floor (just make sure that there aren’t any dangerous objects in the proximity).
Activities to encourage fine motor skills and tactile stimulation:
- Draw a very large picture on a big sheet of paper. Give each child a section to colour in.
- Baking groups: make simple things like Marie biscuit faces, fruit skewers or cookie pizza’s (coat a large biscuit with glace icing and then add sweets like Smarties and Jelly Tots).
- Have races using tweezers and small beads or small squashed up pieces of paper. See who can pick up the most in one minute.
Activities to encourage creativity and imaginary play:
- Build forts with boxes, pillows and blankets.
- Play games with themes e.g. firemen, doctors, teachers etc.
- Go on adventures e.g. to space or in the jungle.
Activities to encourage perceptual and cognitive skills:
- Bingo: using numbers, letters or simple animal pictures.
- Play the memory game where each person has the chance to turn over two cards in an attempt to find the matching pairs.
Written By Tamaryn Hunter – BSc. (Occupational Therapy – Occupational Therapist)