Summer offers families a break from school and an amazing opportunity to be outside and grow together. Enablr Therapy has created a three-blog series that offers suggestions for fun-filled family activities that can be done outside. Each blog will focus on a different aspect of development and suggest activities that embrace the summer fun!
This particular blog offers ideas from some of Enablr’s therapists for improving fine motor skills and exploring different sensory experiences. Enablr’s therapists make therapy fun! Contact us to learn more!
Sidewalk chalk, water play, gardening, building sand castles, and making sandwiches for picnic lunches are all great summertime fine motor and sensory activities! Below are some additional suggestions for extra special family fun!
Painted Garden Rocks
Give your garden and flower beds a splash of pizzazz with painted garden rocks! Work on writing and drawing skills without pencil and paper as you create rocks to label your garden plants or just add playful fun. You can even host a rock hunt game in your yard for the neighborhood kids!
Your family may also want to participate in The Kindness Rock Project.
For tips on painting and sealing rocks for the great outdoors, check out Rock Painting 101.
Cup Marshmallow Shooters
This inexpensive and easy to make marshmallow shooter made from disposable cups or cylindrical food containers, large balloons, and tape works on pinch strength. They are designed to require the kids to pinch the balloon knot to pull it back when launching mini-marshmallow high into the air. Create a challenge to see how many times in a row you can catch an airborne marshmallow!
Visit the Raising Dragon’s Cup Marshmallow Shooter article for construction instructions.
Kinetic Sand (Moldable Sand)
Building a sand castle is fun. However, building a sand castle with moldable sand is even more fun! Keep the mess outside as kids enjoy the sensory experience and practice their drawing, carving, and cutting skills while strengthening their grip and pinch.
Check out HGTV’s Have a Beach Day at Home with this DIY Moldable Sand article for directions.
Pool Noodle Sailboats
From fine motor skills needed to cut sails and assemble the boat to the sensory experience of interacting with the foam and water, the pool noodle sailboats create summertime fun that can be used over and over again.
For materials list and assembly directions, see 30 Seconds’ Pool Noodle Crafts post.
Pinecone Bird Feeder
Summer is a great time to observe nature. Make these simple pinecone bird feeders with peanut butter or lard and birdseed. Practice spreading with a knife, tying, and picking up the small seeds with just your fingertips. Enjoy watching the birds on a cool summer evening!
For directions on how to create a pinecone bird feeder, go to Red Ted Art’s Pine Cone Crafts- Bird Feeder.
Suncatcher Sensory Bags
Exploring colors, lights, and textures is easy with these sensory bags made with hair gel and food coloring. Kids can practice writing letters or drawing using their pointer finger and watch the color change as the two primary colors mix.
Follow Growing a Jeweled Rose’s Sun Catcher Sensory Bags directions.
Water Sidewalk Painting
Young children love to pretend to do grown up jobs! Give them a bucket of water, paintbrushes, and spray bottles to release their inner Picasso. Finally, they can cool off while practicing writing and drawing skills on the sidewalk, driveway, or fence!