Salt Ice Painting
Happy New Year! Now that we finally seem to be getting a taste of winter as we enter into 2016 with colder temperatures, we wanted to take the time to share some winter-related multisensory activities through our new series of blog posts. We will be giving you a table top activity as well as providing different alterations you can make to the task in order to address fine motor, gross motor, visual, and sensory needs of all children. All the while, using affordable household items as your materials.
Salt Ice Painting
Blue construction paper
Optional: Cooked spaghetti, loofa, q-tips, paintbrush
Kids will enjoy the ultimate tactile experience using their fingers or other tools to splash glue onto paper. For those kids who may be sensory seekers or enjoy wet, sticky textures, they can feel free to use their fingers to manipulate the glue in order to smear, flick, and dab glue onto paper. Those who may enjoy tactile input but not necessarily the sticky textures, try using cooked spaghetti. Hold onto a handful of spaghetti then dip and splash the glue onto paper using the spaghetti ends. Lastly, if kids need to warm up to the idea of using their fingers or a sensory item, start off using a paintbrush, sponge, or loofa to allow them to feel confident using a familiar item first, then slowly offer the idea of trying to use spaghetti or fingers to touch the glue.
Once there is plenty of glue on your paper, it’s time to sprinkle the Epsom salt to give it an icy appearance. Most kids will have to wash their hands before this step if they used their fingers to apply the glue. Encourage kids to use their finger pads to pick up and release the salt onto the paper for fine motor muscle development, rather than taking large handfuls and dumping it onto the glue. Continue until all areas of glue are covered with salt.
Over a trash can or sink, have the kids hold onto the edges of the paper with two hands and shake the paper back and forth in order to ensure all areas of the paper are covered. This tends to be a favorite step, especially when you pair it with your own version of a “shake, shake, shake” tune. Then dump the excess salt.
This is an easy and fun activity that can be repeated again and again as it allows children to be creative with each different design they make!
Fine Motor Adaptations:
Practice writing specific designs, letters, or words/name with a pencil or marker first on the paper, then trace with glue using a q-tip and add salt over the area
Work on finger isolation by using only one finger to touch and apply glue, then move on to the next finger
Use a spoon to scoop and pour salt if having difficulty using finger pads to sprinkle salt
Put Epsom salt into a large bucket along with other items or materials for the drawing (i.e. stickers, cotton balls, gems, etc.). Then tell kids to use their hands to search for a specific item within the bin. This helps to improve their visual discrimination and figure-ground skills
Show children a shape or drawing, depending on their age and skill level, and have them copy/draw the image on their
paper to match your template in order to address visual motor skills
Gross Motor Adaptations:
If using spaghetti, build an obstacle course where your child needs to balance and navigate (go over, under things) while carrying a few pieces of spaghetti across the room to dip into glue at your work station
Increase the difficulty of body positioning when completing a simple step (i.e. when sprinkling salt on paper). Have your child sit in a tall kneel position without support on the floor (on their knees with their bottom off their heels) or lay on their belly on the floor without propping or holding their head up with their hands. Both of these positions will help to improve their postural muscles needed for core strength and stability
~Thanks for letting us help you spread your wings!