As the weather warms up and spring colors come back into our lives, this activity will be sure to brighten your child’s day. All you will need is some construction paper, Fruit Loop cereal, and cotton balls. I also like to add a colorful sensory component before completing this activity. Water beads are some of my favorite ingredients for a tactile bin. You can find them on Amazon for under $10. Or, if you’d rather, pour the remaining cereal into a bin and feel free to use this as your sensory tactile bin!
Water Beads: The night before you would like to use the water beads, pour your desired amount of water beads into a deep container. Then cover the layer of beads with water. The water beads will soak up the water and multiply in size so you will need to be sure you have plenty of room for the beads to grow in your container. You will also need a lid. I had the displeasure of spilling these beads and they are NOT easy or fun to clean up. The water beads become soft, wet, and bouncy. Children love to submerge their hands in the beads and squish them between their fingers to smash them. You can also put some drops of chamomile or lavender oil into the water beads for an extra relaxation effect.
Blue construction paper
Fruit Loop cereal
Optional: tweezers, tongs, small containers/empty egg carton
Place some glue on the bottom left hand corner of the paper. Apply the cotton ball to the glue to form puffy white clouds. Have your child use kitchen tongs to retrieve and release the cotton balls to work on hand strengthening. Once the clouds are attached, draw arches extending out from the clouds – one for each color of the rainbow.
Use an egg carton or individual containers to have your child sort the colors of the cereal. Then glue each piece of cereal to match the colors on your rainbow. Use small tweezers or encourage your child to use their pincer grasp (index finger opposed to thumb while the remaining fingers are flexed into the palm) to retrieve the cereal. This assists with the grasp development and hand separation.
Fine Motor Adaptations:
Use tweezers or tongs to retrieve and release task items to encourage hand and finger strength.
Place a cotton ball in your child’s palm and secure it the cotton ball with their middle finger, ring finger, and pinky to hold it in place. This will help your child to use a refined pincer grasp (index finger opposed to thumb) when picking up items.
Address in-hand manipulation skills by placing one or multiple fruit loops into your child’s palm. Then demonstrate rolling your fingers to translate and move one cereal piece from your palm all the way up to your fingerpad without dropping it. This may be developmentally challenging for younger children (below age 4).
Gross Motor Adaptations:
Practice some ‘rainbow’ yoga poses before beginning the activity. Demonstrate ‘cat-cow’ pose on all fours where your child arches their back like a rainbow or cat for 3-4 seconds then transitions to cow pose with their belly dipping to the floor and eyes and chin lift up to the ceiling. Complete these exercises for 8-10 repetitions, or however long your child tolerates. You can also practice down dog pose and have other children or toys crawl underneath your child’s “rainbow.” See if your child can sustain this weight bearing down dog position for at least 10 seconds to build endurance and strength.
Try completing each color of the rainbow in a different body position to address core strength and stability. Some ideas may be: standing on one foot, tall kneel without supporting your body against a surface, or laying on your belly without putting your chin in your hands. Ask your child to use their imagination to think of their own body positions to make the activity more fun.
Hide small items or fruit loops in the water beads so your child can work on visual discrimination skills to locate different items from the busy colorful background.
Make some shapes or designs on paper using the cereal and ask your child to copy the design on their own piece of paper. This will address visual motor skills needed to copy sentences and items from the board within the school setting.
~Thanks for letting us help you spread your wings!
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