With Christmas just around the corner, many children and parents are thinking about celebrations and gifts! No matter what your faith or tradition, wrapping paper is ubiquitous with this time of year. Instead of tossing your torn pieces out, try looking at them with an eye for sensory diet fun!
Pattern Punching is a good way to increase fine motor skills and visual awareness.
- Cut a square of wrapping paper that has a clearly defined geometric shape or holiday symbol on it. Place this on a carpet square and give your child a toothpick or wooden skewer. Challenge your child to ‘trace’ the shape by poking small holes into the paper along the shape’s outline. Hold the paper up to the light to see the design come through. If your child is able to handle pins, you can also do this with a pin and corkboard!
Crinkle, Crunch and Find is great for auditory fun.
- Have your child sit or lay with eyes closed. If your child has trouble keeping their eyes closed, you can use a blindfold. Then crinkle and crunch the wrapping paper to the left of your child and to the right, in front and above, etc. Have your child try to identify where the sound is coming from. Then, switch places.
I Spy for more visual fun, play a traditional game of I Spy using a scrap of wrapping paper as the place to find target objects to spy
- Lay several scraps of wrapping paper that are different in design but similar in motif. Ask your child to try and guess not only what object you are describing, but from which wrapping paper sheet
Matching Game for fine motor and visual skills
- Have your child make matching cards. Give your child 12 index cards, glue stick, scissors and some patterned paper scraps. Have your child find two objects within the patterns that are the same, cut these out and glue them each to a different card. This is the first pair of matching cards. Do the same until a full set is made. Then, play games such as Concentration and GO FISH!
Wrapping Paper Obstacle Course For vestibular and Proprioceptive fun!
- Design a wrapping paper obstacle course – Stations in it can include old phone books wrapped in paper and set out as a balance beam, crinkled paper pit to jump in (just use a large box) and a wrapping paper jump. For the jump, tape scraps of wrapping paper to the wall or dangle them on strings from the ceiling and have children try to jump to swat them.