COVID-19 Tip Sheet # 2
Are you running out of ideas on how to keep your kids busy and entertained?
Try these new DIY activities brought to you by some of our friends online!
To view Tip Sheet # 1 please visit: https://www.smilecan.org/post/covid19-tip-sheet
Sensory Activity Ideas
@shopbeauboxx on Instagram has been posting fun DIY self-care products that are perfect for kids of all ages via Instagram TV (IGTV). This includes videos on DIY jello soap, DIY lip balm, and DIY lush soap. All these recipes are done with common household ingredients so it will be easy to throw together for a night of fun with the family!
The DIY lush soap and DIY jello are both great sensory tools. With the lush soap, the ingredients are similar to the ones in slime except you get a usable end-product, soap! Hands-on and creative activities like these promote neural pathway development and help improve focus.
Rice crispy cereal can be used as a sensory tool as well. Your child can touch it, smell it, squish a few to hear for sounds and scoop it into containers. After this activity, you can use the cereal with a few other ingredients to make a fun no-bake treat, rice crispy squares! This can be an add on activity to promote sensory development by letting your child pour, measure, feel and smell ingredients such as marshmallows and butter. You can also spread out the rice crispy mixture on a baking sheet and use cookie cutters to make shapes in it, and listen for sounds as well as feel the cookie-cutter pushing through the mixture.
You can learn how to make a rice crispy sensory bin here: https://messymotherhood.com/rice-cereal-sensory-tray/
Find a recipe here for the rice crispy squares: http://littlelifeofmine.com/halal-shaped-rice-crispy-treats/
Activities to Work on Fine Motor Skills
@partyzako on Instagram posted free, fun, and easy Ramadan craft downloadables on her website as well as a youtube tutorial on how to put the crafts together. Making these crafts with the kids will help make celebrating at home this Ramadan a little more special. Templates and instructions can be found at www.partyzako.com, and you can find the DIY tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKtH8Y4TPgg&feature=youtu.be
These activities involve cutting with scissors, pasting objects to paper with glue and colouring. Activities like these are great to get the kids engaged in crafting to work on their fine motor skills in a meaningful way while learning about the holy month of Ramadan.
Activities to Work on Gross Motor Skills
Bean bags or pillows to create a tossing game with laundry baskets. Tell your child to stand at a certain distance and then you can keep the basket as close or as far away as you need for your child to get the object into the laundry basket to help them feel a sense of accomplishment. This is vital to their sense of self-esteem as well as their growth. This activity gets your child to move their whole body to reach their target so it’s great for improving gross motor skills. Make sure to cheer for them when they get the object in the basket!
Bean bags are a very versatile tool for play. You can use them in various DIY games to improve hand-eye coordination such as:
Tic tac toe (by creating the grid on the floor with tape or scarves and throwing the object from a certain distance to the desired spot
Knocking down a stack of empty tin cans.
Learn how to make your own bean bags here: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/how-to-make-a-bean-bag-1251122
You can also fill sandwich bags with dried beans/rice to act as a bean bag. Making these bags can be turned into a sensory activity for your child to feel different textures of foods by letting the material flow through their hands into the bag.
Create an at-home bowling game with empty water bottles, solo cups, or tin cans. You can turn this into a craft to work on fine motor skills by decorating the “bowling pins” with paint or construction paper and glue. Once your pins are ready you can let your child stay as close or as far as they need to be from the pins as they need to be.
Another option would be to make sensory bottle bowling pins. Fill empty water bottles with paint, water, clear glue and glitter like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7zp7KbxbKY (but keep them light enough so they can still be knocked down by the ball you plan on using.
Play the floor is lava: tape lines to the floor in zig zags and circles for your child to walk and tell them to make sure they stay on the lines to stay safe from the lava. This is a great way to work on balancing skills.
Working on Communication Skills
Try alphabet-action cards. You can ask your child to repeat after you or tell you an action that starts with that letter. You can then show them the action and ask them to do it. This can also be turned into a game of “Simon Says”. You can access the cards here for free: https://www.themeasuredmom.com/free-alphabet-action-cards/
Collect a bunch of recyclables i.e. tissue boxes, toilet paper/paper towel tubes, cans and cereal boxes to make a tower. Let your child give you instructions on how to build the tower. Letting them explore their creative side is very crucial for healthy development.
Play "house" with your child, let them be the parent and you can be their child. When you play try teaching them different words when talking about different rooms and objects. For example, if your child says “we have to drive the car to the store” say, “yes let's take our vehicle”, and then explain what a vehicle is and ask them to repeat after you.
Resources to Organize Your Home
Tips on how to create a plan and gain some structure at home: https://www.covidwithkids.org/home
Resources to help children with autism get through this tough time can be found here: http://www.macautism.ca/covid-19-resources
CALL SMILE. We are here for you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to get you the assistance needed.
In need of Supplies? Access the Canadian Muslim Response Network (CMRN), a coalition of some of Canada’s leading Muslim civil society organizations https://covid19relief.ca/
We hope you find these tips and activities helpful during this blessed month of Ramadan!
- SMILE Team