Valentines Day is a sweet reminder to celebrate love and friendship! The kids at the clinic love these friendship themed activities that can be practiced all year round. My kids and I host an annual Friendship Party to get to know classmates better or to reunite with friends they haven’t seen for a while.
These Friendship Party ideas are a throwback to the classic party games I remember as a kid (e.g. Pin the Tail On The Donkey, BINGO, Twister). I’ve added my own “OT spin” on these classic games and carefully chosen activities that will incorporate sensory-motor and/or social skills practice.
Developing Sensory Motor Skills
The activities you’ll see in the video are perfect practice for a wide range of developmental skills. The highlighted activities address key areas of development such as:
- Social skills, waiting, taking turns
- Sustained attention & following directions
- Body awareness and personal space
- Reading or listening to a book about making & keeping friends
When it comes to social skills, it’s super important to teach kids how to make friends, how to be a good friend and how to keep friends.
Having kind and trusted friendships is essential to feeling connected and content in life… which is true for kids and grownups alike.
Playing these games is a fun way to practice listening, waiting, taking turns and following the group plan.
This collection includes our most beloved occupational therapy ideas that can be used for your next party or social skills group!.
Kiss The Frog
Enjoy this updated Valentine Version party game inspired by the classic game of “Pin The Tail on the Donkey”.
Supplies: White and green poster board, black pen, red, pink and yellow paper, scissors, glue stick, double sided tape, sleep mask or scarf for the blindfold.
Draw a frog on green poster board, cut out and glue onto the white poster board. Cut out lots of lips and stick double sided tape onto one side.
Each player is blindfolded and spun in a circle. The number of spins matches how old you are. Then ready, aim, kiss!
Using your sense of touch and body position, where will your kiss land?
Look and listen carefully.. Can you find a match on your board? Whoever gets 5 in a row is the winner! Will it be you?
Supplies: Bingo boards and markers
Bingo is a fun way to work on sustained attention, listening and visual perceptual skills to match the game piece with your board.
Picking up the game pieces to mark your spot refines a “pincer grasp” (index finger and thumb).
Play to win: Pencils, stickers or chewing gum make great OT approved prizes!
Here’s of my favorite books about kindness. It teaches kids how everyone has an invisible bucket full of thoughts and feelings.
We can fill other people’s buckets with good thoughts and feelings… Or sometimes we may dip from another person’s bucket.
It all depends on the choices we make and what we say or do.
It gives kids another way to think about their actions and how they impact how others feel and how they feel about themselves.
A good question to ask your child, “Do you think that _____ was a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?
How do you think that made ______ feel?”
Bucket Filling Craft
This cute and colorful craft is a sweet reminder of how kindness builds friendships and helps us get along with others.
Plus, it’s excellent practice for fine motor skills too.
Supplies: Clear plastic cups, fuzzy wire or ribbon, tape, markers, confetti, sequins, small plastic hearts or erasers.
Check out the video for how to make this Bucket Filling Craft to remind kids how to be “Bucket Fillers”.