Holiday Archives | Play It Forward Therapy
Flag Cookie

Flag Cookie

This 4th of July Flag Cookie is a sweet way to celebrate Independence Day!  Learn how to make these miniature Flag Cookies by watching the video tutorial.  Hope you have a blast celebrating the 4th! ?

Have your kids write out these simple directions on the Free Printable Flag paper (See link at the end of the post).

Steps to make the Flag Cookie Craft

  1. Spread the frosting.
  2. Add the blue frosting.
  3. Put on the stars.
  4. Trim and add the stripes.
  5. Add the flag pole.

Enjoy!

VIDEO TUTORIAL

To make a smaller version, use a quarter of a graham cracker square instead of half.

Check out the 4th of July Free Flag Paper and Writing Prompts post.  Click Here.

Bird Nest Cookie

Bird Nest Cookie

Bird Nest Cookie Recipe

Welcome spring with this adorable bird nest cookie!  Practice dexterity skills to build the nest with chocolate “mud” and crunchy “twigs”.  These tiny “tweets” are sure to please at your next spring time or Easter gathering…

 Here’s what you’ll need

  • Nilla wafer cookie
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Jelly beans or mini chocolate eggs
  • Chow mein cracker noodles

Pro Tips

  • Kids can practice spreading with a knife.
  • Using two hands to hold the tiny noodles is great for fine motor skills.

Improve Fine Motor Coordination:

  • 2 hand use:  This craft requires bilateral hand coordination, such as breaking the noodles to make the nest.
  • Utensil use:  Spreading the frosting is great practice and will come in handy when it’s time to pack sandwiches for lunch!

Too easy? Increase the challenge!

    • Have the child pick up the jelly beans using thumb and pointer finger while keeping the other fingers tucked in.
    • Make multiple cookies for repetition and skills practice.

Write out the recipe.

STEP 1:  Spread the frosting on the flat side of the cookie.
STEP 2:  Break the noodles and build the nest.
STEP 3.  Put the eggs in the center.
STEP 4.  Enjoy your spring “tweet”!

Or use gluten free pretzels and cookies.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

Looking for other ways to celebrate spring?  Enjoy spring time blooms and read more about the sensory processing and fine motor benefits of garden activities.
Rainbow Veggie Snack

Rainbow Veggie Snack

How’s your luck with getting your kids to eat vegetables?

Our feeding therapists love this colorful Rainbow Snack because it gets kids interacting with veggies in a novel way.   You can make these veggie topped crackers at home too.  Talk about the colors, the textures and most importantly, have fun making these bite sized rainbows and lucky horseshoes!  This snack will add a pop of color to your St. Patrick’s Day nibbles  Who knew eating vegetables could be so fun?!

 Here’s what you’ll need

  • Crackers
  • Cream cheese or your favorite cracker spread
  • A variety of vegetables: mini bell peppers, celery, purple sweet potato. chives, cilantro
  • Other suggestions include small cucumbers, baby rainbow carrots, radishes etc
  • Tools:  Dull knife or spreader, kid sized scissors

  Make it!

STEP 1:  Cut the peppers width wise.
STEP 2:  Spread the cream cheese on top of the cracker.
STEP 3.  Cut the pepper rings in half and trim.. Arrange your veggies in a rainbow shape.
STEP 4.  Place veggies upright or laying flat on the cracker.

STEP 5.  Sprinkle herbs.  Add cream cheese clouds to the sides of the rainbow.

Pro Tips

  • Kids can practice using scissors to snip and trim their veggies.
  • Use “pincher” fingers to sprinkle herbs on top.
  • For the creamy clouds: Use a sandwich bag and fill with a few tablespoons of cream cheese. Push the cream cheese into the corner, twist and secure with a clip.  Snip the corner and pipe creamy clouds onto your cracker.

What does your rainbow taste like?

Skills Addressed

Fine Motor

  • 2 hand use:  This craft requires bilateral hand coordination, such as holding scissors to cut with one hand while stabilizing the herb (e.g. chive) with the other hand.
  • Grasp strength: Squeezing the bag of cream cheese is good for strengthening the hands and practicing how to grade the amount of force used.  Squeeze the cream cheese bag too hard and too much comes out, too little and your clouds will look deflated.
  • Utensil use:  Spreading the frosting is great practice and will come in handy when it’s time to pack sandwiches for lunch!

To increase the challenge

  • Have the child mix their own cracker spread by adding herbs or cheese sprinkles into the cream cheese.
  • Make multiple cookies for repetition and skills practice

Other modifications

  • Consider subbing ingredients to make it dairy and gluten free.
  • Make your own homemade cracker spread.
  • Use a rocker knife or adapted scissors to cut up the veggies.  Pre-slice the veggies in advance.
  • Use this as feeding therapy game, experimenting with different textures to improve sensory processing, particularly tactile tolerance for wet textures vs dry textures, soft vs crunchy.
Ready for dessert?  Check out our leprechaun sized Pot O’Gold Cookie Craft.
Christmas Car Wash

Christmas Car Wash

Kids will absolutely LOVE this scooter board obstacle course or “Christmas Car Wash”.  Lie down on your tummy and propel yourself forward through the tunnels of tinsel!

Collect the gift bows to put on the presents waiting for you at the end of the car wash!

As you come across the a gift bow, pick it up, then push up your arms to place the bow under your chest.  This requires upper body and arm strength as well as weight shifting from one arm to the next, strengthening the shoulder girdle and core muscles (trunk, back and abdominals)

Your child will enjoy this motor planning challenge as he or she figures out how to move forward using their arms as well as sequencing multiple steps to collect the items as they propel through the car wash

Other ways to play

  • Crawl through the tunnel
  • Spread the tunnels farther apart for a longer car wash

Skills Addressed

  • Upper extremity weight bearing
  • Core strength
  • Motor planning
  • Sequencing
  • Tactile tolerance for light touch on the back while navigating through the tunnels

To increase the Challenge

  • Use the arms only to self-propel.
  • Lengthen or shorten the distance from start to finish.
  • Add 10+ objects to pick up (10 repetitions)

To Modify and Make It Easier

  • Shorten the distance.
  • Have fewer objects to pick up.
  • Allow the child to push with both hands and feet while lying on their tummy.  Or self-propel with hands while sitting in a kneeling/quadraped position.
  • Allow the child to crawl through the tunnels, notice if they are crawling using reciprocal movements.  Are they using reciprocal movements by alternating opposite arm and leg (this is what we want)?  Or are they crawling with the same side (right arm and right leg) at the same side to propel forward?

DIY CAR WASH

MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE A SCOOTER BOARD “CAR WASH”

Note:  I recommend making 4 to 5 tunnels for a longer scooter board track.

For 1 Tunnel use 3/4″ PVC pipe and connectors

  • 3-  24″ long pieces of  PVC pipe
  • 2-  Elbow joint connectors (90 Degree)
  • 2- 3 way connectors
  • 4- 12″ long pieces of PVC pipe
  • 4- end caps
  • Optional: PVC glue
  • Garlands

Check out this Valentine Themed scooter board video for more winter holiday fun!

Hanukkah Cookies

Hanukkah Cookies

HANUKKAH TREATS

These miniature Menorah Cookies are a sure way to brighten your next Hanukkah celebration.  These edible Dreidels are a tasty spin-off from the traditional Hanukkah game and a fun way to improve fine motor skills.

If you’re looking for more savory than sweet, use your pincher fingers and fine motor skills to make a cheese and pretzel menorah.  Add a side of apple slices and oranges, and you’ll have a balanced snack to keep you fueled through the festivities!

Pro-Tip:  Use these activities to practice some handwriting over the holidays.  Write out the steps.  Have kids copy the recipe before assembling the snacks.  It’s excellent practice for sequencing and following multi-step directions.

For older children, have them make the snacks first, then write each step in sequential detail for how they made it. Encourage self-checking their work to make sure that others can read and understand what they wrote.  Either way it’s a novel way to get in some handwriting practice during the winter break.

 

בתיאבון!

Dreidel Treat

Ingredients:

  • 1 large marshmallow
  • 1 pretzel stick
  • 1 Hershey chocolate kiss
  • White frosting
  • Sprinkles

Directions:  Watch the video below!

Menorah Cookie

Ingredients

1 sandwich cookie (Double Stuff Oreos work well)

  • Pretzel sticks
  • Candy melts
  • Orange food coloring
  • Vanilla frosting

 Cheese & Pretzel Stick Menorah

Ingredients

  • Babybel Cheese
  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • Cheddar cheese dip

Serve apple or orange slices on the side for a healthy snack

 

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