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Q-Tip Painting: A Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development Activity

My youngest son went back to occupational therapy this week.

After one session, I am 100% sure we will not be going back.

It’s a long story and one that I am sure to write a post about. The short version is that it was about as appropriate for a 12-year-old boy as dropping him off in a toddler class at the local daycare.

Q-Tip Painting Activity: Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development~Q-Tip Painting: A Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development Activity. Occupational therapy can happen at home! Perfect activity for strengthening fine motor. | Not the Former Things

As I write this, it’s Friday and we have yet to do our activity together for the week. So, I thought for this Friday Fun-Day, I would share what we are going to do a little bit later on today, when I have had a little bit more coffee.

You may recall the Australian Deadliest Creatures unit we completed last year.  In it, we created all different types of dangerous creatures and used Q-tips to simulate aboriginal art. 

qtip painting

Why Q-Tip Painting?

You may be asking, what does this project have to do with our ill-fated OT appointment?

Well, the only reason we were there in the first place was to work on strengthening my son’s fine motor skills and hand muscles (to help improve dysgraphia). An added goal was to help ease some of the sensory overwhelm he feels when holding and moving a pencil.

As I drove home from the disastrous session, I tried to think of how we could easily accommodate these needs at home, and in ways that are much more likely to result in him actually learning.

Thus, today’s activity was born.

Q-Tip Painting Activity: Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development

Friday Fun-days: 52 weeks of Easy For Mom Activities

What you need for this activity:

Q-tips

Washable paint (any kind works although I think for today, we might try watercolors in addition to our usual kid paints)

Heavy printer paper, watercolor paper or cardstock

Picture Templates (totally optional, but might be fun to try to easier for the perfectionist child)

Friday Fun-days: 52 weeks of Easy For Mom Activities

Q-Tip Painting: A Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development Activity

The idea is simple.

Your child uses the q-tips to “paint” using dots to form the most of the art work.

Rather than starting with a blank page, which can be super overwhelming (even for me!) I like to print out a template of whatever my kiddo is interested in and then paste it to a more colorful background.

My son then fills in the black template with colorful dots of his own choosing.

In practice, it looks like this –

Q-Tip Painting Activity: Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development

And this…

Q-Tip Painting Activity: Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development

This exercise accomplishes both goals we have for him in occupational therapy. It allows him to practice fine motor skills in an age appropriate and fun activity. It also helps to strengthen his tolerance for sensory input in his hands. 

If you’d like to see what we end up creating, I will post pictures this weekend on Instagram. If it goes really well, I may also provide an update here next week.

Wishing you a very Happy Friday!
Shawna

UPDATE:

Now that we have completed the exercise, I can tell you it definitely met the goal of fine motor practice and sensory input. Plus, it was a kind-of calming activity that was not perceived as babyish or demeaning.

Q-Tip Painting Activity: Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development

Q-Tip Painting Activity: Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development

Q-Tip Painting Activity: Fine Motor and Sensory Skill Development

 


For More Resources And Ideas:

DIY Strategies For At Home OT

Occupational Therapy At Home

100 Sensory Activities For All Ages

 

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One Comment

  1. Great idea!! I’ve done this in a preschool seeing before but never thought to do it at home as a sensory activity. My 11 year old has SPD and poor fine motor skills so I think we’ll be giving this a go ourselves. Thank you!

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