When Moms Sneak Chocolate



I hear a crash.


I wait. but there’s no screaming.  There are a few giggles, but nothing that makes me think there is a HUGE mess.  I’m probably wrong about the mess part, but for now, all is good.  I go back to what I was doing a moment before the sound of falling toys.


Ahhh. A big old sip of chocolate syrup.  Strait from the bottle, and strait into my mouth.  There’s no time for spoons and I don’t even move from the cover of the refrigerator door.  It’s my “Mom Time” for today.  It’s my momentary respite from diapers, laundry, sibling brawls, and crashing toys. I’m a closet Chocolate Syrup Junkie.  (Or should that be fridge door Chocolate Syrup Junkie?)


It’s not every day, it’s not even an every week occurrence.  But some days, this mom of four NEEDS a big old swig from the bottle.  The chocolate syrup bottle that is. Some days are two-chocolate syrup swig days!




You know you're a Mom when you sneak chocolate when the kids aren't around.

A mom needs a little moment of indulgence.


You know what I mean, right?  There are schedules, work, homework, soccer practice, laundry, diapers, lost library books, grocery shopping, bills, dentist appointments, minivan oil changes, coffee pot malfunctions (Pleeeeasssse! NOT the coffee pot!), kids fighting…it’s a tornado of things that need done, stuff that needed done yesterday, and matters that need done two days from now.  And there’s no end in sight.


As a mom of four kids aged 8 and under, I know that there are times that I NEED a me moment.  All of those things and stuff and matters build up and…it can get hairy!  My husband tells me all.the.time: “Take a break!  Go out for dinner with your friends! PLEASE GO to a coffee shop!” (He’s an awesome hubby!)


But you know what happens when you night out for dessert with the girlfriends, right? There’s more effort into getting the kids fed, math homework done, and kids prepped, that I’m even more exhausted!  And then when I get home from the evening out…there’s clutter and toys on the floor.  I mean: the kids are cared for, snoring peacefully, and mom is refreshed, but sometimes it’s just easier to stay put for the evening, you know?

 
And I had to try them once I got home, of course.  
 
 
 
Mom tip:  Distract the kids with laundry.  
Kid: “Mom, what are you doing over there?”  
Mom, mouth full of chocolate and caramel: “Laundry, see?”  
*Hold up a stray sock.  Crisis diverted.*
 
You know you're a Mom when you sneak chocolate when the kids aren't around.
 
You know you're a Mom when you sneak chocolate when the kids aren't around.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I’m excited for my next chocolate sneaking “me moment” with Betty Crocker™ Soft Baked Bars.  It sure beats a swig from the chocolate syrup!
 
So tell me.  Do you sneak treats when the kids aren’t looking?  What do you sneak?  And better yet, where do you hide your treats??
 

 

You know you're a Mom when you sneak chocolate when the kids aren't around.

 

 

 

Shop

Welcome to the Shop.  There are so many great products out there and I wanted to put together my favorites.  These are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a percentage of the purchase, at no cost to you.  I do want to say, though that I only share products that I stand behind.  These are books and resources that will be an asset to childhood development, education, and Occupational Therapy goal areas.


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 Visual Processing Problems checklist for school based Occupational Therapists

 

 

Fine Motor Paper Clip Math

This Fine Motor Paper Clip Math idea makes for a great busy bag or calm down time activity.  It’s perfect for indoor playtime and hands-on learning.  Not only that, but it is a great way to work on fine motor skills like thumb opposition.  An open thumb web space is a skill is needed for manipulating items like a pencil or crayon, shoe laces, zippers, buttons, and small objects with an open web space.  Often times, we see kids who have their thumb squashed up against their fingers and the side of their palm when they are writing or manipulating items.  This opposition fine motor activity is a fun way to work on opening up the web space for improved dexterity. 


Thumb opposition activity for fine motor skills needed in pencil grasp, buttoning, shoe tying, and zippers.

Full disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post.  

You’ll need just a two items for this activity: 

Foam Craft Sticks We received ours from www.craftprojectideas.com
Rainbow Paper Clips



I love how the two sets linked above (both affiliate links) are all colors of the rainbow.  Even better for color matching and color recognition for preschoolers!

Paper clip math and learning activity for kids
So, this activity is completely simple to do:  Spread out the paper clips and ask your child to match them up to the craft sticks. 

We worked on a few learning activities with this:
Add the number of paper clips.
Add the total number of paper clips on two craft sticks.
Subtract the difference of the number of paper clips on two craft sticks.
One to one correspondence
More than/less than
Work on color matching and color recognition
Work on fine motor skills.
Use paper clips and foam craft sticks to work on counting, addition, and subtraction as well as color recognition and color matching.


Thumb Opposition Fine Motor Activity 

Using the Foam Craft Sticks makes this activity a real workout for the fingers.  You could use wooden craft sticks that provide more support and are easier to manage.  But, to really challenge the fine motor skills, the foam craft sticks are the thing to use!  They are a little wiggly and require stability of the thenar muscles (muscles of the thumb) to hold the thumb in place as the fingers and the tip of the thumb place the paper clip on the craft stick.  

When opposing, the thumb’s thenar muscles work to oppose the pointer finger during functional tasks.  This is needed for advancing and positioning a pencil when writing, managing a button with ease, and pulling a zipper.  With a closed thumb web space and lateral pinch of the thumb versus true opposition, a child will fumble.

When doing this opposition activity with your child, be sure to verbally prompt them to attend to the bend thumb IP joint, like we talked about in this post
Thumb opposition activity for fine motor skills needed in pencil grasp, buttoning, shoe tying, and zippers.
This is such an easy way to learn and play indoors.  Looking for more indoor play ideas? Try these:

Insect Addition to 100 Free Printable from Life Over C’s


Melted Crayon Science {Phases of Matter} from School Time Snippets


Fine Motor Paper Clip Math from Sugar Aunts


How to Play Mum-Ball: A Game for Indoor Recess from Kelly’s Classroom


Spelling Sensory Sink from Still Playing School


Rubber Band Sling Shot LEGO Car from Preschool Powol Packets

Fine motor color matching and math activity using paper clips and foam craft sticks.
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Thumb opposition activity for fine motor skills needed in pencil grasp, buttoning, shoe tying, and zippers.
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More fine motor activities you will love:

Rainbow Friendship Sensory Calming Bottle

We do love making sensory bottles!  They are a calming sensory tool for visual and proprioceptive input.  Shake a sensory bottle and watch the contents slowly fall for visual sensory input.  There is just something relaxing about watching a sensory bottle.  This rainbow sensory bottle is colorful and packs a fine motor punch when the kids are involved in the making process.


Rainbow sensory bottle

This sensory bottle was super simple to make.  We used just a few materials:


Friendship Thread (Ours was from www.craftprojectideas.com)
Clear body wash
Water
Recycled Bottle
Super Glue
Clear glass marbles




To make the rainbow sensory bottle, first cut the friendship thread into 1-2 inch lengths.  Have your kids fill the bottle with the thread.  This is a great exercise in fine motor skills to work on tripod grasp and neat pincer grasp.  My toddler and preschooler really got into pushing the thread into the bottle.

Once all of the thread has been added to the bottle, pour in about 1/2 inch of body wash.  Amounts are approximate and will vary depending on the recycled bottle you use for your sensory bottle.  Add water to the top.  As you add water, suds will form.  Continue adding water to allow the suds to spill over the top of the bottle.  When MOST of the bubbles have poured out of the bottle, twist on the lid.  Now, give the sensory bottle a big shake.  This is the job for the kids.  Have then shake the bottle to mix in the gel.  Now.  As you shake, more bubbles will form but let them settle.  After the gel and water has mixed, add a couple of the glass gems to the bottle.  These help to mix and stir the rainbow thread within the water-gel combo.  An added bonus of the marbles is an added bit of weight in the bottle.  This gives the sensory bottle some heavy work to the sensory play.  Shaking a bottle that is heavy provides proprioceptive input. 


Want to see more rainbow sensory bottles? 

Rainbow Counting Bears Sensory Bottle | Preschool Inspirations
Simple Rainbow Calm Down Jars | Lemon Lime Adventures
Rainbow Button Sensory Bottle | Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail
Pot of Gold Discovery Bottle | Sunny Day Family
Rainbow Glitter Sensory Bottle | Rhythms of Play

Rainbow Polka Dot Discovery Bottle | Still Playing School

Rainbow friendship thread sensory bottle
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Looking for more sensory bottles?  These are our favorites:




Potty Training with Attention and Behavior Problems

Teaching a child to potty train is a complex task. There are many components that can affect a child’s progression and retention of toileting independence. Parents often times seek out potty training help when they are working on building independence in this functional skill of childhood.  While there are many considerations that go into the developmental progression of independence, attention and behavior are key skills in function.


Today, I’m joining nine other Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in dissecting potty training and all things toileting.  From developmental stages of toileting to the fine motor considerations and potty training tools; we’re talking all things potty training from a therapist’s point of view.


Last month, the Functional Skills for Kids team covered Handwriting, and you can see all of the Handwriting concepts in one place here.


Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


Potty Training Tips and Help for kids with attention or behavior problems




Attention and Behavior considerations in Toileting and Potty Training the Child

Behavior and Potty Training

It is important to note that many times, behaviors that are seen with potty training are a result of potty training starting too soon.  When a child demonstrates behaviors, there is often times, a communication point that the child is trying to get across: Behaviors are many times just information. Other times, behaviors are normal development of a child’s cognitive and imagination.  Children who are potty training might refuse to take time to toilet, make urine or fecal messes on the floor intentionally, throw objects into the toilet, or refuse to use certain bathrooms, among many other behaviors.


It is important to take the behavior objectively and think about the behaviors as information. Information should be viewed objectively and without bias.  A behavior can be viewed as good or bad but in order to address the behavior, it is necessary to figure out the reason behind the behavior.  A child who has tantrums and hits an adult is considered to have bad behavior while a child who attends to a task is considered to have good behavior.  This bias is a perception of behavior.


There are many reasons behind behaviors related to potty training and the act of toileting.  Behaviors may be a result of:


  • Sensory concerns with steps of toileting
  • Fear of going into the bathroom
  • Anxiety as a result loud hand dryers or other sources of over-stimulation
  • Fear of self-flushing toilets
  • Uncertainty of the steps of toileting
  • Difficulty with fine motor or gross motor/positioning needs related to toileting
  • Constipation due to holding output or other physical discomfort
  • Cognitive delays limiting understanding of portions of the toileting process
  • Unfamiliarity with surroundings when using different bathrooms
  • Difficulty with the breakdown of a multiple step task such as clothing management, toileting, and hygiene
  • Inability to communicate effectively
  • Typical development of boundary pushing and expression of language and cognition

These types of difficulties can result in reactions that lead to frustration and tension between the child and adult.  It is important to remember the causes of behaviors throughout the potty training process.

Once there is a potential reason identified for the cause of behaviors related to toileting, examine the behaviors and consider the following questions:
  • What is the child getting or not getting from the behavior?
  • What makes the behavior stop?
  • What makes the behavior continue?
  • What are precursors to changes in the behavior?
  • Does the child withhold toileting breaks to avoid going into the bathroom?
  • Does the child demonstrate cognitive, communication, sensory, fine motor, or gross motor difficulties that might interfere with steps of the potty training process?

One tip to adjust the precursors to behaviors in toileting is to modify the task or simplify the steps that you are asking the child to complete.  Begin where the child is consistently successful. A child who’s anxiety of entering a bathroom prevents further progression of independence may begin with the child walking into the bathroom, and staying in the bathroom for a count of five.  Continue practicing this portion of potty training until there is success.  Then the child will be capable of moving on to other steps of toileting.  Gradual progression of potty training coincides with waiting to begin potty training until the child has shown readiness cues.  


Tips to help with behaviors related to potty training:
Aggressive behaviors might include shouting or physically hitting and might occur suddenly as a result of frustrations perceived by the child.  Other children might become upset in certain bathroom environments like public restrooms.  Still others might overly focus on certain details.  It is important to try and understand what is causing the child to become angry, upset, anxious, or agitated.  Take time to respond:

  • Think about the cause of the aggression or anxiety.
  • Focus on the child’s emotions.
  • Be positive and reassuring.
  • Provide reassurance through calm a voice and phrases.
  • Reduce noise and distractions to help the child relax.
  • Follow the child’s lead.
  • Realize that some behaviors can indicate that the child isn’t ready and they are communicating a lack of readiness through their behaviors.
  • Keep it simple: reduce verbal cues.
  • Boys can sit to pee at first until they get the hang of the physical act of awareness of the urge to urinate and clothing management.
  • Use the same gender roles to make learning easier.
  • Begin potty training when it works for your family time-wise: don’t start potty training during a vacation or when other changes are happening in the household.
  • Also accept that there will never be perfect timing to start potty training.

Attention Considerations in Potty Training

Like the reasonings behind behaviors seen in potty training, children often times have a reason for inattention leading to poor carryover of skills or steps of toileting.  There are certain attention areas that should be achieved by children before attempting to begin potty training. A child should have an attention span that allows them to respond appropriately to verbal instructions when they are given one step verbal cues:

  • Sit down in a chair.
  • Stand up.
  • Walk to another room.
  • Imitate a parent in a simple motor task.
  • Point to body parts when asked.

If a child is not able to attend to these tasks, they may not be ready to begin attention.

Strategies for Helping with Challenging Behaviors and Attention Difficulties during Potty Training 


Tips and help for potty training with behaviors and attention problems like this key chain schedule.
Tips and help for potty training with behaviors and attention problems like this key chain schedule.

Potty Training Schedule

Visual Supports– These might include visual supports are schedules, dry erase boards, and timers.  A schedule can be as basic as a “first-then” cue or complex and including each step of the potty training process. I have created a customized schedule card that can be attached to a key chain and taken to various bathrooms during outings as well as used in the home. Use the steps printable to customize the schedule card to meet the needs of your child.  
How to make a customized potty training schedule for kids:

  • Print the schedule images. Cut out the pictures that work best for your child’s needs.  You can adjust the length or steps of the schedule based on your child.  Changes to potty training schedules should be practiced for at least two weeks before giving up on a specific technique or schedule.
  • Using card stock, cut a 2 1/2″ by 9″ length.  
  • Create  2 1/4″ x 2″ card stock squares for covers.  
  • Fold and tape the covers to the back of a 2″ square card stock.  This will hold the different steps of potty training.  
  • Create a small slit and attach a badge clip. Use this clip-on schedule by attaching to clothing or hang it in a bathroom.



Choices– Incorporate choices into the potty training process.  Choices might include: Do you want to use this restroom or that one?  Do you want to use the paper towel or the hand drier? Do you want to walk or hop into the bathroom?  Choices like these allow the child to feel in control of a situation that has to happen.  Toileting is a task that must occur and the choice that a child makes can sometimes be withholding toileting or purposefully urinating on the floor instead of in the toilet.  


Positive Reinforcement– Positive behaviors can be rewarded to provide feedback to the child with behaviors.  Feedback is the information about the outcome of a response. Internal feedback is the response of the sensory systems in respond to a task.  A child feels better after toileting.  External feedback comes from a source.  In potty training, external feedback might be visual cues or praise from a parent in response to completed tasks.  A reward system is another type of external feedback.  Feedback can be provided after every completed step of potty training, or it can be varied to transition to the end of tasks.  Feedback (like a small food reward) that is given after every step of potty training becomes a crutch.  Positive reinforcement should be transitioned to the end result of toileting, including hygiene, washing hands, and leaving the bathroom in order to help with skill retention.


Initially, a positive reinforcement such as a food or sticker reward should be given immediately after the child does the expected behavior. They can be given the reward every time they complete that part of potty training. Gradually you will increase the steps the child needs to accomplish before earning a reward. Parents should be specific with the behavior that is being reinforced. Say,“I like the way you are sitting on the toilet,” as they are given a tangible reinforcement. 


Reinforcer Chart– A child who is working on multiple steps of potty training or who has moved on from single step positive reinforcement can use a reinforcer chart to earn a small prize after multiple successful attempts at toileting.  The child might earn a toy from a prize bin or a small treat at a store.  This type of reinforcement builds delayed gratification.


Positive Communication- When behaviors arise during potty training, it is important to use effective communication and not respond with criticism to behaviors or inattention.  Also important is avoiding the term “good job” as a reward to accomplishing desired behaviors.  A child might not be successful but tried hard.  Other more appropriate terms include words or gestures for encouragement or suggestions for “next time”.

    Potty Training Tips to Help with Behavior and Attention Concerns:

  • Simplify when teaching new skills.  Break down tasks into smaller, obtainable steps to allow success.  Provide positive reinforcement to each step.  
  • Use stronger reinforcers for more difficult tasks.  This might include holding urine overnight for several nights or continuing potty training skills at different settings outside the home.  
  • Verbal cues are more difficult to fade than physical cues.  Limit the amount of verbal cues once a child has shown success with steps of potty training.  

Stop by and see what the rest of the Functional Skills for Kids team have to say about Potty Training:

Modifications For Potty Training  | Therapy Fun Zone


Resources:
Warwick, T. (2013, February)Effective Strategies for Decreasing Challenging Behavior in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. OccupationalTherapy.com, Article 2174. 


Tips and help for potty training with behaviors and attention problems like this key chain schedule.
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Pre-Writing Lines Handwriting Activity

You know we like to share handwriting activities around here, right?  This Easter egg pre-writing activity is a fun way for young children to work on pre-writing skills in order to build a base for letter formation and pencil control.  While we made this activity an Easter egg-ish shape, you could do this activity any time of year and use any shape to work on pencil control within a confined space.  Preschoolers and Toddlers will love this early handwriting activity!  All of these skills are needed before a child can form letters and work on line awareness in Kindergarten.  If a child is showing difficulty with forming diagonals in letters like “A” or “M”, this would be a fun way to work on building the skill for improved legibility in written work.

Work on pre-writing lines needed for neat handwriting and letter formation with this wikki stix Easter egg (or any time of the year!) pre-writing and pencil control practice activity.




Pre-Writing Lines Handwriting Precursor Activity


This post contains affiliate links.

We used just a few materials for this activity:

Dry Erase Board 
Dry Erase Markers 
Wikki Stix 


 Using THIS Dry Erase Boardworked out great for this activity, because we did the same writing activity on the reverse side, which has a chalkboard. Writing with small pieces of chalk is a fantastic fine motor and intrinsic muscle strengthening activity to work on the fine motor skills needed for endurance in drawing and coloring, as well as the tripod grasp needed for an appropriate grasp on the pencil. A chalkboard surface for drawing lines is much more resistant than a smooth dry erase surface, providing more feedback during line formation. 


 We used these
Dry Erase Markers
for their fine point and colorful selection, which made making these Easter eggs a creative activity, too. My preschooler loved picking out the colors to create patterns. 



 The last item we needed for this handwriting precursor activity was Wikki Stix
. As an Occupational Therapist, I feel like I’m always pushing the benefits of Wikki Stix. The bendable and mold-able sticks are a great fine motor and handwriting tool.  In this activity, I bent one or two wikki stix into an egg shape.  You could also make circles, squares, or any shape for your handwriting task.



Developmental Progression of Pre-Writing Strokes

As a child develops, they are typically able to copy lines and shapes with increasing accuracy.  Here are the general ages of development for pre-writing lines:
Age 2- Imitates a vertical line from top to bottom
Age 2-Imitates a Horizontal Line
Age 2-Imitates a Circle
Age 3- Copies (After being shown a model) a Vertical Line from top to bottom
Age 3 Copies a Horizontal Line from left to right
Age 3- Imitates a Cross 
Age 4- Copies a Cross 
Age 4- Copies a Right and Left Diagonal Line
Age 4- Copies a Square 
Age 4- Copies an “X”
Age 5- Copies a Triangle

The developmental progression of these shapes allows for accuracy and success in letter formation.

Get a FREE Developmental Progression of Pre-Writing Strokes printable HERE

Work on pre-writing lines needed for neat handwriting and letter formation with this wikki stix Easter egg (or any time of the year!) pre-writing and pencil control practice activity.

Easter Egg Pre-Writing Strokes Activity

For this activity, we used the Wikki Stix to right on the dry erase board.  I created egg shaped ovals with the wikki stix. I then showed my preschooler how to draw lines across the eggs to create patterns and designs.  We practiced horizontal lines (going from left to right) and vertical lines (going from top to bottom).  We also added circles within the boundaries of the wikki stix and diagonal lines, too.  
The physical border provided by the wikki stix gave a nice area and cue for pencil control.  Try doing this activity with progressing level of developmental line skill.  You can also work on writing letters inside the wikki stix to build spatial and size awareness in handwriting.

Extend the activity:
Use the wikki sticks to do this activity on paper or a chalkboard.  Other ideas might be using crayons, markers, or a grease pencil for more feedback through resistance and proprioceptive input to the hands. 

Want to see more ways to learn and play with an Easter theme?  Try these from the Kindergarten Team: 



Plastic Egg Hunt Letter Recognition  from Something 2 Offer


Plastic Egg Stacker: STEM Challenge from Our Whimsical Days

Erupting Easter Eggs from Adventures of Adam
Easter Sensory Bottles by Play & Learn Everyday

Religious Easter Coloring Pages:  Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading  


Work on pre-writing lines needed for neat handwriting and letter formation with this wikki stix Easter egg (or any time of the year!) pre-writing and pencil control practice activity.
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Some of my favorite Handwriting activities:




Rainbow Pencil Control Exercises

If you are looking for ways to work on handwriting and pencil control, then you are in the right place.  This Occupational Therapist loves to teach kids handwriting.  Neatness counts when it comes to writing on the lines and being able to read that homework assignment a few hours into the nightly after-school ritual.  Today, I’ve got one easy tip for helping kids to manage with pencil control in order to write on the lines at an age-appropriate speed.

 
This activity is perfect for kids from Kindergarten on up through school-aged.  Anyone who is writing with a pencil and trying to form letters on lines, copy written work, fill in worksheets, and take notes will love this handwriting exercise in pencil control.
Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.


Pencil Control Handwriting Exercises

This post contains affiliate links.
 
This activity is really, so simple.  There is nothing you need more than a pencil and paper.  We pulled out colored pencils to make our handwriting activity into a rainbow of color and to add a visual scanning component.

Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.

Pencil Control Exercises

With this activity, we’re working on keeping the pencil strokes within the lines of a small circle.  Draw a bunch of circles in different colors on a piece of paper.  The circles should be 1/4 inch in diameter.  Ask your child to fill in the circle with the matching colored pencil.  A red circle should be filled in with the red colored pencil.  The objective here is to fill in the whole circle without going over the lines.  Because the circle is so small, filling it in with the colored pencil requires very small muscle movements of the fingers.  A child who uses their wrist or forearm to write (such as a child using a grasp such as the thumb wrap grasp, for example, are over compensating for weakness and lack of endurance of the intrinsic musculature in the hand and utilizing a stabilizing grasp.  This overcompensation does not allow fluid motions of the fingers when moving the pencil in handwriting.  Because the circles are so small, the child can focus more on using the small motor motions to fill in the color.

Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.



Extend this activity to further your child’s fine motor skills and pencil control in handwriting:

  • Ask your child to draw an “X” in each circle, without going over the lines.
  • Ask your child to draw horizontal or vertical lines within each circle, much like we did here.
  • Create a color coding activity: Match one circle color up with another pencil color.  When you call out a color, your child can fill in that colored circle with a different, predetermined colored pencil.  This is a test of visual scanning and quick thinking.
  • Draw larger circles and show your child how to fill them in with strait pencil strokes.
Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.
This rainbow handwriting activity is part of the Rainbow Activities for Kids series.  Find more rainbow activities here:

rainbow activities for kids
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Rainbow Pasta Threading // Play and Learn
Everyday
Rainbow Tinker Tray // Still Playing School
Rainbow Sun Craft // Fairy Poppins
Beginning Sound Rainbows // Playdough to Plato
Rainbow
Marble Painting Process Art
// Preschool Inspirations
DIY Paper Plate Loom: Rainbow Yarn Art // Sugar Spice and
Glitter
Rainbow Sight Words // The Kindergarten Connection
Simple Rainbow Sensory Bottle for Kids // Coffee Cups
and Crayons
Roll a Rainbow // The STEM Laboratory
Try these pencil control handwriting exercises to work on writing in lines with the small muscles of the hands for more accuracy with lines, legibility, and speed when writing.
Looking for more handwriting ideas?  Here are some of my favorites:

Rainbow Math Popsicle Stick Hundreds Chart

This Rainbow math activity used popsicle sticks to make a hundreds chart and was perfect for my kindergarten and second grade kiddos.  (And, it would be a nice hands-on math activity for first grade, too.)  Combining numbers into groups of ten and those tens into hundreds is a math concept that is so important for so many math concepts.  We worked on fine motor skills to build the tens columns and combined them into hundreds to work on a few math skills.


This was such a fun rainbow activity for the season, but this activity could definitely be used year-round.


Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!


Rainbow Math Popsicle Stick Hundreds Chart

 
You’ll need just a few materials for this math activity.  (This post contains affiliate links.)

(A punch like this one is perfect for building gross hand grasp strength. BUT, if you want this crafting project to move by faster than a snail’s pace, use a 3 Hole Punch. It’s perfect for working proprioception to the arms.  Fold paper into columns and slide it into the punch to get a bunch of holes punched at once.

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

To make rainbow  math counter sticks:
Punch a ton of holes from the white paper.  Swipe the glue along the craft sticks and count out ten holes from the white paper. This is a super counting activity for kids to practice counting ones and grouping into tens.  The fine motor work going on here is fantastic, too.  Picking up those itty bitty paper holes is a precision grasp workout.  Punch extra holes from the colored construction paper.  

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

 

And, you’re done!  Practice counting the numbers using the tens craft sticks.  Arrange them into groups of ten sticks to create a hundreds chart.  

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

Use this activity for a variety of hands-on math activities:

  • Build two and three digit numbers
  • Practice addition with and without regrouping using the manipulatives as counters.
  • Practice subtraction with and without regrouping using the craft stick manipulatives.
  • Build a two or three digit number and ask your child to name the number.
  • Ask your child to name a number and then build a two or three digit number.

Looking for more ways to learn with rainbows?  

Rainbow learning activities for kids

 

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

Our favorite math activities:


Regrouping double digit math

Outer Space Regrouping Maze


Regrouping Tips and Tricks

How would you play and learn with this rainbow math popsicle stick hundreds chart?