Paper Icicle Template for Scissor Skills

Looking for quick winter craft that builds skills? This paper icicle template is an icicle craft that kids will love! Use it to hang and decorate a window alongside some paper snowflakes for a wintery scene. Inspired by our icicle activity, this template is easy to use for visual motor skill development. Whether you are working on scissor skills or just want an activity to keep the kids busy, this icicle craft is the way to go!

Paper icicle craft template

Paper icicle template

Ice Ice Baby!

If you live where it is cold, winter seems here to stay. If you live in one of these frozen territories by choice, fate, obligation, finances, or bad luck, you might as well make the most of it.  Use this cold and blustery weather to create another winter themed lesson plan. Let’s talk icicles!

When working with kids, it can be fun to pull out some interesting facts. These make great talking points, but for the students working on handwriting, they can spark a writing prompt idea too.

Icicles can grow at the rate of .39 inches (1 cm)  per minute.  Once the base is formed, each water droplet drips to the bottom of the cone where it freezes. Icicles can be lovely to look at, or be dangerous.  From a homeowner perspective, the icicle can form because of a blockage in the gutter preventing water runoff. Did you see that scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas where the icicle rockets off the roof into the neighbor’s house?  Funny/not funny. 

The icicle gurus have created and entire Atlas cataloging icicles, saving images, and gathering all of the fun facts surrounding them:

Lucky for you, the OT Toolbox has designed a safe alternative to live icicles falling off of a building impaling someone or something. How about this icicle craft activity printable template for creating a multitude of fantastic activities for learners of all ages?

Add this paper icicle activity to your line up of winter occupational therapy crafts.

While there are endless possibilities for using this icicle template, the best one of course is GLITTER!!  This project screams for glitter.  Who doesn’t love glitter? (custodians, that’s who).  

Beyond just using fabulous glitter, there are many skills that can be engaged using this icicle template:

  • Scissor skills: this can be graded up or down depending on the level of your learners.
  • Small toddler scissors are just right for tiny hands. 
  • Thicker lines are easier to cut on than thinner ones
  • Larger shapes are easier than their smaller counterparts
  • Stiff paper is easier for cutting and holding than regular copy paper
  • Self opening or loop scissors are another way to make cutting easier for those learning to cut, or lacking the intrinsic hand muscles to open and close scissors.  
  • Did you know left handed people cut in a clockwise direction while their right handed friends cut counter-clockwise?  This allows the helper hand to support the paper adequately while cutting.
  • See this article on developing scissor skills.
  •  Kinesthetic awareness – This means learning by doing.
  •  Hand strength and dexterity – staying on the lines builds hand muscles and develops muscle control. 
  • Coloring and decorating: can incorporate copying from a model, creating an original design, following a pattern, creating a sensory experience, accuracy, neatness, and following directions
  • Visual motor skills –Combining what is seen visually and what is written motorically.  This takes coordination to be able to translate information from visual input to motor output. Coloring, drawing, counting, cutting, and tracing are some visual motor skills.
  •  Visual Perception – Developing figure ground to see where the lines are for drawing and/or cutting.  Many young learners do not notice the black line as a border for cutting and coloring. Try highlighting this in different colors to help it stand out from the background.
  • Strength – Core strength needed for sitting, shoulder/elbow/wrist stability, finger strength, and head control all play their role in visual motor tasks.
  • Bilateral Coordination – Be sure your learner uses their helper hand for stabilizing the paper while using their dominant hand for writing/coloring/cutting.
  • Social/Executive Function – Following directions, turn taking, task completion, orienting to details, neatness, multi-tasking, attending to task, and impulse control can be addressed using this paper icicle template

The beauty of being able to modify and adapt this and all activities, is they can be made appropriate for many levels of learners from basic to more advanced. You do not have to reinvent the wheel for every learner on your caseload.  With its adaptability, you can quickly make changes if your learner is functioning at a different level than you expected. This is critical as many treatment plans do not go as expected.

Other ideas for modifying this icicle template craft printable:

  • Cut the items out ahead of time for younger learners who are focusing on coloring and gluing
  • Laminate a few triangles to use as tracing patterns. Tracing around an object builds bilateral coordination.
  • Create patterns for your learners to follow
  • String together to make an icicle garland, working on lacing/hole punching/sequencing, and following directions
  • Make into a matching activity once several icicles are made.  They can be matched by size, color, or design
  • Pin onto a bulletin board or wall to work on coloring on a vertical surface. 
  • Work on the floor while learners are lying in prone
  • Add a gross motor element of having to find all of the triangles and bring them to the table
  • Make this a social activity by having learners share materials
  • Add large pom poms or scrunched up paper on the top of the icicles for a 3d effect
  • Add glitter and sparkles to the icicles for added sparkle and sensory experience
  • Paint the icicles with brushes, water colors, or finger paints
  • Drippy wet glue is preferred as it will stick better.  The added benefit is the sensory input from white glue, as well as the fine motor strengthening from squeezing the bottle
  • The possibilities are virtually endless

When documenting any of these activities, the activity does not matter as much as the skills being addressed.  Therefore the focus of documenting this icicle template craft will be on the skills such as cutting, coloring, executive function, behavior, strength, etc. rather than giving a lot of specifics about the craft itself.

Clinical observations during the icicle printable craft:

  • How well does your learner sit at the table?  Are they stable, wiggly, do they fall or get out of the chair?
  • Does your learner use both hands for creating this icicle craft? Do they have a dominant and a helper hand, or switch back and forth?
  • How close to the line does your learner cut?
  • How much physical and verbal assistance does your learner need?
  • What is their grasping pattern on the scissors, crayons, markers?
  • What is their sensory response to glue, glitter, noise in the room, visual distractions?
  • What social and executive skills is your learner using and lacking? Cooperation, turn taking, following directions, attention to detail?
  • What behavior reactions are you noticing? Crying, poor frustration tolerance, seeking, avoiding behaviors?

In order to be well rounded in any treatment plans, it will be important to use more than one task to measure objectives and goals.  Here is a great article on fine motor skills written by Colleen Beck, that includes background information on fine motor skills, activities, and resources.

Free Paper Icicle Template

Free Paper Icicle Craft Template

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    It is no secret, I am not a fan of winter, however I do remember the wonder of looking up at the icicles formed on buildings, street signs, and monuments. I remember munching on an icicle or two as if it was a candy cane.  We did not worry about acid rain, runoff, and other germs back in the 70s. Try and take a moment, slow down, and breathe in the wonder of nature.

    I ate dirty icicles!

    Victoria Wood, OTR/L

    Victoria Wood, OTR/L is a contributor to The OT Toolbox and has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

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