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These plastic Easter egg boats is a Spring occupational therapy activity to add to your line-up this year. If you’ve got a few plastic Easter eggs on hand and some play dough, you are ready to go for Easter STEM that challenges kids to explore fine motor skills in STEM activities AND incorporates wind power with calming oral motor sensorimotor input and got our boats moving, sensory style!
Hey now, there’s an idea: There’s STEM for science, technology, engineering, and math, right? And there’s STEAM with the added component of art…what if we added a sensory component to the STEM/STEAM mix?? It could be called STEMS or STEAMS! I think it’s what the world needs: bring the science/math/art/technology, etc full circle with whole body movements and the underlying systems of sensory processing for integrated learning through the senses. Genius I tell ya!
STEMS: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and SENSORY
STEAMS: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, and SENSORY
You heard it here first!
Back to our world-changing egg boats.
Plastic Easter Egg Boats
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
This is an easy activity to throw together: Grab some plastic eggs, straws (every childhood needs brightly colored straws), card stock, tape, and play dough. Fill one half of the plastic egg with play dough. Stick a piece of straw into the play dough. Tape a triangle of card stock to the straw. Done.
NOW: Here’s the fun part. Fill a bin with water and see if they will float. If you and the kids have filled the plastic eggs to the brim with play dough, they will not. Alas, you’ve got some capsized eggs. However, with some help from your STEM noggin, you can remove some of the play dough so it’s just a bit at the bottom of the egg. See how they float now.
Move the play dough up the sides of the egg a bit more and see if you can get the boats to stay upright. Now we’re talkin’!
Oral Motor Sensory Activity Wind Boats
So. You’re wondering how this might be a state-of-the-art sensory-tastic STEMS activity (see, it just rolls off the tounge, right??!!)
Here’s what we did to add a sensory oral motor component to this activity. Use one of those bright and colorful straws to add a bit of wind power to your egg boats. See how much breath it takes to move the boats across the water while providing proprioception to the mouth. The heavy work of the lips is an effort that is calming to kiddos who seek out sensory input through chewing or biting.
Have a few boat races with friends as you both blow the boats across a large bin of water.
Looking for more propriocetive input to the mouth? Try a smaller straw or this top-secret Occupational Therapist trick: pinch the straw so it’s flat the whole length of the straw. Now you’ve got a power proprioception tool for oral sensory motor input!
What are your favorite ways to address oral motor sensory needs? Let us know if you try these WORLD-CHANGING plastic Easter egg boats!
Spring Fine Motor Kit
Score Fine Motor Tools and resources and help kids build the skills they need to thrive!
Developing hand strength, dexterity, dexterity, precision skills, and eye-hand coordination skills that kids need for holding and writing with a pencil, coloring, and manipulating small objects in every day task doesn’t need to be difficult. The Spring Fine Motor Kit includes 100 pages of fine motor activities, worksheets, crafts, and more:
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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