Busy Bag Activities are a great way to learn and play during quiet time or down time. There’s a lot of learning that happens during activities with kids. We put together this Valentine’s Day busy bag activity as a way to practice fine motor skills and color sorting. It’s another Valentines Day occupational therapy activity that builds essential skills.
She’s a sucker for pretty beads…and I’m happy to watch her play! In-hand manipulation activities are a great way to boost fine motor skills needed for tasks like managing clothing fasteners, using a pencil when writing, manipulating items like coins or beads, and more.
Valentine’s Day Busy Bag Activity
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We started with a big bin of beads and a few heart cookie cutters. I showed Little Sister (age 3) how to sort the beads by color into the hearts. She had a blast examining each bead and saying “Oh, this one looks pinkish! Oh this one looks purple-ish!”
Fine Motor Valentine’s Day Activity
Manipulating the beads in the big bin to grab certain colors works on some great fine motor skills. You need to pick up the beads with a pincer grasp (tips of the pointer finger and thumb) with fine dexterity. Once she grasped a bead, Little Sister would “squirrel away” the colors into the palm of the hand. This transfer of beads from the tips of the fingers into the palm of the hand is in-hand manipulation(fingers to palm translation). Manipulating small items like beads in this way works on the muscles of the hands and is a great way to work on pre-handwriting or handwriting skills. A child needs strength of the intrinsic muscles (the muscles within the hand) to manipulate the pencil and maintain endurance for writing and coloring.
Find even more amazing Valentine busy bags
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Arrow Addition Matching Game // Mama.Papa.Bubba.
Felt Heart Garden // Powerful Mothering
LEGO Valentine’s Day Puzzle // Lemon Lime Adventures
Letter Match Memory Game // The Educators’ Spin On It
Printable Valentine’s Day Mix and Match Puzzles // Itsy Bitsy Fun
Printable Conversation Heart Number Book // Playdough to Plato
Conversation Heart Color Match // Preschool Inspirations
Valentine’s Day Math Busy Bag // Still Playing School
3 Low Prep Busy Bags // Lalymom
Plant Heart Garden // Best Toys 4 Toddlers
Tic Tac Toe // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Valentine’s Day Number Matching // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.