I am really excited about this week! I am participating in the Autumn Inspiration Week part of Inspired Bloggers Network. I will be posting this week about fall and autumn inspired fine motor and sensory activities for kids! Today’s post is a fun one; a fall cutout paper plate wreath.
Directions and Printables for Fall Cutout Paper Plate Wreath
I found this activity on DLTK-Kids.com, my favorite website for fine motor activity ideas, printables, and worksheets.
CLICK HERE to get the list of items and specific directions for this activity. When you are on that page you will see at the bottom a link for the printables I used. There are color and b/w options. If you have a child who will tire easily or you want to focus on just cutting, then print out the color option. If your child has good fine motor strength and endurance, then print out the b/w options and have them color each picture before cutting them out. This will also make the activity last a lot longer, so take that into consideration, especially if you have a child who may not want to sit still that long.
This activity is designed for children ages 3+.
Fine Motor Skills Used in the Fall Cutout Paper Plate Wreath
- Bilateral Coordination – Using scissors and holding the paper
- Fine Motor Strength & Endurance – There is a lot of cutting and coloring if you choose to do that part.
- Proper Hand Grasp Practice – Refer to my post on age appropriate hand grasps in order to help promote the proper grasp with your child while they hold the crayons for coloring. If your child has problems with grasp, I highly recommend the Flip crayons from Handwriting Without Tears.
- Eye-Hand Coordination – Using the right amount of glue on each circle picture and then placing that circle appropriately on the paper plate.
Ideas for Grading This Fall Fine Motor Activity
Terminology Definition: Grading = Making an activity easier or harder based on your child’s skill level.
- Remember if your child has difficulty holding scissors, you may want to consider some adaptive scissors. This will allow them to practice cutting and still work on hand strengthening, but it takes out some of the coordination skills they need for cutting, making it easier for them and successful.
- If your child has difficulty sitting still for extended periods of time, consider setting a timer for 5 to 8 minutes, then provide a movement break for them. After a 1-3 minute movement break have them come back and continue the activity. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Breaks ebook is an excellent resource for some sensory break ideas.
- As I stated earlier, pick the b/w printable option for your child to color if they have good fine motor strength and endurance. If they tire easily, you could mix some of the color or b/w printables, or assist them in coloring.
- If your child rushes through cutting, try printing out the pictures on card stock instead of regular computer paper. The thickness of the card stock will force them to slow down and take their time and will also decrease the amount of paper ripping or tearing with cutting.
- If holding the whole paper is too overwhelming for your child, try cutting the paper into strips for them to hold.
- Use a hole punch to cut out each of the pictures, either the color copies or the ones that they color. You are still working on fine motor strengthening, but it takes the cutting coordination out of the picture.
- Use color tinted glue that goes on purple or blue and dries clear so that your child can see where they are placing the glue on the paper, if they have vision or eye hand coordination problems.
Tips to Reinforcing Good Fine Motor Skills
- Proper Thumbs Up Position on the scissors while cutting, as well as holding the paper with the opposite hand and turning the paper as they need to while cutting. If your child has difficulty remembering this, put a sticker or draw a smiley face on their thumb nails and tell them the sticker or smiley should always be facing up, not down.
- Staying inside the coloring lines while coloring. Remember to take your child’s age into consideration. Prek age children can still have deviations from the coloring line up to 1/4” from the coloring line. If the coloring is obviously rushed or messy, remind them to stay in the lines, modeling yourself if necessary and have them start over with a new circle to color.
- Proper hand grasp when using crayons for coloring – refer to my post on proper age appropriate hand grasps *pictures included*
You can also enforce patterns with this activity, by having your child pick a AB, ABC, ABCD pattern and so on to glue the pictures in.
The finished product is a beautiful wreath that can be hung in their room, in a window, bulletin board, or as part of your home’s fall decorations! They will love being able to contribute something to your home’s decor and you will feel great about being able to help them practice great fine motor skills!