This little paper craft is one of the oldest in my stash! My first job out of OT school was at an amazing sensory clinic in Franklin, TN that I still refer to as the Disneyland of Occupational Therapy. It was, and still is, an amazing place for kids. One day, one of the other therapists was using this craft as a fine motor activity for her client. I thought it was adorable and have been borrowing the idea every spring since then! Thanks, Ms. Danielle! : )
Tearing paper requires using both hands in a coordinated way. The pinching and pulling required to tear paper is a great way to strengthening the hands and crumbling the pieces into little balls uses small muscles in the hands that are super important for grasp and dexterity.
My little friends will likely use their whole hands to crumble the paper. For older children, I encourage them to use their fingertips to really work the distal muscles. To make it even more challenging, I will have them try to crumble the paper strip using one hand to work on in-hand manipulation.
Quick tip: Add a few drops of food coloring to a bottle of glue for a fun science experiment! The colored glue is FUN and it provides a visual contrast when gluing on white paper. I usually use a half full bottle of glue so the process is faster!
Once they have the tissue paper crumbled into little balls, make dots of glue onto the flowering part of the hyacinth. I usually have my little ones “help” me squeeze out the glue. For the older kids (4 yrs. +), I like to let them do it because it strengthens the hands and also allows them to learn how much force is necessary to get enough, but not too much glue out of the container.
Of course they can use their hands to simply place the paper balls onto the glue dots, but if you want to add in some higher level motor skills and hand strengthening, you can have them transfer the paper balls using tongs.
Another option for older kids working on visual motor coordination is to have them trace the template to make their own drawing, then decorate it from there.
Lastly, have them color the stem and leaves. I use jumbo crayons or markers with my toddlers because they are easier to grasp while working on strengthening the muscles. Sometimes I even use dot paint markers (easy to hold) like regular markers to color in a space. You could also use paint, torn paper, or even cut out leaves and a stem from green paper! Whatever works toward your goals and is motivating for the child!
I hope this sweet flower brightens someone’s day!
We are planning to deliver our creations to a few special neighbors : )