It’s spring! That means that spring is (hopefully) just around the corner. While it may still be a little too chilly to get outside to start planting a spring garden, you and your child can get creative making your own paper garden to get in the springtime mood! This paper plate garden was inspired by the one found here. A list of materials and brief step-by-step instructions can be found at the link. Below, I will break down the steps and provide ideas to adapt the craft to fit a range of skill levels!
Decorate the plate: the website above suggests painting the plate to resemble a garden. Let your child use their imagination to create a background! Where is the garden? Is it sunny? Are there bugs or animals there? There are no wrong answers! Use this as an opportunity to support your child’s ideation and imagination skills. Hint: to avoid having to wait for paint to dry, use markers, colored pencils, or crayons instead.
Punch holes on either side of the paper plate:hole punching challenges hand strength, fine motor skills, and visual motor skills! If your child needs help placing the hole punch, draw bold dots on the plate where the holes should go.
Threading the yarn: making the “dirt” by threading the yarn through the holes is also a great way to practice fine motor and visual motor skills. For kiddos that have more trouble getting the yarn through the holes or have vision concerns, make larger holes. For children who may benefit from a sturdier material to thread, try using pipe cleaners instead of yarn! Challenge: to really challenge hand strength, try this craft using a sturdy cardboard (instead of a paper plate) and wrap rubber bands around the cardboard (instead of yarn). This will really help your kiddo work on those hand muscles!
Making the plants: this is another place where imagination and ideation get to shine! What is going in the garden? Is it a vegetable garden? A flower garden?
Cutting out the plants: cutting is a great way to practice fine motor skills, visual motor skills, and hand strengthening! If your child is just getting started using scissors or finds standard scissors challenging to use, there are plenty of adapted scissors out there such as these spring-back loop scissors. Make thick, brightly colored outlines for the plant shapes so that your child can cut along the lines more easily.
Other plant ideas: crumple paper or tissue paper to make flowers (challenges hand strength and fine motor manipulation skills), use stickers (a multi-step challenge to pinch, peel, and stick the sticker where you want it), and experiment with different textures of materials to offer some extra tactile input!
“Planting”: weaving your plants through the yarn challenges your child’s motor planning, visual motor, and fine motor skills. Arranging the garden exactly how they want it is a fun challenge with a rewarding final product!
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