All this spring time rain means there is plenty of mud. Throw some old clothes on your kiddo and yourself, and play in the mud! Not only is this a great sensory activity, but it can provide some great fine motor
opportunities as well. Provide your child with sticks, rocks, shovels, hand rakes, plastic bowls and anything else you can think of. I encourage you to say only “let’s play in the mud!” Avoid the urge to show your child things they can do with the mud. Allow them the freedom to create their own ideas. They may choose to scoop, stir with a stick, hide rocks, make you a mud pie or something we adults would never even think of. The thickness of mud will require your child to use many finger, hand and arm muscles, providing many opportunities to
strengthen their fine motor skills. If the idea of playing in the mud is hard for you, I challenge you to take a deep breath and remind yourself that it can all be washed away. You may surprise yourself. You may find the messier your or your child gets, the more fun you have.
~Sarah Eller, occupational therapist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist