While on winter vacation, there are so many wonderful activities that your children are already participating in that benefit their fine motor and gross motor skills; however,you are not always aware of it. This is why it is important to take a look at the activity analysis,in order to break down the skills and components that your child is gaining from a particular activity, such as cookie baking.
The fine and gross motor skills used for cookie baking:
Purpose: To bake something yummy for your friends and family.
Supplies needed: Recipe card, ingredients, cookware (e.g. bowls, spatulas, measuring cups) and oven.
- Bilateral skills (e.g. to hold the measuring cup in one hand and pour the milk with the other hand, to stabilize the bowl with one hand and stir the spoon with the other hand)
- Visual motor skills (e.g. to read the recipe card)
- Upper body strength (e.g. to stir the ingredients together to form ball of dough)
- Following directions
- Safety awareness (e.g. wearing oven mitts to put the cookie sheet in the oven)
- Body awareness (e.g. to be mindful of ingredients around you- so that you don’t spill or bump into someone)
- Fine motor skills (e.g. rolling dough into small balls and/or manipulating cookie cutters, tying a bow on an apron such as shoe tying)
- Problem solving (e.g. if you forgot an ingredient or complete a step in the wrong order)
- Taking turns (e.g. if it is a family activity- who is going to go first? Who gets to pour which ingredients into the bowl?)
As you see above, fun and simple everyday activities can help to address a wide variety of skills without having to think twice about it. When you’re doing these activities at home with your child, try to be attentive to tasks/skills that are the easiest for your child and those that are more difficult for your child. By categorizing these tasks, you will be able to work on these skills in a variety of contexts. As always, please feel free to contact your child’s occupational therapist if you have any questions on activity analysis or breaking down an age-appropriate task. Let the baking begin!