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Fun and motivational activities for individuals
with developmental disabilities.

Many children will love these, too.

waterbottles    Water Bottle Peg Board
This pegboard is made out of two cardboard boxes inserted into one another and,
covered with
contact paper. Cut out holes for the "pegs". These "pegs" are bottles
used for saline water solution
for contact lenses. Small juice bottles will work also.
Fill them with water and either glitter or tiny
pieces of plastic. They look cool when
shaken. Such large bottles are very easy to place in the holes. T
he added weight of
water provides sensory feedback. A person with eye- coordination problems
enjoy the success of completing such an easy activity.

bilateral rinig stack   Two Handed Ring Stack
This ring stack requires the individual to use both hands. Reaching promotes range
of motion and
visual attention. Simply attach two dowels inside a cardboard structure.
Stabilize the structure by
adding sandbags inside. The "rings" can be made of vinyl
such as shower curtain material. Using
heavier material such as wood will assure that
the person uses both hands and also build strength
and endurance in the process.

tall ring stack   Tall bottle Ring Stack
Laundry and dish washer bottles have perfect handles to grasp. Attach a dowel at the
desired height
to promote reaching and increase range of motion. The clear tube pictured
here is sold in hardware
stores to store light bulbs. Fill it with bright colors. The rings
may be plastic, wooden, vynal or even
socks filled with marbles and sewn together at
the ends.

box insertions  Plastic Box Insertions
Plastic insertions are cut out of laundry bottles. The longer side is the front of the bottle.
The shorter
side flaps are from the sides of the bottle. Heavy duty leather scissors can cut
this plastic. Cover a
cardboard box with contact paper. Cut the slits where the plastic pieces
are to be inserted. This
activity encourages using  both hands, develops eye hand
coordination and the perceptual skills
to fit the pieces into varying directions and angles.
I love the bright colors.  

plastic manipulation   Plastic Manipulations
These plastic shapes are cut out of laundry bottles. Inserting the spastic piece down into
the first slit
and then back up through the second slit develops dexterity. These manipulations
may develop the
skills to weave and manipulate clothing fasteners.

handle   Laundry Bottle Handles
Laundry and  dishwasher bottles have such comfortable handles, they can be  used  to make
lots of
activities. They also come in lots of sizes. Cut out this shape from a large laundry
detergent bottle.
The flaps can be folded upon one another to attach objects such as bells or
music button switches
or to create activities such as the one below.

slinky on handle  Handles on Slinky
Handles are attached to each end of the Slinky. Cut the Slinky to a desired length. Two
players can
shake their handle during a gross motor group. 

strethyfabric  Handles on Stretchy Fabric
Cut slits in the handle, pushing the fabric ends through and tying a knot.  An individual can
grasp each
handle to stretch apart. This resistive movement can decrease anxiety and
strengthen the upper extremity.
Add bells or other sound effects. A leader can play a
"Simon Says" type game while showing what
movements to make using the handles. 

spiral jig   Spiraling Circles on Bottle
Another great use of a bottle involves attaching a spiral piece from a toy. Plastic circles
are cut with a small
slit in the center. The circles spiral down for a great visual effect while
the individual learns to visually attend
and stabilize the bottle with the other hand.

sliding plastic  Sliding Plastic
I have used baby wipe containers to make many activities including shape sorters and
sorting boxes,
but this activity is fun and unique. The lip which goes around the top of the
boxes is used to slide a plastic
"card" inside. Cut out two of the long sides of the box.
Tape them together so that the lip edges are opposite
each other. Decorate as desired.
I use different color contact paper and the clients need to match them
before inserting.

plastic boat  Plastic Boat
When my son was little I thought why buy a plastic boat when I can make my own interactive
toy. I cut the
boat shape out of a large laundry detergent bottle. Punching holes allowed my
son to string along the edges.
He attached a life ring cut out of the top of a smaller bottle. The
little yellow sailor has a extension on the
bottom which is inserted into a slit on the boat.

Some of these activities were developed after my book was published. If you liked these
ideas you will
love owning a book filled with similar activities to develop attention to tasks,
hand skills and learning
concepts such as matching and sequencing. Detailed instructions
and diagrams are provided.

©2008 Barbara Smith 


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