This is a My Obstacle Course station idea that is easy to put together and makes sneaking in some fine motor/drawing skills more like a game than a “sit at the counter and practice something that’s really difficult for you” session. That hasn’t worked for us and this is much more fun!
A My Obstacle Course Flip And Draw Station
I used some calendar cutouts that I had and wrote a basic drawing skill that I wanted Andrew to work on. This particular station was done during a winter themed Obstacle Course which explains the snowflakes. This could also be done using index cards, strips of construction paper, ideally something that you cannot see through.
Some basic ideas include but are not limited to:
- Draw a straight line.
- Draw a wiggly line.
- Draw a circle.
- Draw a square.
- Draw a triangle.
- Make a snowman.
- Draw a happy face.
I flip the cutouts over…
and when he gets to the station, he will turn over the cutout, we will read the instruction and he will try to do it.
Some children may need to have a model provided for them. If so, draw the shape (or whatever the cutout says) first so they have one. While you are drawing (the visual model) add an auditory piece by talking through what you are doing, where you are starting, how you are making sure to keep your lines straight (if you are making a shape), etc. It may seem silly at first but it could help your child if they are an auditory learner! From there, they can then draw their own shape next to the model, trace over yours or use hand over hand to help them draw it. Another option is to try “dotting” out the shape and have them connect the dots.
Why Turn The Cards Over?
By having the cards flipped over, he was not immediately overwhelmed by all that he was going to have to do (Imagine walking into a meeting late and seeing a whole list of things you were assigned to do asap. I don’t know about you, but I’d be overwhelmed!). He could process each request as he flipped it over which reduced the stress and frustration that usually occurs before he even begins a drawing or writing task. This turns it into a bit of a game, gives them some sense of control since they get to choose the one they flip and is done at their pace making it easier to handle.
(Random Note – I’ve thought about doing this for myself when I get overwhelmed with “things to do” or household chores! One thing at a time would allow my brain to focus on whatever the card says instead of trying to remember all that I’m going to have to do. So, if you ever come to my house and see flipped over calendar cutouts, you’ll know I’m on a mission!!)
This is something that could be used with any writing tool (marker, pencil, crayon, pen, etc) and writing surface (blank sheet of paper, dry erase board, Magna Doodle, Aqua Doodle, etc).
This activity not only helps build drawing skills, it also builds basic literacy skills because they are seeing (visual) and hearing (auditory) the words while they are making the shapes (kinesthetic). It allows me to see what he knows how to do and where he needed more assistance. The best part of all, is that we are having fun together while building his skills.
Engage, Encourage and Empower!