Spring is finally here, and you know what that means – flowers everywhere! To celebrate the warm weather and changing seasons, we came up with a craft that you and your child with autism will love.
Arts and crafts are an excellent way to engage your child through productive play. When children play, they are learning and developing sensory, visual, and fine motor skills that are often the focus of therapy. Pom-pom flowers are a great way to expand your child’s therapeutic activities at home, and the best part is – they’re fun!
Keep reading to learn how to make pom-pom flowers. Therapeutic Pathways has lots more activity ideas to develop autism fine motor skills; contact us today for more information.
To make pom-pom flowers, you’ll need:
- Green paint
- Glue or glue dots
- Popsicle sticks
Directions for Making Pom-Pom Flowers
1. Trace a flower shape onto a thin piece of cardboard and cut it out.
Old cereal boxes work great! Grab a pencil or pen and trace whatever flower shape you’d like onto the cardboard. If your child is old enough, you can first demonstrate how you drew the flower, then ask them to draw their own flower.
Explain that their flower doesn’t have to be exactly the same as yours; by giving them the choice to imagine and draw their own flower, you’re expanding their independence and critical thinking skills.
If your child is old enough, you can let them cut the flower out of the cardboard. Most children love using a pair of scissors; just make sure they’re using them correctly.
2. Glue pom-poms onto the cardboard.
This is the tricky part for some children with autism who have tactile sensitivities. Many children with autism don’t like the sticky sensation of glue, so you can use glue dots instead of traditional liquid glue.
It’s important to include a “challenge” in the project to help your child gain confidence in themselves and complete the task at hand. The “challenge” could be applying glue to the cardboard; it could be applying glue dots on the right areas, or choosing the color of the pom-poms they want to use.
Remember that the process is more important than the finished product. The goal is to help your child gain independence, but you should encourage them and may need to demonstrate certain steps along the way.
3. Paint a popsicle stick green and attach pom-poms for leaves.
Children love to paint. It’s one of the best and easiest ways for them to explore their creativity and develop critical skills. You can break each step of the painting process into smaller steps to help your child learn and understand.
For example, show your child how to choose the right-sized paintbrush for the job. Then show them how to dip the brush into the paint, apply the paint to the popsicle stick, and swirl the brush in a cup of water for cleaning.
4. Glue the popsicle stick to the back of the cardboard flower.
You should wait a bit for the stick to dry before applying pom-poms and attaching it to the cardboard, so if your child is feeling impatient, feel free to skip the pom-pom leaves step.
Once the stick is secure on the back of the cardboard, the project is complete! Be positive and tell your child how they did a great job in the process. You can point out specific steps that you think they excelled in “I love the pom-poms you picked out! They look so good together,” or “You did a great job keeping your space clean as you made the flower.”
Every level of participation matters, and children appreciate praise no matter their skill set.
Crafts to Develop Autism Fine Motor Skills
Pom-pom flowers are a simple arts and crafts project that can help your child tremendously. They’ll develop many critical skills, including meaningful cooperative play and creativity.
As you and your child work on these crafts, remember: the process is more important than the product. If your child has sensory issues or finds it difficult to complete projects, plan how to best support them and make an effort to give your child as much independence as possible.
At Therapeutic Pathways, our goal is to help children with autism develop the skills that will help them become independent and lead fulfilling lives. For more activity ideas, contact Therapeutic Pathways today.