Here are some enjoyable games you should play with your child that will encourage the growth of social skills, academic skills, and flexibility and involve participation within sensorial and developmental domains. These games aim to increase attention to gross motor, fine motor, and regulation skills.
These games and activities can be done while listening to the Soundsory program.
Gross Motor Games
Painter’s tape is simple to come by and can be used for a variety of activities. Stick the tape on the floor in a series of zigzags, straight lines to jump over, spirals to spin, or boxes for leapfrog to create a fun indoor obstacle course. Make it a race by using a timer!
Tilt a Ball
A cardboard box and a small ball or whiffle ball are everything you need to make this simple game. Cut the sides of the box down so it resembles a deep tray. Cut a hole in the bottom near a corner, just large enough for the ball to fall through. Your child will love this simple version of a ball maze. Simply try to get the ball to fall through the hole!
You can modify this activity to make it a little more complicated. Cut out 2-3 holes in various parts of the bottom of the tray and draw a “start” box and “home” box on either side and see if they can tilt their ball “home” without slipping through the holes.
Bean Bag Boogie
Bean bags can be used in several ways. Place the bean bag on top of one of your feet. Raise your foot as far as it can go without dropping it, and back down and up again, just like an elevator. You could attempt to make the bean bag fall into a bucket to end a turn. Try to balance a bean bag on your head for even more giggles!
Create a bean bag toss or a fun game of Cornhole through a hula hoop to further strengthen those core muscles. You may also use chalk to draw a Tic Tac Toe board on the sidewalk and take turns tossing your bean bags to make 3 in a row.
Speaking of chalk, hopscotch is one of those classic games that never get old. Balancing, hopping, and jumping are all stimulating and dynamic activities that will incorporate well with listening to the Soundsory rhythmic music program.
Use a basketball or similarly-sized ball for a type of “Copy Me” game. Pick up one foot and balance it on top of the ball. This may be enough of a challenge and work on holding this pose for progressively extended periods of time. If you would like to add some core work to this exercise, have your child copy your foot motions on top of the ball, like side to side, back and forth, or small circles, all while keeping your foot on top.
Balloons are always fun! Use kid’s tennis rackets or even fly swatters to play a game of Balloon Badminton or an independent round of trying to bounce the balloon with the racket without letting it hit the ground.
Water can be an excellent resource for gross motor development as well as sensory regulation. Set up a baby pool or storage tub filled with water, and make sure to add plenty of fun kitchen tools like funnels, ladles, strainers, and cups. Your child will be practicing bilateral movement all while delighting in the cause-and-effect action. Playing with sensory bins is a great way to employ your child’s visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive senses – all of which can be enhanced by using Soundsory.
Place a hula hoop on the ground and have your child sit inside it. Offer them a big paintbrush (the kind you’d use to paint trim on a house) that they can dip in a bucket of water and use to “trace" the inside of the hula hoop circle all the way around. They can move the hula hoop to create abstract circle art.
Fine Motor Games
Free the Animals
Use painter’s tape to secure plastic toy animals to the floor, walls, or even inside muffin tin wells. When they save their animals, your child will feel like a hero while sharpening their fine motor skills.
To develop fine motor coordination, consider modeling clay or therapy putty. Try playing “Copy Me" for an easy game where you can practice making balls, long snakes, or even adorable clay animals. Kitchen utensils for making eyes, whiskers, or polka-dots can provide an additional challenge for your kids.
Find the Items
Therapy putty, a thicker, more resistant solution than modeling clay or playdoh, is perfect for a fun game where you can challenge your child to find and collect small objects concealed within the putty, such as beads, small toys, or marbles.
Tweezers and Tongs
Construct a relay race between you and your child, or a group of kids, using kitchen tongs or large tweezers and craft balls or cotton balls from around the house. Set up a cotton ball bowl on one side of the room and challenge your child to pick up a cotton ball with tongs to deliver it to the next person without losing it. The following person will either place their items in a marked drop-off bowl or pass them over to the next person. You can make it more fun by setting a timer and attempting to beat it (two people) or by seeing who can get all of their cotton balls into the last bowl first (a group).
Stickers are a great way to hone fine motor skills. Even if you don’t have fancy stickers, colored dots can work just fine. You can play sticker Tic Tac Toe, or your child can place stickers to “trace” lines you’ve drawn on a piece of paper. Create a rainbow with different colored lines and stickers, or use an image you know your child will like. Because Soundsory builds upon sensory and developmental skills, it’s easy to embed cognitive skills into this activity, like sorting, counting, and color identification.
Feed the Puppy
Use an empty tissue box or a plastic box that has been taped up and has a hole made on one side. Draw a fun animal on the side of the box with the opening, using the hole as its “mouth." Small toys or even actual food, such as grapes or olives, can be used to “feed" your child’s favorite animal. Instead of pinching the objects, you might have your child use tweezers or tongs for this task.
Have some extra bubble wrap laying around? Have your child practice pinching and popping the bubbles along with the rhythm while listening to the Soundsory soundtrack. Is pinching too tricky? Wrap their feet in the bubble wrap with a bit of tape and watch them delight in stomping around like a monster!
When it comes to fun sounds, balloons are always a source of entertainment. Help your child inflate a balloon without tying it. Have them pinch and hold either side of the opening, slowly releasing air and then pulling the opening tight again. The amusing sounds will encourage social reciprocity, and this practice will help boost their fine motor abilities.
Play Songs, Interactive Fun and Group Games
Some well-known children’s group games are ideal for practicing balance, coordination, and improving starting and stopping skills. Games like “Red Light, Green Light,” “Simon Says,” and “Mr. Fox, What time is it?” engage the entire body and will sharpen reflexes while bolstering social contact. The Hokey Pokey dance is a silly way to practice balance and coordination.
Find adventure together by creating a scavenger hunt for your child. Hide themed or favorite objects in particular spots where you know your child would be slightly challenged. Create a visual or written list of items and a clue based on the child’s skills. Is there a dinosaur toy tucked away on the second floor? Stairs are a great way to engage the proprioceptive system. Perhaps there is a lovely shell hiding under the kitchen chair. Create achievable obstacles for your child to conquer to complete their list.
Ribbon Wand Dancing
Attach party streamers or a ribbon to a wooden kitchen spoon, and you have an automatic ribbon wand! Dance your hearts away while listening to Soundsory or practice writing letters, numbers, or shapes in the air.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
This is a fun partner and singing game that little ones love. Your child and a friend will sit on the floor with their legs stretched toward each other, hands clasped together. As the song starts, have each child taking turns gently pulling on the other’s hands and leaning back and forth.
We hope this list inspires you to try new games with your child. Incorporate Soundsory into active therapeutic games to enrichen their cognitive skills through sensory stimulation and physical development.