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3 Easy Shoebox Tasks

Here are 3 easy shoebox tasks you can prepare at home, that targets your child’s fine motor and visual processing skills, which is fundamental in helping them write.


Writing is more than just picking up a pencil and putting it to paper. Multiple skills come into play for this seemingly simple action:

  • Eye-hand coordination

  • Visual-motor integration

  • Visual processing

Being able to coordinate all the skills can be challenging for children. Thus, it is important to break down all these skills into smaller steps to help them work on these skills easily.


Task 1: Pegging


Materials required:

  • Shoebox

  • Scrap pieces of cloth

  • Pegs (plastic/wooden), various sizes

  • A pair of wooden chopsticks

  • A piece of string

  • 2 small containers

Steps:

  1. Poke 2 holes in the lid of the shoebox, for the chopsticks to go through

  2. Tie the string from one chopstick to the other

  3. Cut out two holes on the lid of the shoebox, for the two containers to go through (place them side by side)

  4. Cut out the scrap pieces of cloth into different sizes

  5. Put the pegs in the left container, and cloth in the right container

  6. Get your child to peg the pieces of cloth to the string

Variation:

  1. You can read a storybook on laundry/house chores before the activity

  2. Suggested books: Laundry Day by Manning, Getting Dressed by Pauline

  3. You can also cut the cloths into the shape of clothes, and get your child to pretend they are hanging laundry

  4. You may even wash the cloths prior to the pegging for the full laundry experience!

Task 2: Velcro-chain


Materials required:

  • Shoebox/Small whiteboard or corkboard

  • Velcro dots

  • Assorted tokens (e.g. buttons, letters, beads, bottle caps. Ensure there are at least 2 of the same item)

Steps:

  1. Paste 2 strips of Velcro one above the other on the shoebox lid or whiteboard/corkboard

  2. Create a simple chain that you want your child to copy

  3. You’ll paste your chain on the top Velcro, and your child will paste the buttons/letters/beads in the same sequence on the bottom Velcro

To note:

  • For younger children (ages 1.5-3), you may use bigger materials such as bottle caps, to avoid choking hazards.

  • Even if your child is not yet familiar with the alphabet, you may use the letter tokens to work on their visual discrimination of the different letters.



Task 3: Take-and-drop


Materials required:

  • Shoebox

  • Container

  • Straws (cut into small pieces)

Steps:

  1. Cut a hole on the left of the shoebox lid for the clear container

  2. Cut out circles on the right side of the lid. Make sure that the circles are just big enough for the cut pieces of straws to go through (and not overly enlarged).

Variation:

  • You may paint the cut holes over with different colours, to get your child to sort the straws according to the different colours on top of having to fit them through the hole.


References:


Written by: Haley Goh

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