Just like all of us, children with multiple disabilities and visual impairment (MDVI) enjoy craft activities. Craft activities provide an opportunity for self-expression and creativity. We all feel the great satisfaction of completing a craft project. Several of us turn to craft activities or painting if we want to relax or keep busy.
Similarly, many children with MDVI love participating in craft activities. They often feel a sense of pride and accomplishment after completing a craft activity. It is a means for children to express their emotions and creativity.
As a result, participating in craft activities becomes therapeutic. There are several craft activities in which children with MDVI could be encouraged to participate:
Playing with dough or clay helps a child with MDVI to learn various concepts – like dry flour, wet dough, numbers, shapes, size, etc. He also learns to make choices to indicate what object/shape he wants to make from the dough – a round ball or a line. He can touch it, smell it, roll it and mould it; all great ways to encourage the child to use his hands and fingers for various activities.
If parents and caregivers do not have plasticine clay, material easily available at home such as whole wheat flour, wheat flour or gram flour can also be used to make the dough with a child with MDVI.
Adding turmeric (Haldi) gives a nice bright colour to the dough, which might be attractive for the child.
Some children have a habit of putting their hand in the mouth. In such cases, using dough made with flour and turmeric is completely harmless.
Many children love rolling dough. You can use a rolling pin to make different lines and shapes while rolling out the dough. An advantage of using a rolling pin is that the child has to grasp the ends of the rolling pin and put pressure on the dough to roll it out and make it smooth. These are great ways to encourage the child to use his hands and for strengthening his hands and fingers.
Soil could also be used with some children (taking care to remove any small stones or hard particles) to make different shapes such as making a ball and sometimes joining the shapes to make different objects.
Using an old newspaper for making a pom-pom through tearing paper is an amazing fine motor activity for kids! Craft activities involving paper-tearing can be done using hands/fingers or with scissors in the presence of an adult.
Through this activity, the child learns various concepts as well like- colours, numbers (number of times the child has to tear the paper), textures (as different papers are used) and also learns to effectively use both his hands to tear paper which contributes to developing muscle strength of the hand and also helps to improve fine motor skills (using the small muscles of the hands and fingers).
Making different types of cards is a great way for the child to use different objects in his environment (leaves, paper, sand, shells, thread, etc.) to make cards that can be used for a variety of purposes.
Sometimes the child can make a card for a specific occasion like a birthday or festival and can give the card to his friends/siblings/family members, which is also a great way to encourage the child to understand different events and to socialize with other children and adults.
Some children may not like to touch glue with their hands. In such cases, the child could use an old brush for the glue. Keeping a soft cloth for the child to wipe his hands as required by the child while doing the activity will also be helpful.
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