6 New T'day activities & kinesthetic basketball

Got only a minute? 8 quick fine motor activities


Non-traditional Playing card activities for hand and social skills

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Use playing cards as the activity WITHOUT playing cards or Math!
Playing card games definitely has a place in the social skills children need now-a-days. Most children like playing cards and quickly learn basic games such as War, Go Fish, & Old Maid. But they may avoid these games or "pass" on taking a leadership role if they know that their hand skills are not quite good enough. Maybe they can't shuffle, deal or hold the cards appropriately in their hands. If you are always dropping your cards or can see a cards value as you deal, well it can become a BIG DEAL to others.

Basic Card Handling:
Shuffling: This takes practice & patience. There are several ways to shuffle. You can find many video tutorials on youtube
Swish & Mix: The easiest. Lay all cards face down on table, swish around with both hands to mix them up. Then gather again.
Overhand Mix: Hold cards loosely in hand resting a long edge of the cards in the palm of the other hand. Carefully take a portion of the back of the deck and bring it to the front. Repeat several times.
Dealing Cards: Hold the deck, face down, loosely in non-dominant hand with thumb on top. Push or slide the top card away from the palm toward the open side of your hand. Take it with other hand, thumb on top and place it straight down on table. No wrist movements or turning card up. Deal cards clockwise to each player.
Dealing Cards Face-up or flipping: (as in playing War) Hold deck in non-dominant hand. Place fingertips of other hand on top of deck, slide top card TOWARD self so you can see value then end the flip by placing it on table.

Activities to practice hand skills:
  • Sort cards by color (2) or suit (4) or number (13) or even/odd
  • Flip cards: Each player takes turns flipping a card to the floor trying to get it to land face up.
  • Frisbee Cards: Choose a "goal" and try to hit it with a card tossed frisbee style (wrist work)
  • Build a house of cards.
  • Greater than-Lesser than: Player holds deck and deals 2 cards face up. Is the 1st card greater or lesser than 2nd card? Greater- the pair goes on 1 pile, lesser goes on a different pile.

Non-typical card games:
  • What's missing? Layout 4 or more cards face up. Remember them, then take 1 away, and mix up remaining cards on display. What's missing?
  • Up 1 - Down 1: All cards are dealt out to players. 1 player turns their top card over in front of them. Next player looks at their own top card. If it is 1 up or down from opponents' card it may be placed on top of that card, if not it goes onto a new pile in front of the second player. The player keeps going until can not place a card on opponent's pile. 1st to have no cards is the winner)
  • Robot Programmer: Lay out several rows of cards face down. Choose an object that is going to be the "robot" maybe a block. Then place other objects on top on a card - these are road blocks. The '''Programmer" needs to instruct the robot how to maneuver through the "road" of cards to get to the end. (move forward 3 spaces; turn right; move forward 2 spaces...). You can write down the directions or do them from memory.
  • Card Scrabble-Dominos: Each player gets 12 cards. Lay down a beginning card face up. 1st player must place a card either next to or above or below 1st card by matching suit, number or going up or down 1 number.