Try out this activity that combines the best of gross motor and sensory play into one colorful, energetic game! By playing this game, your child will reap the benefits of exercise, proprioception, sensory tactile exposure, eye-hand coordination, academic learning, laughter, and fun!
This game can be played with one child or a group of children and can be modified to add various learning concepts as well. The sensory piece is added to this game in two ways: The running and jumping provides EXCELLENT proprioception to help promote body awareness, body organization, calmness, and attentiveness.
Exposing your child to two tactile experiences on their hands (paint and water) is an excellent way for your child to decrease tactile defensiveness and gain confidence in broadening new tactile experiences!
Poster sized paper
Bucket of water
How to Play
1.Start by painting the outline of a large colorful rainbow on paper
2.Hang the paper up outside on a wall. Make sure there is clearance around the paper and ground for safety purposes.
3.Next, paint your child’s hand a color in the rainbow (see below for modifications if your child is tactile defensive and won’t tolerate paint on his hand).
4. Designate a “starting line” several feet away from the rainbow and tell your child to run to the rainbow and press his hand print in the corresponding rainbow color.
5. Repeat until that whole color of the rainbow is covered in handprints
6. Once the child has filled in all of the space from one color, have him rinse his hand off in the bucket of water. (This is a great way to introduce another sensory experience for children who are tactile defensive, plus its lots of fun!)
7. Finally, paint his hand a different color and repeat the steps with each rainbow color.
Ways to Add Academic Learning into the Game
Obviously this game helps your child to learn and match colors, but if he is beyond that concept, here are a few ways to increase the learning potential for this games….
- Write spelling or sight words in the rainbow spaces and have your child hand print over the words you ask them to find
- Scatter numbers throughout the rainbow spaces and have them hand print the numbers in numeric order
- Tell the child a number (i.e. 15) and have him figure out how many hand prints it would take to have 15 fingerprints on the rainbow
Ways to Modify for Children who are Tactile Defensive
If you like the idea of this game but know your child will not tolerate paint on his hands, try one of these modifications….
- Have your child run to the rainbow and fill in the colored spaces with markers, colored stickers or ink stamps rather than painted handprints
- Have the child hold a sponge and dip the sponge into the paint to fill in the rainbow spaces
- Allow your child to wear rubber gloves and paint over the gloves rather than painting bear hands
How did the game work for you? How did you modify it to meet the needs of your child? Leave me a message and let us know!