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Monday, December 25, 2017

Make-your-Own Manipulation Snowman Toys

The possibilities are endless when cutting up plastic containers for seasonal activities. Here are a few easy to make winter snow people. They kind of remind me of  Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head because children may attach whatever accessories parents cut up.... such as a hat, broom, shoes, buttons, scarf.... The accessories may be woven on, screwed on, tied on, buttoned on and even snapped on. The photos demonstrate just a few ideas.

The scissors are rather sharp so an older person will need to do the cutting. After the initial cut, trim the pieces to be smoother. However, I have never been cut from plastic, paper-yes, never plastic. It may be rough but not sharp.

The photos and video demonstrate two types of snow man or snow woman toys... 

1) cut the large and medium sized ball and the separate smaller snowball head with extension to be woven. I have cut several of these to use at work with clients who enjoy repetitive fine motor tasks.
2) cut a stand up snow person out of a large white bottle. Decorate as desired.

Either toy provides practice to manipulate whatever you choose... perhaps buttoning, tying, buckling or screwing the hat back on.

In general, it is easier to remove fasteners than attach. So young children or those with challenges may focus on undressing their snow people, perhaps in preparation for bath time and an older child may dress them back up later.


The close up of the green buttons shows how I punched holes in the green plastic and snowman and attached the "button" with cord. Cut a variety of fabric colors with slits so that that children can change the buttons.


This really does remind me of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head....


The photo above demonstrates a snow person cut out of a large juice bottle before being dressed up. 

I  punched holes in the pink bottle top piece shown below to tie "hair" on. The screw cap holds this in place or can just function as a hat. 




Coloring and erasing with the dry erase marker is great for pre-writing practice, especially for the kiddos who resist holding writing tools. We occupational therapists like to sneak in skill training into fun games.  I also love how this activity lends itself to pretend play.   








The following video demonstrates how I made these toys..... 

Source: Plastic Manipulation Snowman by RecyclingOT on Rumble

For those of you who prefer potatoes to snow people....