Here are some super creative ideas from occupational therapist Hilary Dilks for how to play with veggie sticks while also working on some great developmental skills!
. . . . .
Veggie Sticks are fun to eat and many kids love them!
Here are some great OT related activities you can do while you enjoy a favorite snack.
1. Sort Them
You can sort them by color or size. While you are sorting them you can practice naming the different colors. Try counting them. How many green or yellows are there? You can work on organizing them from shortest to longest.
2. Break Them
Have your child break a stick in half. This is fun to do and also helps improve fine motor grasping skills and strengthening skills. You can crumble up the veggie sticks and make sprinkles. This is also a great finger strengthener and good for pretend play.
3. Whistle With Them
There is a hole inside the veggie stick that can be used to blow though. Try putting two in your mouth and see what fun sounds you can make by blowing in and out of the straws. See who can make the most noise! Have you kids practice blowing smaller pieces of veggie stix across the table. They can also use it as a straw.
4. Make Shapes With Them
Veggie stix can also be transformed into letters, numbers, and shapes. Your child can watch you make new shapes or you can also have him try. Your child can practice learning simple shapes like square, triangle, in addition to letters like I, L, M, H and so on.
Another fun activity is to dip veggie sticks into other food like dressing, ketchup, or sauces. They can use the veggie stix like a paint brush or eat the stix. This is a great activity if you are working on getting your child to taste new food items or working on.
6. Stack Them
Try stacking the sticks in a pile. See how many you can put on the pile before it falls over. This can work on fine motor coordination skills and visual perceptual skills.
Use your imagination. The sticks make great earrings, fun horns, silly teeth or a mustache. See what you and your child can pretend to be.
Have fun and enjoy playing with your food!
. . . . .
Hilary Dilks has been working as a pediatric occupational therapist since 2003. She has a BS in occupational therapy from Boston University and a Masters in Health Science from the University of Florida. She has worked in a variety of settings including acute care, NICU, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, and home care. She is certified in infant massage, Neonatal Touch and Massage and feeding therapy. Ms. Dilks lives in Washington DC with her husband and two young sons. She currently works at Georgetown University Hospital and INOVA Fairfax Children’s Hospital. When she isn’t working, chasing children or cats around the house she enjoys running, cooking, yoga, and sleeping.