Children who are in special education classrooms don't always perform well academically, even with help from a teacher, so students spend part of their time each day performing different tasks that teach them important life skills as well as fine motor and social skills.

Some of the tasks these students perform can also benefit all children, so if your special needs child has siblings, you can turn practicing these skills at home with your child into a family affair.

Here's just a few of the many activities your child can practice with their siblings.

Make Art with Play-Doh or Fingerpaint

Both methods of art are excellent sources to use to develop fine motor skills. The squeezing and pulling of Play-doh strengthens finger muscles, while finger-painting improves hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. These activities also provide children with a creative outlet to express themselves—which is why all children can benefit from participating in them.

Build Pizzas or Sandwiches

In the classroom, teachers often use paper pizza or sandwich building kits to teach students skills in math, fine motor, and listening and follow directions. You can follow up on this activity at home by having your children build real-life pizza and sandwiches at home. Most grocery stores sell personal size pizza dough, along with all the toppings you will need.

This activity teaches all children great beginner cooking skills and gives them a chance to learn something together. If your child carries their own lunch to school, have him or her help you make their sandwiches each morning. Soon, all of your kids will be professional chefs and your special child will develop important skills.

Put Groceries Away

Again, this is another activity many teachers use in school by way of paper grocery items and worksheets. You can use this activity at home with all of your children to teach them a simple, yet important life skill about properly storing food products, plus it will help you out on grocery shopping days.

Select various food items from different parts of the kitchen(i.e., deli meat from the fridge, canned goods from pantry, ice cream from the freezer), then have your kids put them away in their proper places. Another great skill learned from this activity? Independence. Once kids learn where things are in the kitchen, they won't need as much help at snack time!

Read Signs

There are a number of resources that offer flash cards displaying various signs seen around cities and communities. Teaching your children what those red, octagonal-shape signs at the end of streets mean is a simple, yet important skill that all children must learn.

You can order flash cards or make your own from a computer, then have all of your children participate in flash card time. Then, when you and your kids are out and about in town, point out various signs and have them tell you what they mean.

Repetition of these tasks is key to your child's growth and development of these small yet important skills.

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