Spectacular Fun with Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are adorable and interesting creatures. Your child will delight in playing with Spike. The focus of this toy is fine motor skills, which are needed for many functional activities, from writing to tying shoes. With technology use on the rise, many more children are starting school with a deficit in fine motor skills.

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog is a wonderful toy to help your child not only build hand strength and coordination, but can also be used with playful learning activities that develop gross motor skills, creativity, etc. Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog comes with an activity guide inside of the box, but this post contains several additional fun activities and resources that you can do with your child.

 

Activity 1 Hide and Find

Hedgehog’s have poor eyesight, and so Spike will need some help finding his quills. This activity will include movement, memory, and fine motor skills.

Materials:

Procedure:

  1. While your child closes their eyes or goes in another room, one person (parent or another child) hides Spike’s plastic quills. Discuss hiding spot boundaries before playing (for instance, all quills will be hidden in the living room).
  2. Your child will seek to find the quills and then place them back in Spike’s back as they are found. You can make it more challenging by timing how long it takes them and encouraging them to try to beat their time the next round. You can also have multiple children play (they each can be given a certain color(s) of quill to find).

 

 

Activity 2 Quick, quick to the Quills

Hedgehogs aren’t incredibly fast, but they do have great stamina. Challenge your child to move quicker than a hedgehog to help Spike recover his quills. This activity will build your child’s gross (large) motor and fine motor skills. 

 

Quick, Quick to the Quills learning activity

 

Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Spread the quills from Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog around in an area on one side of a room, yard, or driveway.
  2. Have your child or children start on the opposite side from the quills.
  3. Call out a color or amount of quills (grab 3 quills) and have your child run to retrieve the color or specified amount of quills to bring back and place in Spike’s back.
  • Bonus option 1: Call out a movement in addition to the color/amount of quill(s). So, instead of running each time, you may have your child crawl, hop, skip, etc…to retrieve the quill.
  • Bonus option 2: Draw a sensory obstacle course (Draw on the ground outside with chalk or use tape inside) for your child to navigate in order to get to the quills. You can also make a more intense obstacle course using physical objects with items like pillows to jump on, tunnels to crawl through, empty water bottles to knock over, etc.

 

Activity 3 Through the Tunnel

Hedgehogs tunnel through bushes and thickets to forage for food. Pretend that Spike lost his quills in the tunnel while hunting for insects. Encourage your child to crawl through the tunnel and collect Spike’s quills. This activity will build your child’s gross (large) motor and fine motor skills.

 

Through the Tunnel learning activity

 

Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Set up two parallel rows of chairs with a space (wide enough for your child to crawl through) in between the rows. You can also use sturdy couch pillows to make a tunnel.
  2. Drape the blanket(s) over the chairs to make a tunnel (tape/clip the blanket onto the chairs if necessary).
  3. Scatter the quills throughout the tunnel. For added fun, do this activity at night to simulate a hedgehog’s nocturnal behavior. You can turn the lights off and have your child use a flashlight while crawling through the tunnel to find the quills.
  4. Have your child place the quills back into Spike’s back.

 

Activity 4 Painting with Quills

This activity will build your child’s creativity and fine motor skills. It will also provide a stimulating sensory experience.

 

Paint with Quills art activity

 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
  • Washable paints
  • Paper
  • Additional painting tools: feathers, sticks, leaves, flowers, forks, string, etc. (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Set up painting supplies.
  2. Encourage your child to explore the paints and his/her creativity. Suggest that Spike’s quills can be used as a painting tool. They can make circle prints with the bottom of the quill, or dip the quill and drag it across the paper. The key to building creativity is giving your child freedom to experiment and explore. You can put out additional materials from inside (forks, spoons, string, etc) as well as take your child outside to gather other unique items to use as painting tools (feathers, sticks, leaves, and flowers).
  3. Have your child explore the various tools by dipping them in the paint and making marks on the paper. Engage your child in talking about the different types of marks that each item makes.

 

Activity 5  Spike’s New Look

This activity will build your child’s creativity and fine motor skills. It will also provide a stimulating sensory experience.

 

Spikes New Look activity guide

 

Materials:

Procedure:

  1. Encourage your child to cover Spike’s back with a thick layer of play dough or roll large play dough balls and place over the holes.
  2. Have them use their creativity to give Spike a new look by sticking various objects into the play dough as new decorative “quills.”

 

Additional Hedgehog Resources:

Making connections builds strong minds! Here are some additional resources and activities relating to hedgehogs for your curious kiddos. 

Safari Ltd. Hedgehog Figurine

Author Jan Brett and hedgehog links:

The author Jan Brett has a hedgehog character named Hedgie in many of her books.

 

 

 

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