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Worms and Minnows!

23 Aug

Today’s fine motor Friday is dedicated to an activity we did at handwriting camp! In order for kids to learn good handwriting habits, handwriting has to be fun. How do you make handwriting fun, you ask? You add some dirt, worms, and minnows! Making an obstacle, have the kids reach in, grab a worm or minnow, run to another bucket, and drop it in… No dropping in between allowed! You will hear squeals, screams, and giggles as the slimy and squirmy critters wiggle in their hands! If they are unwilling or do not want to touch the critters, you can provide a net so they can still participate! Once they get to the drop bucket, have them write a descriptive word on the sidewalk with chalk! You can provide some examples or help with spelling as needed! Talk about fun!

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Fine Motor Friday: Sonic Tot Tongs

19 Jul

Aren’t these the cutest?! Love that Sonic is giving them away as a prize! They are originally supposed to pick up tater tots, however, OTs may use them to pick up puff balls, plastic color bears, cotton balls, or any other small light weight item we could find! 😉 Great for strengthening and coordination, you could have some fun with one too for only 0.99!

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Fine Motor Friday: Button food

8 Feb

Saw this idea on Therapy Fun Zone and just had to try it! I made my own, but hers are super reasonable to buy. And most likely would stay together better than mine 😉

The kids have absolutely loved these! And they are learning how to do buttons!!! AND enjoying it in the process!

Thank you for continuing to have amazing ideas Therapy Fun Zone!!

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Fine Motor Friday: Playing with Sponges

11 Jan

For this Fine Motor Friday, I’d like to share a fun way to play with sponges and shaving cream. Why not use them together?! If the child is still a little resistant to touching the shaving cream then have them use a small sponge to trace, write and draw. Also great for working on tip-tip pinch! Use the sponges to trace various shapes, build structures, stamp, etc. So fun, and easy clean up! Allow the child to squeeze the sponges when washing them out for some extra strengthening. 😃 Have fun!

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Fine Motor Friday: Syringes and Turkey Basters

23 Nov

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d post an activity using some common Thanksgiving day utensils: a flavor injector and a turkey baster. These tools, along with other syringes and droppers (frequently used for dispensing medicine) make wonderful fine motor strengthening tools. I have used syringes and droppers for many different tasks. One of my favorites is to fill different size containers with water and food coloring to do science experiments and make different colors. Or use your imagination to make various magic potions, good tasting medicine, pretend juice drinks, etc. It takes strength, coordination, and control to fill the syringe/dropper and empty it over the target without spilling or overfilling. You could even draw a line on the container to practice filling to the line. Have the child use a 3-jaw chuck or tip-tip pinch to squeeze to strengthen and facilitate disassociation. Many pharmacies will give you extra syringes and droppers, or sell them to you for cheap. Have fun!

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Fine Motor Friday: Bowling Pins

16 Nov

It’s Friday!!! Another week has gone by. How was your week? Mine was great. Lots of fun at work, a fabulous 90-day review at my new job (yay, off probation!), and some quality time spent with my lovely husband. On Tuesday, a co-worker and I travel about 90 miles to a near-by town to treat kids in the school district. We see every child who receives OT in the entire district in one day. Crazy, huh? Well this week, they had early release for UIL competition. We had to leave at 6:30 in the morning, but we were home by 2:00. Can’t beat that! Especially when I’m not usually home until 6:30!

Time to feature a fine motor activity. I love this one. You can use any small manipulative that you have. In the picture I used tiny bowling pins, but I’ve used pencil top erasers, (you know, the pointy ones that often break right in half?), wine corks, etc. Have the child use one in each hand (using a lovely tip-tip grasp or lateral grasp, whichever you need to work on more) to pick up small items (blocks, dice, etc) and create a structure (tower, pyramid, etc.). Great for bilateral coordination, grading of pressure/force, visual motor skills, grasp development and strengthening, and so much more! Have fun!

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Fine Motor Friday: Marshmallows and Toothpicks

9 Nov

Hello hello! Time for Fine Motor Friday! For this week I will be sharing one of my most favorite things to do with marshmallows and toothpicks! It can be used with a multitude of ages, as young as around 4 to as old at you feel appropriate (each client has different likes/skills). The oldest I’ve used this activity with was a 15 year old. 🙂

Supplies:
Bag of mini marshmallows
Box of toothpicks

Extras if desired:
Paper plates to hold supplies
Pictures/ideas to copy and construct

I came up with some ideas to have the kids I work with copy, varying from simple to more difficult on the back (including a complex 3D cube!). I placed mine in a sheet protector to keep it from getting sticky! Have the child copy the pictures, guiding, imitating, and provides cues as needed. Another fun thing to use this activity for is brainstorming new designs using higher level executive function skills.

Fun, sticky, educational, and great for developing fine motor and visual perceptual skills!

Caution: some children will want to eat them…some therapists may want to eat them too… 🙂

Enjoy!

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