Tag Archives: fine motor

Mardel Monday: Sturdy Birdy

28 Jan

Hello everyone! So my boss gave me the challenge to put together “fine motor kits.” Primarily gathering items from Mardel and Walmart if needed. This all started because over time I have gathered up quite a collection of therapy toys from Mardel. I’m telling you, they should use me for marketing to therapists!!! Not just teachers!!! Anyways, I suckered a co-worker of mine into attacking this with me. (Don’t worry, I made sure our boss knew she helped out. ;)) We spent 4…yes 4 hours in Mardel…gathering items, spreading them out of the floor, and making tough decisions to put some things back. 😦 Now that I know ever item Mardel has to offer, I’ve decided to start a Mardel Monday to show an item that can be purchased from Mardel for therapy uses, and to gather more ideas from my wonderful readers!

First item: Sturdy Birdy



This is a game for my wonderful PT friends out there as well! The object of the game is to be the first to make it through all 12 poses. You must roll the dice to see how long you must hold the pose. In addition to holding the pose, you must balance the seed bag on your body! What a cute little game! Made by Fat Brain Toy Co. And under $20, this game is sure to create some fun!

Have you ever played this game before?

If you’re wondering how much stuff we ended up purchasing.. Check it out…




Fine motor kits in the making! Be sure to stop back by in a few days for a list of the items featured in the kits!

Have a great Monday!

Block construction with a grabber

13 Jan

Hey hey! If you’re looking for another way to use a grabber, strengthen hands, facilitate bilateral coordination, promote control and stability, you may have found an activity that’s just what you need! I use this with my kids who are just old enough to use a good challenge. You can line the blocks up on a balance beam, steps, etc. and create a more challenging component for balance and core. You can also create various patterns and have the child imitate them or design one himself to encourage initiation and creativity.

What other ways have you used a grabber or blocks?

Have fun!




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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Toy Tuesday: Frog Tongs

8 Jan

Aren’t these awesome?! Mardel always has wonderful therapy tools, but these win the award for this week! Even under $5!





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Toy Tuesday: Gum Ball Machine

11 Dec

Hi there! Jeez it’s almost half way through December and I’ve yet to make a post! I can’t believe there are only 14 days until Christmas!! Crazy! My husband and I have been crazy busy these past few weeks. My brother in law got married to the love of his life, we decorated inside and out for Christmas, and have almost finished shopping for gifts! Still working on wrapping up everything… This week is also secret Santa week at work. For 4 days, small little gifts show up on everyone’s desk, all from their secret Santa, then Thursday night we will have a Christmas party at one of our co-workers house and reveal the secret Santa!! Such holiday fun!

This weeks Toy Tuesday is in honor of a coworker and her talent for finding great toys at the Dollar Tree…an inexpensive gum-ball machine. The kids have had such fun with this. It’s great for finger strengthening to use aerosol cans (spray deodorant, etc.) and spray bottles, as well as intrinsic palmar strengthening and bilateral coordination. Also works on grading movement and simple problem solving. Word of warning if you ever end up in a Dollar Tree with a pediatric OT… 😉

Have a great week! Be blessed and be thankful for our Lord and Savior!




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Toy Tuesday: Basketball!

28 Nov

Better late then never! I was too busy attending the winter parade tonight! Such fun!

For this Toy Tuesday post I am going to feature a toy my sweet second cousins played with over Thanksgiving…a toy basketball hoop! This was such a hit! It’s great for eye hand coordination, pressure grading, trial and error, taking turns, and the low tech part is definitely my favorite characteristic! Sometimes it’s fun to go simple. 🙂 Enjoy!





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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. 🙂

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… 🙂


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