Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fine Motor Activities

I start off by saying that these fine motor activities are not recommended for children under the age of 3 or children that still put non-edible things in their mouth! Although these fine motor activities have been favorites with the children I've used them with, there are still small parts to them and adults (parents, teachers, tutors, therapists, etc.) should use extreme caution when allowing the child to play with them. Please be responsible and do not leave a child unattended with these activities. Now, on to the fun stuff. As stated, these fine motor activities were favorites of the children I used them with. Usually, there was a brief period of hate while the child learned how to do each activity. However, once that period was over, these activities were great for independent play, an activity to fill time with in between lessons, etc. The children would often request to play with them. So they help the child with fine motor skills and can be fun at the same time! There are 7 activities. They help the child with hand/eye coordination, hand strength, pincer grasp, and pre-writing skills.

Each activity can be purchased individually or in the set. I recommend to buy the complete Fine Motor Activity Set for $29 (plus shipping--I'll have a price list soon). It is the best deal! To place an order, email me at Learning4Phun@gmail.com with the item and quantity of each. I currently only work through Paypal.

Fine Motor Activity Set: $29
(Includes: All 7 activities)
Monster Muncher: $4
(Includes: tennis ball & erasers)
Pom-Pom Catcher: $4
(Includes: container, tongs & pom poms)
Petey Pig: $3
(Includes: piggy bank & coins)
Marble Masher: $4
(Includes: container & marbles)
Jumpin' Jelly Jewels: $5
(Includes: container & rock jewels)
Rockin' Rocks: $5
(Includes: container & rocks)
Rowdy Reptiles : $6
(Includes: container & reptiles)

Monster Muncher: The ultimate goal is to have the child hold the tennis ball with one hand and put the erasers in the mouth with the other. Some children don't have the strength to hold the ball open. That's just fine. It gives the child something to work up to. The adult can hold it open while the child feeds the monster. The child can work up to holding the ball open--he holds it open and puts in one eraser. After he can do that without any problems, he holds it open for two, while the adult holds it open for the rest, etc. In my experience, the children really enjoyed it when the monster would make "eating" noises as the erasers are put in. Be sure the child uses his thumb and pointer fingers to put the erasers in. It works the pincer grip.
Pom-Pom Catcher: Lay out the pom-poms on a table, floor, etc. and have the child use the tongs to pick up each pom-pom and put it in the container. To make this activity slightly more challenging, move the container away from the pile so the child has to reach further or get up out of his chair. This is also a fun activity to use with a flat vestibular swing. Have the child lay on his stomach on the swing, put the pom-poms in one spot and the container in another. The child has to use his arm to manipulate the swing to move the pom-poms from one area to the container all while keeping the pom-pom in the tongs.
Petey Pig: Who doesn't love money? Unfortunately, this is plastic money, but the children still enjoy playing with it! Be sure to have the money slot horizontal and vertical while the child puts the money in. This allows the child to work on controlling his wrist. It is very easy to put money in with the slot horizontal. But it is more difficult when the pig is facing the child and the slot is vertical.

Marble Masher: The Marble Masher is always a fun activity. Most children enjoy shaking the container once all marbles have been pushed in. Have the child use his finger and thumb, pincer grip, to push each marble through the slot. For more resistance, I've used the container for the Jumpin' Jelly Jewels, Rockin' Rocks and Rowdy Reptiles. If this is a set up you would like, please let me know and I can add that container for $3 more.

Jumpin' Jelly Jewels: This activity is slightly more difficult than the marbles due to the many sides of the jewels. The concept is the same though. The child (or adult if necessary) will hold the tube with one hand and then will push the jewel in the slot with his thumb and pointer finger. Do not squish the container to make the slot open up and outward. That defeats the purpose of the activity.

Rockin' Rocks: This activity is
similar to the Jumpin' Jelly Jewels. The child sticks the rock into the slot with his pincer grip. There isn't as much resistance due to the sides, but there will be some due to the size of the rock. It requires a bit more work to get the large rock into the small slot. Do not squeeze the container to make the slot open up and outward. It defeats the purpose of the activity.

Rowdy Reptiles: The reptiles are squishy and not at all dense like the rest of the activities. Much patience is required to get the reptiles in the container due to their length. Same rules apply though--pincer grip to get the reptiles in the container, container held in the other hand. Again, do not sqeeze the container so the slot opens up and out.



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