Fine motor skill development! New activities!!!
As I dive back into home therapy with my little munchkins I’ve been trying to keep things interesting. We had developed a little bit of a routine and consequently we were doing the same activities and this quickly became boring for the kids and myself.
They eventually felt like all the games we were doing had become more like chores and not so much fun. So I’ve been keeping my eyes open for some new supplies and ideas and I finally found some.
Whilst out shopping for groceries I came across a huge selection of educational books and resources at my local Aldi of all places. I honestly usually skip the middle isles of this supermarket as it often contains things I don’t need like snow jackets and bar fridges, but for some reason I thought I would have a browse, probably because I was kid free (they were home with dad) and I was enjoying the peace and quiet of the shops.
I picked up quiet a few things, none of which I could afford but when you find them you buy them, anything that helps with home therapy is never to be left behind. I brought some fantastic home school books all of which are filled to the brim with handwriting pages and writing activities. I will be doing a post on them in days to come.
Today I thought I would break out the really fun things. First was a bucket of threading beads. Although they are more like discs than beads. These can be used for threading onto string or for sorting into shapes and colours. You can also use them for counting or stacking, it really doesn’t matter what you do with them, any use of these small colourful discs is going to require the use of fine motor skills.
We started with threading. Master 5, as always found it extremely difficult, but he was having so much fun that his focus was definitely not on how challenging it was. Miss 1 loved it, after making her pasta necklace at under 8’a day she has been very into anything crafty and did a brilliant job, with a little help from mum.
Master 7’s fine motor management has come such a long way since he started therapy a 2 years ago (fish that time has gone fast) and he managed to make his all on his own. Miss 3 also did her own and didn’t need any assistance, not that she would have accepted it, she is quite an independent little young lady.
Although he wasn’t in the mood for photos!
After the threading beads I moved onto activity number 2 for the day, plugging flowers. These little discs each have groves in the side and can be connected to create so many things. From patterns to shapes and buildings. It came with a little guide and together we built a little robot.
Master 5 again had some trouble but he enjoyed playing the whole time. He made some very interesting shapes and pretended to make some animals and dinosaurs. Once he had had enough struggling to connect the pieces he moved onto stacking them up and grouping them into colour coded piles.
Again, these things are fantastic for fine motor skill development, they encourage free play and being able to watching my kids use their imagination is always a proud mummy moment for me.
I’ve also taken a new approach to therapy, before I was very structured and tried to get the kids, especially the boys to do the activities exactly as they were meant to be so as to get the best results for the time we had, I think that was a mistake on my behalf. Although they love structure, my making them follow the rules of each activity was making it feel like work when I wanted it to feel like play.
So now, as I know no matter what they are doing with the resources I provide, be it following the activities instructions or playing how they want to play, every little bit counts, so it does not matter if they aren’t doing what I had originally planned.
I’m also trying to be more flexible with when we do home therapy. Mornings are always a rush for us, however, it’s the first half of the day when my boys have the most energy and the ability to stay focused for longer periods of time.
Really hated the camera!!!
I used to only bring out therapy play in the afternoons, it just suited my schedule better, but it was not working the best for the boys. So I’ve started bringing out an activity in the morning before school, I obviously have them all ready to go before hand so they are not late, but it has made a huge difference in their willingness to participate and their progress is so much more evident.
As always, thanks for reading and if you have any other ideas on how to use the above resources I would love to hear them.