Balancing Bugs on a Leaf for Fine Motor

Here is a cute little activity that combines in hand manipulation with fine motor control to place objects in just the right place. I made some leaves, printed them on cardstock, and laminated them to give them more strength. Then I balanced the leaf on a little cube. It is like the leaf is floating in the water. Then the students have to pick up small bugs, or squinkies and place them on the leaf one at a time, trying {Read More}

Pencil Obstacle Courses from School-OT

To work on pencil control, I created some Pencil Adventures.  When I started making the pencil adventures, I was inspired by the pencil obstacle courses that were created by another Occupational Therapist, Jennifer Dodge.  I now have her obstacle courses available here on Therapy Fun Zone, and I am so excited about it.  These ones are hand drawn, and are very creative.  Some of them work on erasing skills as well as writing skills.  There are 13 different obstacle courses {Read More}

Marshmallow Men

We made some men out of marshmallows and toothpicks, and they were delicious.  We used multiple sizes of marshmallows for the different parts, and connected the parts with toothpicks. Some of these men were looking very funny, but they all tasted good in the end.  This is a fun food play activity to combine food and fine motor skills.  Sticking the mini marshmallows on the end of the toothpicks can require some skill.  It is great for working with both {Read More}

Painting With Tiny Sponges

In my quest to paint with tiny objects, I had some kids paint with tiny cut up sponges. I cut the sponges into tiny pieces so that the kids would have to use a fine precise grasp. It worked well, but I used regular kitchen sponges, which squished down too easily between the fingers when picked up. Next time I will use make-up sponges, which are much denser, and I think would make great tools to paint with. You can {Read More}

Balancing Balls on Golf Tees

I have a new activity for my bouncy balls to participate in. I stuck five golf tees into a piece of rigid Styrofoam, and then had kids balance the bouncy balls onto the tees. You can increase the challenge by holding multiple balls in one hand, and putting the balls on the tee at the same time. This requires some skill at in-hand manipulation, which gets the two sides of the hand doing different jobs. The pinky side is holding {Read More}

My new favorite fine motor toy: connect 4 on the run

I was picking up some sidewalk chalk at the store the other day and just happened to look at this little Connect Four Fun On the Run Game.  It is connect 4, which is already a great fine motor game as I discussed in another post, but this new one is smaller, with smaller pieces that require more precise fine motor control to pull them out of the piece holder, and put them into the game spaces. I think that {Read More}

Stringing cheerios onto pipe cleaners

I work with a child that needs to improve her fine motor skills, but she puts everything in her mouth. She enjoys the marble run, but I am nervous about using it with her. I decided to try stringing cheerios as a good edible fine motor activity. My client is not ready to string the cheerios onto a string, so we ar putting them on a pipe cleaner. Honey comb is a fun alternative with many holes to string through. {Read More}

New Pencil Adventures With Dragons and Mummies

I finished making four new pencil adventures, and my son was eager to try them out. While he was doing them, he commented that it was hard to stay on the path, and that his hand was getting tired from working at being so careful. In the dragon adventure, you have to avoid the dragon’s fire and draw circles to capture the dragon and her gold. The Egyptian Adventures are a three part series. In the first one you go {Read More}

Lincoln Logs

A lot of typical play activities can be considered therapy.  Lincoln Logs are a classic toy that incorporates all of the best parts of playing with toys.  They use imagination, and when building your house, you use visual perceptual skills.  You of course have to use fine motor skills in order to put everything together.  This sample is an archer’s station.  Notice the indians with their bows ready to shoot. Materials: Lincoln Logs Imagination Skills: Fine Motor Visual Motor Looking {Read More}

Pencil Obstacle Course

Very frequently, I draw a path for kids to follow with their pencil.  I often draw animals beside the path to make it fun and tell them they have to stay on the path so that the lion won’t get them.  I have wanted to have some fun ready made ones, but they are hard to find.  Most things that I find are mazes, which are ok, but they aren’t what I am wanting.  Another Occupational Therapist has a website {Read More}