flashback post: fine motor activities

The following is a post from an old blog of mine from many years ago. Somewhere along the way we stopped working on fine motor skills and we really shouldn't have. Now, years later, he is still having some fine motor issues. I cannot help but think if we had stuck with it that he wouldn't be struggling in these areas now. Fine motor practice for little kiddos is so important. So, if you have a little one, stick with it and work on that fine motor planning. Here are a couple of ideas for that.....

One of the things Meechi is working on (well, I guess it's actually two things) with early intervention is hand/eye coordination and two handed activities. Hand/eye is pretty much self explanatory and I think everyone has heard about it and it's importance so I will skip explaining that. Two handed activities are of course activities that require the child to use both hands to accomplish the activity. Since each side of the brain controls a different side of the body it is necessary to use both sides of the body to stimulate the whole brain. Two handed activities are helpful in stimulating both sides of the brain. Makes sense, right?

So I have gotten a little creative in order to find activities for Meechi that will work on his hand/eye coordination as well as requiring the use of two hands. Of course I am always looking for a way to do things as inexpensively as possible. Rather than buy overpriced toys, I have created a few of my own that work just as well.

Threading is a really good activity for eye/hand coordination as well as two handed activity. For my inexpensive threading materials I used craft wire and mini spools. The thicker grades of craft wire will work best for this. I like Fun Wire brand. It comes in a lot of colors, is plastic coated and is a good thick grade. We happened to already have some at home so for us it was perfect when it came time to make Meechi a threading toy. I also used some mini spools I had at home. These too were from some craft wire I had. It was a thinner wire and not plastic coated, so not right for this project. The spools, however, were perfect. The ones I had were all white so I used permanent markers to add color and design to them. Simply cut off whatever length of wire you desire for threading. You will need to create a stopper at the end so your spools won't slide off. I actually tied one of the spools to the end and it made a wonderful stopper. The child simply holds the wire and threads the spools onto the end. Perfect for eye/hand coordination. Also the flexibility of the wire makes it a little bit trickier and requires the child to concentrate more on what they are doing. Of course this activity will take use of both hands and therefor gets both sides of the brain working. (if your child tends to put things in their mouth you will want to use regular size spools rather than the mini ones)

Another good activity for eye/hand coordination and two-handed activity involves fun noodles (the swim toys) and a wooden spoon. Cut up a fun noodle (the ones with the ridges work best because they supply finger holds) into circles about 1.2 to 2 inches thick. Your child can then place the fun noodles rings on the handle of a wooden spoon. They will need to hold the spoon in one hand and use the other hand to get the ring onto the handle. Great two handed play to stimulate both sides of the brain. Working the rings onto the spoon handle also helps develop eye/hand coordination.