I’m always amazed where inspiration comes from these days, although for me its usually on the fly when I need to come up with an idea for a kiddo immediately! And, if any of you have already thought of these ideas than my hats go off to you and I would love to hear more ideas that you have! The ideas today combine both gross and fine motor skills and can be evolved to match the changing needs and abilities of your kiddos.
Go Fish: This first idea came when a kiddo I was working with really wanted to play with a fishing game. I was putting her off while racking my brain of how to make a mostly fine motor/upper extremity game applicable to the gross motor skills we were working on. Finally as the session was getting closer to finishing and she asked about the game again I just decided to go with it. I pulled it out and realized that each fish had a color and a number on it. So, I decided to make each color a skill she had to do such as, hopping on one foot, skipping, crab walk, somersaults, jumping jacks, etc. The number, as you can probably guess, is the number of times she had to do each activity. She loved it! I have to admit I was a little stumped when the first fish she pulled up had an old tire on it but I just went with the flow and called it the bonus fish and made up something that wasn’t one of the four color skills. So, the great news was that in addition to working on upper extremity control by having to get the suction cup fishing pole onto a fish, she got to work on repetitions of gross motor skills. And, every time she ‘went fishing’ she had to squat down to get the fish since I had them on the floor! This game can be recreated every time by adding different skills to each color or to the bonus fish!
Jenga: The second idea is similar to the first. My OT had a Jenga game and I thought it could be fun to either write activities on each piece or to color code each piece. By color coding them it would allow you to alter the activities to each child or as your child grows and to switch it up if you get bored. You can play traditional Jenga to work on their fine motor control and precision or you can use them as building blocks and they have to pick one up and see what color or activity is on it and then put it down on whatever structure you guys are building.
I would love to hear more ideas that you have for incorporating fine and gross motor skills in a creative way!