With the holiday season rapidly descending on us I figured I would add a new Motor Smart Toys and Tips (since it had been a while). I will do my best to add more each week throughout the holiday season!
Here are our past ones if you want to look through recommendations we have made previously:
Travel Board Games: Games like Connect 4, Sorry, Trouble and Battleship that can be bought for travel have smaller pieces and are great ways to practice fine motor skills especially for older kids. This way they get to practice their skills while having fun the whole family can enjoy!
Bananagrams: For some older kids here is a scrabble game that you can play against yourself or others to see how many words you can create. Its a great way to work on spelling and fine motor skills. For younger kids you could modify the game and have them locate specific letters or a certain number of each letter.
Wii: We have used WiiSport, Wii Fit, and Just Dance for Kids to work on skills such as balance, hand eye coordination, strengthening, overall coordination and ability to follow along with commands, and endurance to name a few. The best part is that the kids think they are playing games (which they are) while they are actually working! Kinect is similar to the Wii and has their own games as well. We just have not used them so I don’t have specific recommendations.
Cones: You can actually use anything that is portable and small. We have bought orange plastic cones at Target but they aren’t necessary. You can create paths for kids to zig zag through (walking, running, crawling, backwards, sideways, knee walking, skipping, galloping, kicking a ball, bouncing a ball), you can create stations where each cone has a task such as jumping jacks, forward rolls, turning in circles, etc, you can set up a goal for kicking the ball through or rolling the ball through or throwing the ball through, you can create races with a cone being the start and the finish (running, 3 legged, egg in spoon, potato sack, barrell rolling, see all suggestions for zig zagging), or you can ask your kids for ideas. I’m always amazed at the creativity of kids!
Monster at the End of the Book: This is one of my favorite new items and it not only promotes reading in an interactive way but in order to untie the knots and knock down the boards and turn the page your child has to work on finger disassociation. I have found that even adults are enjoying the story as it is narrated by everybody’s favorite furry, lovable monster – Grover!
Glitter Draw: Want to work on handwriting in a new and novel way? Or just encourage writing/drawing? Then check out this app that has a free version. You can change colors to differentiate what you are writing or drawing. Also, our OT will draw lines (like on a page) for letters to go in between so you can work on scaling letters down. Just hitting undo is so much neater than using an eraser as well! You can also purchase stylus to make it more like actually using a pen/pencil/crayon/marker. There are small ones or larger ones for kids who have a hard time with the small ones.
Shaving Cream: An easy tool for sensory play. You can use it for handwriting, drawing, etc. Here is a link for Shaving Cream Art Projects.
Here is a link for recipes for various do-it-yourself sensory materials that are fun for kids of all ages and all abilities!