Recently one of our OT’s added velcro strips to oversize blocks for one of the kiddos she was working with. I thought it was such a great idea that I asked her about it and here is the information I got from her!
The velcro blocks are great for working with kids on:
Visual Motor/Eye-Hand Concerns – When kids are unable to line up blocks correctly due to visual concerns the velcro can assist the child with being more successful in the session. The blocks will stick together and remain stacked even if they are not centered perfectly.
Modulation and Proprioceptive Difficulties: The kids that are unable to modulate or regulate the amount of force they use often times end up pushing the blocks right off of the others. With the velcro they have a chance for success because it will prevent them from pushing them off.
In addition, its a good progression to get the kids interested in stacking and feeling successful before moving back to stacking regular blocks. They begin to grasp the concept so they can build on their success!
For kids that have challenges stacking, larger/heavier blocks are harder to stack in a tower because they are more likely to tumble if not lined up properly. By adding the velcro you provide reinforcement to the skill of stacking. Kids can usually only get 4-5 before it falls over without the velcro as they are learning this skill. Smaller blocks are lighter and will most likely stack higher although there is less surface area for the tower to stack with. If kids are having a really big challenge, another option is covering the full surface of the block instead of just a strip may assist in better stacking.
One final option is that the velcro blocks can work as a train. If you have surfaces that are not covered in velcro, they will slide along the floor easily, so have the velcro pieces stick together and create an imaginary train along a path for improved imaginary play!
What else have you used block and/or velcro for?