Once again, I found some really fun ideas on pinterest that I passed on to the OT’s at work. I actually combined two ideas for them to work with. The first was velcro popsicle sticks and the other was using preprinted Lego pictures. We bought some colored popsicle sticks, added velcro and then had fun making pictures for kids to copy later. One of our OT’s has been using the popsicle sticks by themselves as well as using them with the pictures. From using these tools, here are some of the benefits that were discovered:
- visual perception – the kids enhance these skills as they work to copy the shapes and/or the color order
- problem solving – how to make the shape look like the one in the picture, as well as how to make the popsicle sticks stick to each other (i.e. the ‘soft’ side sticks to the ‘scratchy’ side)
- bilateral hand use – in order to attach and detach the sticks, the kids need to use two hands
- shape and letter recognition/formation – when kids create the shape/letter with the popsicle sticks they can trace it with their fingers and then carry it over to actual drawing/writing. They can also work on naming the shapes or forming them when asked (either by copying a picture or free hand). When one kiddo who was consistently making squares with rounded corners used the popsicle sticks he was able to make actual corners for the first time when he drew the square.
- imagination – when given the chance to free play with them you can see what the kids come up with on their own. For instance one kiddo made a square/diamond and then added one more stick, when the OT asked him what it was he held it up in the air and said ‘kite’.
What other ideas do you have for the popsicle sticks?