One of my children had a great deal of difficulty developing the fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills necessary for so many routine, daily things most of us take for granted! Children don't come with manuals and when difficulties surface it's often hard to discern what to do and how to respond. This is just one area where we've "been there, done that" and I'm glad to share our tips!
Here is a compilation of a few activities and ideas for developing fine motor skills and motor coordination –
— there’s a product called Theraputty - this can be used for squeezing, rolling, pinching, etc. You can also hide little things in it for her to dig out (buttons, pennies, screws, etc)
— Beads ‘n Baubles stringing set (available from Rainbow Resource) or any stringing kit will do!
— lacing boards, lacing letters, etc.
— play with clay and/or Playdough – for letter, roll in snakes, balls, pinch with forefinger and thumb, squeeze, etc.)
— nuts and bolts (screwing them on and off)
— pegs and pegboards (available from Learning Resource and teacher stores)
— pop-on beads (Walmart carries a kit in the craft dept.)
— geoboards (create a design and have child recreate on their own)
— paddle boards (the ones with the ball attached)
— using yarn and noodles (the kind with a hole) have her string the noodles on the yarn
— draw a variety of lines on paper (straight, zig-zag, curved, etc) and have child cut along the line
— put a jacket or shirt with snaps or buttons onto a pillow and have the child practice these skills
— take shoestring out of shoes (or use an old pair) and have child practice lacing them up (tying could be practiced this way as well)
— big exercise ball (any dept. store) these are great for all kinds of activities
— clothes pins (my dd used to like to clip them all over my clothes and then take them off - sometimes we used a timer for added fun) or you can tie up a string or clothesline for her to clip them on.
— throw a ball back and forth (start with a bigger one and work your way down to a racquet ball or tennis ball or bean bag) I had my dd call the motions out loud i.e. catch, toss, catch toss or throw, bounce, catch, etc. . - this helped!
— toss games (where you have to get the bean bag through the hole) Oriental Trading carries them or you can improvise - cut a hole in a cardboard box, use a bucket, hulahoop, or anything else that can serve as a target! You could also tape a paper plate to the door and draw a bullseye on it for a target.
— Legos! (the smaller ones that snap together)
— Cheerios – have the child pick up the cereal pieces one at a time and put them in a cup or bowl. Use Cheerios and yarn for stringing.
— craft beads - (the ones with hole in the center) – Have the child move them from one saucer (or shallow container) to another using tweezers.
— Lay out five/six pennies to the right and left of a shallow dish (or use 10/12 pennies placed in an upside down L position with the dish centered between the upper part), have the child simultaneously pick up one from each side and put into the container.
— Using a plastic needle, thread and popcorn, make popcorn strings for fun.
Note: some of these have very small parts, so please use caution and keen supervision when working with a child who tends to put things in his/her mouth!Now that you have some ideas to get you started, I'm sure it will stir your creativity :) If issues are severe, persistent, or warrant further attention, you may want to consult with an Occupational Therapist for evaluation, advice and/or therapy.