Thursday, May 21, 2009

Busy Little Hands

Trying to get your young one to hold a pencil correctly?

According to occupational therapist Stacey Smith, much of our dexterity involves hand, arm, and shoulder strength developed at a young age. The answer to your woes could be as easy as a crab walk race across the yard or snapping beads together to form a necklace. Here are a bunch of great tips and ideas for encouraging the development and strengthening of preschoolers' hands, arms, and shoulders in preparation for writing. For any mother out there with little ones, take note-- these tricks will save you while waiting in a doc's office or out at a restaurant!

Toys for dexterity:
*sand, rice bins, *shaving cream/funny foam, *finger tracing in different mediums (e.g. baggie of hair gel), *bingo markers, *fastener toys, *play doh/theraputty with rolling pins and cookie cutters, *animal walks--crab, bear, wheelbarrow, *jumping jacks, *coins in a piggy bank, *clothespins, *hammering golf tees into styrofoam, *finger paint, *wooden beads and string

Toys on the go:
*color change markers, *magna doodle, *Wikki sticks, *lacing, *snap/Pop
beads, *stamps, *crayon rocks/animal markers, *stickers, *tweezers/chopsticks, *spin tops, *Fun Dip/Pixie Sticks, *"Wilson" the hungry tennis ball (made by cutting a slit in a tennis ball--kids squeeze to make the mouth open)

Favorite Home Games:
*Thin Ice, *Cooties, *Knex, *Don't Break The Ice, *Ants in the Pants, *Hi Ho Cherry-O, *Memory, *Whac-a-mole, *Trouble, *Hungry Hungry Hippos, *Let's Go Fishing, *Zingo (5+),
*Perfection (5+)


AWOL Mommy said...

I just want to point out that the list of games contains two that are particular scourges in my home: Cooties and Hi Ho Cherry O are two of the messiest, smallest piece games in the universe! Why is it that we must sacrifice our vacuum cleaner heads on teeny plastic cherries and bug legs if we want our children to be dexterous? Someone? Please?

To comment on the non-commentable above -- that is an amazing deal on a great stroller. I think my mother paid 3x that for ours. Oh, and please ensure it comes with rear-wheel guards. My 16 month old son sits under there and has developed a new trick where he runs his hands over the wheels (thereby acting as a human brake and getting amazingly dirty) while I am at particularly difficult parts of my walks with the thing. Anyway, two topics close to home -- just couldn't resist. Happy Friday.

Right Said Red said...

We have had a really good experience with wooden beads and string, plus they are neat and clean and easy for a 2-3 year old child to use while I do something else (like teach an older child). As for the games, we really enjoy Hi Ho Cherry-O, but I make them play in an area where it is easy to see the Cherries that have dropped on the ground.

Dianna said...

I just found your blog recently, and love it! I'd love to have a group of mommas like you all to pal around with! What a great post ... thanks for the ideas!