Many children receive occupational therapy (OT) to build fine motor skills which are the movements of the small muscles of the hands and fingers used to complete everyday tasks. While many children may see an occupational therapist in a school or clinic setting, the occupational therapist also recommends parents to continue practicing skills within the home environment for continued growth and progress. There are several fun and engaging ways to facilitate skill development at home. If a child is working on strengthening their fine motor skills in OT sessions, there are many toys that parents can play with their child to improve those skills. The best part is that children do not even realize that they are practicing skills since they are playing with a fun toy!
Here are some examples of toys that target fine motor skills that can be fun for the whole family!
Legos: Legos are excellent for working on fine motor skills as it develops grasp along with intrinsic hand strength having to push them together and pull them apart. Legos also improve hand-eye coordination and bilateral coordination since a child has to use both upper extremities to manipulate the pieces. Click here to order your own set of Legos.
Tweezers: Tweezers are a great tool for grasp development, fine motor coordination, and hand strength. You can have your child pick up pom pom balls, beads, game pieces, etc. You can also have your child sort, match, or create games using the tweezers as an additional challenge.
Play-Doh: We have all grown up playing with Play-Doh, and whether or not we knew it at the time, we were building fine motor skills as we did. Play-Doh is beneficial as it targets hand strength, grasping skills, and develops the arches of the hand. You can make this activity more fun by using cookie cutters and a rolling pin with the Play-Doh. You can also target cutting skills by rolling the Play-Doh into a “log” and cutting it into pieces. Here is a link to a basic set on Amazon.
Linking Pop Cubes: These linking pop cubes are great for developing grasping skills, increasing hand strength, and hand-eye coordination. You can also work on counting, color recognition, and creating patterns to add an additional challenge for your child. Click here for a link on Amazon.
All of these toys are not only fun and affordable, but they help to develop a child’s fine motor skills which are important for school skills, feeding, dressing, and more!
If you have concerns regarding your child’s fine motor skills development, contact Chicago Occupational Therapy or call (773) 980-0300 to learn more about our services and how we can help your child flourish and grow.