From an OT perspective, the items in the kits can be utilized in so many different ways to provide children with opportunities to develop and improve their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills help children accomplish many everyday tasks such as holding a pencil, brushing teeth, feeding and dressing themselves, etc., which ultimately leads to increased independence. It can be extremely frustrating for children when they have poor fine motor skills. It can cause them to get tired and give up easily, impacting their self-confidence and self-esteem. This is why it is so important to start developing fine motor skills at an early age.
I am a strong believer in learning through play and making learning fun so that children can improve on their skills without realizing how hard they are working! What I love about these kits is the potential to DEVELOP important underlying foundational skills that are needed for good fine motor skills. With a little imagination and creativity, you can turn any of the items in the kits into a fun game while targeting the child’s individual fine motor goals! Whether it is developing hand and finger strength, bilateral coordination, touch perception, and or increasing the dexterity of the hand muscles. It can be as simple as picking up one spider at a time and placing them onto the log or playing a game of flick the pompoms into a goal with just the thumb and index finger. These are just a few examples of how some of the items can be used to develop the pincer grasp, which is a key skill to develop since we rely on it for so many tasks.
If you want a little more variation, you can easily combine the items in the kit with different sensory media and tools. For instance, you can set up a treasure hunt by hiding small items such as the coins in Play-Doh or putty for children to find. Or you can bring out some tweezers and tongs to sort the colored bears by color or size etc. Hiding any of the small items in a sensory bin for a game of “I spy’ is another fun way to engage the visual and tactile sense while strengthening the small muscles in the hand at the same time! Just give it a try and you will see that the possibilities for targeting fine motor skills are endless!