FROM ALISON: Many of our children have challenges with fine motor skills which lead to challenges with using their hands for tasks like writing.
We used to have this with Jordan, but with a few household objects and a bit of planning there are games that can help with this.
So the first game is to string two washing lines across the playroom one at each end. Then pin up pictures on one of them of things that your child is motivated by. The important piece is to use clothes pegs that require a pincer grip to operate them. Then have a race to see who can transfer the pictures from one washing line to the other. Maybe you could do it wearing a blindfold so that you are slower – then swap and let your child wear the blindfold.
Another game involves getting one of those metal single hole punchers from a stationery shop – these require a squeeze grip. You could then set up a fair ground game where you and lots of cuddly toys get to go on the rides but you all have tickets that need holes punching in them so you can count how many rides you have all had – and of course your child is the ride operator so he gets to punch all the tickets and go on the rides. Another version of this would be for your child to be an old fashioned bus conductor and punch all the tickets.
Picking up small things can be challenging – so using dried foods (that the child is allowed to eat) can be a way of practicing a fine pincer grip. You could open a whole food shop and your child could be the shop keeper. You can then come into the shop and buy 20 raisins and 15 grains of rice and 17 pieces of pasta etc. Your child then needs to count out the foods one at a time and move them from the pot they are in to another pot.
If you like making a mess, you could always put a tarpaulin down on the floor and tip all the food together on the tarp and then sort them out into pots – or use glue and make food pictures. Or make pasta necklaces etc.
Have fun with helping your children to use their hands.