Turning fine motor skills into fun motor skills
There have been lots of articles lately about diminished fine motor skills in our modern kids. My daughter, who just entered Junior Kindergarten this year, has a developmental disability and low tone. These are due to her rare syndrome. But lots of kids need a little extra help with those JK or Pre-K readiness skills.
The best OT advice ever
My daughter is a special case. We’ve had therapy after therapy. But when we went to our annual assessment, our Occupational Therapist suggested we didn’t need private therapy to get skills like cutting and coordination up to snuff. She gave me the best tip ever and I’m so excited to share it with you. Seriously. This one is awesome.
If you are looking into ways to help your kid with cutting and other fine motor skills for preschool or JK, get some Play-Doh.
You heard me, Play-Doh for Fun Motor Skills
She said “It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s affordable. And kids love it so they have no idea they’re working on tough skills.”
1: Play-Doh builds strength
All that squeezing and rolling and squishing is amazing for tiny fingers. They will need to use those little hands for a lifetime of writing and keyboarding and all kinds of remarkable things they don’t even know about yet. The muscle tone gained through play is the same tone gained through ‘exercise’. It’s just more fun.
2: Play-Doh scissors are amazing
I spend a lot of time imagining that she’s going to poke her eyes out with tiny scissors. But how can she practice cutting without them? Enter Play-Doh scissors. I received them in the Play-Doh starter set. Let me tell you that they are awesome. My little has learned to place her fingers in the holes. She learned to snip. She has learned to make multiple cuts. The scissors are rounded at the tips for safety. They are light and easy to manage. And, when they break, they pop right back together.
3: Play-Doh is never the same game twice
When you play with Play-Doh, every time is different. Unlike ‘therapy’ tools or rote exercises you practice, Play-Doh is squeezy, squishy, gooey, oozy fun. My daughter doesn’t want to stop. She wants to keep playing, rolling, snipping and imagining. If I sit down with her to do therapy exercises, we have 5, 10…15 minutes tops. She can play with Play-Doh all day long. I will admit it’s all a big greeny-grey blob at this point, but she doesn’t care.
Typical skills, typical school
There was a time I figured Little A would never be able to handle a typical classroom surrounded by regular kids. I thought we’d have multiple therapy appointments on the calendar for years and years. It’s true that she does still have a few in the books, but when it comes to these school readiness skills, she’s good to go.
If you or your child’s teacher are nervous that your child might need a little extra help, I would suggest you get a proper assessment. But, in the mean time, grab some Play-Doh. There are countless sets to choose from. It’s affordable. It’s building valuable fine motor skills. And it’s fun.
My friends at Hasbro sent me this Play-Doh Starter Set when they heard how excited I was to find these scissors, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Melanie from mommydo.com writes about parenting, food, neat stuff and the unexpected beauty in life, all while juggling work, family life and spreading awareness and raising funds for Williams Syndrome.