Fine Motor Fuzzy Beads Activity (DIY beads!)
Now for the fine motor fun part: Using those little pipe cleaner beads that the kids created, show them how to bead them onto the fuzzy pipe cleaners for a threading task. Beading is an excellent fine motor activity for children, as it opens up the thumb web space and works on skills like bilateral hand coordination, in-hand manipulation, visual scanning (as the child looks for the color they like!), and hand-eye coordination to thread the bead onto the fuzzy stick.
What is an Open thumb Web Space and WHY do you need to care about it?
When kids write or color with that web space area squashed shut, it’s a sign of problems. Then might be compensating for thumb instability, underdeveloped hand arches, and/or poor strength. Each of these problem areas will lead to difficulties with handwriting, dexterity, manipulation of small items like beads, and pencil grasp. Writing with a closed web space is inefficient and will cause poor and slow handwriting, especially as kids grow and are expected to write at faster speeds. A closed web space while attempting to manage fasteners such as buttons and zippers will lead to fumbling and difficulty. So, what do you do if you’ve got a kiddo who is squashing that web space shut during functional tasks? I’ve got a few ideas on how to work on open thumb web spaces.
(NOTE: This post and all others on this site are meant to be a resource, and not treatment. If your child displays any difficulty that we discuss here, please refer to an Occupational Therapist for individualized evaluation and treatment.)
RELATED READ: Thumb Opposition With Paper Clips
Open Web Space Activities
- Beading (like our idea we shared above!) Other beading ideas include threading plastic beads on a string, placing cereal O’s onto toothpicks, and stringing straws onto yarn.
- Wind up toys.
- Barrel of Monkeys
game. Encourage your child to pick up the monkeys with an open web space.
- A game like Chinese Checkers
encourages an open web space when the child grasps the small pegs with a pincer grasp between their thumb and the pad of their index finger.
- You could also try peg games like this HABA Color Peg.
- Push coins into a piggy bank.
activities are great for an open web space.
- If handwriting and poor pencil grasp is an issue, try a pencil grip.
- Pop beads.
- Roll play dough into small balls using the pads of the thumb and index finger. This is a great activity for developing arches of the hands and opening the thumb web space.
- Pop bubble wrap.
- Screw and Unscrew nuts and bolts.
- Fold and crease oragami. This Origami Set & Booklooks like fun. Crease the paper between the thumb and pointer finger.
- Pinching clothes pins.
- Lacing cards are great for opening the thumb web space. Prompt your child to keep their thumb web space open while managing the thread. We’ve got lots of ideas here.
You will love these Fine Motor ideas for kids:
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