I love finding creative ways to develop fine motor skills. From crafts and creative play to recycled materials, there are so many ways that kids can work on fine motor development. We were excited to play with a set of YOXO Build It Kit while boosting hand strength and fine motor development with this building toy. Blocks and building toys are a great way to strengthen the skills needed for pencil grasp, clothing management, and play.
Not only that, these occupational therapy toys are building toys are open-ended so that kids can use their imagination through hands-on learning and play. These blocks are sure to be a hit in your house like they were in ours!
Fine Motor Development with Building Toys
We explored the Build It Kit by YOXO – 120 Piece Open-Ended Building Toy. Opening up the reusable tool box, we were pretty excited to see all of the building pieces. My kids got right to building business!
Pinching materials like the durable link pieces encourages strengthening of the intrinsic muscles and development of the arches of the hands. These skills are essential for endurance in writing and coloring activities. Activities like cutting with scissors and managing clothing fasteners are also dependent on arch development and strength of the muscles inside the hand. Pushing the connecting links helps to develop these skills.
Working both hands together to connect the pieces and build on the tubes promotes bilateral coordination. For kids to complete activities like cutting with scissors, pulling on clothing, and handwriting, they must develop bilateral coordination.
A lateral key pinch is needed for tasks like manipulating a zipper pull on jackets and coats. Connecting the YOXO pieces is a great way to encourage this skill.
In-hand manipulation is a skill that is necessary for manipulating shoelaces within our hands and transferring coins inside our palm. Moving small items from the palm of the hand to the fingertips can be quite difficult for some kids. We used the small YOXO pieces to stack and build while exercising in-hand manipulation.
Activities like spinning tops require another type of in-hand manipulation skill. Rotating items on the pads of the fingers is a type of in-hand manipulation skill that we use when adjusting a pencil in our hands. My kids loved making a couple of types of spinning tops with the building set. It was fun to see which top would stop first.
An open thumb web space is required for many functional pencil grasps and manipulation of small items like beads or beans. We used the YOXO pieces to open the thumb web space by pressing the pieces to connecting lines of colors and shapes.
Gross grasp development allows strengthening of the whole hand. Tasks like scissor use and self-dressing require this grasp. My Toddler loved using the tubes to boost this skill while making a few pretend ice cream cones. The imagination going on here is pretty amazing!
Using these fine motor skills in coordination with visual perception is what allows us to write and form letters in handwriting. I loved the activity that my Toddler came up with: placing the pieces right on the edge of the reusable toolbox was an exercise in eye-hand coordination. She was really into this activity!
YOXO Building Toys
I love that this toy is low tech, screen and button-free, and a hands-on way to get kids boosting those fine motor skills while playing and being creative. The Occupational Therapist in me cheers for toys like this!
A little more about YOXO toys:
- This earth-friendly toy is made of recycled and recyclable materials and is a fun DIY building kit for kids.
- The PBS KIDS Build It Kit by YOXO encourages open-ended play through discovery and imagination.
- The American-made toy is durable and and made from an earth-friendly composite. It’s like building with an extra-thick puzzle piece.
- YOXO toys are perfect for encouraging STEM play with kids. In fact, YOXO kits have been recognized by Purdue University for building STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills in kids.
- YOXO is open-ended, allowing for limitless creative building play. Open-ended building is a form of self-directed play where kids design, build and play with toys created from their own imaginations. This form of play gives kids the freedom to explore possibilities and test the boundaries of what is possible. YOXO kits are specially designed to encourage open-ended play and discovery far beyond the instructions!
- YOXO is compatible with stuff around your house, from paper towel rolls to cereal boxes – see yoxo.com/building-basics-instructions/
- YOXO works with other building sets, including LEGO.
Do your kids love open ended toys? How do you encourage fine motor development?