Looking for a fine motor activity that uses the small motor movements of the hands needed for skills like beading, handwriting, and managing clothing fasteners? Sometimes, it can be difficult to get a kiddo to work on those areas when the very task you need to strengthen is one that is difficult to do.
Sometimes an activity that is a little bit different is the very thing needed for kids who need to work on fine motor skills. This jumbo threading activity uses cardboard ribbon spools (and we do love our recycled crafts!) and can help with fine motor skill development in a big way.
Large Fine Motor Threading Activity
Using small beads to thread on string or pipe cleaners is an excellent way to build pincer grasp, tripod grasp, bilateral coordination, hand-eye coordination, and in-hand manipulation. But if if is hard for a child to do these tasks, they may not want to participate in small beading as much as their parent, therapist, or teacher may like. These cardboard ribbon spools are a fun way to build the skills needed for fine motor tasks, in a different way.
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Besides the recycled cardboard spools (which hold ribbons), all we used for this activity were large fuzzy pipe cleaners. Ours came from www.craftprojectideas.com.
This is an easy busy bag type of activity for kids. Set them up with a tray of spools and pipe cleaners while mom grabs a cup of coffee. OR, for the Occupational Therapists in the crowd, this makes a nice multi-purpose activity for the OT treatment bag.
Simply show your kiddo how to thread the large pipe cleaners onto the cardboard spools. Using different sizes of spools requires different motor movements of the hands, but using several sizes promote graded grasp patterns. Threading the pipe cleaners into the center of the spools allows the child to thread with a tripod grasp on a larger scale. Children can hold the spools with their non-dominant helper hand in a whole hand grasp.
Add more skills to this threading task by stacking the spools to work on precision. Ask your client or child to hold the edges of the spools to incorporate a spherical grasp. Threading by size encourages beginning math skills with visual discrimination and visual scanning.
Areas worked on with this activity:
Whole Hand Grasp
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