The Ultimate Guide to Fine Motor Strength with Recycled Containers

When Toddlers are involved, bath time tends to be more wet than the splash zone at Sea World.  

I’m reminded of our bath time adventures every time I step into the shower and see Barbie dolls, plastic cups, and every kind of bathtub water toy spread all over the edge of the tub.  We’ve got the plastic bin right there in the bathroom, but just like any other aspect of childhood, little pieces and bits of the reminder of children seem to be left all over the place.  

One of my kids favorite ways to play in the bathtub is with used shampoo and conditioner bottles.  We leave a few along the edge of the tub for squirting and squeezing during bath time.  Do you do this, too?

Recycled plastic bottles are perfect for exploring water, squeezing, and working on fine motor strength.  Start saving those water bottles, because you and the kids are going to love this idea!

Save recycled plastic squeeze bottles, shampoo, and conditioner bottles for hand strengthening and fine motor skills and creative play with kids!

Fine Motor Development and Strength with Recycled Containers:

This post is part of our 31 Days of Occupational Therapy where we’ve shared a month of creative and mostly free ways to work on many Occupational Therapy skill areas.  This one uses an item you typically throw into the recycle bin: plastic squeeze bottles.
It is so easy to throw this play activity together.  Simply fill a container with water and throw a few recycled plastic bottles in.  Done! 

The best part of this easy activity is that kids are working on their gross motor grasp and hand strengthening and they don’t even realize it.

How to improve hand grasp strength with recycled containers:

So, what is gross grasp and why do kids need this skill area?  Gross grasp is used when squeezing all of the fingers shut around an object, like when holding the handle of a suitcase.  Gross grasp is important in tasks like handwriting and scissor use.  To do these activities, you need to squeeze your whole hand shut and maintain endurance to complete the activity.  Development of hand arch and thumb web space is important for these functional skills and gross grasp plays a part.  

Activities to work on Gross Grasp and fine motor skills:

Use the bottles to work on fine motor strength by squeezing the water into containers.  Show your kids how to squeeze water up into the bottles and then to squeeze the water out again.  We usually do this activity in the bathtub, but pulling it out and playing in the dining room with just a bin of water made a regular old activity novel and fun. 

More gross grasp activities for kids:
Squeeze spray bottles
Squeeze sponges
Cut resistive materials with scissors.
Use a hole punch
Tug of war
Hand grippers

So, next time you are in the shower and you see those shampoo bottles, think about playing with them…and the fun of Sea World.  I mean Toddler Bath Time.

This is such a super simple activity, with really no prep.  It will be a hit with your kids, I promise!  Share it on Facebook!

You will love this Related Post: Pinch Pin Exercises

More Posts Like This