Starfish Therapies

January 22, 2014

Fine Motor Group Ideas

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This past summer we did a fine motor group and each of the participants left with a basket of goodies for things they could work on after the group ended.  Here is what was included on the worksheet that went with it:

What Your Fine Motor Baskets Contain



The benefits – Encourages a tripod grasp, builds up hand endurance, allows children to work on increasing and decreasing the amount of force used, encourages isolation of wrist and fingers.

Recommendations – Have your kids break the crayons to encourage a tripod grasp. Vary the sizes and textures that they are coloring on. Encourage coloring on slanted surfaces or standing at an easel to build on endurance and strength of wrist extensors.



The benefits – Texture tolerance if your kids have tactile concerns. Visual motor and pincer grasp encouragement, proprioceptive input to hands for those sensory seekers.

Recommendations – Hide beads or small items in the floam to encourage more manipulation of it. Have them squeeze it with their whole hand or pick up the small individual beads to encourage use of a pincer grasp.



The benefits – Eye-hand coordination, pincer grasp, body spatial awareness, midline crossing.

Recommendations – Stick the stickers on the back of their hands to encourage them to cross midline to get the sticker off with their other hand. Peeling the stickers off also encourages use of a pincer grasp to complete this. Sticking the stickers on different parts of their body can help their overall body awareness as they are looking for the stickers.



The Benefits: Increases grasping strength, eye-hand coordination and bilateral hand use.

Recommendations: Play some silly games to get the interest going with clothespins. Have them pin them onto your clothes so they get to make you look silly or make hair for their baskets. If they are not ready to pinch them on, you can create a game where they have to pull them off of themselves, you or another surface to work on more whole hand grasping.


Balloon Fidget:

The Benefits – Overall hand strength, regulation, sensory input.

Recommendations – Demonstrate different ways that you can utilize the fidget (pull, twist, squeeze). Use it as a regulatory tool when children are dis-regulated or over-stimulated.



The Benefits: Eye-hand coordination, bilateral hand use, pincer grasp, motor planning.

Recommendations: There are both pipe cleaners and string in the basket to match the level at which your child may be at for beading. Starting with the pipe cleaner is easier and allows them a stiffer material to work with. When ready they can progress to the string. There are large beads included but smaller ones can be threaded on as well to increase to another level of difficulty.


Finger crayon:

The Benefits – Finger isolation, quadrapod grasp.

Recommendations – Allows more stabilization when coloring for some children and gives them more control when coloring. It may not work well for some kids, but allow them to explore.


1 Comment »

  1. This is such a nice idea. I am going to try the basket idea in my practice this week!

    Comment by Maria Horden — January 27, 2014 @ 7:59 am | Reply

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