Working on fine motor skills is something useful and helpful for children with autism. Here are some great ideas to make fine motor skill practice fun!
- Play with play dough – kneading, rolling, patting and squishing play dough is a great way to strengthen finger muscles. Add candles, wiggly eyes, pebbles and buttons to create an extra-fun play experience. You can either purchase play dough from the store, or make your own at home — there are some great recipes online.
- Threading tube pasta onto pipe cleaners – kids who can handle smaller items can use beads on pipe cleaners. You can even make the beaded pipe cleaners into bracelets!
- Pompom sorting – give your child an egg carton with the spaces coloured to correspond with the colours of the pompoms. Have your child put the correct pompom in the correct space. Encourage the use of tongs or a spoon to make this activity a little harder!
- Stacking small blocks – encourage your little ones to build a tower with small blocks. Help them create a whole neighbourhood!
- Make a small sandbox – using a shoebox lid and two cups of sandbox sand, have your child practice tracing letters and rolling marbles. You can also get a larger box or bin and move this activity outside. Be sure to add cups, spoons, even small animals or dinosaurs to play with!
- Create a sensory bag – grab a zip-top baggie and fill it with anything squishy (like clear non-toxic glue or hair gel) and some small toys, sequins or glitter. Make sure to reinforce the top with duct tape and then let your little one play. If your child isn’t a fan of squishiness, you can add rice or sprinkles to the bag instead.
- Paint a picture – Instead of using a paintbrush, give your child a variety of different utensils to paint with. Try Q-tips, cotton balls, craft feathers, plastic forks, or sponges.
Remember to make your child’s fine motor skill practice fun and engaging by joining in and playing along!