Find us on Surprisingly Special

As of 2016, this blog, Pancakes in Bed, is no longer active. Please come find us at!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pinching, Picking, Poking... And Other Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor control is what kiddos need for skills like self-feeding, dressing, and writing. Calvin was able to figure out the "pincer grasp" needed to pick up small bites of food and feed himself pretty easily. As for dressing, he doesn't do much yet, but he can Velcro and un-Velcro his shoes. And as for writing/scribbling, I let him try it pretty regularly, but he's not into it. He can't really press hard enough to make much of a mark with crayons so I think it's unsatisfying for him. I should let him try markers, but I haven't done that yet. To help him work on fine motor control so that eventually he will be able to press hard enough with crayons, button his shirts, and zip his pants, I like to I like to give him fun things to do that get him using those little fingers of his. Tasks like picking up small things, pinching or grasping... Wait, now that I think about it, Calvin gets lots of fine motor practice: Pinching my nose... picking his own nose... pulling my tiny earrings out... poking his brother in the eye... Hahaha.

Well, in case that's not enough, here are some other fine motor building activities that he likes!

Poking sticks into a shaker
These are lollipop sticks (baking section of the grocery or craft store) and a Parmesan cheese shaker. The next level of this activity would be putting toothpicks into a salt shaker.

Threading beads onto a stick
Of course the day I try to get pics of him in action he's not into this activity. Luckily, Piggie was there to help!

Then I got out his favorite animal beads to try to entice him to do it himself.
The next level of this would be something like putting beads onto a pipe cleaner, and then eventually threading beads onto a string.

Pushing things into a bottle
Calvin LOVES doing this. He fills up the bottle, then shakes everything back out and does it again. And again. And again. He just needs help getting the puff balls back out (I use tweezers). This bottle is one of those travel shampoo bottles from Target and the items I give him include small puff balls, different kinds of beads, plastic jewels, and sequins or confetti. Those sequins are tough to pick up! But they are so shiny and irresistible that he does the work and gets them eventually :)

I got the idea for this at James' office Christmas party where one of the kid crafts was filling a clear plastic ornament ball with the same kinds of small, colorful items.

Picking things up with tongs

Calvin is working so hard on figuring this one out! He hasn't yet been able to actually use the tongs to pick up the pieces, but he squeezes the tongs to make the hands clap (aren't those tongs adorable??) and as you can see him doing in the pictures, he puts the puff balls in between the tongs with his other hand and tries to hold them. It works with the bigger puff balls. One day he will figure out how to use those tongs!

Putting stickers on paper
Stickers drive Calvin CRAZY. He can only stand to do this for a little while. It's so hard for him to figure out how to get the sticky side onto the paper and off of his fingers! Problem solving and fine motor control all in one very frustrating task! But he does like those colorful stickers, and I am so proud of him when he does finally get one to stick to the paper :)

Pushing items through a slot
I found this little Valentine's mailbox in the dollar section at Target, and we used the same little foam heart stickers (also from the dollar section at Target) to put into the slot. These stickers each have a backing so they weren't sticky when Calvin was doing this activity. A piggy bank would be perfect for this and you could use coins, buttons, or even tiny things like sequins to make it really challenging.

I love this kind of stuff. And Calvin likes it too... except for those darn stickers! What other activities should we try?

1 comment:

  1. omg, i love that face so much! thanks, again, dee! love you!