Both of my boys have fine and gross motor skill delays. This can cause some issues, especially when it comes to P.E. activities and handwriting. Handwriting in particular has always been a struggle. We currently use Handwriting Without Tears. It has helped some. But I have recently come to realize the program can only do so much. The boys need to work on finger strengthening.
But before that can happen, they have to improve their core strength. Both of them have very weak cores, very little upper body strength. Some of the activities we do each day to work on this are simple, cheap, and can be fun as well.
The first thing we work with is an exercise ball. These are very easy to get at any store like Wal-Mart or Target. You inflate the ball and you’re on your way. The boys lie across it on their stomachs and “walk” across the floor using their hands. They “walk” forward a few feet and then go backwards. We also have a small container, a plastic storage box, which I set next to a variety of small objects like Lego pieces, crayons, any small object I can find. They “walk” across the floor trying to keep their body on the ball, pick up an object and put it in the container, and then “walk” back to where they started from.
Another great activity is to get a jump rope and pretty big-sized clothespins. I have them lay on the floor on their stomachs. I hold the jump rope above them. Their goal is to take the clothespins, one by one, and reach up and attach them to the rope by lifting only their upper body and keeping their lower body on the floor. After attaching each one, I have them do the same reach to take them down one by one.
For finger strengthening, one of our favorite exercises utilizes putty. I usually order Theraputty from an occupational therapy catalog. I also get a bag of small beads from a craft store. I hide the beads inside the putty. Their goal is to dig through the putty to find each bead and take it out. We also use tongs to work on finger grasp to pick up small objects and put them in ice cube trays. The possibilities to work on these issues really are endless.
These are just a few of the exercises we do. There are so many out there that are easy to implement. It takes some planning and work on everyone’s part, but implementing these exercises is very beneficial in our home. The results haven’t come overnight, but they are coming steady and sure.