Parker does not like to write. Holding a pencil has got to be one of his lease favorite activities. The solution? Increasing fine motor skills and over all hand strength. A never ending quest at our house.
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My job? To find activities that offer the ultimate fake out: a way to get the therapy in without Parker actually knowing he’s involved in anything other than having a good time.
I’ve been using sticker books to encourage Parker to naturally use his pincher grasp, which is an important part of being able to hold a pencil. The more natural and spontaneous this grasp becomes, the less Parker will fight holding a pencil and writing. You know. In theory. We hope.
As Parker is getting in a dose of Occupational Therapy, he is also is getting practice in the following:
- Shadow matching. This is where a child takes a picture of an item and matches it up to it’s ‘shadow’. This brings the concrete (the picture of the object) and matches it to the abstract (the shadow.) Kids with Down syndrome can often have problems understanding abstract concepts, so when I can find an activity that helps reinforce this skill I run with it.
- Review of previously mastered concepts.
- Using that pincher grasp to navigate small objects into their proper spot. Kind of like doing a teeny, sticky puzzle.
- It’s fun! And can be done as a independent work box activity. Independent! Keeping himself busy! Ah! The joy I tell you. The joy!
- Reinforcing sight words. Many of Parker’s sight words (animals, colors, numbers, fruits, vegetables, etc.) in this sticker book are written under their ‘shadow.’ Score.
Because sticker books come in such a wider variety of themes, there’s a book to fit every kid’s interest. We have several sticker books that Parker uses, including holiday themed books including this Halloween sticker book from eyelike. (This one doesn’t have the shadow matching feature though. You create your OWN picture using stickers from this book.
Practicing words? There’s a sticker book for that.
Got a Frozen fan? Yup. You guessed it. There’s a sticker book for that too!
The sticker book page in this post come from My Giant Sticker Activity Book.
Tell us what you are doing in YOUR special needs home school this year. What kind of activities have you found can sneak in a little time increasing fine motor skills? What sticker book would your student find most motivating?