Chopsticks

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Mature and refined grasp patterns, as well as in hand manipulation, require use of the small finger muscles. Similar movements are used with chopsticks as are used in writing with a mature dynamic grasp.

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Many therapists recommend using tongs or tweezers to work on fine motor skills, and this is good if the person is starting with really poor fine motor skills. If the client has fairly good fine motor, but still has trouble with the higher level skills, real chopsticks will work those muscles.

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Real chopsticks may be too hard though, and many of the training chopsticks are too much like tongs so they don’t work the super-fine muscle control. I found some awesome training chopsticks that use similar muscles as regular chopsticks. They work on a sliding lever so the movement is close to the real thing. They are called Edison Training Chopsticks.

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I also made some training ones of my own. They are a little harder to use than the Edison ones, but have a similar concept. Mine are made with chopsticks, a rubber band, and a cut piece of drinking straw.

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I think that Mancala may be a good game to play with chopsticks.

I read an article which indicated that asian children develop more mature fine motor skills earlier because they use chopsticks.

Materials:

  • Chopsticks
  • Objects to pick up
  • To make your own, rubber band, drinking straw

Skills:

  • Fine motor
  • In hand manipulation
  • Hand strengthening

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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