I have been brainstorming to come up with fun activities that work on strengthening the fingers for fine pinch and tripod grasp. Using pinch clips with craft foam pieces was a natural direction to go as they worked well with the sentence copying activity.
I started to cut ½ inch cubes of the thicker craft foam in order to make my activity, but soon realized that it was going to take me forever. I did an on line search and was relieved to find that Magnetic Mosaics Kids was exactly what I was looking for. The kid’s version uses foam pieces that are just the right size. The pictures that it came with may be a little complex for some clients, so I made some easier mosaic patterns to use if I need them. I made a fish and a flower, and a blank grid to make your own and have the client copy it.
The company that makes these does seem to have an easier version called My First Picture Maker , but I haven’t seen it in person to know how easy it is. One interesting aspect of the magnetic mosaics is that the pictures that you copy have numbers in the squares, so you have to match the number with a color. This could be a good challenge for some clients, but too hard for others. I may be making more easy picture templates soon.
Another cool thing about the set is that it came with the magnetic board and an easel stand for the board to stand on. I will probably be using the easel for other activities too.
My daughter made mosaics for two days straight after this came in the mail. She really enjoyed it, and she is a teenager. You can add another layer of difficulty by having the client use the pinch clips for strengthening, or use in-hand manipulation by having them pick up multiple pieces with one hand and place them on the board one at time using that one hand.
- Magnet 1/2 inch foam cubes
- Magnetic board, or cookie tray
- mosaic picture to copy
- pinch clips (optional)
- Fine Motor
- Finger Strengthening
- Visual Perceptual
- In-hand manipulation