I wanted to work on in-hand manipulation along with pushing objects into playdoh to really target those fine motor skills. I made some little prickly animals that I can put playdoh or kinetic sand into in order to make a resistive activity for poking.
I made a porcupine, hedgehog, puffer fish, peacock, dinosaur, and lion. You push the little wooden pieces into the dough to add spines, feathers, and made. I use colored wooden dowels / match sticks or small mini craft sticks. You could also use tooth picks.
To get the in-hand manipulation, I have the kids pick up three of the wooden sticks and hold them in one hand, and then they have to push the sticks into the playdoh that is in the animal one at a time. I then have the kids pick up three beads one at a time and thread them onto the little wooden dowels one at a time. This really words on that in-hand coordination and distal finger control. To get even more work, at the end, I have them take off three of the beads and move them into their hand, and then they have to move them back out to their fingers to feed the beads to the munchy ball.
There is so much coordination happening, and it makes it quite a challenge with all of the in-hand manipulation required. You can grade it down by having them to less sticks at a time, and just one bead at a time, which still requires fine motor control.
- Fine motor
- In-hand manipulation
- Finger strength