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Using pom poms and cups for in hand manipulation

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When working on in-hand manipulation, you need to hold small objects in your hand, so what better object to use than pom poms.

pom poms in cups1

In this activity I had two different colors of silicone muffin cups, and the same colors of pom poms.  Instead of just sorting the colors, You have to pick up a hand full of pom poms, and place the right color in the right cup.  To give a challenge, you tell the student which color to do next so that they are not just putting the next easiest one in.

pom poms in cups 2

Simple materials can be used in so many ways.  If you don’t have colored muffin cups, you could just draw different colors of circles on a piece of paper to delineate the space that the pom poms are supposed to be placed in.


  • colored pom poms
  • colored muffin cups, or a colored circle on paper


  • in-hand manipulation
  • fine motor

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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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