As a parent of two and a therapist I am always thinking about better ways to help children develop. One idea I recommend and carry out in my own home I call, “Out and About”. This is the idea that opportunities to develop fine motor skills should always be available and “out” rather than put away in a tidy cabinet. I have 2 kids’ craft tables in my home; one upstairs and one down stairs. Every week or so, I rotate the activities on the tables. Some weeks it’s crayons on coloring books; some weeks it’s beading bins with fishing string; and some weeks it’s duct tape. Keeping fresh fine motor activities available and ready for kids fosters motivation to work on their fine motor skills.
As my kids have grown older, they often rotate the activities for me. They notice when the watercolors have sat on the craft table for a week and want a change. I love seeing them come up with new ideas too. Paper flowers, drawing a mural, creating pop-up cards for family members’ birthdays. It is truly amazing to see how creative they can be when left to their own devices. Children with special needs, Autism, and Down Syndrome all benefit from novelty. Some creativity requires demonstration on the parents’ or therapists’ part…but when the “wheels start turning”, prepare to be amazed.
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