At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fine Motor Activities: Isaac's Style

Summer Vacation has begun for Isaac,...

Isaac's photo session for last day of preschool was pretty much like his first,.....

Never mind that Isaac is always sunshine smiles when I pick him up from school,
it's getting out the door that is so hard,
but Isaac has more on his mind this summer than schooling

So many rocks, little time,...

But success, those rocks goes kerplunk!!!!

So it's been a whirlwind of activities with Isaac finishing preschool, graduating, and ending his first
Miracle League season,, fun, fun,...
or well, Isaac's first special needs dance class wasn't fun,...sigh, but we'll try again next week.
However a morning spent at the local splash pad (water-park) was a HUGE success,
and at home Isaac's been knee deep in fine motor therapy,
sssssh,....just don't tell him,
Isaac thinks we're just playing.

Here's the first batch of fine motor activities,...
homemade, obviously, 
but Isaac has enjoyed working on his finger strength and dexterity,...
with some PreK academic stuff thrown in for good measure.

First up is a simple tug toy, but I made the holes purposely small,
and it takes a good tug to get the ribbons from side to side.
The little ball inside the jar,...make a cool noise when shaken.

Homemade I-SPY has been a HUGE hit with Isaac,
I took some random, i.e. lost toys,
and took a picture which I uploaded onto my computer and printed out.
I do have a laminator, but I didn't feel like dragging it out,
and as this picture is small, I laminated by using clear packing tape,
a great tip, as clear packing tape stiffens and protects as good a lamination, and is tons cheaper.
Isaac plays this game by matching the toy to picture,
and is slightly amazing how he puts the toys back into the bag in the EXACT order
he took them out.

A quick clearance aisle game,...the plastic people are like potato-head toys for pencils,
they are very small, were VERY cheap on the clearance rack,
and as they are so small the pieces force Isaac to use his pincher grasp.
Obviously with any activity a parent needs to use their judgement with small pieces
and a child's age, or mouthing tendencies. 

I actually took a copy of each of the people, but that's not a good idea, as they came out kinda dark, 
and next time I'll just take a picture and upload onto my computer.
Still I wasn't going to waste copier ink, so I cut the copies out and labeled the facial features,
then I took small cups and taped copies of the facial features and labeled: nose, mouth, hair, ect,
The small cups are velcro attached to the tray, which is just a cardboard box.

This is a matching game, 
and Isaac LOVES matching everything into its proper space,
and again,
it's a hoot how Isaac reverses the matching process in EXACT order.

This simple drop toy actually was the most complicated to put together,
I used a narrow cardboard piece and the clear plastic packaging from my new USB adapter.
The cardboard I covered in masking tape to strengthen and cover up an ugly blue color.
The clear plastic packaging piece is nearly cylinder, except for the open side.
With a utility knife, I VERY carefully cut out a slot, which I reinforced with clear packing tape.
Measuring the packaging piece agains the cardboard, I cut out a flap to remove the pieces,
and then glued the clear piece in place and added more masking tape for strength.
To finish, I added velcro to the open space at top and to the foam beads.

Fine motor activity,...Isaac pulls the beads from the velcro and drops them into the slot,
which I purposely made as small as possible, so he has to push the bigger beads in.
Best of all, Isaac likes retrieving the beads out,...but that's fine,...more dexterity, only don't tell him!

From complicated to super simple,...rice in rubber gloves,...
and match the rings to fingers: color and shapes
By the way I used two gloves, one into the other to keep the rice contained. 

Ice Cream Match gets the biggest thumbs up from Isaac in coolness factor,
until he makes up his own fun,...

Parts: Pom-Poms, Ice Cream shaped Bubble containers from dollar store 
(3 for $1) makes a great deal!
An old game box for the thrift store, this one was Boggle. 
oh, and some velcro for the labels so Isaac can mix and match.

Construction was easy,...cover entire box in masking tape,
cut out circles for each ice cream cone and lid,
after having disposed of the scented bubbles, which I had no guilt about, 
as this brand usually have a VERY weak solution, making for frustrating bubble blowing.
Hint: cutting holes is easier if you make an X.

To play Ice Cream Match-Up,
Isaac sets up the board, which means he has to push
those cones and lids in place.
Also we get some word/color recognition practice.
Next comes the Pom-Pom ice cream,
Isaac matches each color,
and then pushes BOTH pom-pons into the ice cream cone container,
and again this takes effort,
but he thinks it's fun,
Next come lids,
and our ice cream is complete,
and then Isaac likes to dissemble,..again in order,
but all those giggles makes me think he's having lots fun.

So this next activity is soooo easy to make as these are extra parts to a matching game,
and YES, I purchase extra games at the thrift store when I can find them,
just for the extra parts, because it is a reality,...little parts go missing. 
Labels and velcro,...but this is great word recognition and matching,
and it's a super quick game.

In fact, this game is really too quick and too easy for Isaac,
so next time he plays I think I'll try putting the pieces in a bag,
and letting him feel for each piece,
IF he'll go for that,...that's a question mark, 
and odds are either Isaac will love it or hate it,...
I'll be sure to post an update.

Another super easy activity,...but one Isaac has really enjoyed.
Each clear container, except the big one with the green ring, 
has a color dot.
Isaac matches the object to container and puts on lid,
and then he likes to take it out,
and put it back,
and take it out,
and put it back,
and,...well you get the idea,..this super simple activity is surprisingly engaging. 

Of course nothing can engage a little guy like cars!!! 

I found this plastic road puzzle at the thrift store,
and while it was missing it's specially designed car that goes in the ridges,
Isaac doesn't know that, and he'll happy to use any ol' car,
to get from A-to-Z,...being careful to miss the volcano!!!

Isaac's new sentence for today: Careful, hot volcano!

With a five year old's time span, all these activities tend to pall quickly,
and if one is not careful their adorable child can and WILL find their own
fine motor activities.

Exhibit A, dismantled glider rocker.

While I was working on this post,...Isaac was working on the wing-nuts holding this chair together.
JUST moments ago,...Isaac came to my office,...with a very sad face,
"Oh no," says Isaac, "Be careful,...I sad."

"OH Dear", I think with a sinking heart, "What now?" as Isaac takes my hand and penitently
leads me to the living room,...

"Don't cry," says Isaac sadly as I fanatically search the room,
which we thought was Isaac proofed,
TV ok,
phone ok,
television controller ok, 
What was the problem?

A very sad, Isaac couldn't tell me,
he just voiced, "Be careful,...don't cry,...I sad." 

Then I see the rocking chair in pieces,
and YES,...astonishment was my first emotion,
then utter shock,
as the dismantlement was so cleverly done,
then as the situation sunk in,
 I was very hard pressed not to laugh.

Come on, the irony is killing,....
What am I doing making fine motor activities for Isaac?
I just need to dismantle all our furniture and give the child a wrench,
no doubt, Isaac could and would have it back together in no time.

On my knee Isaac and I had a little talk about NOT dismantling the furniture.
"I sorry," says Isaac, "Don't cry."

Don't worry I didn't and won't,... nor did I laugh:
I want Isaac to be able to come to me with sad faces
and share his heart,
life is more than a glider rocker. 

It's Isaac trusting me enough to confess,
knowing he's loved,
knowing he's forgiven,
this probably the most important lesson he'll learn this summer. 

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

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