Developing Fine Motor Skills

By Emily Vanek,

My son is 2 and a half years old and has Dyspraxia. He has issues with his gross & fine motor planning and development. Our occupational therapist and I are always looking at ways we can use the toys we already have in a new way to help him work on a particular skill set.

The motor therapy we work on is putting coins in a slot. Sounds pretty basic, right? For lots of kids, this is a challenging task, not only for kids with special needs. Different toys or items that can help improve this skill are piggy banks, a coffee can & poker chips and my personal favorite, Hasbro’s Connect Four.

To make this fun I find multi-colored poker chips or put bright garage sale sticker dots on the “coins.” You can also work on speech by putting stickers of animals or objects onto the coins and having them repeat the sounds or identify the object. Then simply have them practice putting the coin in the slot. This activity is one of my son’s favorites, especially when playing with Connect Four when he can empty all the coins onto the table with one quick swoop of the hand. Below are some toys or household items we’ve used to work on this skill:

  • Fisher-Price Piggy Bank
  • Hasbro’s Connect Four
  • Coffee or formula can with a slit cut into the lid and poker chips
  • Old piggy banks
  • Tootsie Roll canisters

I’m sure there are plenty of things you can come up with to turn into a great therapy tool!

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