Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Styrofoam


One of every OT's most important skills is learning how to make almost anything therapeutic. 

But how about STYROFOAM?

My favorite way to use it is with golf tees.
When a child pushes golf tees into the Styrofoam they use a pincer grasp. A strong pincer grasp (picking up items between thumb and pointer finger-see picture below) is important for good handwriting and fine motor skills  in general. The denser the foam the better.

How to play with it:
  • Get a hunk of Styrofoam and some tees and demonstrate to your child how to push them in using a correct grasp.
  • Buy colored tees (or color them with sharpies) and then use the sharpie to color the Styrofoam and have the child sort and match the colors.
  • Make a pattern using colored tees and have the child copy the pattern.
  • Draw various small shapes and have the child insert certain colored tees into certain shapes (this is great for visual scanning and attention).
  • Make a super fun "free" version of the Tee game a Cracker Barrel (pictured above).
  • Get 26 golf tees and write the lower case letters on them. Then write the upper case letters on a piece of Styrofoam. Have them insert the tee just below its match.
  • Just be creative! Make up any game to suite your child's needs. 

A few pictures of pincer grasps:


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