The holidays are right around the corner and the children have begun to make their lists! Every year, we have parents ask us for suggestions for educational and developmentally appropriate toys for their children. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting our favorites.
Our first game is Squiggly Worms!
I love it because it's simple, doesn't require batteries and it challenges our fine motor and visual motor skills.
The game consists of a bright red apple filled with little green worms that pop up and down! It has a lever at the bottom of the apple that slides over and the 20 worms begin to squiggle and wiggle! Twenty matching worm cards are also included. The game is intended for children 4 years and older.
In therapy, we use this game several different ways!
To work on fine motor and visual motor skills, the children have to watch which worms pop up and quickly grab one. Then, they quickly look at the bottom of the worm and if the color matches their card, they place it on the card and continue to look for more matches. The first player to find matches to all of their cards wins! This is truly a game of speed and dexterity!
Sometimes we slow things down a bit and work on in-hand manipulation skills, specifically palm to finger translation. This is a difficult skill for children, but it is important in daily tasks. For instance, if a child is holding some coins for his penny bank, he has to move a coin from his palm to his fingertips so that he can place it into the bank, while holding onto the other coins. You can work on that same skill by having your child hold two to three squiggly worms at a time. Then, the child moves one worm at a time from her palm to her fingertips and then places it into one of the holes in the apple. The cute little worms make learning fun!
Stay tuned over the next few weeks and we'll help you and Santa stuff the stockings and wrap up the magic of Christmas!
Michelle Yoder, OTR/L