fine motor skills - homeschooling

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2003
fine motor skills - homeschooling
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 6:07pm
Well, I've started to figure out the curriculum we're going to use this next year and I'm starting to make a list of what I need, etc. (I love getting catalogs in the mail! lol) But as I'm going thru this catalog, I see a section on languages. My younger ds is 7 and learning spanish in public school so I was thinking that would interesting. (for me, not AS ds b/c nothing is interesting for him except science) But then I noticed sign language. My step dad is deaf and I've always had an interest in sign language (know a few signs plus the alphabet) so I thought this would be good. I know ds won't be thrilled with it but I was wondering - wouldn't this be good for fine motor skills? He is really lacking in this area and I'm looking for things to help him improve. So I'm wondering what you all think of this?

Also - music. He just ended his 2nd year of piano and he's pretty good at it (except at recitals b/c he hates playing in front of people). His teacher was disappointed when I said we most likely wouldn't be continuing next year w/ ds b/c he's bored with it and wants to stop. She said what I already know - he's good at it. So I've thought about it. And I really think continuing piano would be good for his fine motor skills as well. He wanted to do the harmonica (we found a guy in town that teaches it) and that sounds like a lot of fun but it doesn't really improve areas he needs. He's frustrated I think at continuing piano another year if I decide but he's not angry about it. He just doesn't want to do it anymore b/c it's something he doesn't like. I'd like to have him continue w/ piano for at least another year while also doing fine motor exercises (if I could find some to do) - and then moving him to guitar. (Which he also wants to learn to play but I already know it's futile to start him there right now - we agreed to wait a year). They have these little guitar tools - things you use to strengten your fingers (not sure what they are called or what they really are - dh told me about them) and we're thinking of using those to help get him ready for guitar but also to strengthen his fingers.

Do you guys know of any other exercises we can do to help him in this area? I requested an OT eval from the school (they didn't do it w/ the ARD) but it was at the end of the year so I probably won't get that eval til September. All I really want is to talk w/ someone that does OT that can give me exercises to do at home to improve his dexterity and strength and mobility. Any advice there?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 6:47am
OH YEAH! We do tons of OT here. There are sooooo many different and fun things that can be done for fine motor skills. Jade, Eva, and Dh's favorite is drawing on a mirror with washable markers. Don't worry about getting them to draw a specific picture, just let them play. I often loose a person or two for hours with this excersize.

Also, you're already on the right track with music. Pretty much any instrument is going to be good for fine motor skills.

I have to say that we actually came up with another really funny one tonight. My partner, Scott, was sent a free trial of this 'sugar free cotton candy mix'. We made a small batch in Jade's Easy Bake cotton candy machine and it tasted just fine. While we were all talking and joking about the irony of such a product Jade was getting creative. Before we knew it she had made a swan sculpture out of the stuff. That, of course, set off a whole new round of cotton candy making. We made cut-outs by making sheets of the stuff and using a rolling pin to flatten it out....then the scissors were employed. Jade loves Oragami(sp?)(another really good OT) and she ended up making eddible oragami shapes. She and I made a small landscape out of pink, blue and yellow fluff, and it tasted great. Jade went to bed commenting on the varrious things she could do with it, like diaramas, LOL. "ArtistJade, works done in cotton candy." LOL. Of course, if we hadn't gotten this sugar free stuff I wouldn't even mention it. Aspies in sugar overload......(shiver, cower, cringe).

There are also the old standbys, like working with clay/silly putty/etc. But my kids get tired of stuff like that pretty fast. All of my Aspies really like things that have a 'twist' to it. Hence the markers on mirrors and cotton candy sculptures.

There's also sand-paintings. We did a unit study on Native Southwestern Americans and Jade and Eva both really got into sand-paintings. Eva's turned out to be brightly colored abstract splotches (hey, what do you expect from a then 2yo) but Jade did all sorts of things.

There's also cave-paintings. Yep, another unit study, this one was the History of Art-A Cultural Tour of World History. We covered the inside of our garage door in butcher paper (the cave wall, LOL) then took out some Blo-pens, chalk, pastels, charcoal, etc. We went over the techniques that we believe cavemen used to make their paintings then assigned them (in teams of three or less) to make a 'cavepainting' of their own lives. We went over the hows and whys of cave-paintings with DK books and CDRoms, but you could probably use just about anything that covers the pre-history theories.

Oh, then there's confetie projects. This would be kinda close to sand-paintings since you end up using your fingers in much the same way to 'drizzle' the confetie or glitter. BUT we made our kids make their own confetie, thus employing the scissors again.

Pattycake has been really good for us, but we have all girls. Your ds might not get into that very much, LOL. But hey, Dh actually likes to play pattycake, so you never know.

Let me see....there's bread/cookie paintings and sculptures, body painting/drawing, water harps, miniture sand gardens, bonsi trees, ASL(I recomend the ambidextious dialect), knitting/crochette', beading, sewing (if you trust him with a needle), wood carving(if you trust him with a knife), cake decorating w/ a piping bag, regular brush painting, typing, If he doesn't like to color he might like rapidograph ink pens instead, oh geez, the list goes on. And most of these things can be incorperated into unit studies, or simply done for fun.

I hope I gave you some ideas you can use.