Fine motor skills are so important. We need to develop fine motor skills so we can hold a pencil correctly, use a spoon or fork, get dressed - you name it. To develop fine motor skills you have to exercise the small muscles in the fingers, hands and wrists. For the child with poor fine motor skills this often isn't very fun and can be very frustrating for them and for you.
As usual, if you can turn therapy into play often its more successful. One way to develop fine motor skills is to play with fine motor toys or something like play-doh or Theraputty. But what about the child who is tactile defensive? Play-doh and theraputty isn't fun at all! So finding toys that exercise those fine motor muscles can be really helpful.
My Favorite Fine Motor Toy: The Bed Bugs Game
One game that has been working well for this is the Bed Bugs Game. Here are the reasons why it works so well as a fine motor toy:
- You have to grab the bugs with tweezers. Tweezers are great because they help develop the muscles necessary for holding a pencil correctly.
- You can adapt the game by taking turns. Remember we are talking about working out muscles. Even though fine motor muscles are small remember they get tired. By taking turns with an activity you give muscles a chance for rest.
- It's cute and fun. I like that the bedbugs are bright primary colors and don't look ugly. Its also funny to watch them hop on the bed.
- You can easily vary the time of the game by the amount of bed bugs you place on the bed. This is helpful in classroom or therapy sessions.
- It's a fun game designed for all kids that is not language intensive. This makes it great for inclusive situations.