The aim of the kit is to provide individuals with a range of fun activities which will hopefully improve their fine motor skills. However, before using the kit it is important to remember that the individual you will be working with may have other underlying difficulties, which may have to be addressed before you consider focusing on their fine motor skills.
As highlighted in the ‘Introduction to fine motor skills’, children are required to master a variety of skills before their fine motor skills can be refined with increasing dexterity and precision. If the individual you are working with has not developed the necessary prerequisite skills, they will struggle to make any progress with their fine motor skills. Please also consider the following:
Does the child have good shoulder and hip stability? If you are unsure, look and see how they sit. Do they W sit on the floor? Do they wrap themselves around their chair? Do they slouch/ lay across their desk? Do they lean on walls or other objects? Good core/ proximal stability is a requirement for good balance. If the child is struggling to sit upright they will have great difficulty working at a table/desk to carry out activities.
Can the child cross midline?
Do they have good hand-eye co-ordination?
If a child has poor core stability or a specific coordination problem, or both, then input from an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist should be sought, as this will have to be addressed before you can begin to look at developing fine motor skills.
The kit is not generally recommended for children with specific neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, unless specifically recommended by the child’s therapist. If in doubt please contact your Occupational Therapist for further advice.
Always remember the importance of good positioning when working with any individual. The child should be seated comfortably. Posture: the child should sit with their head held over the shoulders and in line with the buttocks. The chair should tilt slightly forwards so that the hip joint is slightly higher than the knee. Desk height: The child’s elbow should be just below the desk top. Ensure that the child’s feet are flat on the floor. If the seat is too high use a step/ platform for the child to place their feet on.
The following activities have been recommended as they allow individuals to practice the essential fine motor skills required to carry out day-to-day functional tasks, both at home and in school.