Basic Questions When Choosing a Game: Fine Motor


1. Can multiple pieces fit in the child’s hand?  Is the child required to place one piece at a time out of her hand?  Ex: Honey Tree: marbles must be placed one at a time into the “hive”.  Holding multiple pieces (depends on age of child how many and if possible) helps shape the hands and build the small muscles in the hand used for writing, buttoning, etc.

2. Are there dials or push buttons?  We use our index finger for holding a pencil, writing circles and loops.

3. Do the pieces require the use of thumb, index and middle fingers?  Ex: pegs, pick up sticks, sticks used with Honey Tree, Cootie parts

Can you add a tool such as a strawberry huller, tongs or tweezers to move the chips or pieces with? Tools can help strengthen the thumb, index and middle figers which are used on pencils.

4. Can the game be repositioned to where it is standing upright?  ex: Connect four, Honey Tree, Kerplunk.  when working on an upright surface our stronger wrist muscles help close our fingers into the grip we most often use for holding a pencil.

What are your favorite games?

Warning: Make sure small objects are not a choking issue with small children. Time on video games should be balanced out with manipulative play to reduce over strengthening of the hand’s large muscles which may decrease small muscle usage.

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