If you have a child who struggles with developing an appropriate pencil grasp or fine motor skills in general, try playing with toothpicks. In this photo, the child who struggles with fine motor strength, grasp, and hand dominance had to unscrew the cap of the cinnamon bottle (bilateral skills to hold the bottle with one hand, unscrew with the emerging dominant hand) and then problem solve how to get them out. She then pushed the toothpicks into the play dough to make a porcupine (took a lot of strength). Then later she pulled them out (also took quite a bit of strength) and placed them one by one into the tiny holes of the cinnamon bottle while stabilizing the bottle with her other hand.
This is a simple task packed with therapeutic value and is great for the child who still holds the crayon/pencil with their whole fist or who has not yet established a hand dominance. Find more fun ways to play with toothpicks by checking out this Top 10 list from Embrace Your Chaos.
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