Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Ed Emberley's Fingerprint Thumbprint Drawing Book

Work on distal rotation, sensory awareness, fine motor precision, tripod grasp, finger isolation, manual dexterity, visual discrimination, spatial relations, pencil control, drawing basic lines and symbols, visual closure, leisure and play exploration and participation
I love Ed Emberley's fingerprint and drawing books. With a fingerprint or thumbprint, and a few simple lines, kids can create something whimsical and recognizable. For kids who have difficulty drawing or writing, seeing this kind of success can be huge. My biggest problem has been finding a reliable colored stamp pad that doesn't dry out right away. I have also used these books with kids who cannot write small or need to develop more precise control. Characters are the size of the child's fingerprints, so kids will be inspired to make the small lines and curves such as you find on rounded lowercase alphabet. I have also used these books without the stamp pad, drawing the fingerprint shapes. This is especially good if you want to stick with one oval or circle shape while you work on other types of lines for the features. These books have been very popular with the kids.
Try this:
  • Start by practicing some basic symbols on a white board - circles, rectangles, triangles. Then move to the fingerprint characters.
  • Fill in small dots and circles to practice distal rotation and making rounded curves. Make tiny circles and then fill them in, instead of just dots for the eyes.
  • Plan and make a cohesive picture, or just make random fingerprints on a page and let the child choose the characters to draw in.
  • Use different fingers to practice finger isolation and get different sized prints.
  • Make all the prints first and then wash your hands before adding details, for those who do not like getting things on their hands.
If you are interested in purchasing these books or just want more information, click on one of the images below to go to Amazon.com.

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