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.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Finger Printing Bugs Art Set

Work on precise fine motor control, distal finger control, finger isolation, efficient grasp, drawing small and controlled, spatial relations, visual closure, eye-hand coordination

In the tin: 3 small ink pads, 10 colored pencils, 10 small stampers
Ages 4+

I love this small set for making whimsical fingerprint animals. This set is specifically bugs, but I also use the Ed Emberley books along with these small ink pads. This is an activity that I use with kids who write large or don't have the distal control to make rounded letters. The ink pads are 1.25" X 1.25" - just the right size for a single fingerprint - and are red, green, and blue. I just started using the ink pads so don't know if they are subject to drying out or how long they will last. To make a bug, press your finger on one of the colored ink pads and press it onto a piece of paper. The print comes out very visible. Then you can add stamper details to your fingerprints and/or you can draw details with the included colored pencils. The stampers included are eyes, antennae, wings, shell, leaf, and a small head. I usually start by making some of the bugs illustrated on the included card (see above), and then move to making up bugs or using one of Ed Emberley's books.

If you would like to read more about games that require writing or drawing in some form, check out my post Games That Require a Writing Tool.  

Try this:
  • Choose a bug to draw and you and the individual each make the fingerprint. Draw one line at a time and let the individual copy you on his bug after each line.
  • Stress drawing small lines and circles with control.
  • Color in small dots or eyes with small circular movements.
  • Use different fingertips for different sizes and shapes.
  • Use spatial terms such as draw the right eye, draw the left antennae, print a leaf below the bug, etc.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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