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.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

String Along Lacing Kit

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, spatial relations, eye-hand coordination, sequencing, manual dexterity, pincer grasp, finger strength, in-hand manipulation, fine motor precision, palmar arch support/strength, separation of two side of hand, intrinsic muscle development, tool use, using both hands in a coordinated manner, motor planning, sustained attention, play exploration and participation
In the box: Grid, punch pen, 8 pattern cards, 18 laces
Ages 4+
Creative fun on a shoestring. Choose a pattern, thread the pen with a colored lace, then punch and pull a colorful design. The laces are brightly colored, good quality, and not tipped. The tool is plastic, you can see the girl holding it on the box above. The plastic grid is a square with 144 holes (12 X 12). Inside the plastic frame, and showing through each hole, is foam. Push the pen through each hole to make the string stay in place. Holding the tool correctly will reinforce holding a pencil without "having" to write.
GRID                                                                                  PATTERN CARDS

Pattern card images also include sun, moon, star, jack-o-lantern, heart with arrow through it, car on road, butterfly, palm tree, Christmas tree, cat, ship, and dolphin jumping out of water. Most of the images will require that you count the circles to know where to begin or where to go next. There are two geometric design cards and I use them first, as they don't require much counting and they are a good introduction for learning to use the tool.

This toy has received mixed reviews on Amazon. I have not had any trouble with it. People complain that they can't thread the string through the tip of the pen, but you can easily thread it through the top, which is where all the extra string should be coming out anyway. Not sure why anyone would try and thread it through the tip, but I find it very doable to thread it through the tip. This activity is a little easier than the unrelated Quercetti Filo Lacing Set. The pictures in this set are simpler than most of the Quercetti images and the grid is square, not rectangular. 

Try this:
  • Demonstrate first to teach the individual how to use the tool and count spaces.
  • Monitor how the individual is holding the tool to reinforce holding it like a pencil.
  • Use the zigzag pattern to work on diagonals. Go from left to right, then right to left. Then turn the card and go from top to bottom and then bottom to top.
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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