Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fine Motor Skills--Squishy Bag

You may have noticed that we actually do a lot of fine motor skill activities around here.  When it comes to using small pieces, placing small items in a hole, etc Olivia doesn't have a problem.  The reason why scored slightly below average on fine motor skills is because of her writing.  I already knew this, so it wasn't a big surprise to me.  I'm sure you are wondering how that might be since she spent 3 hours coloring the other day.

One of the things they had us do on the ASQ was draw a straight line. Then have the child copy what you did and draw a straight line.  She did this with ease.  Then you were suppose to draw a circle and have them do the same thing.  I already knew this wasn't going to go down the way it should, but I gave it a try anyway.  On the ASQ they gave picture examples of what would constitute a yes and what would constitute a no.  First of all, it took a lot of convincing for me to have her even attempt it.  This is what happens every time I broach the subject with her.  She finally did it.  It starts out looking like a circle, but then she just keeps scribbling over and over and the circle looses it's shape. Which is a "no" in the ASQ book.  Ask Olivia to draw a picture of a person (or any object really) and you are likely to see a slight look of panic along with the phrase, "I can't. You do it."  Truthfully, I don't necessarily think it's an ability thing.  I think it's a confidence thing.  Mixed in with a "if I can't do it perfectly then I just won't try" attitude that she may have gotten from one of her parents (cough, Michael, cough).

But... it's still my job to try to get her where she needs to be.  That is going to take a mixture of confidence building along with practice and exposure.  The good thing is, I had multiple students over the years who had the same need for their work to be perfect or "right".  So this isn't my first time dealing with this. (Although, sometimes it doesn't make it any less frustrating.)

How do you teach someone to want to draw?  Especially when they already have it in their little head how things should go.  We have drawn on her easel.  We have drawn on a magnadoodle.  We have drawn on paper.  We've used crayons, markers, pens, highlighters. The girl has definitely been exposed.  So I looked up different activities to do to help.  We've already done the tracing with her fingers.  And as a teacher I know all about drawing in salt, tracing on sandpaper, etc.

I saw an idea to make a squishy bag and have them "draw" pictures using their fingers.  I thought we'd go ahead and give it a try.

The directions said to use a clear hair gel from the dollar store.  I don't go to the dollar store often, so I just bought the cheapest clear hair gel I could find. (Which didn't end up being much more than a dollar.)

We poured it in a gallon sized bag and added glitter and food coloring.

and squished it all around

I think I was suppose to put a white paper underneath, but I forgot.  I showed her how to draw a circle and then had her attempt it.  It was actually harder than I thought it was going to be.  Maybe my gel was too thick?

I don't know that she ever really drew a shape, but she attempted to run her finger around like she knew what she was doing. :)

Then she just squished the stuff around and played with it.

She said, "Look.  It's a comfy couch!"

Hopefully next time we can at least get a circle drawn. :)

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