“Play is the beginning of knowledge.”
I have been so busy lately, so many unfinished projects have made it impossible for me to design and share a fun little craft with you all to do with your children. Instead I thought I share with you some toys I bought for my kids when they were little to help with fine motor skills.
Children on the Autism spectrum will have their favorites of course and there are melt downs sometimes when we try to redirect them to try other things but I encourage everyone to try to get your children to slowly try new things.
When a child struggles with picking up little things and using their fingers it can be really upsetting. I don’t blame them for being afraid to try, it is so frustrating when we can not put something together or make something that seems so easy when we watch someone else doing it. I always think of my aunts trying to teach me how to crochet and how my fingers could not do what they were doing, at least I gave it a go before I threw in the towel.
To help my children develop their fine motor skills I always searched out toys that were colorful and entertaining at the same time. I preferred vintage toys the most because they seem to encourage more hands on creativity then some of the modern toys now days.
Like Lite Brite with all it’s tiny colorful pieces. The kids would draw a picture on black construction paper and pop in their pieces. The excitement of turning off their bedroom lights to reveal their art encouraged them to play with this toy over and over. This was a fun one for the whole family to enjoy. I might bring that toy down from the attic to play with again now that we are all in quarantine.
Another fun one was Lincoln logs. Take your logs out to the woods and creeks, build little log cabins out in nature. Add some sticks for a fence and get a bag of farm animals to add some pretend play to it.
Legos were number one in our home for many years. I was always very careful not to vacuum pieces up. Every little colorful piece was a future robot, space ship, tiny home, giant misshaped animals and anything you could think to create. My son was so into his Legos, he would spend hours creating things. We still have huge plastic containers full of Legos. I donated some of our toys to the Autism center here in our city after my children grew up but Legos stayed.
Marbles- you can use marbles to create shapes and pictures in sand like mosaic pieces. Marble roller coaster wooden toys are fun to play with. Marbles are also great for counting as well. To play marbles the way they are suppose to be played will be difficult to teach and may lead to melt downs, but hey, give it a go but make sure to include lots of giggles with your mistakes. I encourage you to create your own unique and fun games to use marbles that don’t lead to frustrations. You can even use marbles like a tic tac toe game.
Blocks- I had all kinds of sizes when it came to blocks, and colors too. Build a giant structure and see how high you can go before it falls apart, you know like the tumbling game.
Polly pocket- I think they are bringing this vintage toy back. Polly had tiny little rooms that came with doors, people, even furniture. Everything was so tiny. Those little fingers got a work out playing with this toy. There were Polly pocket sets that came with horses, tiny swimming pools, kitchens, swings and even little cars for them to drive in. We had a ton of fun with Polly in our home.
Hope this was helpful for you all. Remember to encourage your children to play these toys with other children. Also make sure they are at the right age. You do not want really young children playing with small pieces because of chocking hazards. Have fun everyone.