Birthday Candle Twist and Turn

You will need:

  • Play-doh
  • Birthday candles
  • Plastic play knife, spatula and plates (optional)
You can purchase all this entire activity right here exclusively at MissMancy’s Shop 

Therapy Corner:

When working on fine motor skills it is important that your child learn how to use both sides of his hand simultaneously and in a coordinated manner. In a nutshell, you want the first 2-3 fingers of the hand (which includes the thumb aka the radial side of the hand) to do the work/movement while the last 2-3 digits of the hand work as stabilizers (aka. ulnar side of the hand).

With that said, we work on:

Nesting Skills (i.e. picking up small items with fingers and placing them in the palm of the hand)

Retrieving Retrieving (i.e transferring small items from the palm of the hand to the tip of the fingers)

Precision Rotation (i.e. rotating an object positioned within the finer tips)

 This activity will work on all these skills as well as self-feeding skills.

The Activity:

Give your child a large piece of play doh and have them roll it into a big ball and flatten it with there hand.
Give your child 2 small candles at a time in one hand and have them wiggle their fingers to bring the candle to the tip of his fingers (retrieving) and stick it into the cake UPSIDEDOWN.
Once all the candles are on the cake, have your child pick up one candle at a time and twist it in the SAME hand to rotate the candle so that he can now stick it into the cake correctly (precise rotation).
You can then sing Happy Birthday and blow out the candles (this is a fun activity when it’s really the child’s birthday). You then ask your child to get the candles out of the cake by picking them up gently one at a time with the SAME hand (nesting).
You can now use a plastic play knife to teach your child to cut pieces of cake and serve all his friends.

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Hi, I 'm Nancy

I’m an Occupational Therapist (OT) with more than 18 years of experience and whose greatest passion is working with children of all abilities. 

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