What you need:
- Squiggly Worms Game ( Available for purchase at MissMancy’s AMAZON Shop )
- Adaptive Chopsticks (Available for purchase directly from MissMancy’s Shop)
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)
Ready to play?!! 🙂 This activity is an excellent way to work on these important in-hand manipulation skills. Your child will be working on nesting/retrieving skills during the set up and clean up of this game. First, place the empty apple on the table and provide your child with a minimum of 2 worms in one hand. If possible place as many worms that fit in the palm of his hand. (I recommend 4 in palm and 1 in his fingertips).
Retrieving: Have your child place one worm at a time in the apple by wiggling his fingers so that he can transfer the worm from his palm to the tip of his fingers. Make sure his palm is facing downwards. You will notice that your child will most likely try to use his other hand to help or use his body. In that case, I give the child something to hold with his other hand or I ask him to put the “working” hand up in the air when trying to retrieve the worms.
This can be very frustrating at first especially when the child has a hard time figuring out how to move his little fingers to transfer the items from the palm to the tip of his fingers. I usually cue them verbally by saying: “Wiggle wiggle…wiggle wiggle…to the tippy tip” (it helps :))
Pincer: Once all the worms are in the apple, use the adaptive chopsticks to pick up the worms. You can do it as a race if your child is good at it or you can play the game as it’s meant to be played where you get only the worms that match your color card.
Keep in mind that the chopsticks should be held with the thumb and first 2 fingers of the hand while the last 2 fingers of the hand stay in the palm.
Nesting: Use the clean up portion of this game to work on nesting skills. Have your child pick up 4-5 worms from the table with one hand only. He picks it up with his fingers and pushes it into the palm of his hand. Once he has 4-5 worms, let him replace them in the box.
Note: For younger children who have a hard time picking up moving worms from the apple with the chopsticks, I have them place the worms into the apple using the chopsticks. They then pick up the worms from the apple to nest them into their hand using their fingers. Once they have 4-5 worms they replace them into the box by retrieving them from the palm of the hand one at a time.