Easy fine motor skills game for children: Magic Chopsticks

Need a fun way to help your child develop the motor coordination skills needed for good pencil grip and handwriting? Children’s occupational therapists at Kids First Children’s Services in Sydney’s northern beaches share an easy at-home game that’s cheap and easy.

Helping children to develop pencil grip does not have to be a boring succession of table based writing and colouring tasks!

Here’s a fun game to play at home that will strengthen your child’s finger muscles and improve fine motor skills.

Magic pasta  
Give your child a reason to play the game – for example:

“This pasta has magic ingredients! The only way you can move it is to use chopsticks to pick it up and place it in magic water!”

You will need:

  • One set of chopsticks (children’s training chopsticks such as those distributed by Smartstix are ideal)
  • 10-20 pieces of large, dry pasta (shapes such as spirals are best)
  • Small bowl filled with water
  • To make things interesting, you can even add a drop or two of food colouring to the water

How to play:
1.    Place the chopsticks in your child’s dominant hand

2.    Encourage your child to use the chopsticks to pick up one piece of pasta at a time

3.    Have your child drop the pasta into the water

4.    Watch “Magic Pasta” change shape and form as it absorbs the water

Initially, it may take your child some time to develop the dexterity and control for this game – but keep trying!

As your child’s skills develops, encourage your child to remove the fourth finger and then the third finger.

Pretty soon, your child will be practicing with just thumb and finger in a pincer grip – and this is just what they need to be able to hold a pencil properly!

Have you tried this game with your child? Share your thoughts with other parents on the forum below or on Kids First’s Facebook page here

Does your child need fine motor or handwriting help?

Kids First’s experienced children’s occupational therapists know how to make handwriting fun! Our purpose build gyms in Sydney’s northern beaches are a great place for kids to learn the skills they need to succeed and we can help your child too.

Find out more about Occupational Therapy for children here or contact Kids First on (02) 9938 5419 now to make an appointment for your child

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