A Few Therapy Putty
What is therapy putty? Click here.
A word of warning: this stuff loves to make skinny little strings
that float down to get imbedded in the carpet or furniture! Supervise
use! Keep it on the table! Use scissors or a quick "snapping" apart
movement to break bits off rather than stretching it slowly apart.
1. Hand balls: Break therapy
putty in half and place one segment in one hand to form a ball without
use of the table, chest, or any other surface but hand! Ideally, you
should see efficient finger separation, some fingers stabilizing while
others are working, and good thumb opposition. Continue same exercise
with the other half of putty in the other hand.
2. Rolling snakes: Place each ball of putty on table and roll
into a snake using one hand only. Take careful consideration to lifting
and keeping the knuckes flexed ("make a hut" with hand) while rolling
out each snake to promote effective arching through the hand and
intrinsic muscles of hand. Thumb should remain at side of fingers.
Continue with other hand.
3. Donut stretches: Make each snake into a donut. Place all
fingers into the donut, keeping it on the table surface. Stretch the
donut bigger and bigger by pushing out equally with all fingers and
thumb. Continue with other hand.
4. Fingertip balls: now it gets a little tricky!! Pull of a small
amount of putty (about the size of a peanut M&M), and roll it into
a ball using only the fingers and thumb of one hand. No cheating by
using the other hand, the table, or any other surface to help! Make at
least 4 balls.
5. Pancakes: now squish each small ball into a pancake between the
thumb and one finger (each finger can have a turn). It is VERY
IMPORTANT to keep a round
circle made up of your thumb and finger while
doing this! The thumbtip and fingertip should touch right at their
ends. That is thumb opposition and it is vital for many skilled fine
motor tasks, including holding and using a pencil!
Finally, it is a lot of fun to cut the putty with scissors, and is a
great way to practice scissor skills with young children before they
can handle paper.