Finger Gym- Lolly Stick Shapes
Fine motor activities are a great way of developing muscles, hand-eye coordination and concentration span to help children to become more independent, and ultimately, to prepare them for writing. Although there are lots of fine motor resources on the market, sometimes simple, DIY ideas work just as well. These can also last children for years to come, evolving and being used in new ways as they develop and grow. This lolly stick shape activity has been just that, for us, a simple and cheap but brilliant go-to for several years to add to a wide variety of play scenarios.
Resources: Lolly sticks, velcro, scissors, glue.
Step 1: Cut a small circle of Velcro and glue one side (hooks) to one end of the lolly stick, and the other side (eyes) to the opposite side on the other end of the stick.
Step 2: Repeat for a set of lolly sticks- perhaps 20. When all the ‘hook’ and ‘eye’ sides are glued on, leave them to dry.
Step 3: Once they are dry, attach the sticks to each other to create different shapes; triangles, squares, etc. They are great for showing children really clearly how many sides each shape has- fantastic for early maths.
Whilst we have used these on their own as a resource, they are also great for combining with other toys and loose parts to extend learning and play. Little used them as fences for his farm animals; diving the cows from sheep, pigs etc. He also made the bull his own pen! In terms of muscle development, the velcro is sticky enough to give toddlers a challenge but Little was still able to do it himself; great for self-esteem and a sense of achievement.
Have you ever made lolly sticks like this? Check out the Pinterest board for more fine motor ideas!