Monday, April 30, 2012

Get a GRIP! A picture guide to adapting PLAY for all!

This is a typical grip on a writing utensils.

Often children learning to write, will hold a writing utensil like this, called PALMER GRIP. This is often typical in children with atypical muscle tone as well
Most parents throw out broken crayons, but it's actually a great idea to encourage using them with children who can as it promotes development of the grip pattern progression.
Another option to adapt grips for those who have challenges is to modify the writing utensil to fit the diameter that the child can handle. This is one example using play foam. Play doh also works well and both allow easy modeling to meet the child's specific abilities. 

Anything around the home or classroom can be used to change the diameter of the utensil.  Here I used the handle of a jump rope. 35 mm film containers with poked holes or PVC pipe pieces also work well. 

Ok, so this is extremely big, but I included it to show how versatile floral foam can be in adapting writing utensils or toys. I just wish I had a smaller piece at home!

Tinker toys rock! For many many reasons, but they are also wonderful ways to customize a writing utensil.

Think outside the traditional crayon and marker box. Stampers can be an expression of artistic ability and often have larger knobs.

Sometimes it works to think about things from another angle.  If a child has trouble with vision or posture, fine motor work may be easier if you bring the writing or play surface to them.  Don't have a fancy large easel, use a binder!

Easier time gripping toys? Get those trucks dirty and dip them in paint!

A stacking ring makes a great choice for adapting grip as well.

Wine cork can be added to form a handle if small toys like trucks are hard to pick up.

Fine motor weaknesses or muscle tone can affect play beyond writing or coloring. Skills like puzzle work can be a challenge.

But even these activities can be adapted. Wine corks can be hot glued to make gripping anything easier and more accessible.  Drawer pulls from your local home improvement store also do the trick!

Have trouble picking up small toys like Mickey for role playing?

Simply add a handle! Popsicle sticks work well.


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Welcome to our blog! As longtime friends, we recently decided to combine our professional experience (as a speech-language pathologist and physical therapist) and "Mommy Experience" to create a company dedicated to something we are both extremely passionate about - letting kids be kids! Milestones and Miracles, LLC was formed in 2010. Our mission is to empower parents in understanding the natural progression of their child's development (and not rush it along and skip stages). We develop and provide developmental products to support this learning process, bonding families through engaging, fun, and meaningful experiences! We are thrilled to share that our first product, 1 2 3 Just Play With Me is available for sale. Visit to learn more and order a unique product for yourself & your child or as a gift! We will continue use this blog to share about topics that interest and excite us. Stay tuned!


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