Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fine Motor Confinement

Piper has a little bit of an attitude.

Okay, so she’s somewhat of a stinker when it comes to “playing the therapy game”.  If she doesn’t feel like it, by golly, it’s NOT easy to get her to cooperate.  On more than one occasion, she’s “accidentally” showed us what she’s capable of doing, realizing she’s goofed, and won’t do it again.  We’re working on “compliance”, but, just like with any other almost-two-year-old, that task is far easier said than done. 

So, in order to, ahem, “encourage her cooperation”, Piper now has to do her fine motor activities while sitting on top of a yoga ball.

It makes her focus on something other than the task at hand, keeps her confined, and helps her hold her attention a little better.  She doesn’t always need this much help keeping her attention (as evidenced by, among other things, her ability to sit and read books for hours. on. end.), but for some reason, she just really does NOT enjoy fine motor ANYTHING (except for coloring, finger painting, and, in general, anything messy…)

We really have the best luck when I’m holding her from behind and Becky, her therapist, does the activities from the front.  That’s right- somewhere along the line, my kid has decided that she’s a big kid now and doesn’t need Mom’s help all the time.  She does significantly better when she forgets that I’m around.  Part of me is a little sad that she’s growing up and gaining her independence, but the rest of me is excited that she’s, well, growing up and gaining her independence. 

Not all activities are easily done while balancing on a ball, unfortunately.  Her piggy bank and beads work really well.  We love her stringing beads, by the way (thanks, Nana!!!)- they have a really big “needle” and the beads are easy to hold, too.  Besides, who doesn’t like Hungry Hungry Caterpillar???


However, things like stacking do NOT work on the ball.  Neither she nor I have the ability to keep her still enough to accomplish any amount of building.  So, we work with the Little People building blocks because they stick together and don’t require the same amount of control.  Unfortunately, placement has to be more exact and fine-tuned in order to get the lego-like blocks to stick together, so it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword.

Tonight I thought I’d see what she did with real stacking blocks.


Lo and behold, despite her exhaustion and ready-to-go-to-bed-ness, she stacked.  By herself.  Without the ball.  Go figure.


  1. Now that is an interesting idea! We may have to try that sometime!

    Thanks for some birthday gift ideas for Sweet Pea too! I'm really needing to come up with some ideas for gifts for her and the lacing blocks are great!

  2. Lucas is also getting more stubborn with OT and PT. It's almost to the point where I may not be allowed in therapy with him. If he's not interested, he flat out will not do it. We've done the ball before, he just gets fussy. I don't know what to do. Glad you found something that works for Piper.

  3. Claire is stubborn with PT too. We are working on stepping and have tried it so many different ways. If she doesn't want to, she'll just lift her legs and you are left holding a dangling baby. We finally figured out if we just hold her hands instead of supporting her under her arms that she's happy. Once SHE'S in control she'll walk halfway across the house. Little stinkers!