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There’s nothing like a trip to the dollar store to get the creative juices flowing for a pediatric therapist. The aisles are full of amazing trinkets, toys, and gadgets that make the perfect additions to your stash of therapy supplies.
Today’s trip was no exception. My first grader has been begging me for a geoboard for weeks, and, while I used to have an entire box of them in my basement, as soon as I need them they are nowhere to be found. Isn’t that always the way? (Seriously though. Where is that box? It’s driving me insane.)
Anyway, when I saw this simple combination of supplies on the shelves of the dollar store, I knew I could whip up a geoboard fine motor activity of my own! My little guy was so excited and I was thrilled to have a fun new addition to my bag of fine motor tricks!
Below, you can find links to supplies that are similar to the ones we used, but be sure to check out your local discount store to find them for a fraction of the price!
What You’ll Need:
–silicone ice cube tray (circular)
–rubber bands (we used elastic hair bands)
What to Do:
Not much instruction needed here! Place your elastic bands in a small container and set your little one loose with the overturned ice cube tray to see what he comes up with!
My little guy made squares and rectangles and then tried stretching the rubber bands as far as he could down the row of the ice cube tray to make one long line! He challenged himself to try to make a figure 8 between two of the ice cube tray circles.
Such a great visual motor, bilateral coordination, and hand strengthening activity!
It would be great to throw a few of these in your therapy bag as a warm up to other fine motor and visual motor work during your therapy session!
How to Change it Up:
-Have the child sort the rubber bands by color, stretching all of the same-colored rubber bands over consecutive rows of the ice cube tray and then moving to the next color.
-Try using loom bands on your geoboard fine motor activity (they will only fit over one of the openings, but it’s a great bilateral coordination and hand strength challenge!)
-If your kiddo likes this activity, be sure to check out our Loom Band Mania post! Tons of fun ways to play with those tiny colorful rubber bands!
Skill Areas Addressed: Bilateral coordination, hand strength, visual motor skills, fine motor coordination
What are your favorite dollar store or discount store therapy finds? Leave us a comment below!
If you like this idea, stay tuned, our new resource – The Hand Strengthening Handbook – is coming your way soon! Subscribe to our newsletter for updates and discounts!