Bath Time – Fine Motor play
Bath time is a fantastic time to challenge your child’s body. When Toddler G was a few months old she had a noticeable weakness with her left arm and so when we had baths I would try and make this the most exciting time for her, so I would splash and throw toys and have bubbles and move her about, swirl the water! I would end up drenched! I would hand things to that hand, encourage her to move (Or I would move it for her).
She didn’t protest (As she would normally outside the bath) as she was distracted. The water helped her feel like it was less of an effort – when in fact she was working harder. Over the course of a few months her left arm got noticeably stronger (This was even before she started physio).
Over the last year or so I have added a number of things to provide variety and extra challenges for her:
Different sizes (When full, they provide different weights for her to lift and move about), it’s a great texture for her to play with as well as giving her feedback to her joints and receptors in her hands when she pulls, squeezes and lifts.
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These are great for reaching and placing around the bath. I would dot around the bath so she would need to move her body in a variety of ways to get all the pieces to put in her froggy bag! This is a great exercise for rotation of the trunk and midline crossing.
When she was confident standing (On a mat in the bath to stop slipping!) I would encourage her to squat and pick up the pieces floating in the bath and put on the tiles in front of her.
Simply cups in the bath and also added a tea pot! She loves it! The tea pot is a lot bigger, and a bit more fiddly to hold – but great for extra weight through her hands and strengthening her wrist through the pouring motion.
Foam soap is great, you can mould it and have some real fun. I squirt on the walls so she can play on there and use her fingers to mark make. It is also great for tactile input in the hands as they play with it.
A great aide for identifying body parts “ Ohhh is the soap on your head?!” /hands/belly/arm etc etc
Squeeze toys (rubber ducks), water bottles, Sponges.
In order to write successfully hand strength and positioning is crucial, Pincer grip activities are great to gain strength in the wrist and fingers.
Having a BLAST! Literally with this foam water blaster is great for resistance play as well as hand /eye coordination. Just watch out you may get wet!
For your convenience I’ve listed the things used: