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Pom Pom Rescue

Since my son started reception in September something that his teacher has picked up on is his lack of  hand strength which is having an effect on his writing. As he doesn't seem to have a lot of hand strength he gets tired of writing so doesn't want to do it. So we are working on fun activities to help improve his hand strength which will hopefully improve his writing.

There are lots of everyday activities that helps to build up hand strength including hand washing, pulling up clothing, opening doors or squeezing toothpaste.

So while all of these things are helpful I want to include some specific hand strengthening activities for him that are of course quick and easy to set up and include everyday items we use around the house.

I always advocate that setting up an activity shouldn't take more than five minutes setting up. There is no point spending ages setting up an activity for it to fail miserably so if you spend less than five minutes setting it up and it fails it's not been a waste of time. When setting up any potentially messy activity I use our tuff spot tray. It's great for containing the mess as it acts as a boundary. I did also use a mess mat underneath as it's great for catching any over spill form the tuff spot and can be easily and quickly tided up. 

Pom pom rescue is very open ended and it is 100% adaptable to the resources you have in your house already. So for pom pom rescue I used a batch of our rainbow rice but you could easily use pasta, water, lentils or simply leave a box empty and filling it with pom poms. You don't even have to use pom poms you could use water beads, lego, or blocks.

I then added lots of different utensils to help pick the pom poms out. I purposefully didn't include any scoops as I wanted to use items that would be more beneficial to hand strength. The items that I used included pegs, tongs, sticks and our Learning Resources Handy Tools which were all strengthening his fine muscles in his fingers.

I then told him that he had to rescue the pom poms without using his fingers, he was only allowed to to use the utensils around the box. He then dived in straight away for the tongs and started picking them out. He tried a lot of the different utensils and enjoyed picking up the pom poms and transferring them into a separate bowl.

He then decided to start using his hands to explore the rice but that was absolutely fine as it's still working those hand and muscles and most importantly he was still having fun.

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