We love using games at Emerge to promote skill development and we often recommend them as a fun way to address therapy goals at home. Please note that the beginning age is a general guideline. Some children may be ready for a particular game at a somewhat older or younger age.
Fine Motor Games:
Hi Ho Cherrio (4 years and up): A great first game for children, Hi Ho Cherrio works on using a neat pincer grasp to pick up the cherries and isolating the index finger for spinning the spinner. Variation: Have children use tweezers or straw berry huller to pick up cherries. Note: With young children the bird and the dog can also pick one cherry, rather than putting back cherries.
Squiggly Worms (3 years and up): This game can first be used to practice picking up and replacing the worms in the apple and then made more challenging by turning the game on, which causes the worms to move up and down. For older children it becomes a memory game as they try to find the worms with a certain color tail. Complexity can be increased by using a strawberry huller to remove the worms. Note: When turned on this game is a little loud. A big plus: No batteries required.
Thin Ice (4 years and up): A favorite game in our clinic. Children use tongs to pick up marbles and put on ‘ice’. Note: If child is sensitive to loud noises, put a folded paper towel in the bottom of the game to catch marbles. Have child hold a small pompom between palm and last two fingers, to encourage holding the tongs between thumb and first two fingers.
Cranium Balloon Lagoon (5 years and up): Creative game that involves a number of fine motor and perceptual skills as you play various carnival games to win balloons. Note: Play without the musical timer for younger children or children bothered by time constraints.
Melissa & Doug Suspend (4 years and up): A balancing game that requires controlled eye-hand co-ordination. Great for working on controlling impulsivity and grading movements. Note: Also works well for solo play. Play can be modified by playing large pieces first, rather than use dice.
Mancala (5 years and up): This is a wonderful game for developing in-hand manipulation skills. Note: Encourage child to pick up and move the stones or marbles with only one hand.
Tricky Fingers (6 years and up): This is a great game for teaching visual perceptual skills, sequencing and organization, as well as finger dexterity. Helps develop position sense of fingers. Note: If child is frustrated, complete one or two marble colors and then let child finish.