Children with autism often have trouble with fine motor skills, hand strength, coordination, and spatial awareness. One method used by Occupational Therapists (OT) to help develop these skills is using TheraPutty® activities. The uniqueness of the material as well as the variety of progressive resistance levels TheraPutty offers, makes it perfect for helping children develop skills while having fun at the same time.
Listed below are a few fun activities and exercises you can do with TheraPutty from A Little Learning for Two.
- Retrieving Small Objects – hide a small object like a bead or marble in the putty and have the child retrieve the object. This builds hand strength, coordination, and helps the child develop his or her fine motor skills.
- Making Confetti – have the child break apart the TheraPutty into “confetti” pieces by using his or her thumb and index finger. Once finished, use the last piece of putty to pick up the other pieces and roll them into a ball.
- Rolling Snakes – roll the TheraPutty into a “snake”. Once it is rolled out, twist the snake into other shapes to help the child develop dexterity.
- Squeezing (deep pressure work) – squeezing and manipulating TheraPutty allows the child to de-stress or remain focused.
- Stamping – using letter stamps helps the child with his or her reading and writing skills while also developing hand muscles. Stamping offers resistive work while providing sensory feedback.
- Smoothing – have the child smooth TheraPutty into a contained surface, such as the top of a butter container or a Puttycise work board. Once the putty is smooth, have the child work the putty into any of the above exercises, then smooth the putty out again.
- Dress up – have the child create clothes for their toys with TheraPutty. This is great for children who tire easily during heavy fine motor work. Sparkle TheraPutty adds extra fun to this game.
- Imprint Barrier Game – this exercise involves two people. One player imprints a small household object into a smoothed out piece of putty while the other player isn’t looking. After the imprint is created, the second player tries to guess what made the imprint.
- Ice mold shapes – push putty into chocolate or ice molds to create shapes for use in play scenes. Pushing and extracting the putty helps build fine motor skills. Be sure to wash the molds after use.
- Putty play scenes – smooth putty across a Puttycise work board to use as a base for LEGOs or other toys.
- Cold / Hot putty play – keep putty in the fridge for extra sensory value. If you want to try heat therapy, use our Microwavable TheraPutty.
The variety and functionality of TheraPutty activities that can be performed makes them perfect for helping children with Autism. Learn more about our TheraPutty options by clicking here.