Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Motor Activities Checklist to Encourage the Development of Pre-Braille Skills

Young boy playing in sand tray

Children with visual impairments need to develop their fine motor skills through a variety of activities to increase strength and coordination needed to learn braille.  This checklist provides a sequence of the pre-requisite fine motor skills:

 

Activity - Grasp

1.  Palmer Grasp

  • Squeezing toys
  • Squeezing playdough / clay
  • Taking objects out of containers
  • Drawing
  • Sanding
  • Using a pastry cutter
  • Using a hole puncher
  • Pushing pop beads together

 

2.  Thumb and Fingers Grasp

  • Stringing beads
  • Holding paper for cutting
  • Using crayons / pencil / paintbrush
  • Using glue sticks for art projects
  • Pinching playdough / clay
    play-Do
  • Using pegboards
  • Building towers with blocks
  • Painting with paintbrush
  • Turning pages of a book
  • Paper weaving
  • Putting shapes into a shape sorter
  • Sorting paper clips and small items
  • Buttoning, zipping and snapping

 

3.  Pincer

  • Popping bubble wrap
  • Picking up small objects
  • Tying bows
  • Sewing cards
  • Stringing beads
  • Putting pegs in pegboard
  • Putting clothes pegs on edges of boxes
  • Using an eyedropper
  • Turning knobs on a wind-up toy
  • Putting coins through a small slot

 

4.  Release Grip

  • Giving an object on request
  • Stacking activities
  • Sorting activities
  • Placing objects in containers

 

Activity - Wrist Flexibility (takes places from wrist with stable arm)

1.  Recognition of 3D Objects

  • Matching of everyday objects
  • Sorting objects - large familiar objects - by size shape
  • Sorting objects - small familiar objects - by size shape
  • Stacking activities / boxes / blocks / beakers
  • Bead stringing / Thread large beads onto something rigid – e.g. dowelling
    Thread beads onto thick firm thread – e.g. plastic washing line
    Thread small beads onto shoe lace
    Trace holes made by hole puncher, (child makes pattern with hole puncher then traces the pattern.)
  • Assembling nuts and bolts
  • Using twist ties
  • Turning volume knobs on radio
  • Manipulating lids on and off jars / tubes
  • Mixing food in a bowl
  • Using wind-up toys
  • Turning door knobs
  • Pour from one container to another

 

Activity - Bilateral Hand Usescissors

  • Stringing beads
  • Pulling tape off roll
  • Tearing paper
  • Twisting lids on and off
  • Cutting paper
  • Using a hole puncher
  • Sanding
  • Using a ruler to make lines
  • Holding container with one hand and placing an object into with the other hand
  • Stabilizing toy with one hand and using other hand to play with the toy
  • Pushing together and pulling apart pop beads
  • Finger painting
  • Rolling snakes and ball with playdough / clay
  • Attaching paper clips to paper
  • Tracing round an object or stencil
  • Holding paper with one hand stapling with the other
  • Stabilising bowl whilst stirring

 

rolling pin

Activity - Hand and Finger Strength

  • Crumpling paper
  • Placing clothes pegs on edges of cans and jars
  • Stretching rubber bands
  • Manipulating play dough
  • Squeezing glue bottles
  • Using stapler held in hand
  • Using stapler by pushing
  • Using rolling pin
  • Using a hold puncher
  • Hammering
  • Pushing together and pulling apart pop beads
  • Sponge painting

 

child poking fingers in clayActivity - Finger Isolation

  • Make finger prints in playdough/clay
  • Pushing buttons on toys
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Tracing around stencils with fingertips

 

Activity - Light Touch

  • Place counters inside the squares of Braille graph paper and have the child move fingers across them so lightly that they are not moved outside the squares
  • Place cotton balls beneath the child’s fingers and have them move across the page
  • Move counters on a surface by touching them lightly

 

Activity - Tracking

  • Track along lines of counters, beads, buttons and pasta, differentiating between and feeling for requested button shape or odd one out.
  • Track across lines of yarn, string, ribbon, straws, wikki stix
  • Finding longest, shortest, track down page using scissor action
  • Track across lines of Braille cells picking out odd one out. 
  • Tracking from left to right across like symbols which follow closely without a space
  • Tracking from left to right across unlike symbols which follow closely without a space
  • Tracking from left to right across like symbols which have one or two spaces between them
  • Tracking from top to bottom over like symbols which follow closely without a space
  • Tracking from top to bottom over unlike symbols which follow closely without a space
  • Tracking from top to bottom over like symbols which have one blank space between them
  • Tracking from top to bottom over unlike symbols which have one blank space between them 

 

Fine Motor Tactile ChecklistActivity - Tactile Discrimination (developing the skills of recognizing and discriminating between shapes using the pad of both fingertips.)

  • Sorting large 3D objects (hand size) By different characteristics: shape, size, textures, Cool/warm
  • Sorting smaller 3D objects By different characteristics: Shape, Size, Texture, Cool/warm
  • Sorting small 2D objects (less than hand size) By different characteristics: Shape, Size, Texture
  • Sorting smaller 2D objects (with finger tips) By different characteristics: Shape, Size, Texture

motor activities collage

 

There are more shared ideas at https://www.positiveeye.co.uk/resources/
 

 

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