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This week’s Pinterest test pin is all about finger isolation and dexterity. Here is the original pin:
(Image from http://yourtherapysource.com)
This looked like a relatively easy craft project and a fun way to work on in-hand manipulation skills.
Now, for me to consider a craft project to be “relatively easy”, it usually has to take less than 15 minutes to put together, and I don’t want to have to run out and buy any special tools or supplies that I’ll never use again.
Button gloves, you didn’t disappoint. Here are the supplies that I used:
1. An old glove that was just hanging out in the hall closet.
2. Old Buttons from previous sweater purchases that I never knew what to do with. (Now, if you are crafty, you might have a better selection of buttons than I had available, but I was pretty darn excited to find a use for these things. Score!)
3. A hot glue gun.
(When I first saw this project, I assumed I would need to sew the buttons on to keep them secure, however, hot glue did the trick for now. Which is a good thing, or else this project may have never been completed.)
Once I gathered everything together, I simply placed the buttons in the center of each finger and glued them on with a generous helping of hot glue. Everything looked great, so I tried them on for a test run.
This is when I noticed an issue. Gluing the button in the center of the thumb doesn’t match up well with the rest of the buttons during the exercises. It is actually more natural for the side of the thumb to match up as it opposes each finger. Therefore, I just moved the button over into a more natural spot. Check it out here:
With my masterpiece complete, I was excited to give it a real test in the clinic. Here’s my breakdown of the pros and cons:
-The buttons seemed to work like magnets with some children! As soon as I slipped the glove on, they started tapping their fingers together and seemed to enjoy the sound of the buttons clacking. Visual and auditory feedback- always a plus.
-It was another great way to make a task more concrete for some children. Sometimes when I try to demonstrate an activity like this, children have a hard time imitating. However, with the buttons they were able to catch on quickly.
-They isolated their fingers and opposed their thumbs. Basically, the activity addressed the skills that I wanted. It’s always a plus when something works as it is intended.
-The glove is most definitely not one-size-fits-all. Some of my younger kids that really needed to work on this skill simply lost their hand inside the glove because it was too big. Although I suppose I could always find a smaller glove for these children.
-This activity can also be done in other ways with perhaps less hassle- i.e. using stickers on each finger, or even drawing a dot on each finger with a marker.
-Some of my clients with sensory processing issues simply can’t handle sliding a glove over their hand.
-The buttons may or may not hold up in the long run. I was very delicate with the gloves this week as I was sliding them on and off little hands. I imagine if a child really wanted the glove off and pulled it quickly, those buttons could go flying.
So, overall impressions?
I’ll probably continue to incorporate this into my therapy routines, but mostly because I took the time to make the thing. Would I recommend everyone go out and glue some buttons to gloves? Eh, if you’ve got the time and the crafty spirit, go for it!
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