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I first heard of this idea at a conference, and made the mental note to give it a try. However, time passes and you simply forget… until Pinterest reminds you, of course: Corn Cob Holders for Fine Motor Practice.
First, track down some corn cob holders. This is actually the perfect time of year to find them for super cheap. I got mine for around a dollar. In order to encourage accurate hole punching, you should pull one of the metal prongs out of the holder. My trusty husband did this with a pair of pliers, and then filed it down a bit to make sure the left over metal wasn’t too sharp.
You can then draw pictures, shapes, or letters, and place the paper on top of a piece of cardboard. The child punches holes along the guidelines using an appropriate grasp on the corn cob holders.
Some things I learned from testing this in therapy:
The effectiveness of this activity depends on the corn cob holder you use. I happened to have a bigger set, which allowed some children to manage a funky grasp on the handle. A smaller corn cob holder would have provided less wiggle room for an inefficient grasp.
You could also simply use a push pin and you wouldn’t have to go through the extra steps of finding corn cob holders and ripping a prong out. The small push pin definitely forced a tripod grasp and provided a more appropriate challenge for the older children.
This activity is actually more difficult than it looks. Even as I punched a few holes in order to take these pictures, my hand quickly started aching like a wimp. Overall, it worked out to be a fun way to promote a functional grasp and strengthen the muscles of the hand in an appropriate position
I think I’ll give it two cobs up. 🙂
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