Here we go again! Welcome to the latest segment of Pinned on Pinterest – Tested in Occupational Therapy. I picked something relatively simple this time around. Please try to contain your shock and surprise. 😉
I’ve been working with a lot of kids on pinch strength lately – a skill important for opening containers, pulling shoe laces super tight so they don’t come undone, increasing endurance for fine motor activities, and so on.
I find myself working with clothespins because they are simple, readily available, and provide a nice level of resistance. However, I was looking for a new way to use them, since I mean, come on, there are only so many things you can clip clothespins to.
The original pin was from the website Thrifty Fun, and you can find their post here. My favorite thing is that I found this on Pinterest and thought, “Hey, super fun fine motor idea!” and when I clicked on the actual website link, I saw they are supposed to be used for pulling hot toast out of the toaster. At that point I obviously loved the idea even more.
Ok, grab a pen and paper, because these directions get a little complicated. Ready? Glue Popsicle sticks to clothespins aaaaaaand, oh wait, you’re done. Phew. I used wood glue because it made the most sense to me and I happened to have some around. This felt like it made the bond super strong, so I could use these babies to pick things up without fear that the sticks would bust apart from the clothespin and go flying across the room.
Now, you can’t grasp super small items just based on how far apart the sticks rest, but these came in handy for picking up plastic animals, small blocks for stacking, magnetic alphabet letters, and much more. It was the functionality of a tweezer or tong, but with the added bonus of resistive work from the clothespins. Win-Win.
I even worked with a few kids that said, “That’s gonna be too easy!” when I pulled the clothespin tongs out, but once they realized how much resistance it took to control them or keep them open, especially during skilled precision tasks such as stacking small blocks, their tune changed a bit. Plus you can’t go wrong with a good novelty factor, which usually means I am able to get a few more trials in and a little more enthusiastic engagement than I might have otherwise. For me, I’ll say that’s worth the time to glue two things together.
Have a pin or idea you want to see tested in therapy? Let me know!