Lego Bricks, Therapeutic Fun

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Lego bricks are an excellent toy to help develop a child’s hands.  Between 3 and 4 years of age, a child is starting to expand their ability to use the finger tips.  They are starting to be able to move items from the palm to the ends of the fingers.  This skill is later used to move a pencil when writing.

The therapist suggested we add a Lego wall plate to put the wrist into a better position.  Mel played with Lego bricks on a wall plate from a standing position, a sitting position and while on her tummy, reaching forward.  In standing, she was working on her balance, in sitting on her reaching (get the Lego from the floor) and on her tummy she was working on her arm strength.  The one pictured in about 12 inches from the floor.

In the beginning, I was surprised at how hard it was for Mel to get the Lego brick off the wall plate.  When that was accomplished, we started with her being able to push the Legos on the wall.  This takes hand strength as well as a soft touch.  The next step was putting them in a line across the board from left to right.  Then she had to skip one row.  We then stated making simple letters like T, L and H.

From her tummy, she had to reach with one hand as far forward as possible.  The task was altered by having her place the Lego brick, on the wall plate, with her right hand and the left hand. We kept alternating until Mel got tired.  And finally, she had to use both hands to place the Legos at the same time.

Her occupational therapist wanted us to make sure she was doing all the Lego manipulations with one hand.  Putting the Lego on her shirt, on the floor, or in the opposite hand to turn it over was discouraged.  By the time she was 5 or 6 years, the goal was for her to be able to hold two or three small legos in one hand and then use that same hand/fingers to move one Lego brick out to the finger tips and put it on the wall plate.  The goal is to hold the other two or three, small Lego bricks in her palm with her pinky finger and then move them to the Lego plate without dropping any.

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