As therapists (and parents), we frequently work with children on bilateral upper extremity skills. In many situations we request that a child stabilize an object or container while performing an activity. Handles are great for making grasping easier and for encouraging stabilization.
Here is a cool “recycled” adaptation for adding a handle to your object of choice. This idea comes from Barbara Smith’s wonderful book “The Recycling Occupational Therapist”. (Click here to check out the book)
Just cut a handle from a detergent or dishwasher soap bottle and attach it to your item of choice. To increase the proprioceptive (deep pressure) feedback, enclose sandbags inside the flaps created on either side of the handles.
Thoroughly wash and dry the detergent, dishwasher soap, or bleach bottle. Labels usually can be removed by soaking the container in hot water and scraping.
1. Cut around the top and bottom of the bottle.
2. Create flaps by cutting along the vertical line on each side.
Optional: Insert a sandbag inside the handle before folding and securing the two overlapping flaps. Enclose both ends with Contact adhesive vinyl or duct tape.
3. Fold the back flap over the front flap. Secure with duct tape.here for more information or to purchase "The Recycling Occupational Therapist" by Barbara Smith.
You may also want to check out her newest release "From Rattles to Writing"
Tip: I added a handle to a shoe box to which students attach clothespins for finger strengthening. Prior to having the handle on the box, it would just sit on the table and the kids would place the clothespins on it with one hand. Now I require them to hold the shoebox by the handle with one hand, and place the clothespins with the other, turning the activity into a bilateral upper extremity task! Voila!! Thanks Barbara :)
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