Monday, September 9, 2013

Therapy on a Shoestring Budget- Make a Homemade Marble Maze

This post is the first in a series of posts about "Therapy on a Shoestring Budget." I know first-hand how expensive therapy supplies can be,  so I've decided to share some fun, inexpensive, therapeutic ideas. I hope you find these posts helpful!
Hi Parents and Therapists!
Here is a fun handmade activity that is relatively easy to make. Supplies needed:

Colorful plastic straws
A sturdy piece of cardboard or foam board
Scotch tap
A brightly colored marble
A large Popsicle stick

Draw the outline of a maze on the foam board. Make it simple or complex, based on what you feel will be a "just right challenge" for the child.  Make sure that you leave enough space in the pathways for the marble to travel through. Lay the straws out on top of the maze lines and cut them to the appropriate length (see photo above).  Use Scotch tape to hold the straws in place (I tried a hot-glue gun, but the tape worked better). Use tape to secure the large Popsicle stick on the back side of the foam board to make the handle.  In one corner, write "start" and draw a star or smiley face. At the end of the maze write "end or finish" and draw something like a stop sign or finish line.

Now, it's time to play with the maze! This activity provides a fun way to work on grasping, visual tracking, eye hand coordination, and graded pronation and supination. If the child needs to work on upper extremity strengthening, just add a light weight to his wrist.  Have fun!

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