Toothpick Construction

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Playdoh balls

Little M wanted to create something with playdough.  She had recently done a lot of the traditional playdough play with rollers and cutters.  I wanted to work on her finger dexterity and bilateral coordination.  So I  combined the playdough with toothpicks for some construction fun.  I helped her by dividing the playdough into equal sized pieces.  She rolled them in her palms to form little balls.  Try this activity with older kids using toothpicks with blutac.

Toothpick and playdoh

You can see her fingers trying to place the toothpick strategically into the playdough balls.   This required finger dexterity and perseverance on her part.

Toothpick construction

We then built up against the surface to make a triangle pyramid.  You can see her ‘Helpful Hands’ at work as Little M tries to use her tripod grasp with precision.  Both her hands are working together for good bilateral coordination.

Playdoh balls

We did the same with the yellow playdough and extended her vocabulary and understanding of shapes by introducing the pentagon.

Pentagon Playdoh Toothpick Construction

This activity builds on the perceptual skill: Position in Space also known as Spatial Relations.  This feeds into the skill of handwriting because it is important to understand lines and shapes in relation to each other when forming letters and numbers.  Position in Space also important consistent letter sizing and judging perceptually the spaces between words when writing sentences.

Playdoh Toothpick Construction

Key Areas developed:

    • Finger Dexterity
    • Perceptual Skills
    • Frustration Tolerance

This activity helps with handwriting by improving finger dexterity which makes it easier to form letters and numbers and the activity helps to improve perceptual skills which will make it easier for your child to visualise and reproduce letters and numbers accurately.


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