We are excited to be starting our second A-Z series. This time we will be focusing on fine motor skill activities across the alphabet. Today we are kicking off the series with A is for Astronaut Fine Motor Skills.
What is it with young children and their obsession with space? The topic seems to capture their imagination of distant planets and aliens. I haven’t met a child who doesn’t dream about becoming an astronaut.
I wanted to create an astronaut themed activity which required my son to explore his fine motor skills in a different way.
Astronauts have to be able to carry out intricate work whilst wearing a space suit and being weightless. Although I couldn’t replicate the feeling of weightless for my son I could get him to explore how difficult it is to carry out fine motor activities whilst wearing a space suit – or space gloves in our case.
I set about creating a space box. I took a large cardboard box and cut out two circles on one side. I posted a pair of yellow household rubber gloves through each hole, opened up the end of the glove and secured it to the box. This would enable my son to place his hands inside the box but not be able to move the objects I would later place inside.
Next I wrapped the box inside and out using aluminium foil. This was purely for decorative purposes. I searched the house for fine motor activities that I know my son can do easily in normal situations.
In the box I added a wooden stacker toy which my son has been able to do since he was 15 months old. I also added a container holding our 3D Solar System planets, our Handy Scoopers from our Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set and another container so my son could use the Handy Scooper to transfer the planets to.
To complete our space box I added two layers of cling film to the top. This was to stop my son from trying to cheat and move the objects inside.
After getting over the excitement of the space box and the concept of wearing space gloves, my son attempted to complete the wooden stacker. Wearing the gloves he struggled to even pick up a wooden block let alone completing the tower. He got frustrated at not being able to do something that he usually finds so easy.
My son also found it difficult to being able to see the items that were directly in front of him. He found it difficult to look over the box and down onto the items. After a few moments of exploring the box one of the rubber gloves had come away from the box so he was able to peer inside the hole for a slightly better view.
Despite several attempts, my son couldn’t even pick up the Handy Scooper, let alone manipulate it to pick up a 3D planet. I took the equipment out of the space box and let my son explore the equipment. He managed to pick up the planets whilst wearing the space gloves but still couldn’t pick up the Handy Scooper. We now have a newfound appreciation of Astronauts fine motor skills!