A few weeks ago we started occupational therapy for my seven year old because she is just struggling with low muscle tone, poor fine motor skills, and sensory integration issues which I have known she had for a while. I am so excited to finally be able to put her in therapy and get the help she needs.
The first suggestion our therapist Mary Ann made was TheraPutty. She handed me a little bitty tub for $6.50, and right away, I knew I was going to have to buy more. I took it home, and pulled it out a few hours later to complete the recommended exercises with Anna and like magnets to the mother load I had all six children around the table begging for putty. So I ordered a bigger tub :).
A few weeks later, the interest has not worn off. We have a few minutes of putty play every day and even my big kids are taking the challenge to complete the exercises. My two year old twins see the putty on the shelf and start begging for it all day long.
We have two rules. 1. No putty in the mouth, and 2. No getting down from the table with putty. Either of those offenses and you immediately lose your putty.
The great thing about putty play is that my preschooler and toddlers and even my big kids are building finger strength right along with their sister.
So what is Therapy putty? Well, it’s an awful lot like Silly Putty only it comes in six levels of hardness which makes it easier or more difficult to manipulate then Silly Putty. Anna is using the grade labeled soft. We will slowly increase the difficulty as her fingers improve.
What do we do with it? First Anna pulls off 3 small pieces and rolls them into peas using only her fingers. It’s more challenging then you might think! Then, she has to make the three peas into a hotdog. Then she shapes the hotdog into a P and then a spiral. Next she smashes the spiral with her thumb and makes a pancake. Then she folds the pancake in half to make a taco and she is done. Then we have free play! :). This week, I am going to hide things in the big tub for her to dig out.
I have found a different version called Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty which is the same thing as the hard grade and comes in several variations from heat sensitive color change to electric colors. I bought a container of this at a local boutique so that my older children have a bit more of a challenge.
I did not know that finger strength was the reason Anna’s handwriting and other fine motor skills were so bad. I wish I had known about therapy putty earlier — that ‘s why I am blogging about it. I am pretty sure it is going to benefit the handwriting of all my children, but I am especially excited about the younger children using it now — before they need to be writing on a daily basis.
This is not intended to be a product review exactly, and I certainly did not receive any theraputty or thinking putty for free. My only word of warning is that this stuff takes the shape of the container it is in, so if it gets on shag carpet — well you might be replacing carpet.
I need some suggestions! So far, here is what I have hidden in my daughter’s theraputty tub for her to dig out.
1 Blue Pencil Erasor
1 Plastic Attribute Block
1 Pink 2×3 Lego
1 Small Plastic Rooster
1 Tiny Plastic Frog
1 Small Red Plastic Ships Wheel
1 Tiny Plastic Gun
1 Red Cuisenaire Rod
1 Black 4 hole Button
If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them!