By: Michelle Yoder, OTR/L
While grownups think of “lacing” as a purely functional way to bind items together, kids know lacing is fun! That’s why it’s a favorite activity of pediatric occupational therapists. Little ones have a great time, while developing the bilateral coordination they need for everyday activities like buttoning and unscrewing a bottle or toothpaste cap. Working the lace in and out of the holes also targets the pincer muscles needed for a proper tripod pencil grasp.
Beginners will have the greatest success using stiffer “lace,” like a pipe cleaners, to create a running or overcast “stitch” in perforated cards like the ones included in Fundanoodle’s I Can Bead, Lace, Rip, Trace activity kit. For an increased level of difficulty, have kiddos use less rigid laces, like the shoelaces included in the kit. Finally, challenge advanced “lacers” to use yarn (also included in the kit), and consider making it easier to thread by wrapping each end with a bit of masking tape.
Finally, little ones can put those skills to good use by making homemade necklaces with pasta or cereal! Your child will feel a sense of mastery while building several skills.