by Michelle Yoder
A timeless toy, the barrel of monkeys, continues to provide our little monkeys with endless benefits! Fundanoodle’s Max, likes to play this linking game with his cousins! Below are all the benefits to having a barrel of fun with a barrel of monkeys:
Proximal stability: One arm has to hold the monkeys high in order to string others below. If this is too hard, continue to work overhead, by stringing monkeys on a clothesline.
Visual Perception: Visual spatial skills are needed to judge the positions of the monkeys as we manipulate and rotate them to link them arm to arm.
Visual Motor: Our eyes guide our hands for careful placement of the monkeys when hooking on the next monkey, while being careful not to disrupt the existing chain.
Oculomotor: Eye teaming is important, as we have to focus, converge (look at something up close, our eyes move inward) and diverge (look at something further away, our eyes move outward) on our work while we retrieve a monkey from the table and then move it to our chain.
Fine Motor: Grasping, pinching, rotating and manipulating the monkeys just so, takes effective fine motor coordination!
Bilateral Motor Coordination: The two sides of the body have to work together! One upper extremity has to do the stabilizing, while the other moves toward the opposite upper extremity for accurate placement.
Cognition: We can string the monkeys to make a colorful pattern or work on counting as we make the chain longer and longer!
All of these skills are important factors in the development of handwriting. So, break out your barrel of monkeys and get monkey-ing around!