An OT insider perspective on the multipurpose toy for kids

Squigz – the multi purposeful toy for kids to work on a variety of skills. As an occupational therapist, part of the job is to be creative in our activities, to help promote improvement of skills and independence (as well as be fun in doing so). Squigz are one of my favorite toys to use in my sessions. I have used this toy in a variety of ways targeting different skills. These toys are made of silicone and have a suction cup that can be used to connect to other squigz or different surfaces such as tables, windows, mirrors, dry erase boards, etc. When you pull them off, the toy makes a satisfying popping sound. These toys can be used to target fine motor strengthening, visual motor coordination, crossing midline and also provides proprioceptive input, in terms of sensory processing, they target a variety of areas: prop, tactile (feel of them), visual (bright colors), auditory (pop noise) . These “fun little suckers” can be implemented in so many ways especially calming a child during a meltdown. Just a few weeks, a child I was working with was having difficulty transitioning in school, he was crying, and I was scanning my bag to see what might help. I saw the squigz and I started putting them on the wall.  His tears stopped as he started pulling at the squigz, and he began to smile. It is a helpful coping strategy. Here are multiple activities you can incorporate squigz into your child’s daily routine.

   

Substitutions for this activity:

  • Pull off squigz laying prone (on belly) which helps with hand and extremity strengthening as well as core strengthening
  • Using a balance beam to walk and pull squigz as they make their way to the end ( balance, reciprocal movement)
  • Pulling squigz off a vertical surface helps wrist stability strengthening, along with fine motor skills and bilateral coordination to hold the surface with one hand while the other hand is pulling the squig.

My friend (above) – is performing a dynamic balance activity, bending to pull off the squigz while trying to maintain control to balance.

Targets:

  • Balance
  • fine motor strengthening 
  • crossing midline
  • core strength

  

Connect the dots! 

Targets:

  • Sequencing 
  • Visual motor integration (coordinating vision with movements of the body)
  • Crossing midline

 

Handwriting skills:

Helping kids using muscle memory to know the start and end point practicing letter formation ( top to bottom) as well as shapes and number

My friend created a dart board to use to hit the target using the squigz.

Targets:

  • Grasp
  • Visual motor skills
  • Hand – eye coordination

My friend created a dart board to use to hit the target using the squigz.

Targets:

  • Grasp
  • Visual motor skills
  • Hand – eye coordination

 

Building with squigz! Make a squig structure and have your child copy 

Targets: 

  • Fine motor manipulation/coordination
  • Spatial relations 
  • Executive functioning
  • Problem solving

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