Cheap, Old Fashion, and Homemade

Sometimes the best toys are not the most expensive or the fanciest. Often the simplest toys or non-toys provide the most enjoyment.


The first picture, a Fisher Price toy phone, is good for pretend play and fine motor development. Pointing is a fine motor skill and the little holes for dialing are the perfect size for little pointer fingers. We cut off the string that connected the receiver to the base to make it more user friendly. It was too short. You couldn’t hold the receiver up to your ear without lifting the base up off the floor.


In the second picture are just “pop beads.” These are good for just building overall hand strength and also hand-eye coordination. They were a little too difficult to pull apart, even for me, so I took a metal file tool and filed down the sides of the tip a little. Now they fit in the holes more easily and Lyra can actually pull them apart.


In the third picture is our modified shape sorter. There were too many shapes. First we put duct tape over all of the openings except the circle. Once she could successfully put the circle block in the hole, we uncovered the square opening too. Once she can do both of those, we’ll uncover another. We also taped the lid down to prevent her from just taking the it off to put the shapes in.


This goofy looking thing in the last picture is a cottage cheese container. We cut little slits in the top and pulled a piece of ribbon up through each of them. We tied knots on the other ends of the ribbons so she couldn’t pull them all the way out. The purpose of this homemade “toy” is to practice a pincer grasp. The pincer grasp is a very visual fine motor skill and often tough to master for kids with visual impairments. We were looking for various ways for Lyra to practice this, other than the typical, picking up cheerios. Her TVI gave us the idea for this.

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