- The Tricky Tree Hand Exerciser helps acquaint children with the concept of visual balance. Safety pegs and joints are used to build a tree that can lose balance if it is built lopsided. Hand exerciser can be used to improve eye-hand coordination and fine motor control.
- Use the pegs and joints to build the tree. If the tree loses its balance while you are building, add pegs and joints to stabilise it.
- It includes one base, 36 easy-to-squeeze pegs, 10 two-pronged joints and five 3-pronged joints.
What we think: We like this game for many reasons – the pegs provide good fine motor exercise, the joints require a twist and push movement for more advanced manipulation skills. This will encourage the use of both hands to stabilise and add to the tree. Often Dyspraxic children tend to drop one arm/hand to one side and just use one side of their body and so again, a very good product. For handwriting they need to engage both hands so it is a good skill to encourage. Doesn’t take up much space, another sneaky way to get some therapy work in without them noticing! Good value. About the only game on the market that supports the concept of visual balance.
A favourite game when we played it for some prolonged fine motor activity was deconstruction! We used a sportstimer (available on this website) and timed how long it took to take the tree apart – you may need to offer some assistance pulling out the tree joints but this was probably the most fun element! Again, working out which pegs would make the tree lose balance if you took them off and discussing it is another option – good cause and effect demonstration. At speed children can lose their pinch technique – this should be observed and corrected positively.
Important advice: be careful that they are pinching the pegs between the tips of their finger and thumb, often Dyspraxic children find ways to make things easier for themselves and overlap the thumb or wrap fingers around to open and close the pegs. The pads of the finger and thumb touching together forming a birds beak on the peg are what you are looking for. This is what needs to be encouraged to develop a strong tripod handwriting grip. You can also encourage the correct positioning of the pinky and ring finger (two shortest fingers) by giving them a cotton wool ball to hold in the palm of their hand with these two fingers whilst they peg the tree together. Hope this helps – if you’re not sure please just call us…