Looping is a great motor planning skill that helps to develop the dexterity to form knots and tie shoes. You can use the colorful loops sold in craft's stores used to make pot holders. These are pretty but thin and therefore, more challenging to manipulate. Experiment by cutting up old clothing:
1) sleeves from shirts
2) pant legs from fleece pants
Just slice away to create the loops. The thicker the loops, the easier it will be to unknot them. Longer loops from sleeves are easier to loop together than the smaller ones cut from socks.
Stretchy fabric like fleece is a lot of fun to manipulate and as you will see in the video you can make a long stretchy cord to use in sensory motor activities.
Students or clients can work on these while sitting or standing. The client sitting in the photo has hemiplegia. His right hand is weak but he is able to link his index finger inside a loop in order to unknot it using his left hand. He is unable to connect the loops....or rather I should say we haven't figured out an adaptation that will enable him to do so, yet. He loves repetitive fine-motor tasks and I love seeing him use his right hand!
This activity requires quite a bit of eye-hand coordination and sequencing skills as they
1)hold onto the tip of the chain
2)retrieve a loop from a container
3) insert it through the previous loop
4) insert one loop end through the other
5) and pull
Attaching the loops to create a long chain enables students or clients to be rough with the fabric....pulling and picking at it without it ripping. Its great sensory fun! In the second video, I demonstrate how to make the loop chains out of plastic bags. Then I make yarn and knit out of them. This is quite a high level skill. However, some students may be able to perform some of the steps. They will need to think about how much force they are using so that the chain does not rip. However, if it does rip, its easy to make a knot and continue and best of all there is an abundance of free plastic.... At least for now until it is banned everywhere....
Below is a photo of my client enjoying making a very long chain. Of course, one must use discretion to avoid choking and tripping on them. I attached a loop on a high ceiling hook, shown in the video that will not get in anyone's way when the activity is not being used.
Another option is for the individual to work while seated facing the back of the chair. I taught this client how to wrap the chain around the back of the chair to keep it short. The long chain can easily be removed to be used in an activity or for a client to unknot and put away.
As you can see, these recycled materials are easy to find and this activity is quite versatile. One of my clients enjoys opening the loops and placing them over a ring stack. He enjoys the sensory experience of pulling the fabric loops open to fit over the top of the ring stack which has a ball attached. He really has to use force to open and fit them over the ball before pushing down the stack.
Have fun and please share any new loop ideas.....
Source: Make-Your-Own: Knot Craft for Fine-Motor Skills by RecyclingOT
Source: Make-Your-Own Yarn for Plastic Bag Knitting by RecyclingOT