My 4 year old client is able to weave the plastic shapes from the Weavable Toys: Basic Shapes kit (she is weaving a pink one in thepicture) onto a round strip (blue in picture) with just a little bit of help pushing the tip through the 2nd notch. This is a great way to work on motor planning skills and bilateral coordination.
I have recently begun working at a program with adults who have developmental disabilities. I was impressed with some of the sensory activities designed to get them moving. One activity is to move large containers filled with sand to different locations. I made this lacing activity by cutting up a large container (its white) into one very long strip. I am going to try to find a weighted container that fits inside so that it will stay in one spot. Then I will see if some of the individuals who need sensory input like pulling the shapes off to insert into containers. They will need to extend their arms above the head in order to pull these off while standing.
I cut the weaving shapes such as the bananas and goldfish shown in photos from plastic that I cut from detergent bottles. I decided to make them identifiable objects- so made blue stars, yellow bananas, gold fish, green apples and red hearts. I think that some of the individuals will enjoy sorting these after removal. Weaving them back onto the strip will be another motor planning task to explore. Although I continue to enjoy designing and making activities out of recycled materials, notice that the weaving strip and shapes that the girl above is using were professionally manufactured. I assume that many folks do not want to make these themselves. My prototypes are a softer, more flexible, easier to weave plastic and the notches are perfectly consistent in size and spacing.