This activity couldn’t be more simple to make, but addresses several complex motor skills. I have been able to observe subtle difficulties with bilateral coordination and crossing midline in older children with this bottle, which were not obvious in other daily activities. See below for instructions and ways to grade the maze.
1. large, clear bottle (this was an iced tea bottle)
2. permanent marker
3. 2 magnets
Draw a path on the bottle with the marker. Make sure to clearly mark the start and end of the path. Every inch or so add a letter (or number). Place one magnet inside the bottle and keep one outside for the child to hold.
Directions for Use:
The child holds the magnet (hopefully with a tripod grasp) and makes sure it sticks to the magnet in the inside of the bottle. Ask the child to slide the magnet to start. Give directions such as, “find the letter S” or “spell the word friend”. The child has to slide the magnet or it will lose contact with the one on the inside. Encourage the child to avoid switching hands with the magnet (one hand holds the magnet the other rotates the bottle).
Skills the Activity Promotes:
1. visual tracking
2. bilateral coordination
3. crossing midline
5. tripod grasp
How to Grade the Activity:
1. Make the path wider or thinner
2. Adjust the amount of curves or angles in the path
3. Change the size of the outside magnet
4. Use numbers for math equations