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More About Clever Fingers

Clever Fingers was created and designed to support schools in having a greater understanding of fine motor skills, and how poor motor development can impact on pupils' day-to-day schooling. To this end, the Clever Fingers Web App provides the guidance and resources for schools to make Clever Fingers Boxes - collections of specifically-selected activities designed to help pupils develop their fine motor skills in a fun and creative manner.

Clever Fingers was developed by a Paediatric Occupational Therapist (OT), after working with a Special Educational Needs Teacher who wanted to find a way of adequately balancing her pupils education with their therapy-related needs (OT, Physiotherapy &/or Speech & Language Therapy). Other teachers were also regularly reporting that time needing to be spent on one, was often at the expense of the other.

Timetable pressures often resulted in a lack of adequate time to devote to non-academic, fine motor skills, and consequently many pupils were struggling with everyday activities such as dressing, using a knife and fork, and scissors, as well as handwriting.

A number of school-led, motor skills programmes have been developed by Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists to help schools support pupils who may have difficulties with their core stability, gross motor coordination and sequencing skills. But schools have struggled to find an equivalent or complementary fine motor skills programme - even though fine motor skills are equally essential to everyday school success.

Therapists are however aware of the demands of the National Curriculum and the subsequent pressures on teaching staff, and understand how it can be difficult to timetable in additional therapeutic programmes or activities that some pupils may benefit from. With this in mind, the Clever Fingers Box was designed so as to minimise the pressures on teachers and support staff, but to maximise the opportunities for fine motor skills development.

As well as the element of time and workload, consideration was also given to budgets and resources. A Clever Fingers Box is therefore designed to utilise readily available resources in school, or incorporate items that do not have to be sourced from specialist suppliers.

For quick referencing and times when using a computer may be inconvenient, the book provides an Ďat a glance' hard copy of the information included here. By using Clever Fingers in these complementary formats it is hoped that we have taken out the hard work and left you with the enjoyable part of putting together these fine motor skills resources!


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