The Theraputty Programme is an occupational therapy intervention for children who have difficulties with fine motor skills or limited hand strength. The following are some examples of important functional tasks that the children may have difficulties with:
- Writing legibly
- Drawing, painting, and colouring in pictures
- Managing scissors
- Tying shoes
- Zipping and unzipping
- Buttoning and unbuttoning
- Screwing and unscrewing
- Playing games that require precise hand and finger control (i.e. playing cards or board games)
- Holding and using cutlery properly and effectively
Theraputty is a strong, non-toxic, latex free putty-like material that leaves no residue and won’t fragment, separate stain or stick to skin. There are a range of strengths which come in different colours, each having a different degree of resistance when handled. The putty can be stretched, pinched, kneaded, squeezed and separated.
The programme gives a list of activity suggestions which may help develop fine motor skills using the theraputty. Ideally the programme should be carried out at least 3 times a week for at least 10 minutes.
Please note that you need to use the theraputty on a clean smooth surface, preferably a table. When the theraputty is excessively stretched it can break down into fine strands, therefore care should be taken with these as they ‘stick’ to carpets and clothing.