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Racing Cars – The Perfect OT Toy?

Posted Dec 22 2009 8:42am

I don’t remember where we found it, probably because John found it when he was off on his own. “It,” however, is a small, loud racing car toy with 3 motorized ramps for tiny little race cars to ride up and then go zipping around a track. Eric has loved it pretty much since he first laid eyes on it. With the cars being so small and easy to lose, we keep it up on a shelf, and he often comes over and asks for “the cars up on the shelf” to play with.

Danny’s learned the sound of those cars, man, and he loves them too. Saturday he was thrilled just to watch, giving huge belly laughs as the 3 tiny cars sped around and around. Sunday, he wanted a piece of the action.

It started with the familiar sound of the motor fighting a little, meaning the ramps are being held up. “Eric!” John said sternly, because Eric knows better than to try to stop the ramp with his hands. I glanced over, though, and Danny was shoving Eric out of the way.

“I don’t think that was Eric…”

Sure enough, I watched, and a couple more times the motor fought, I called Danny’s name, and it stopped. A little arguing between the boys, whining to Mommy, and distraction later, Danny had the toy to himself at least.

Very meticulously, Danny worked at picking the cars up in motion, then carefully putting them back on the ramp and watching them on. The cars ended up upside down, or on the floor, about half of the time at first, but he refused to stop and got the hand of it with a little help from Mommy. Eventually, he was going it on his own, watching as they spun down the track then picking them up at the bottom of the ramp, setting them back on the ramp about halfway up.

What struck me most, though, was that he got his infamous left hand into the action, the one he doesn’t use much. It’s strongly his assist hand – he leans on it when he’s sitting, uses it just fine to crawl or climb or stand up or do two handed tasks, but if something can be done with one hand he uses the right. Not these cars. I set a second car on the track, and with one car firmly grasped in his right hand, he went after that other car with his left hand, no hesitation.

So, I put a third car on the track, and let him play. He sat there for who knows how long picking those cars up and putting them back, using both hands. The toy isn’t great for listening, with all the racket it makes, but it definitely motivates him into an awesome fine motor work out!

It never ceases to amaze me how we can find the “perfect” therapy toys in the most unlikely places.

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