Motor Upgrade/Downgrade Skill: Strength Baseline: Knead both colors individually and flatten with hands. Downgrade: OT will knead clay for the client. Upgrade: OT will give client more clay to knead on their own.
Cognitive Upgrade/Downgrade Skill: Concept formation Baseline: Use two colors to make the “jelly roll” patterned cane. Downgrade: Knead two colors together, not following a pattern. Upgrade: Show client a premade cane, like the picture to the right, and have him/her duplicate the cane.
Population Clients who would benefit from this activity in therapy: – Arthritis – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Children with sensory processing issues Mostly females (ages 7+) enjoy making jewelry out of polymer clay.
Therapeutic Benefits Psychosocial – Relaxing and rhythmic activity – Satisfactory and meaningful occupation – Sense of competence and self-efficacy when finished successfully Rehab – Strengthens muscles used for fine motor skills – Improves hand-eye coordination Quote: – “Several years ago, I fell and fractured by shoulder which meant a lot of therapy. Working with polymer clay has helped to strengthen my muscles and puts me in a zone where I’m concentrating and all cares are moot.” –June Fredrick
Precautions Ceramic tool blade and toothpicks are sharp. Color from clay can rub off on hands, be careful not to touch clothing. Oven baking portion of this activity requires oven mitts and let the beads cool before stringing. Be cautious of clients who may be allergic to red dye.
Instructions 1.Pick two colors of polymer clay and one toothpick. 2.The ceramic tools will need to be shared. 3.Knead the clay well or until it is soft. 4.Flatten each color separately into approximately 3x5 in. rectangles. 5.Place one color on top of another, folding the bottom layer over the top layer, creating a “lip”.
Instructions 6.Tightly roll the clay sheets together, making sure there are no air bubbles. 7.Next, use the ceramic tool to cut each end off to even the edges. 8.Use the ceramic tool again to cut off the overlapping clay sheet. 9.Smooth the top layer of clay to blend into the rest of the roll with your fingers. 10.Cut cane into at least ¼ in. slices.
Instructions 11.Use your toothpick to pierce a hole through the clay bead. 12.Repeat step 10 for all following beads. 13.Tie a knot on one end of string. 14.Proceed by stringing all beads onto the string. 15.Don’t tie a knot on the end, so we can bake them for you to keep!
Oven Baking Portion 16.If you were doing this activity in the clinic, string beads after baked in the oven 17.Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 18.Bake beads for 10 minutes. 19.When removing beads, use oven mitts and let beads cool for 10 minutes. 20.String beads onto elastic string and tie knot on both ends. 21.Enjoy!