Sugar Aunts: Fine Motor Pinball Machine: Kiwi Crate Review

Fine Motor Pinball Machine: Kiwi Crate Review

Have you ever noticed that when kids need to work on certain skills in order to improve handwriting or improve their ability to manage zippers or button their own coat, they don’t want to practice?  When kids need a little extra fine motorskill development, it can be a struggle to get them to work on the skills they really need.  Fine motor dexterity, hand strengthening, managing small objects can be difficult for kids with fine motor weakness.  And when something is hard to do, kids just don’t want to do it!

As an Occupational Therapist I can tell you that the trick to helping kids develop fine motor skills (or any area of weakness), is to make it fun.  Improve strength and grasp with creative play ideas in ways that sneak in fine motor work.  

Kids can build intrinsic hand strength, an open thumb web space, thumb IP joint flexion, arch development, and coordination skills through play that interests them.  They can then carry over these skills to using a tripod grasp when writing, managing buttons, zippers, shoe laces, and snaps, and manipulating small items without difficulty.

Recently, I had the chance to review a Kiwi Crate and was wowed at the fine motor tool that was delivered right to our doorstep.  We received a pinball machine project that was brimming with fine motor opportunities. 




Build fine motor skills with a DIY pinball machine activity from Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate review for hands-on creativity, learning, and development.

My kids were thrilled to get to build a pinball machine of their own.  There was one comment from my son who said, “Mom. This is my favorite day ever!” He didn’t even realize all of the learning and fine motor development that he conquered while creating his pinball machine project.

Build fine motor skills with a DIY pinball machine activity from Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate review for hands-on creativity, learning, and development.

When we opened our Kiwi Crate box, we found everything stacked up in labelled bags along with a great step-by-step packet that helped us build the pinball machine.  I loved that there were practice sheets right in the packet and notes about why certain steps needed to be done in order to complete the project.  The pictures in the direction book were easy to understand so that my 8 year old could easily read them and follow along to build the pinball machine.

Kiwi Crate and Fine Motor Skills


It was easy to notice all of the fine motor skills that were being refined as my son completed the pinball machine.  

He was able to peel the backs off of tiny stickers as he advanced his neat pincer grasp.  He utilized a tripod grasp with intrinsic muscle control in order to push pegs into the holes of the pinball machine base.  He opened up his thumb web space to thread a rubber band into a small hole. He strengthened his gross hand grasp as he stretched rubber bands over the pegs, and he matured the motoric separation ofhis hands in order to manipulate small brads and washers with in-hand manipulation.

And, once the project was completed, just playing with the pinball machine built even more fine motor skills and visual perception skills: 


  • Bilateral hand coordination to hold the machine while pulling back the pin
  • Pincer Grasp to pinch and pull the pin against the resistance of the rubber band
  • Eye-Hand Coordination to arrange and re-arrange the pins, targets, and rubber bands
  • Visual Tracking to watch the ball as it moved around the board

Build fine motor skills with a DIY pinball machine activity from Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate review for hands-on creativity, learning, and development.

Build fine motor skills with a DIY pinball machine activity from Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate review for hands-on creativity, learning, and development.

Build fine motor skills with a DIY pinball machine activity from Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate review for hands-on creativity, learning, and development.

I was astounded at how easily my son performed these fine motor tasks to build the pinball machine.  He eagerly proceeded through the instruction book to complete each step while applying matured fine motor grasps and dexterity in a fun way.


Build fine motor skills with a DIY pinball machine activity from Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate review for hands-on creativity, learning, and development.

An activity like building this pinball machine is perfect for those kiddos who balk at typical fine motor tasks.  The child who struggles with handwriting because of an inappropriate pencil grasp or the student who drops coins in the lunch line because they cannot manipulate small items within their hand would love this activity.  They would be building, strengthening, and developing essential skills in a fun way.


Build fine motor skills with a DIY pinball machine activity from Kiwi Crate. Kiwi Crate review for hands-on creativity, learning, and development.

Kiwi Crate is such an amazing tool for building skills.  Each month, a box arrives at your doorstep and children can create projects that help them learn and advance skills in a fun way.  Kiwi Crate strives to develop kids’ creativity through problem solving and exploration.  The monthly subscription boxes are available in four different age ranges and are perfect for kids’ aged 3-16+.
  •  Koala Crate is perfect for inquiry-based learning.  Geared at kids aged 3-4.
  • Kiwi Crate provides creative STEAM projects for ages 5-8.
  • Doodle Crate builds creative confidence and is perfect for kids aged 9-16+.
  • Tinker Crate encourages tinkering through STEM projects and is geared towards kids aged 9-16+.



Kiwi Crates, and any of the monthly project boxes are perfect gift ideas for kids who need to develop skills or just want to build and create while learning and inspiring creative problem solving.  It’s a great way to create as a family and would make an excellent gift for birthdays or holidays from Aunts, Grandparents, Friends, and Parents. 



Inspire hands-on learning and development with a Kiwi Crate box!

Full disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bloggy Moms and Kiwi Crate. All opinions are my own.

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