Activities designed to build HAND ARCHES:

  • Laundry cap-Holding the laundry cap between your fingertips and your thumb of your writing hand gently rotate the laundry cap 3 times clockwise.
  • Dice-Play a board game using dice that you cup between your hands and roll them out on the floor. Laying in prone (on stomach) on the floor while playing a game is a good way to build shoulder stability.

Activities designed to improve HAND STRENGTH:

  • Turkey baster/bath tub toys- These can be used to play with in soapy water to fill up and squirt bubbles.
  • Clothespins- Pinch and place clothespins on index cards, decorate Mom’s shirt, or color the ends of the clothespins and match the color to colored paper.
  • Silly Putty/Playdough- Stretch and pull putty, roll it like a snake, roll tiny balls of dough between your pointer finger and your thumb, make shapes with it, cut it with scissors.
  • Hole Punch- Take a strip of construction paper and make a series of dots (straight line, zig-zag line, curved line) and have child punch out the dots using the hole punch.
  • Spray bottle- Let child mist plants, go outside and spray the sidewalk (practice writing letters), use spray bottle in the bathtub (turn the nozzle to stream) have the child hit a target.

Activities designed to increase SCISSOR SKILLS

  • Salad Tongs, ice tongs-Use tongs to transfer items (cotton balls, pom-poms) from one container to another.
  • Tweezers-Hold tweezers with the writing hand using the first two fingers and the thumb to pick and place small items such as beans, peas, or small game pieces).
  • Other activities such as hole punching, using squirt guns, turkey basters also encourage open and close.

Activities designed to improve IN HAND MANIPULATION

  • Pennies- Place three pennies in a row on the table. Pick up one penny at a time by pinching it with your pointer finger and your thumb and hide it in your hand. Continue to pick and hide pennies until you have all three pennies in your hand. Next open your hand, try to carefully move one penny at a time using your thumb toward your pointer finger, pinch it with your thumb and pointer finger and carefully place the penny on the table. You must keep the other two pennies hidden while you place the pinched penny on the table. Continue until you have placed all three pennies on the table.
  • Pencil Olympics- With your writing hand hold your pencil as if you were going to write. Slowly inch your fingers and your thumb up the pencil toward the eraser. When you get to the top of your pencil flip it around in your hand and work the pencil back down toward the tip using only a tripod grasp.

Connie Roll, COTA