Suggestions for Isolated Finger Movements
Suggestions from Occupational Therapy
Here are some suggestions to increase small finger movements which are necessary for forming letters properly and having greater control when coloring. Practicing finger movements during naturally occurring play tasks will provide “exercise” without seeming like work. It will be fun for the child and they will want to do it.
- Simple dot to dot pictures,
· Target coloring- look at picture instead of having child color entire picture, consider having them focus on one aspect of picture (i.e. all dots on clowns pants),
· Hide pennies in play dough and have child search to find them,
· Molding or rolling clay into balls using finger tips and thumb,
· Have him “find” 10 pennies hidden in play dough by pinching with fingers,
· Pick up pennies and turn in hand (only use one hand) to make them heads/tails,
· Pick up 10 pennies from desk, nesting each penny in hand as she picks them up,
· Drop pennies one at a time into designated place thru thumb side of hand (i.e. into a bank),
· Craft activities requiring tearing of paper and crumbling into balls with fingers,
· Use pegs, tooth picks, or pencil to write sight words in play dough,
· Picking up objects with tweezers (games such as operation),
· Tracing games (instead of coloring a picture, have child trace along the edges of a simple shape within the picture),
· Create sticker pictures,
· Target writing (try to make writing fit into the box or circle provided),
· Allow your child to “practice” writing by making lists or write letters,
· Provide opportunities for free drawing, scribbling, or writing.
· Allow for unstructured play time each day. Naturally occurring play experiences lend themselves to “working on” fine motor skills. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Stephanie Sparks, OT