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Does your child seem to tire easily when they are using their hands for every-day life activities? Do they struggle with holding a pencil or using zippers or tying their shoes? Many children struggle with hand strength so today we are going to look at this topic in more detail and I’ll also give you some hand strengthening activities for children.
What is Hand Strength?
Hand strength develops over time as a child matures and masters different every-day life skills.
Problems with hand strength may look like difficulty holding a pencil, tiring easily during handwriting or other fine motor activities, difficulty using scissors, trouble using zippers or buttoning items of clothing.
The best way to help encourage hand strength is to have your child participate in every-day activities and only assisting them when necessary.
Hand strength can be broken down into two different areas: grip strength and pinch strength.
Grip strength refers to the entire hand being able to grasp. Pinch strength refers to the fingers, specifically the thumb and index finger (the middle finger can also assist when needed).
For the purpose of this post, I am going to give activity suggestions for overall grip strength. However, I do have some resources specifically on pinch grip and the pincer grasp.
Click here to read Pencil Grasp Development – this talks about the pincer grasp in more detail.
Click here to read What is Pincer Grasp?
Click here to read 15 Hands-On Activities to Improve Pincer Grasp
Hand Strength Activities
Activities to promote hand strength include:
- Rolling, squeezing, or kneading play dough
- Squeezing clothespins or spray bottles
- Building with blocks
- Squeezing glue bottles instead of using glue sticks
- Popping bubble wrap
- Using tongs or tweezers with fine motor play
- Cooking or baking in the kitchen
For more activity suggestions and resources on hand grasp strengthening, check out the links below.
- Hand Strength Activities – The OT Toolbox
- Hand Strengthening – Your Therapy Source
- Hand Strengthening Exercises for Kids – OT Mom Learning Activities
- 35 Hand Strength Activities for Kids– The Inspired Treehouse
You may also like these resources below!
- Fine Motor Minute to Win It Games for Kids
- What is Visual Perception?
- The Best Activities for Proprioception Input
- Typical Visual-Motor Development in Children