The Growth and Giggles Blog
Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.
More Ways to Strengthen Finger Muscles
As mentioned previously, children today are learning to type but their hands aren't strong enough to write or do other tasks like being able to eat without spilling on themselves which is a skill that requires hand strength and coordination. People want and need to write legibly and quickly. Arts and crafts, the playing of musical instruments, cooking, measuring....all parts of life require finger strength.
Here is a list of some ways to build finger strength:
- climbing trees or jungle gyms
- folding clothes (make a matching game out of the socks)
- crawl through toy tunnels or cardboard box tunnels
- pretend to be animals and crawl around
- sweep with a child-size broom
- wash the car (or make a car wash tunnel with a garbage bag cut into strips - this can also be seaweed that they can crabwalk through on the ocean floor)
- cooking! stir, knead, cut, roll
- play with playdough or clay (which is even better for strengthening)
- give the baby doll a bath or handwash the doll clothes - wring them dry and hang them out on the line with clothespins
- sewing cards that progress to learning stitches, sewing on a button, and more
- ball puppets (see below)
How to make a ball puppet:
Take a sturdy ball like a tennis ball, place it on a surface to cut into it with a large serrated knife, squeeze the ball with non-dominant hand keeping fingers away from the slice area, and saw the ball almost in half. Then give the ball to the child to decorate it in any way they like - eyes, hair, wire glasses, hats, etc. It strengthens the fingers when the child squeezes the ball to make the puppet talk. These puppets can be made to act out a favorite story together.