Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hand Exercises for Pre-Schoolers to Increase Dexterity and Letter Formation

Luke's pre-school teacher sent home this amazing hand-out the other day, with a list of hand exercises to increase speed and dexterity and letter formation for elementary students.

Most of these look like a lot of fun, not exercises!   Not only do these exercises strengthen our pre-schoolers' hand muscles to help them with writing, but doing these together can really amp up your together time, as well!

  • Roll putty into a snake.  Pull off 10 pieces.  Roll each piece into a small ball using thumb and 2 fingers on just one hand.  (No cheating by using the table or your other hand!)
  • Flatten all putty pieces and roll into a large ball.  Rotate this ball in your fingertips (like the Earth rotating on its axis -- repeat for 30 seconds each direction).
  • Line up 10 pennies on the table.  Flip them over quickly from left to right and return back to the left side.
  • Put away the 10 pennies by picking up 3 and storing them in your hand by trapping them with your little finger.  Then rotate each coin singly out to your pinch and place the penny into a slot cut in the top of a margarine tub.  Repeat until all pennies are stored in the bank.  If 3 are easy, try holding 4 at a time.
  • Write 10 letters or numbers along the borders of an index card.   Then challenge your child by calling out a letter or number and having him/her quickly place a paperclip onto the correct letter or number.
  • Make an "OK" sign with your thumb and index finger.  Llink your fingers with a partner and play 5 tug-of-war games.
  • Play dice games.  Cupping the hand is very important to build the arches of the palm.
  • Fingerspell the alphabet, or have your child spell his name using his hands and fingers to make the letters.   See how fast he can do it!
  • Have your child hold a pencil in his/her best writing grip.   Then, walk your "tripod" up and down the length of the pencil.   Have a race!
  • Place 10 dots across a piece of paper.  Have your child quickly make a circle (not an oval) around each dot.  (This helps to develop greater distal control to form circles quickly.)

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1 comment:

  1. Great article. I don't have preschoolers anymore, but I forward articles like these to my BFF.

    Thank you for stopping by