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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