During the summer, it is important to keep working out your little one’s fingers. There are plenty of items around your house that you can use to exercise your child’s fine motor muscles. Below are 5 items that you may have laying around that can be re-purposed into a “digital” gym.
5 items to re-purpose for fine motor exercise:
- Take-Out Boxes-Yes, I said take-out boxes. The aluminum “press-and-close” variety offers a great chance to work your child’s tip pinch (pointer finger and thumb), 3-point pad pinch (pointer finger, middle finger, and thumb), and lateral pinch (“key grip”) muscles. Use these containers to store beads, coins, or other small objects to create a fun musical instrument too!
- Clothespins-Have your child use clothespins to transfer small objects from one container to another, to move game pieces, or to hold a blanket-fort together. Have your child squeeze the clothespin with different finger combinations (listed above) to “up” the challenge.
- Balloons-Your child can grip the two ends of a balloon with different fingers as he or she stretches out the balloon. In addition, pulling a balloon over a faucet to fill water balloons takes a considerable amount of fine motor control, strength, and endurance.
- Spray Bottles-Fill a spray bottle with water, and have your child water plants. For fun outside, you can also have a “water bottle” fight, or add food coloring to the spray bottle to “paint” a large sheet of paper.
- Paper-Have your child fold a sheet of paper to make a paper fan, a paper airplane, a paper hat, or a fun origami animal. Folding paper requires a lot of fine motor precision and control, as well as visual-motor integration. In addition, folding paper will help to strengthen your child’s tip-pinch strength and will help build fine motor endurance.
This summer, remember to re-use and recycle. You can adapt just about anything into a fun, yet functional, activity for your child. Just be creative! Happy finger fun time! For more fine-motor activities, click here to read a blog on Toys to Enhance Fine Motor Development.
For more information, visit North Shore Pediatric Therapy anytime at www.NSPT4kids.com.