Hand Strengthening Activities for Writing
Hand Strengthening Activities for Writing
Writing is a task that demonstrates fine motor skills maturity. Do note, that this requires appropriate grasp, stability of wrist, and lateral movements that are helped from wrist, elbow, and shoulder too.
Occupational Therapists help with hand strengthening activities, and activities to improve dexterity skills.
At the start:
Analysis of current writing ability for a client is done and then hand strengthening activities for writing are recommended. These exercises also help with fine motor skills like the use of cutlery, feeding, and various areas of self-care.
Let us look closely into various activities for Hand Strengthening that help with writing Skills:
- Animal walks: This help develops upper limb strength and stability/ mobility in the shoulder region. They help by strengthening larger muscles of the Arm.
- Pull and Push: This fun activity also provides good proprioceptive input for the upper limb and helps with body awareness.
- Ball Games: We may wonder how a ball catch and throw contribute to writing skills. This helps develop motor coordination, Bilateral integration, and motor planning. These are the movements that help with writing
- Wet foam squeezing or stress ball squeezing helps with strengthening in small muscles of the hand. Moreover, Velcro vegetables cutting or pulling apart again provides resistance hence a bit of muscle strengthening.
- Pulling and pushing the sensory pipes is a good activity too. Similarly, the hammering activity helps with coordination and strengthening.
- Hand tapping, finger tapping on a table for hand awareness finger isolations help. Finger Dabbing, Finger painting also help with finger isolations. Touching the thumb to the tips of other fingers is a good finger movement training activeFor. Fore better control, OTs may suggest coloring in the vertical plane before a horizontal as it helps develop control better than as a tabletop activity. Similarly, magnets fixed on a fridge or alphabets on a board this way helps.
- Hand awareness with clay pulling, rubber band usage, and Thera bands are also excellent strengthening tools for hands. Not only strengthening, but tactile inputs help with good writing skills. Hence involving the child in flour, beads, sand play, and slime is a good idea. Using scissors on relatively thick pages provides resistance and this help with strength.
Read more about Sensory Play for Fine motor Skills here
More Hand Strengthening Activities for writing:
For a variety of Grasp patterns, engage the child in large beads, and large blocks to begin with. Then gradually moving to smaller beads, magnets, and peg boards help. Coins in a piggy bank, and toothpicks in clay, are very fine movements that need good control and coordination. Use of cloth pins to pick up beads, Using a stapler or the punching holes/ designs help with developing good finger control. This also helps with strengthening the hand muscles.
Let us look at clay Play. Clay games involve rolling clay, pinching pieces of clay, and cutting clay. These provide excellent opportunities to increase finger muscle strength, motor coordination,
Reading with a finger moving across the words helps with visual movements, laterality, and left-to-right orientation. Vegetable printing like okra helps with grasp and coordination.
Finger exercises like pushing the tips of fingers against the table surface or flattening clay balls with fingers help with individual muscle strength. Popping bubble wrap between the thumb and different fingers helps similarly too. Pushing hands on the wall or pushing hands together helps help with warming up hand muscles.
Using Paper to cut into strips, crumpling, and Picking these with tongs is another way of developing skills for good handwriting.
Read more about activities for Handwriting.
To conclude, activities that involve the upper body, arms, and hands help with strengthening and developing skills necessary for Handwriting.
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