Hand and grip strength is important and many individuals take it for granted. But, when your child's hands are too weak where their handwriting is affected or they can't perform simple everyday activities, hand strengthening exercises can help.
There are therapeutic tools available specifically for hand strengthening like gel balls and therapy putty, but you can also use objects around your home to strengthen your child's grip and hands. Here are some ideas:
Grasping, rolling and pushing a rolling pin is an excellent way to strengthen your little one's fingers, hands and grip. Have them use the rolling pin on bubble wrap, play dough or during cooking tasks.
Have your child open and close plastic eggs. You can hide toys and treats inside them. You'll be providing your child with lots of fun where they'll be using and strengthening both hands.
Your child can crumple up scrap paper or newspaper into small, tight balls. As they strengthen their hands and grip, they'll be able to make the balls tighter. Have your child crumple up the paper using one hand at first and then move on to both. Be sure they wash their hands thoroughly after using newspaper because the ink can get messy and it could be harmful.
Digging and Gardening
A fun summer activity you can try with your little one is growing a small garden. Allow your child to help out. They'll be using both hands for things like:
- Tearing the seed packages open
- Digging holes
- Planting the seeds
- Refilling the holes
- Watering the garden
- Picking the vegetables after they grow
They can use one hand as a helper hand and the other to do the tearing, watering and picking.
Water Spray Bottles
Spray bottles are a great way to strengthening up those hand muscles and grip. Your child can use the spray bottle to water plants, during bath time or outdoors for extra fun.
Children can pull and stretch against the resistance of the rubber bands to strengthen up their hands. They can place them on a geoboard, stretching them over a jar or fingers or other stretching ideas. Rubber bands really help them use their fine motor skills.
For more hand and grip strengthening ideas, talk with your child's pediatric occupational therapist. Hand strengthening doesn't have to be expensive since there are so many possibilities laying around your home.