Strategies for children
These play activities have been put together to improve your child’s hand skills. They can be done in any order and should ideally be practised 3 times a week for 15minutes:
> Catching a balloon.
> Hitting a balloon with a rolling pin held with both hands.
> Catching beanbags and large balls.
> Toys that involve pushing and pulling with both hands.
> Interlocking barrels/Russian dolls.
> Rolling play dough with a rolling pin.
> Duplo, Megablocks.
> Play dough, plasticine, pastry. This can be cut, rolled into balls or sausages with the fingers, cut up with pastry cutters into different shapes, including letter shapes.
> Papier-mâché modelling i.e. around balloon shapes, modelling clay- fun, messy and helps strengthen fingers.
> Printing using potatoes or printing sticks or fingers using thickened paint (paint thickened with corn flour).
> Puppet play using finger puppets, or draw faces on fingertips. Puppets can also be made very simply out of a sock and these are much easier to manipulate than a bought hand-puppet.
> Paper folding games using coloured stiff card i.e. origami techniques, or paper aeroplanes.
> Gardening – nurturing seeds and seedlings from tiny seeds to a small plant.
> Cooking/baking, especially with rolling pins and the finger rubbing method to make crumble topping.
> Paper chain making, cutting and sticking paper into collages or making a scrapbook for a particular event.
> Using sticker books or stickers to make pictures of, or cards.
> Games of copying peg board designs. Use a stop watch to make this harder.
> Make necklaces out of threading painted macaroni onto wool or by using beads and string.
> Make little woolly pom-poms by winding wool around cardboard rings.
> Sewing cards.
> Simple woodwork using balsa wood or similar.
> Apps for tablets include – Dexteria, magic sorter, bugs and buttons, spot the dot. Games that can be bought include:
> Fishing game – uses magnet on string to pick up metal ‘fish’
> Marbles and marble run.
> Pick up sticks
> Connect 4
> Card games
> Snakes and Ladders
> Monopoly – (Ideally being the banker!)
> Matching pairs
> Fuzzy felt
> Don’t buzz the wire