Fine Motor and Hand Strengthening Activities
Play dough: Make play dough at home and assist child in mixing, measuring and kneading dough to desired consistency. (Opt. Add Kool Aid for color and scent.) Use pegs or toothpicks to make designs. Use kid scissors (that is if you can find any; they always seem to disappear at my house!) to cut dough that is rolled into snakes. Use plastic knife to cut play dough (for extra fun use cookie cutter to make an imprint to cut around. Create a treasure hunt by hiding pennies, pegs, and beads in play dough.
Paper: Tear or cut newspaper/scrap paper into strips. Roll paper into a ball using one hand and repeat with the other hand. (Opt. Make a paste out of flour and water, dip paper strips in paste and put on an inflated balloon. Let strips dry, then paint or glue crate paper on the "sculpture." Keep as sculpture or turn it into a pinata.) Attach sheet of paper to wall, door or easel as drawing on a vertical surface is a helpful activity.
Household items and materials: Use a squirt bottle, plant sprayer, squirt guns to water plans or for outdoor squirting fun. Draw letters, shapes in shaving cream. Make building sculptures by poking toothpicks into marshmallows.
Tactile Games: Play in water, wet sand, salt, rice or goop (make goop by adding water to cornstarch until it is toothpaste consistency) Another option: buy a sand and water table. Spread cards, coins, buttons, or checkers out and then turn them over.
Toys: Memory game for visual scanning, puzzles, Legos (stacking blocks and building towers), Magna Doodle, beanbag toss (or water balloon toss), activity books that include coloring activities, mazes and connect the dots, Connect Four (dropping in checkers to make patterns rather than playing the game is a popular activity at my house. Drop pennies into a favorite piggy bank.