Hand Exercises For Kids

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These hand exercises for kids may help your child develop strength and coordination of the hand muscles.

Some children have weak hands owing to lower-than-normal muscle tone, birth injuries or neuro-muscular disorders, among other reasons.

Other children have the potential for normal hand strength, but may have spent too much time playing with electronic gadgets and keyboards, thus missing out on everyday hand strengthening opportunities.

All children need exposure to a variety of gross and fine motor activities to develop good hand strength.

So, try these hand strengthening exercises to help your child!

These fine motor activities are intended to encourage your child's normal fine motor development. If you suspect your child has fine motor delays, please seek a professional opinion.

For your convenience, this page contains affiliate links #Ad to Amazon products similar to ones I use. I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through my links but you are under no obligation to purchase anything!

Paper Crumpling

Have your child crumple up sheets of newspaper or scrap paper into the smallest, tightest ball they can manage.

As their hand strength increases, so the ball will get tighter.

crumpling paper is a good hand exercise for kidsCrumple paper into a ball

Make it harder by asking your child crumple the paper with just one hand at a time.

Please make sure your child cleans the hands thoroughly afterwards as newspaper ink can be harmful.

crumpling paper is a good hand exercise for kidsCrumpling paper with one hand is more challenging

Squeezing Sponges

Have your child squeeze water out of bath sponges, washing up sponges, or sponge balls. The sponge shown in the pic is a small one that was being used for sponge painting, but bigger sponges are also great.

Use one or two hands depending on the size of the sponge.

A lovely bath-time activity!

Hand exercises for kids: squeeze a spongeSqueeze water out of a sponge

We found that large car-washing sponges like these ones on Amazon#Ad were great fun for squeezing in the bath.

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Spray Bottles

Spraying water out of a spray bottle can provide hours of endless fun while strengthening the hand muscles.

Have your child water the plants, spray an outside wall, or add a spray bottle to bath time fun!

Hand exercises for kids - spray water with a spray bottleSpray water with a spray bottle

You can get good quality spray bottles#Ad at any dollar store. If you choose to reuse your own spray bottles, please make sure they are totally cleaned of any cleaning liquids, for your child's safety.

Scissor Cutting

If your child is able to handle a pair of scissors, give your child lots of opportunities to practice scissor cutting.

Although scissor cutting primarily works the tripod fingers, the whole hand can get stronger with scissor cutting. Make sure your child holds the scissors correctly, to get the most out of the activity.

cutting with scissors can help strengthen kids' handsCutting with scissors

Start with cutting on straight lines before progressing to shapes and pictures.

Help Your Child Master Scissor Cutting

Is your child struggling to cut neatly with scissors? 

Do you want to teach your preschooler how to cut with scissors but don't know where to start?

My 33 page scissor skills e-book will help answer your questions, and will give you step by step photographed activities to help your child master scissor skills.

View my Scissor Skills E-Book now!

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Playdough Hand Exercises

Playdough is a great medium for strengthening little hands!

Try making these dinosaur footprints (well, we thought they looked like dinosaur footprints anyway!!) to strengthen the muscles on the back of the hand as well as the inner muscles of the palm.

playdough can be used to strengthen kids' handsPlaying with playdough

Here's how:

playdough exercise to strengthen hands 11) Put the fingers and thumb together in the center of a blob of playdough.
playdough exercise to strengthen hands 22) Slowly stretch the fingers and thumb apart. The end result looks like a footprint!
playdough exercise to strengthen hands 33) After stretching out all the blobs, have your child squish each footprint back into a blob.

Ideally, have each hand make its own set of footprints and crumple them up again, to help work on bilateral coordination skills at the same time!

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Gross Motor Activities

Any gross motor activity which requires the hands to grasp and hold tight, can help to strengthen hand muscles.

The grasp and release movements used for climbing and pulling are easier than long periods of sustained holding.

So take your child to a park, and encourage lots of climbing!

The shoulder and core muscles will also get a good workout, which is one of the essential foundations for fine motor development.

climbing can help strengthen kids' handsClimb a climbing wall!
climbing can help strengthen kids' handsClimb a jungle gym!

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More Advanced Hand and Finger Exercises

As your child's hand strength improves, help your child put his/her skills into practice by trying some of these more challenging hand exercises and finger activities:

My Fine Motor Activities E-Book contains more than 24 pages of photographed activities to help support your child's fine motor skills!

One accessible download that you can refer to over and over again!

View my Fine Motor Activities E-Book now!

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