The aim of these kindergarten hand exercises and finger activities is to help develop your child's fine motor skills. Preschool and Kindergarten kids need lots of help to get ready for all the handwriting they are going to be doing in grade school.
Sometimes children hold a pencil awkwardly when their fine motor skills have not developed well enough for pencil control. The variety of fine motor activities suggested below may help your child's fine motor skills improve, in order to enable better pencil control.
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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.
Use a regular money box or a recycled container and encourage your child to hold 2 or 3 coins in the hand and push them through one at a time without dropping the others.
Upgrade to using more coins as your child gets better at this task.
Putting coins in a side slot is more challenging!
If your child uses a side slot, make sure the thumb is under the fingers to get the most out of the exercise (as shown above).
NB be aware of the choking hazard with little kids!
Don't underestimate the potential of this age-old activity!
Get your child to squash, squeeze, roll and pound the playdough to get those hand muscles moving before using cutters and other playdough toys.
Check out my playdough activities for more ideas!
The thumb, index and middle fingers are the fingers used to control the pencil when writing. I call these the tripod fingers.
These kindergarten hand exercises will help your child learn to use those fingers in the first step to developing good pencil control.
Show your child how to isolate the tripod fingers with a small slip of paper under the ring and little fingers (read why this is important).
Then try some of the activities below.
Scissor cutting is by far one of the best kindergarten hand exercises as it is a great way to getting the tripod fingers to work together well.
Make sure your child uses the tripod fingers in the holes, and give lots of practice cutting out on straight lines before moving on to shapes and pictures.
If your child is struggling to cut with scissors, I really recommend you get my scissor skills e-book!
This will help answer your questions, and will give you step by step photographed techniques and activities to help your child master scissor skills.
Ok, this activity does use a crayon, but it is used in such an undemanding way that even kids with poor fine motor skills can enjoy coloring!
Use the tripod fingers to hold a crayon down flat and rub color all over a large area, like this circle which is about to be cut out.
Although square and triangular crayons are great, they can be expensive, but regular crayons do the trick just as well.
Draw a single dot on one side of a clothes pin, and two dots on the other side. This shows your child where to place the fingers.
Your child should grip the pins with the pads at the tops of the fingers, and not at the side of the index finger as can be seen in the picture alongside!
Use the clothes pins to pick up and transfer items, or have your child pick up and place a number of clothes pins, making sure the tripod fingers are used correctly.
This child built a cage for his dinosaurs by placing clothes pins on an egg carton, then picked up "food" and transferred it to the cage.
Crumpling small pieces of crepe or tissue paper into balls is a good tripod finger exercise and also makes a great decoration for craft activities.
For more information on this versatile fine motor activity that can help improve pencil control, pop over here.
Do you want practical activities to help develop your child's fine motor skills with everyday resources?
Are you tired of lists of suggestions that don't show you HOW to do the activities?
My Fine Motor Activities E-Book contains lots of helpful information as well as more than 24 pages of photographed activities, like the ones on this page, to help support your child's fine motor skills!
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These resources make it fun to practice fine motor skills - look out for them in your local toy store or request them as a birthday / holiday gift for your child!
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