Kindergarten Hand Exercises

copyscape notice

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.

Just click on the quick links below to go to the section of my page you want to see!

Activities for the Whole Hand

  • Money Boxes
  • Playdough

Tripod Finger Activities

  • Scissor Cutting
  • Tripod Coloring
  • Clothes Pin Activities
  • Mini Paper Crumpling
  • Squirt Toys

More Fine Motor ideas

Related pages and fine motor toys

Kindergarten hand exercises and finger activities for fine motor skills

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.

Activities for the Whole Hand

1) Money Boxes

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.

use a money box for fine motor skillsPlacing coins into a slot

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!

use a piggy bank for fine motor skillsPlacing coins into a side slot

2) Playdough

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!

playdough activities for kidsRead about the benefits of playdough activities

Back to Top

Tripod Finger Activities

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.

the tripod fingers are the 3 fingers used to hold a pencilThe Tripod Fingers

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.

it's important to isolate the tripod fingersIsolating the tripod fingers

1) Scissor Cutting

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.

cutting with scissors is a good hand exercise for kindergarten kidsCutting with scissors

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.

printable resource to help your child with scissor skills

2) Tripod Coloring

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.

Use the tripod fingers to color with a flat crayonUse the tripod fingers to color with a flat crayon

Although square and triangular crayons are great, they can be expensive, but regular crayons do the trick just as well.

Back to Top

3) Clothes Pin Activities

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.

draw dots to show where the child's fingers should goDots to show where the fingers go

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 tips of the fingers and thumb to grip the clothes pinUse the tips of the fingers and thumb to grip the clothes pin

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. 

Pick up items with the clothes pin for a fine motor activityPick up items with the clothes pin

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.

placing clothes pins on a container is a good fine motor activityPlace clothes pins on a container

4) Mini Paper Crumpling

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.

Use the tripod fingers to crumple little balls of paperCrumple little balls of paper

5) Squirt Toys

Available from toy shops and therapy product suppliers, these little plastic toys that squirt water#Ad can be used effectively with the tripod fingers.

Add a couple to your stock of bath toys to add a fine motor boost to bath time! You can even get some Baby Shark squirt toys#Ad!

squirt toys for fine motor skillsUse squirt toys

Back to Top

Get More Than Just Kindergarten Hand Exercises!

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!

View my Fine Motor Activities E-Book now!

Thank you for visiting my site!

I hope you found these kindergarten hand exercises and activities helpful! If you did, please share my page so that others may be helped as well!

Why not sign up for my free occasional newsletter to stay in touch with new activity ideas on my site?

Kindergarten hand exercises and finger activities for fine motor skills

Back to Top

If this page was helpful, please share it with your friends!

Related Pages

Fine Motor Resources on Amazon

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!

Back to Top

summer discount on OT Mom e-books

Didn't find what you were looking for? Try a search of my site!