Hand Strengthening Activities for Children

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Does your child seem to tire easily when they are using their hands for every-day life activities? Do they struggle with holding a pencil or using zippers or tying their shoes? Many children struggle with hand strength so today we are going to look at this topic in more detail and I'll also give you some hand strengthening activities for children.

What is Hand Strength?

Hand strength develops over time as a child matures and masters different every-day life skills.

Problems with hand strength may look like difficulty holding a pencil, tiring easily during handwriting or other fine motor activities, difficulty using scissors, trouble using zippers or buttoning items of clothing.

The best way to help encourage hand strength is to have your child participate in every-day activities and only assisting them when necessary.

Hand strength can be broken down into two different areas: grip strength and pinch strength.

Grip strength refers to the entire hand being able to grasp. Pinch strength refers to the fingers, specifically the thumb and index finger (the middle finger can also assist when needed).

For the purpose of this post, I am going to give activity suggestions for overall grip strength. However, I do have some resources specifically on pinch grip and the pincer grasp.

Click here to read Pencil Grasp Development – this talks about the pincer grasp in more detail.

Click here to read What is Pincer Grasp?

Click here to read 15 Hands-On Activities to Improve Pincer Grasp

Hand Strength Activities

Activities to promote hand strength include:

  • Rolling, squeezing, or kneading play dough
  • Squeezing clothespins or spray bottles
  • Building with blocks
  • Climbing
  • Squeezing glue bottles instead of using glue sticks
  • Popping bubble wrap
  • Using tongs or tweezers with fine motor play
  • Cooking or baking in the kitchen

For more activity suggestions and resources on hand grasp strengthening, check out the links below.

You may also like these resources below!

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
All information on the Website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from a physician or your pediatrician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. The information on the Websites does not replace the relationship between therapist and client in a one-on-one treatment session with an individualized treatment plan based on their professional evaluation. The information provided on the Website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

Do not rely on the information on the Website as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website. All medical information on the Website is for informational purposes only.

All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

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