When kids struggle with weak fine motor skills, they can have difficulty in so many areas! This post includes ideas for using clothespins and busy bags to improve fine motor strength.
Developing hand strength is an important skill for kids who struggle with manipulation of small items like buttons or zippers. A child who struggles with handwriting can many times present with weak hand strength. Trouble maintaining a pencil grasp, very light handwriting, switching hands when coloring or writing, using the whole arm to write, a closed thumb web space, and a distorted grip on the pencil are signs of weakness in the hands.
But the trouble with working on improving hand strength is that many times, kids just don’t want to correct their pencil grasp or work on tasks that are hard to do like practicing zippers over and over again.
One simple strategy to fix these strength issues is making the work fun. Here are creative ways to use clothespins to improve fine motor hand strength.
Putting the activities together in a busy bag form can be helpful for therapists who need to quickly pull a strengthening activity from their therapy bag. The fine motor busy bags below can be passed on to teachers to encourage development of fine motor strength in the classroom and at home.
These fine motor strengthening activities are busy bag ideas that can be used in therapy home programs or as part of fine motor activities that the whole class can benefit from!
Clothespin Busy Bags Fine Motor Strength Activities
These fine motor strength activities use clothes pins. Clothes pins are something that you can grab at the dollar store and easily adapt to activities of all sorts. Make a busy bag that builds on learning concepts like math, literacy, colors, or patterns with activities that can be done over and over again in a busy bag! Try these clothespin busy bag activities to strengthen the hands:
Talk about weather using this weather themed clothespin activity that strengthens writing skills AND hand strength!
Work on place value with a 1-100 math activity that uses the muscles of the hands in a superhero hand strengthening activity.
Match colors with a neat pincer grasp using very small clothes pins in this super fine motor busy bag from Powerful Mothering.
Address letter recognition while building fine motor strength in a busy bag using letters like Learn Play Imagine.
Making busy bags that work on specific skills WHILE addressing educational concepts such as math or reading are a powerhouse tool for therapists and teachers! Make the busy bag ideas above and pass them on to teachers or parents who want to build hand strength. Busy bag ideas like this are perfect for centers or home programs.
Occupational Therapists are always looking for activities that build specific skills and can be easily incorporated into the classroom. Fine motor busy bags like these can be a powerful tool for the school based OT!
Looking for more ways to create fine motor busy bags for parents, teachers, or classrooms? The Busy Bag Book is a new book written by my friend Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons. The e-book is PACKED with activities that develop specific skills in a fun way. The bonus for busy bags are that they can be packaged up and used time and time again in centers or while on-the-go.
As a reader of The OT Toolbox, you get to use a special discount code so you can grab The Busy Bag Book and get tons of ideas for building hand strength with busy bags. Use the discount code OTFRIENDS.
This code expires in thirty days, so be sure to use the code while you can! It’s the perfect time of year to create your busy bags for back to school! (Affiliate links are included in this post.)
Click HERE to learn more about The Busy Bag Book and to get started on creating your own busy bags that will help the kids develop fine motor skills at home and in the classroom.
The Busy Bag Book is your resource for busy bag book creation!