This pipe cleaner activity is a quick and easy hand strengthening activity that can be beneficial for developing the muscles of the hands needed for small motor tasks like manipulating objects, clothing fasteners, and pencil grasp. Activities like this one can help with fine motor skills that are necessary for so many tasks.
Use this fine motor strengthening activity to develop the hand muscles, including the intrinsic muscles of the hands in order to promote a functional pencil grasp. The intrinsic muscles allow for a curved palm which is used for cupping the palm in order to hold items such as coins or beads.
The intrinsic muscles are needed for pencil grasp and arch development, as well as endurance in tasks like writing and coloring. This pipe cleaner fine motor activity is a fun way to develop the intrinsic hand muscles and improve fine motor strength.
This activity is perfect for addressing the underlying skills needed for a functional pencil grasp. It’s part of a new series we’ve got here on The OT Toolbox, all about pencil grasp.
The Pencil Grasp Challenge will be debuting soon here on the website and on our Facebook page. Be sure to stop over there later today to see the video associated with this hand strengthening activity!
Did you miss our last fine motor activity in the Pencil Grasp Challenge? Check out how we improved fine motor strength using foil. Stay tuned for more information coming soon on the Pencil Grasp Challenge!
Fine Motor Strength Activity
This pipe cleaner activity is a fine motor strength activity that promotes several underlying skills and fine motor skills:
Wrist stabilization and strengthening
You’ll need just one item for this activity: pipe cleaners.
Use several different colored pipe cleaners for this activity. Cut the pipe cleaners into short 2-3 inch lengths.
Next, show students how to gather the sections of pipe cleaners and hold them tightly with the assisting hand.
Then, use the dominant hand to tightly pinch and twist the pipe cleaners into a twisted unit.
Remind students to tightly twist and to re-position their hand in order to achieve a tight twist.
This activity promotes hand strength by twisting the pipe cleaners. Make it more difficult by adding more or thicker pipe cleaners.
Re-positioning the hand to twist the pipe cleaners promotes in-hand manipulation. This is a skill needed in pencil grasp in order to reposition the pencil for adjustments when writing and for manipulating the pencil within the hand.
Need more fine motor activities to develop pencil grasp? You’ll love these ideas: