Strength in the hand muscles is a fine motor skill that is necessary for so many tasks. Strength in the intrinsic muscles of the hands 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 foil activity is a fun way to develop the intrinsic hand muscles and improve fine motor strength.
Use what you’ve got around the house to develop and strengthen fine motor skills. Using foil is just one way to do so.
This activity is perfect for developing pencil grasp into a functional grasp by addressing the underlying skills. This is a new series we’ve got here on The OT Toolbox.
It’s all part of The Pencil Grasp Challenge that 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!
Fine Motor Strength Foil Activity
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This activity is an easy one to set up. You’ll need just one material.
A small sheet of aluminum foil is all it takes!
To make it easy, you could grab these pre-cut foil sheets and use them with the whole class or therapy caseload, using this activity as a fine motor warm-up.
Next, cut the foil into small one inch squares. The student or client can do this job, addressing scissor skills. Simply draw lines using a permanent marker to create a cutting guide. The nature of the foil causes the marker to create a small groove in the surface of the foil, creating low guidelines for scissors to cut along.
Other students may need the foil cut for them. Cutting foil is a unique scissor practice experience and students may tear through the foil, especially if they are working on graded grasp or graded scissor cuts.
Finally, show students how to crumble up the small pieces into balls of foil. They can use just the radial digits of the hand, rolling the foil into a small ball with the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger.
This motion allows for strengthening of the intrinsic muscles while promoting arch development and a tripod grasp.
Students may be challenged to create very small foil balls by pinching the foil into a tight ball. They can then wrap the foil in another layer, extending the activity.
If students are having trouble using the two fingers and thumb to roll the foil into a ball, show them how to tuck a small craft pom pom under the ulnar digits.
Separation of the two sides of the hand can be beneficial for promoting a tripod grasp.
Looking for more fine motor activities to develop pencil grasp? You’ll love these ideas: