What is Finger Dexterity?
Separation of the two sides of the hand
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Our finger dexterity activity began with a little prep work. We received these acrylic paints from craftprojectideas.com for free and were so excited to use them in a fun painting project.
I painted the back side of large bubble wrap with different colors. We let these dry (and it was slightly difficult to remain patient!!)
Once our paints were dry, we got our fingers ready to play some finger dexterity games! I had Little Guy get his fingers ready by making “legs”. This is a great way to encourage use of the two sides of the hand. He tucked his pinkie and ring fingers into the palm of his hand and got his pointer and middle finger busy as they “walked” around.
We played a color matching game with the colored bubbles. I called out a color and he had to “walk” his fingers to the color and pop the color. He was working on color awareness at the same time as we practiced finger dexterity.
As I called out different colors, he had to “walk” his fingers around to the different colors. He really worked on those finger isolation skills as he searched for a bubble that was not yet popped. Other ways to work on finger isolation and separation of the two sides of the hand include using small objects in manipulation like crafting pom poms.
Even Baby Girl wanted to get in on the fun! This finger dexterity exercise is a great way to “warm up” the hands before a handwriting or typing task for older children. When there is weakness in the small muscles of the hands, it is often times, difficult for children to write, color, or type with appropriate grasp and positioning of the fingers and wrist. A dexterity exercise like this one is a fun way to play and get those muscles of the hand moving and strengthened in order to improve endurance and positioning.
Looking for more fun ways to practice finger dexterity? These are some fun games and activities you may want to try:
- Beach Play Dough
- Itsy Bitsy Spider and other finger play games
- gears building set
- Shadow puppets
- Clay Rocks activity
- Tricky Fingers
- eye droppers
- Operation Game
- Connect 4 Game
Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits:
- Fall Fine Motor Kit
- Winter Fine Motor Kit
- Spring Fine Motor Kit
- Summer Fine Motor Kit
- Frogs and Toads Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Letters! Fine Motor Kit
- Outer Space Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit
- Penguin Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Snowman Themed Fine Motor Kit
Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.