Handwriting legibility and hand strength are closely tied. You might say they go hand-in-hand. (I had to go there!)
Among these muscles are a group called the lumbricals. The lumbrical muscles have a job to bend (flex) the MCP joints and extend (straighten) the PIP and DIP joints. When the lumbricals are in action, the hand might look like it is holding a plate with the big knuckles bent and the fingers extended.
Lumbrical Muscles of the Hands and Handwriting
The lumbrical muscles of the hands are important in handwriting. They are used to hold the pencil in a functional grasp. Advancing the pencil in an upward motion using the joints of the fingers require strength and endurance of the lumbrical muscles. Forming letters like upstrokes in cursive letters and the re-trace of letters like a, d, g, h, m, n, p, q, r, u, v, and w require upward pencil strokes.
Hand strength can be developed through many creative, hands-on activities, like blocks and rubber bands or rolling balls of play dough. This kitchen tong activity is another fun way to work on important skills.
Idea: Re-use the blocks to build MORE fine motor skill development like we did here.
Using tongs to work on handwriting
More intrinsic muscles needed in handwriting:
referred to as the hypothenar muscles work to stabilize the ulnar side of the hand during handwriting.
opponens pollicis work to rotate the thumb for manipulation of the pencil. Adductor
pollicis strengthens thumb opposition.
- Matching Easter Eggs Sensory Bin from Life Over C’s
- Painting Sugar Letters from Still Playing School
- Fine Motor Long Vowel Activity from Learning 2 Walk
- Alphabet Water Sensory Game from Mom Inspired Life
- Create CVC words using Fine Motor Tools from Adventures of Adam
- Pom Pom Color Match Game from Raising Little Superheroes
- Small Eraser Fine Motor Sort from Line upon Line Learning
- Plastic Egg Fine Motor Activity from Something 2 Offer
- Water Bead Pick Up Game from Play & Learn Every Day
- Bead Necklace Fine Motor Practice from Schooling a Monkey
- Intrinsic Hand Muscle Strengthening with Tongs from Sugar Aunts