The motor skills are basically divided into gross and fine motor skills. With the help of our fingers, for example, very delicate movements can be made possible. This includes activities such as writing, painting, closing buttons, beads thread on, tie shoes and much more. Due to the increasing use of modern means of communication, the lack of interest in the art of writing and the simplification, for example, Velcro fasteners on shoes, etc., it is less and less possible for children to practice the finely adjusted movements of fingers and wrists. The well-functioning and fluid fine motor skills are important. Through artistic activities such as painting, coloring, crafting with glue and scissors, threading beads, etc., you can specifically promote fine motor skills.
The finger exercises or fine motor exercises presented here are certainly very demanding for a child who has problems with fine motor skills or is just not that far from developing. Children develop very differently, so it is difficult to give an exact age for such exercises. In any case, make sure that your child keeps the joy and do not force it to be 100% correct. These exercises should be understood as a game and used as such.
Materials needed for the finger exercises
a wooden stick or thin stick, which is divided into at least 8 segments of about 2cm. The marker can be set with a black felt, for example.
- a plastic or wooden ring or curtain ring
- a skein of wool
- Clothespins (at least 10 pieces)
- normal printer paper
- a Din A 4 cardboard
- a scissors
- Scotch tape
- possibly a color cube, remnants of fabric, felt and a cloth bag
1. Dancing and jumping
Material: a white sheet of paper, a pen to frame it, the wooden stick, nice rhythmic music
Procedure: First, the hands are placed on the white sheet so that they lie comfortably. The fingers are spread slightly and the hands lie flat. A second person is now painting with you Colorful- or felt-tip pen hands. The hands always remain in the limit during the exercise. The fingers bounce and dance to the rhythm of the music. The fingers can:
- all go up and down together in time
- go up and down in time one by one
- all bend together and get dressed and stretch again in time
- bend and tighten individually and stretch again in time
Alternative: Instead of rhythm, more emphasis can be placed on tactile stimulation. The child can close their eyes and a second person touches the fingertips with the wand. If the child feels the touch, it curves or it then raises the respective finger. The fingers can also be named by the child (little finger, ring finger etc.)
These finger exercises require good selection and a good sense of the individual fingers.
2. Obstacle driving
Material: a plastic ring or a curtain ring or the like, some obstacles in the form of stones, pens, etc. distributed on the table
Procedure: the child first takes both index fingers into the ring. Now try to turn the ring using only these two fingers. The ring should remain on the table and drive around the individual obstacles. Later both middle fingers, ring fingers and little fingers can try it.
Alternative: the ring can also be rotated in the air.
Good coordination of two fingers is required for these finger exercises.
3. Hang up the laundry
Material: Remnants of cloth, paper or cardboard, clothes pegs, wool thread, color cubes, fabric bags
Procedure: Small pieces of laundry are cut out of fabric scraps, paper or cardboard. The wool thread is now stretched between any two points. Now it is time to hang up the laundry and stick the laundry items to the wool thread with the clips.
- the items of laundry may differ in color, for example all pants are red, all sweaters are blue, all clothes are green, all towels are yellow, etc. The game is played with at least 2 people. Every child receives a piece of laundry of every kind. The color cube is used to dice which piece of laundry can be hung. Who’s going to get rid of his laundry first?
- The laundry items are all in a cloth bag. The game is played again with at least 2 people. The children alternately reach into the bag and feel a piece of laundry. If the piece is recognized correctly, it can be hung on a leash. Who hangs most Items of laundry on?
These finger exercises require strength in particular.
4. Climb up the tree / wave the flag
Material: Staff, rhythmic music, a piece of cloth, scotch tape
Procedure: With the thumb and index finger, the child reaches into the bottom segment of the stick and puts the thumb and index finger of the other hand over the next segment, etc., until it reaches the top. There it sets the flag. A piece of fabric is attached to the tip with a strip of scotch tape. The flag must now be waved. To do this, the child places his thumb and index finger in the individual segments (this time only from top to bottom) and additionally rotates the rod by 180 ° so that it is permanently rotated.
So: put your thumb and index finger in the segment, turn your wrist by 180 °, put your fingers in the other segment in the next segment, turn your wrist by 180 °, etc.
The wrist is also included in these finger exercises. Coordination of wrist rotation and gripping is required.
5. Spider web
Material: a Din A 4 cardboard, scissors, wool thread
Procedure: cut the cardboard along the edge at a distance of approx. 4 cm and a depth of 0.5 cm. The wool thread is then stretched into these notches. At the beginning, attach the wool thread to the bottom of the cardboard with a piece of scotch tape or pull it through one of the notches and make a thick knot at the end of the thread so that the thread cannot slip through the notch. Now pull the thread back and forth across the cardboard by passing it through a notch, on the underside of the cardboard to the next notch etc. In principle, a net is now created on both sides of the cardboard. it doesn’t matter which one you use.
The children should now run through the spider web with their fingers (the hand is raised and only the fingertips touch the ground). The threads should not be touched if possible. Who can make it from one end to the other?
Variant: The child keeps his eyes closed. A second person puts his fingers around the beginning of the thread from the spider web. With the eyes closed, the child should feel the further path of the thread and follow it.
I wish you and your children a lot of fun trying out and promoting fine motor skills !
Source: Exercises 1, 2 and 4 were inspired by: Help for the child with writing problems by Hauke Stehn, ISBN 3-9804316-0-6
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