Hand Strengthening Exercises for Kids - The OT Toolbox (2023)

Hand strengthening and finger strengthening are part of occupational therapy interventions in everyday tasks. Developing strong, efficient hands involves more than just using a hand grip trainer or therapeutic putty to strengthen your fingers.

Here you will find a collection offine motor resourcesjhand strengthening activitieswhich can be used to improve tone in the hands, increase stability in the thumb and fingers, develop and define the arches of the hand, improve precision through hand manipulation, improve endurance in hand strength-building activities

Below you will find hand strengthening activities for kids, hand strengthening activities for adults, and therapy tools to build hand strength. The fine motor development activities in this post are perfect for improving grip strength, grip strength, or as part of a finger typing practice program.

strengthen hand

Let's take a closer look at how to strengthen your hands... in a fun and creative way!

Occupational therapists use functional tasks, or daily activities, to improve hand strength so the clients they work with can live functional lives: so they have strong, efficient hands to carry out the tasks that occupy their day.

Think of it this way: With weak hands, it is very difficult for a child to color a coloring page. But by coloring and using crayons, they improve their hand strength so they can color bigger pictures or do more difficult fine motor tasks.

Proper finger and hand strength is a crucial basic skill required to successfully perform most activities of daily living, such as walking. B. Opening a packet of snacks, flushing the toilet, turning on the faucet, buttoning a shirt, etc.

Not only does we need adequate hand strength for our ADLs, but it directly impacts our ability to perform school-related tasks such as cutting, writing, and handling materials like glue.

(Video) OT Toolbox

How can you tell if a child has weak hands?

Manual strength is an important area of ​​development.

Children who struggle with hand strength may have difficulty holding a pencil, drawing, holding and using scissors, handling clothes clips, putting on a seat belt, squeezing out a bottle of glue, opening and manipulating food containers. , Tie shoes. There are manyFine motor skills required in schoolThis is a warning sign to determine if a child has weak hands.

Fortunately, there are many fun ways to improve a child's hand strength.

The best way to improve overall strength is through meaningful and motivating activity...especially daily play!

Here you will find a collection of pinch, pull, push, weight bearing, squeeze, and general grab and pinch exercises.

These ideas improve hand tone, increase thumb and finger stability, develop and define hand arcs, improve accuracy in hand manipulation, improve hand strength endurance, and addressseparation of handson a fine motor side and a power side.

Fine motor skills are importantfor so many reasons! From holding a pencil to opening and closing scissors, buttoning, making brooches, tying shoes, coloring a picture withoutNon-stop, for almost everything we do... hand strength counts!

Hand Strengthening Exercises for Kids - The OT Toolbox (1)

(Video) Slime Hand Exercises

I wanted to cover the fine motor skills children need to hold a pencil, use scissors, work with clothespins and use their hands.

We often see weak arcs, instability, and low pitch in the hands, which translates into awkward hand use, impractical grips, and poor stamina when writing or painting. Sneaking in some strength-building activities every day can make a world of difference!

hand strengthening activities

Today contains a collection of activities to strengthen hands that can be used asHand strength activities for adults and to develop hand strength. Scroll through the activities below to find creative hand strengthening ideas to improve grip strength, pinch strength, or as part of a finger typing practice program.

What affects hand strength?

Hand strength is influenced by several components. When it comes to manual power, there is a lot to discover. Many aspects of motor skills affect the strength and endurance of the hand. Some of these areas include these concepts:

  • intrinsic hand strength
  • thumb strength and stability
  • engine control
  • Separation of the sides of the hand.
  • Handmanipulation
  • wrist stability
  • wrist extension
  • finger strength
  • Range of motion of the arm: upper arm, forearm, wrist, fingers and thumb
  • muscle tone of the hand

A hand therapist takes various hand strength samples with a dynamometer to measure the grip strength and clamp force of different grippers. It is also important to have an understanding of the musculature of the hand and the anatomy of the hand and upper extremity.

First, take a look at our hugeOnline library for fine motor skills🇧🇷 This is a collection of all fine motor activities in The OT Toolbox. There is something for everybody.

One thing that makes a big difference in fine motor skills is the separation of the sides of the hand. This post explains more about itmanual engine disconnectjHere's another fun activityreally strengthens those muscles.

intrinsic hand strength

That isOT activities with tweezersThey are great for developing and strengthening the hand arches to improve intrinsic strength.

In fact, the intrinsic muscles are the muscles in the hand that define the arches of the hands, flex the knuckles, and counteract the thumbs. activities like thisintrinsic muscle strengthening activityit can be easily recreated at home or in the therapy room.

(Video) Finger Aerobics

Among these muscles is a group called the lumbricales. The psoas muscles have the function of flexing (flexing) the MCP joints and extending (stretching) the PIP and DIP joints. When the lumbricals are in action, it may appear as if the hand is holding a platter with the major knuckles flexed and the fingers extended. Read more aboutstrengthen the intrinsic muscles.

When children write or draw while their thumb's webspace is pinched, it's a sign of trouble. So they may be compensating for thumb instability, underdeveloped hand arches, and/or weak strength. Each of these problem areas leads to difficulties with handwriting, dexterity, handling small objects such as beads, and handling pencils.

Typing in a closed area on the web is inefficient and leads to poor and slow typing, especially as children get older and are asked to type faster. A closed web space when handling fasteners such as buttons and zippers leads to clumsiness and difficulty. So what do you do when you have a child who closes this web space during functional tasks? I have onesome ideas how to work in Open Thumbs webspaces.

thumb strength and stability

Here are more ideas for promoting thumb stability and tone.impostorActivities aimed at opening up the thumb webspace.

Hand strengthening can be done through a variety of pinch and grip exercises. Here you areIdeas for strengthening hands with clothespins.

Manual handling force

HandmanipulationIt's a skill that requires strength in your hands. activities like thismanual manipulation activityYou can improve these skills.

There are several aspects of manipulation in hand:
▪ Translation from finger to palm:Movement of an object from the fingers to the palm, d. H. Picking up a coin and moving it toward the palm.

▪ Palm-to-finger translation:Movement of an object from the palm of the hand to the tips of the fingers. (e.g. moving a coin from your palm to your fingertip to insert it into a vending machine).

▪ Shift:Easily adjust an object on or through your fingertips. (i.e. moving a pen up and down in your hand).

▪ Simple rotation:Rotate or roll an object 90 degrees or less with fingers moving as one. (e.g. unscrewing the cap of a toothpaste)

▪ Complex rotation:Rotate an object more than 90 degrees with isolated finger and thumb movements. (e.g. rotate a clip)

Any of the above abilities can occur with "palm drag" items using the pinky and ring finger. This is referred to as "with stabilization". If no other objects are held in the palm during manual manipulation, it is called "unstabilized".

(Video) HAND STRENGTHENING Exercises with Theraputty for Beginners l OT Teletherapy l Handwriting Warm Ups

Stabilization usually occurs around the age of 2 years. Read more aboutmanual Handling yesterday🇧🇷 Here is onesome activity ideasthis is very easy to do at home.

Wrist stability and strength

wrist stabilityIt's one of the key areas that affects hand strength.

Due to the anatomical nature of the tendons in the forearm and hand, a stable wrist affects hand strength, especially gripping and pinching.

When the wrist is flexed (leaning forward toward the fingers bent in a grip), there is little room for fine motor skills. A flexed wrist during functional tasks limits use of the fingers because the tendons in the fingers shorten as they stabilize the wrist. Fingers just can't move like they should.

There are many exercises and activities that can be doneBuild wrist stabilityThis allows you to maintain a slightly stretched position during fine motor activities.

Upper body strength affects hand strength

Upper body strengthIt consists of the muscles of the upper chest, the muscles of the upper back and the muscles that attach to the shoulder joint. All of these muscles work together to create stability in the shoulder joint. This stability of the shoulder girdle is essential to create a solid anchorage for the rest of the arm. Without this anchor it is difficult to develop good control in the forearm, hands and fingers. In therapy language we talk about developing proximal stability before we can achieve distal control.

The stronger body enables functional performance in goal-directed activities, especially strong and efficient hands.

Hand Strengthening Exercises for Kids - The OT Toolbox (2)

Hand Strengthening Activities:

Hand strengthening activities can use items you have around the house or in your therapy bag. Activities associated with games are best for developing children's hand and finger strength. Some of these ideas can incorporate stronger hands and games:

  • Squeeze out playdough or a stress ball
  • Put the beans in a bottleMake a sensory bottle
  • Use a hole punch to make handmade confetti.
  • Daily leisure activities with small toys or manipulators
  • Weight bearing activities: floor games
  • bubble wrap pop
  • Attach staples to the edge of a paper
  • Shoot a marble at a target with your thumb.
  • screws and nuts
  • Tear up scraps of paper
  • Make the dough and roll and cut the biscuits.
  • Sort, stack and drop coins into a bank
  • Use a stapler and staple remover on a bulletin board
  • Freeze plasticineand cut with scissors
  • Cut a slit in a tennis ball and "feed" small items
  • Stack mini erasers
  • Opening and closing of jars and containers
  • Thread small beads onto a string or pipe cleaner
  • tying and untying knots
  • Pop-Content

I hope these resources are useful to you! Here are a few other hand strength topics you might need in your therapy toolbox:

(Video) HANDWRITING WARM UPS for Hands and Fingers l 10 Exercises l OT Teletherapy for Remote Learning

  • Graduated footprint accuracy
  • Job-related orderly grasping activities
  • Strengthen your tripod grip with everyday objects
  • DIY Clothespin Busy Bags to strengthen the clothespin
  • pinch and skill activity
  • tone strengthening exercises
  • Calligraphy warm-ups
  • The ultimate guide to fine motor skills

How will you use the hand strengthening activities and ideas above? Perhaps in a home exercise program or a therapy program during the school year? Maybe use the ideas at home or in a clinic. The ideas are endless!


How can I strengthen my child's hand muscles? ›

Activities such as climbing, playing with toys or scribbling with crayons all help to develop and strengthen the muscles of the hands and fingers.

How do you increase grip strength in OT? ›

10 OT activities to improve finger strength
  1. Finger Ball Walk. You can use any small to medium sized ball (eg. ...
  2. Theraputty Finger Exercises. ...
  3. Pom-Pom Transfer using Pegs. ...
  4. Mini Paper Crumpling. ...
  5. Pool Noodles and Rubber band activity. ...
  6. Threading. ...
  7. Tape Pulling. ...
  8. Bubble Wrap Popping.
Dec 18, 2018

What are hand strengthening exercises? ›

Hand Strengthening Exercises with a Therapy Ball
  • Power Grip. For a basic hand strengthening exercise, squeeze a therapy ball with your fingers and thumb. ...
  • Pinch. Pinch the ball with fingers and thumb extended. ...
  • Thumb Extension. ...
  • Table Roll. ...
  • Finger Flexion. ...
  • Thumb Roll. ...
  • Finger Squeeze. ...
  • Thumb Opposition.
Nov 6, 2020

How do you strengthen intrinsic hand muscles for kids? ›

Activities to promote hand strength include:
  1. Rolling, squeezing, or kneading play dough.
  2. Squeezing clothespins or spray bottles.
  3. Building with blocks.
  4. Climbing.
  5. Squeezing glue bottles instead of using glue sticks.
  6. Popping bubble wrap.
  7. Using tongs or tweezers with fine motor play.
  8. Cooking or baking in the kitchen.
Jul 24, 2020

How can I help my child with weak hands? ›

Hand Strengthening Activities for Kids
  1. Stapler Activities. A stapler makes an excellent toy for kids to use, and it helps their hand strength. ...
  2. Glue Activities. Using glue is another simple hand-strengthening activity to consider. ...
  3. Paint with a Squeeze Bottle. ...
  4. Playdough Fine Motor Activities. ...
  5. Clothespin Fine motor Activities.

What causes weak hand strength in kids? ›

Some children have weak hands owing to lower-than-normal muscle tone, birth injuries or neuro-muscular disorders, among other reasons.

What are 3 ways to improve grip strength? ›

6 Tips to Build Grip Strength
  1. Mix Up Your Handles.
  2. Take a Heavy Walk.
  3. Hang Out in a Dead Hang.
  4. Reverse Your Biceps Curl.
  5. Flip Your Kettlebell.
  6. Grab Some Battle Ropes.
Apr 27, 2021

How can I improve my child's grip? ›

Rolling Play-Doh into small balls. Squeezing a spray bottle with the pointer and middle fingers. Placing coins into a piggy bank. Holding a cotton ball in the palm with the ring and middle fingers while colouring, writing, or cutting.

What is the best way to increase hand strength? ›

Grip Strengthener

Hold a soft ball in your palm and squeeze it as hard as you can. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat 10 to 15 times on each hand. Do this exercise two to three times a week, but rest your hands for 48 hours in between sessions.

What are the best free hand exercises? ›

So we have put together a list of 15 easy the best free hand exercises you can do at home, with no equipment required.
  • Push-Ups. Push-ups are a great way to work your arms, chest, and core muscles. ...
  • Squats. Squats are an essential part of any fitness routine. ...
  • Plank. ...
  • Ab Crunches. ...
  • Side Bends. ...
  • Leg Raises. ...
  • Skipping. ...
  • Burpees.

What are some strengthening activities? ›

Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include:
  • lifting weights.
  • working with resistance bands.
  • heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling.
  • climbing stairs.
  • hill walking.
  • cycling.
  • dance.
  • push-ups, sit-ups and squats.

What are the 3 groups intrinsic muscles of the hand? ›

Four muscle groups comprise the intrinsic hand. These are the thenar, hypothenar, interossei and the lumbrical muscles.

How do you strengthen a weak child? ›

Strengthening exercise is movement that makes muscles and bones stronger. Activities that strengthen muscles make them work harder.
Fun ways to make muscles stronger
  1. Climbing and swinging on playground equipment.
  2. Climbing trees.
  3. Gymnastics.
  4. Push-ups with knees on the floor.
  5. Sit-ups.
  6. Skiing or snowboarding.
  7. Tug-of-war.

Can hand muscles be strengthened? ›

Hand and finger exercises can help strengthen your hands and fingers, increase your range of motion, and give you pain relief. Stretch only until you feel tightness. You shouldn't feel pain.

What causes weak hand muscles? ›

Hand weakness can occur due to a variety of conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, and ganglion cysts. A weakened hand or grip can make everyday tasks much more difficult to complete.

How can kids strengthen weak muscles? ›

Warm-up activities can improve your child's endurance by helping to activate the muscles.
Treatment for low muscle tone
  1. Space hopper – encourage your child to bounce on a space hopper in the backyard or up and down the hallway.
  2. Running on the spot, stomping, star jumps, skipping with a skipping rope.

Can hand muscles be trained? ›

That said, the hand is powered by about 30 muscles, and they can grow stronger and more flexible with a variety of exercises. And increasing the strength and reach of your fingers and thumbs, even just a little, may help you no matter what sport or instrument you play.


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