Fine motor skills are essential in performing everyday tasks including dressing, eating, and navigating through daily life. For people with disabilities, improving their fine motor skills further enhances their opportunity to communicate better, and provides a sense of independence and control of their day, including participating in education, employment, and enjoyable activities.
Here are a few ways to help improve fine motor skills, and further develop the smaller muscles in the hands and fingers.
Hand & Finger Exercises. Finger extensions and finger lifts can help improve the strength of the hand muscles, further improving fine motor skills.
Putty or Clay. Manipulating this moldable material helps to strengthen the muscles, and gain flexibility.
Resistance Bands. These help to enhance grip and improve hand strength.
Puzzles & Blocks. Moving, stacking, and coordinating smaller pieces to complete a puzzle, or building a tower encourages using both hands and manipulating/balancing the pieces to fit together.
Fine Motor Tasks. Practicing daily tasks that require fine motor coordination will help to improve skills including getting dressed, tying shoes, folding laundry, etc.
Writing. Practice writing uppercase and lowercase letters, including cursive, and encouraging small print will help to control the hand and strengthen the muscles.
Hand Grips & Poppables. Grip strengtheners and toys that encourage you to squeeze your hand to move an item will help to strengthen the muscles and improve agility for enhanced fine motor skills.
Play Music. Playing a musical instrument that requires both hands will help to engage the brain and also use both hands and multiple fingers to play a tune.
Stress Balls. Squeezing a stress ball isn’t just for stress management. This toy will help to gain strength in your hand and wrist and improve agility.
Practicing these essential skills with people with disabilities will help them to better communicate, improve their educational and employment performance, and most importantly provide them with a sense of independence in their daily lives. Click here for our digital download!
The team at Lifeworks-ACS has years of experience in the field of assistive technology, rehabilitation, human development, advocacy, and developmental disabilities to facilitate more independent living, enhanced quality of life, improved functional skills, and better and safer care of people with disabilities.
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