Shake the Dice (Arches of Hands & Grip Release)
The aim is to see if your child can shake the dice cupped inside two hands and release it. You may need to show them this first.
Watch carefully to see if they release the dice quickly from the shaking movement or do they stop shaking and seem over hesitant in releasing the dice?
Can they cup their hands?
Do they release the dice easily?
Dexterity of the hands and fingers is necessary to hold and manipulate objects; this should improve as a child develops.
In-hand manipulation is the coordination of the hand and fingers moving and working together enabling them to pick up small items and hold several in the palm at the same time.
Strengthening the arches of the hands and bringing the fingers together at the same time helps to improve the ability to cup and release the hands as one fluid movement. This allows children to pick up larger objects and place them accurately.
Fine manipulation of objects requires good individual finger movements of both hands.
Good hand strength and agility is a combination of the three skills above.
The four activities below assess these key areas. Following the assessment, if your child needs to improve any of these skills, click on the “Games to Improve Hand & Finger Muscles” button for further activities or look at the Physical Ability Activity Programs.
How Many Can You Hold? (In-hand Manipulation)
Use small objects such as pieces of lego, small marbles, beads or dried peas or pasta, so that your child can hold several in their hand at a time.
See how many they can pick up and hold in the same hand in one go without dropping them. Do this with each hand in turn.
Can they hold one or two items in their palm while picking up another piece?
Crazy Scissors (Hand Strength)
Use appropriately sized and handedness scissors if possible
and scrap pieces of paper for this activity.
Start with thin paper types such as newspaper and gradually move to thicker paper such as scrap pages from a magazine.
Get your child to just cut into the paper or around a shape drawn on the paper or a picture already on the paper.
Can they cut thin and thick paper?
Finger Tap Dancing (Individual Finger Movements)
With their hands out in front of them ask your child to try to tap each finger in turn against their thumb, one hand at a time. To make this more fun try to change the speed, order and pressure so that it seems as if the fingers are tap dancing.
Can they touch each finger to thumb?
Can they change speed, order and pressure?