What is finger dexterity?
It’s the ability to perform small, precise hand movements with flow and accuracy.
Your child’s dexterity is based on efficient development of foundation skills including:
- proprioception (sense of self and body movement)
- tactile processing (how our bodies interpret information from our sense of touch)
- proximal stability (mobility and strength through the core)
- muscle strength.
How can I help my child develop?
Here are some activities that you can do with your child to help develop their finger dexterity. You could:
- make paper balls and show your child how to flick them with their thumb and finger
- tear paper into strips with your child’s thumbs on top of the paper with one hand pulling towards them and the other pushing away
- place pegs or paper clips around a square of strong card, or make a chain with the paper clips
- line up dominoes to demonstrate the ‘domino theory’
- ask your child to make different shapes using sand or shaving foam.
More ideas include:
- threading beads and buttons onto pipe cleaners and progress onto lace. Make sure your child steadies the pipe cleaner/lace with one hand and manipulates the bead/button with the other
- posting coins or large buttons into a plastic tub with a slot cut out of the lid. Progress on to smaller buttons and smaller slots made from cardboard
- hiding buttons or beads in play-doh or theraputty for your child to find. Encourage the pincer grasp, pulling and tearing of the putty.