Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Home Program Ideas for Improving Hand Strength for Better Fine Motor Control and Endurance

Here is a collection of ideas from our staff (thx Lauren & Heather!) for improving hand strength:

Wall pushups on flat surface--both hands
Wall pushups on flat surface--one hand with body turned sideways
Wall or chair pushups with hands over rounded object (half tennis ball, swim noodle)
Carrying therapist's tote bag down long school hallways
Traditional theraputty exercises
Hanging by hands from horizontal bar
Bear walking (hands and feet flat on floor)
Balloon tennis with homemade "racket"
Chores that require hand strength and/or sustained wrist extension (carrying pet water bowl or water jug, vacuuming, dusting, making bed)
Putting away canned goods after shopping
Vacuuming car
Working on a vertical surface (writing, coloring, using magnets, etc.)
Use digiflex exerciser--start with low resistance (such as 0.5 lb. or 1 lb.)
Washing the car and wringing out the big sponge.
Helping to dig in the garden/pull the weeds
Doing laundry-carrying the laundry basket and pulling the wet clothes out of the washer
Helping to carry in the groceries
Riding a bike or scooter (handle bars)
Help turn a large jump rope for friends to jump
Pulling a wagon
Sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor or washing the floor Cinderella style
Sidewalk chalk for drawing hop scotch or making art and using squirt water toys to wash it away
Holding onto a swing or using hands to climb at the park
Create a fort using cardboard boxes and appropriate tape. Use a large paint brush to paint it.
Use large squirt "devices" or those two handed water pumpers to rinse the car or wash the garage door. Or just get friends and family wet.

Pass along the ideas that suit your student's needs and abilities--and are judged safe to try at home.

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