To encourage a three finger grasp (4 fingers is also acceptable) have your child hold small pieces of crayons and chalk to draw (this will naturally encourage a 3 finger grasp). Use a pencil grip if one was provided by your therapist and encourage proper finger placement.

    • Peel fruit such as clementines, oranges and grapefruit.
    • Tongs, tweezers, connected chop sticks, strawberry hullers: use these to pick up small objects for sorting, such as beads,
      marbles, beans, pompoms and cotton balls.
    • Corn cob holders, toothpicks:  Place a picture over a sheet of craft foam or cork board. Then use the push pin or corn cob prongs to punch holes along the lines of a picture. Hold it up to let the light shine through.
    • place coins or bingo chips in narrow slots; a piggy bank is perfect, Connect Four game
    • eye droppers: make colorful creations with colored drops of water on a paper towel or coffee filter
    • Geoboards: make shapes and letters using rubber bands on geoboards
    • Don't Spill the Beans
    • Coin flipping contest: line up rows of coins and see how fast you can flip them over
    • pegboard activities, Lite Brite
    • Tong games: Operation, Crocodile Dentist, Bedbugs
    • Ziploc bags: encourage using fingertips to press and seal
    • pop beads
    • peel stickers or stamps and place along a letter to practice formation of letters
    • crumple small bits of tissue paper using fingertips, dip in glue and paste onto a paper plate or paper to make a flower bouquet
    • tear small pieces of paper with finger tips and paste them onto a sheet of paper to make a picture or collage
    • Rip up junk mail
    • Crumple up paper and play basketball recycling.

    Clay, therapy putty, Silly putty, play-doh, Sculpey, break off small pieces, then try rolling the putty or clay between the pads of the thumb and index finger to make small balls

    • flatten small balls by pinching them between the pads of the thumb and index finger
    • Starting with a larger round ball of putty or clay, form the thumb, index and middle fingers into a large round C shape, place the
      ball between the fingertips and try to pinch the fingers together.
    • try hiding small objects (beads, pennies, beans) inside and then try pulling them out
    • use a rolling pin to flatten it out, then use cookie cutters to make shapes

    Interlocking construction toys

    • Mega Blocks are large sized Legos and are best for preschool age children
    • Bristle (Krinkles) blocks are a good choice for preschool age
    • Legos and K'nex are best for older children
    • Pop beads: large size for preschool, small (play jewelry type) for older children
    • Linking chains

    Water play with spray bottles, water guns, squirt toys, sponges

    • spray bottles: help water plants or spray the windows to clean, play with it in the bathtub, play outdoors in warm weather, add food coloring to make spray bottle pictures in the snow.
    • water guns and squirt toys: outdoor summer fun as well as in the bathtub.
    • sponges: squeezing to wring out the water is great for strengthening hands and forearms (i.e. wash the car or make a game to see who can wring out the most water or fill the cup the quickest)

    Clothespin games

    • use the pads of the thumb and index finger to open the clothespin rather than pinching it open against the side of the index finger
    • When pinching open, try alternating each finger to squeeze opposite the thumb.
    • Place clothespins along the top of a container and then on top of each other to construct a design.
    • Pick up small objects with the clothespin: cotton balls, pompoms, crumbled paper, beads, pegs, etc.
    • Attach several clothespins along the bottom hem of shirt and then pull them off.
    • Place clothespins around an index card
    • Hang up pictures or plush toys on a string, like a clothesline.

    Hole puncher

    • Punch holes along strips of paper (1 to 2 inches wide) or along the edges of a sheet of paper or paper plate.
    • Use hole punch clippings to make confetti or 'snow' to glue on paper for pictures

    Bubble Pack

    • Pop the bubbles on large or small bubble pack by pinching with thumb and index finger or by pushing down on bubbles when sheet is placed on a hard surface.

    Squeeze toys and materials

    • Bulb syringe (usually in infant supply sections of stores) or turkey baster to squirt water, or have a race by squeezing them to
      blow cotton balls and pompoms across a finish line.
    • Craft activities that require using bottles to squeeze: glue, glitter glue, puffy paint, fabric paint, etc.