Many of us take our hand movements for granted. We think nothing of opening letters, tying shoelaces and handling money etc. But for anyone who may have had a stroke or other debilitating injury, trying to control their hands and fingers may prove difficult. Weakened finger grip may result in dropping a hot cup of tea and getting dressed can be extremely difficult to manage without help.
Like any muscles, these can be improved with exercise. In the same way a rower can improve his or her speed by building up their biceps, hands and fingers can be worked on to gain strength and flexibility. Stroke rehabilitation can help to rewire the brain to keep each muscle active and strong.
This does not however, have to be boring, repetitive exercises. On the contrary, it can be fun and can build strength without people even realizing. Our activity suggestions are ideal ways to improve fine motor skills and can be used for any age (so good for families to do together).
- Kneading Dough – involves squeezing, stretching, pinching and rolling. Try making snakes etc.
Try our Salt Dough Activity Kit.
- Weaving – involves gripping, wrist action, twisting and poking. Try our Weaving Card Art Set.
- Painting – practises gripping, whole arm and wrist action. Try our Aquapaintings Set
- Balancing – practises hand/eye coordination and is ideal to start with if gripping small objects prove difficult. Try our Cork Stacking Bubbles.
- Squeezing a ball can be good for relieving stress as well as helping to strengthen hands and fingers. Try our Stress Relief Ball.
By doing a range of activities such as the suggestions above, hands and fingers can slowly improve, helping with independent living skills.