Did you know there are 2 main sets of muscles in the hand? Flexor muscles bend the fingers and extensors straighten them out again! Hands do amazing things because of the way our fingers and thumbs work together. Our thumb can work with each of our fingers, including our smallest finger and our ring finger. This helps little people hold, use and manipulate everyday things.
The more little hands explore the more coordinated they get. Just the act of grasping and releasing small things is great for little fingers. Looking for a way to work on little hand and finger skills? Try this pipe cleaner and colander activity. Encourage and supervise your little person to pull pipe cleaners through the holes of an upside down colander.
If your little person finds this very easy you can make it more challenging by getting them to help put the pipe cleaners back in. Putting the pipe cleaners in, needs and encourages precise hand movements and higher level hand eye coordination. This may be easier for pre-schoolers (4 year olds) who are more ready to hold the pipe cleaner with their fingers pointing toward the tip as opposed to grasping using their first and turning their arm.
- poke buttons,
- twist and turn dials,
- pick up food,
- hold a cup,
- use a paint brush, and
- do up buttons with their hands
you are helping them learn to hold, use and manipulate everyday things with their little hands.