EXERCISES FOR SMALLER MUSCLES OF HAND

Our children with DOWNS SYNDROME face difficulties in writing. There are few reasons for this. The main reason being the lower muscle tone and loose ligaments. Today we will learn about, 

HOW TO HELP THE CHILD TO IMPROVE THE HAND MUSCLE TONE AND THERE BY THE FINGER GRIP.  Massage the fingers: Massage the fingers  & smaller joints of fingers.
Some passive exercises: Push gently and resist gently when the child pushes back.


Tapping: Tap the finger tips of the child with your finger tips gently.
Tap & Push-Tap & Push, each finger individually.
Put your fingers against your child's fingers as shown (above) & Push gently.
Then do as shown below alternately. Gradually repeat with resistance.


Now encourage your child for active tapping. That can be done by tapping on table, toy drum, plastic container, tapping on a foot ball etc. I have made something to make Active tapping exercise a fun game.
Below are thin Velcro bands and in the middle are tiny bells that rings. You can stitch single bell for younger kids.



Encircle these bands around your child's finger and see how he enjoys tapping on a floor, drum, table, plastic box & so on....
This exercise need to be repeated with the bands on, on individual finger and on all fingers.
See the photos below;



Clay dough: Just give the clay dough to your child and encourage to squeeze. You can give wheat/maida dough while you are preparing Indian bread in kitchen. You can give cooked noodles/Pastas to squeeze.
Give Squeaky Toys to play with

Image result for squeaky toy

 
 Encourage your child to roll the dough in round shape, starting from proximal part of palm towards fingers(distal part).

Then as shown below, the elongated shape. You can make various shapes. The basic idea is muscle exercise.


 
 Squeeze the dough between two adjacent fingers.
 Squeeze the dough against fist with thumb.

 All the above activities can be repeated or done using Slime, Flubber or Thinking Putty.
Encircle a small rubber-band on two adjacent fingers and do as shown below. You can fix few tiny bells on this rubber-band so that child enjoys while stretching and relaxing the fingers.

 Similarly medium sized rubber-band and encircle all fingers.

 Clay dough & Beads:
Spread the clay dough as shown. Put few beads on it.
 Cover the beads with the dough.
 And make a ball like this- inside are those beads.
 Now ask your child to find out the hidden beads. Initially at random, gradually according to colour or shape or both.
Beads:
My favourite...!!!! Lots of learning...for smaller muscles we will start with threading the beads.
You can gradually decrease the size of the beads. They are freely available in three sizes. Along with smaller muscle strengthening the child can learn shapes and colors and calculations... but that we will see in another blog.
You can replace beads with pastas, polos, buttons, artificial flowers etc...
Water & Sponge:
Children enjoy water activities a lot and this is an excellent activity. Fill a plastic tub with water, put a partially filled plastic bottle in that tub so that the bottle does not float. Take a sponge, dip it in the tub-water, squeeze the sponge to fill the bottle. You can extend & modify this activity in various ways. Mark on a bottle and fix the timing to reach the target, reward when target reached. Take two bottles and keep a competition between you & your child. Add food colour to water and make the activity colourful. Start with big mouthed bottle and go on decreasing the size of the bottle mouth. Modify by taking water in two tubs. Add different colours and enjoy the new colour created. For Ex: take Yellow coloured water in one tub & Blue coloured in another. Put sponge in each, with right hand squeeze the Yellow coloured water in the bottle and with left Blue coloured.....ITS GREEN......!!!!
FOR ALL ACTIVITIES MENTIONED IN THIS BLOG USE BOTH HANDS. 
Miscellaneous
  • Catch & Throw, Bowling, Board games, Carom, Blocks, Squeezing the Smiley Ball, Screwing the bolt, Toys with keys...  

Picnic game (modified)
Ludo
 Carom
Shapes

Chinese checker 


 Basket the Balls
 Spinning wheel
Beads in Spiral, Blocks, Threading beads Etc..
 Screwing the bolt
Hand muscle strengthening using SPRINGS

Many such ALM(Active Learning Material) is available in market.You can make many on your own.


 Velcro: Applying & removing
 Buttoning/unbuttoning.

We have made the above shown frame for hooks, chains, press buttons, Pant Clips, Velcro & Shoe lace

Below shown are the colorful wired velvet sticks. You can mold it in your desired shape.
Squeezing the Smiley, Screwing the bolt, stretching the Elastic
The elastic used in above stretching exercise can be replaced by flubber, thinking putty or slime. The purpose gets served by all.




We have made many colourful Roads

You can use a transparent box so that child can see what is falling inside & enjoy....  


 Activities using Straw:

 Below is the paper box, punched using a nail. Inserting straws in the holes is one activity. You can extend it by threading Pastas, Polos, Ringed cereals, fryums etc. You can replace straws with various other rods & sticks.


 Cut the straw in pieces, 2 inches each. Take ear-bud and pass it through piece of straw.
Paper activities
  • Tearing the paper in smallest possible pieces. 
  • Folding the paper to the smallest possible fold
  • Squeeze the paper to make paper balls of smallest possible size.
  • Use thin & colourful craft papers
  • Paper cutting. Fancy scissors are available in market. Not mandatory to buy.  



 Making fingers puppets from paper:
For individual finger Below it is shown HOW TO MAKE FINGER PUPPET
 You can stick animal faces, smileys, family photos, different shapes, different colours, numbers, alphabets etc... and combine learning with exercise. Suppose colours, make finger puppet of different color or stick different color stickers (those known to the child). Ask the child to put on the finger puppets in all the fingers and put the hand on the floor touching the palm on the floor. Speak out one colour and child has to lift up that finger wearing the puppet of that colour. You can extend and add so many activities....finger rhymes, family songs.....lot more
FOUR FINGER PUPPET
HOW TO MAKE IT
Left upper(1): Take a square paper
Left lower(2): Fold as shown
Right upper(3): Reverse the folded paper in (2) & fold again similarly as shown
Right lower(4): The reverse of (3) would look like this
 Insert your four fingers as shown
You can stretch apart two-two fingers alternately & get 8 sides.
Lots of learning along with finger exercises.
You can stick animal faces, smileys, family photos, different shapes, different colours, numbers, alphabets etc..
Activities using; 
  • Marbles
  • Sand
  • Tongs
  • Cloth clips
  • Spoon
  • Grains
  • Buttons
  • Rubber rings (vicer used for taps)
  • Thread etc....
Put various things of different size and shape in a tub filled with water. Initially let the child take out things with hands, then with tong and lastly with cloth clip














Ready material for cross stitch to make a show-piece is available in market 

Take a plastic glass and cut it as shown. Pass different coloured wool thread as shown. This will make a good pen-holder and lot of exercise.



 Weaving Banana threads, no need to search for typical threads can go ahead with wool threads or artificial hair etc...


Few more like separating different coloured threads, applying rubber band on a peg board etc...
Do not throw away the empty Dry-Fruit boxes of Festive season. Use the for various activities.
 Grain sorting
 Beads, Pegs, Buttons, Marbles
 Colour sorting
These are few examples. This can be used in various ways with variety of things.
 
 Gripper can be used. If you cannot get it you can make your own using clay dough.


ALL THESE ACTIVITIES NOT ONLY STRENGTHENS THE MUSCLE POWER BUT INCREASES THE HAND-EYE-BRAIN COORDINATION AND IMPROVES THE ATTENTION SPAN OF THE CHILD

 

Comments

  1. very accurately & meticulously narrated & shown. Brilliant work. Shall be very helpful to all kids

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  2. Brilliant... Thanks Nina Mam for taking out time to share such great ideas.. I an sure these are going to help many many new parents... Thanks again

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  3. Excellent tips covered each and every exercise is simple and inexpensive. Great work Nina mam

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  4. Excellent tips. Explained simply. Thanks Nina Mam

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  5. Excellent tips. Explained simply. Thanks Nina Mam

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  6. Thankx a tonn Ma'am...Superb ideas...very nicely explained....

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  7. Thank you Nina maam for sharing wonderful ideas with lot of easily available thing and more overchildren will enjoy doing them.

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  8. Thanks thanks thanks a lot for sharing this.. looking for more like this..

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Nina Mam. Your ideas are Creative and yet simple to execute. Really helped me and hopefully shall help many new parents as well.

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