Finger gym

For ages 3 – 8 years

We know that exercise is important for our health and wellbeing. But how often do we give our fingers a workout? The fine motor skills for using tongs, tweezers and pegs need  coordination and strength in our fingers – and it’s the same for writing and drawing. In these activities your child will mainly use their thumb and first (pointer) finger. It’s time to get those fingers to the gym!

What do I need?

  • Tongs, tweezers or pegs (the ‘tools’)
  • Two containers – such as trays or bowls
  • Assortment of items that can be picked up with the tools, such as cotton balls, pom poms, beads, dry pasta, seeds.

How do I do it?

  1. Your child can help place the items into a container. If using a tray, spread them out.
  2. Give them their tool and ask them to pick up whatever items they can, and move them into the other container. They can start with the easier items – things that are softer and larger – and as their skills improve, try to pick up some smaller items. 

Once their fingers are feeling fitter and stronger, ask them to help you hang the washing on the clothesline. They can also build up their finger strength by pinching and poking playdough or clay. No-one knows your child better than you.  So, choose and/or adapt ideas here to best suit you and your child. Remember it’s the talking and time spent together that matters most.

More activities to try