Using Creative Materials to Develop Hand Strength

During the school holidays Immy had lots of fun with new (and familiar) creative materials. Nothing unusual about that…except I had an ulterior motive. I had noticed that Immy uses quite light pressure when writing and I wanted to provide lots of opportunity for her to develop strength in her fingers, hand and arm.

fine motor skill development

These sticky mosaics that she received for Christmas were perfect for developing both finger strength and precision. We also made fresh playdough (one of my favourite hand strengthening activities) and created gourmet ‘meals’ (those playdough spaghetti makers are hard work) and had fun creating playdough pictures.

fine motor skill development

By providing lots of different creative media, Immy had opportunity to experiment with all sorts of levels of pressure required for mark making… these face paint crayons were one of her favourites.

fine motor skill development

I also looked for  opportunities for creating on a vertical surface as a means to develop hand and wrist strength and stability. We used fresh chalk for writing and drawing on the blackboard, painted with watercolours and acrylic paints at the easel,

fine motor skill development

and had fun drawing with (new to her) crayon rocks on the frame wallpaper that I made for her (inspired by this post over at The Artful Parent).

fine motor development using vertical surfaces

I love that creative materials provide such a fun and engaging means of encouraging so many different types of learning – with the boundless potential for everything from fine motor to communication skills, emotional development to thinking and reasoning skills.

What have you been creating with your children recently?

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  1. Great post!
    My daughter also loves the face painting crayons. In fact she just loves face painting!

  2. Kathy Kampa says:

    Totally agree with your creative approach to learning through play. Add some music to the background, and even more neurons are firing! I play different kinds of music in my classroom–classical, nursery rhymes, some pop. I wonder which would make the biggest difference?

    I’m a young learners music/dance/English specialist teacher and author. I love your wonderful suggestions! Thanks!

  3. Out of interest, did you find the crayon rocks in Aus? I hadn’t been able to so bought some when we were in the US but would love to know if I can get them locally!

      1. Very excited by this! Thank you!!

  4. This is great. I have a little one who is visually impaired and comes from 2 years in an orphanage and he has very little hand strength. We are going to be starting on this! Appreciate the post!

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