Strengthening Hand Muscles

Improving hand strength can help support your child’s handwriting and other fine motor skills. Consider offering your child the fine motor activities below.

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Let your child paint a picture using watercolor paints and a paintbrush. As your child gains mastery of a paintbrush, it will help him have better fine motor control when using a pencil.
  • Three-year-olds—Have your child thread shoelaces in and out of the holes of an old pair of shoes. It is not as important that they thread the laces in the proper order, but that they build skill in manipulating the laces through the holes.
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Challenge your child to draw complex shapes, such as a diamond, heart, or oval. This practice helps develop their fine motor control and strengths their hands for letter writing. If your child cannot draw these shapes independently, draw him an example of the shape and let him copy or trace it. Another option is to draw half the shape and see if your child can finish the other half.

Skills Supported: fine motor skills (painting, lacing, drawing), shapes