Reach, Grasp and Release Activities

Activity suggestions to help develop reach, grasp and release fine motor skills

Reach, Grasp and Release

Reach, grasp and release are fundamental fine motor skills.  At this early stage it is important to begin to develop these skills as they are building blocks to complex fine motor skills which develop later.

Activity Ideas

  • Provide a variety of objects to reach for.
  • Offer toys that fit in one hand as well as bigger objects that require a two-handed grip.
  • Vary the shape and texture of objects.  Picking up a soft ball, for instance, requires different skills than grasping a wooden cube.
  • Use both still and moving objects within reach.
  • Then start to put toys just out of reach and then to your child's side, so they must turn their body to grasp them.
  • Give me the toy” - ask your child to give you a toy.  Start by placing their hand and the object on your palm so that they only have to let go.  Use the same phrase whenever you play this game.  Take it in turns with your child.  Move further away from your child as they get the hang of it.
  • Treasure box - have a box with objects of different textures inside e.g. wooden spoon, sponge, hair brush, plastic necklace, silk scarf, koosh ball, cotton wool etc.  Encourage your child to explore the objects, tip the objects out of the box and put them back.
  • Pots and Pans - plastic bowls, Tupperware, cutlery.  These can be great fun for making lots of noise as well as practising release!
  • Building Blocks - you can build towers together and then have lots of fun knocking them down.
  • Stacking Cups - you can build towers with them or put them inside each other.

  

Release

Children love to place objects into containers and empty them out!  This helps them to develop their grasp and release skills and refine their eye-hand coordination skills.  They start with large gross movements and often miss the container.  With continued practise and by making the objects and containers smaller and more complex your child will refine their release skills.


Activities Ideas

  • Give me the toy’ - ask your child to give you a toy.  Start by placing their hand and the object on your palm so that they only have to let go.  Use the same phrase whenever you play this game.  Take it in turns with your child.  Move further away from your child as they get the hang of it.
  • Treasure box - have a box with objects of different textures inside e.g. wooden spoon, sponge, hair brush, plastic necklace, silk scarf, koosh ball, cotton wool etc.  Encourage your child to explore the objects, tip the objects out of the box and put them back.
  • Laundry Basket and Socks - get your child helping with the housework.  Give your child clothes to put in the laundry basket or washing machine.  When they are more able they can help to hang the clothes up too.
  • Tidy Up Time - get your child to help put their toys away in a box/container before moving on to another toy or game.
  • Pots and Pans - plastic bowls, tupperware, cutlery.  These can be great fun for making lots of noise as well as practising release!

                  

  • Building Blocks - you can build towers together and then have lots of fun knocking them down.
  • Small Snack into a Box - get your child to help organise a snack. They could put apple slices, raisins, bread sticks etc. into a box.
  • Stacking Cups - you can build towers with them or put them inside each other.
  • Shape Sorters - start with simple shape sorters with a few shapes e.g. circle, triangle, square.  As your child becomes more successful try more complex shapes.
  • Form Boards - start by getting your child to take out the pieces or you to put back in. Once they have mastered this, move on by letting them put the last piece in.  Again start with simple shapes and move to more complex puzzles.
  • Jigsaw Puzzles - again start simple e.g. 2 pieces and work up to more complex puzzles.

 

Resource Tags

Content

  • Reach, Grasp and Release
  • Activity Ideas
  • Release
  • Activity Ideas