Using Your Hands Videos


Using your Hands

Control of our hands comes from having control of our whole body; a strong core and control at our shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers.  Your child needs this control to help them use their hands.

When teaching hand skills make sure your child is in a comfortable position.  This can be sitting in a chair, feet flat on the floor and bottom at the back of the chair or lying on their tummy over a cushion or standing at the kitchen worktop.  Pick the right position for your child to be comfortable.

Don't expect them to sit for too long.  Changing position and taking a break can help your child to work for longer.

Start with the hand strengthening exercises and then choose some of the games in the videos.


Hand Strength

These exercises work on hand strength, using the fingers together and using the fingers separately.  These are needed for everyday skills like using a pencil, opening a jar, using scissors and buttoning a shirt. 


Hand Warm Up Exercises

Start with 2-3 of the hand warm up exercises.  Before exercise we warm up our bodies we need to do the same for our hands.

Click here to access the Hand Warm Up Exercises

Theraputty Exercises

If your child is known to an Occupational Therapist you may have Theraputty.  You can also try these exercises with playdough.  

Click here to access the Playdough (Theraputty) Exercises and Videos

Homemade Playdough

Here is a recipe and video to show you how to make your own playdough.


 Here are some fun ideas for you and your child

Making a Snake

Roll out the dough into a long snake shape using two hands together.

Making a Snail

Roll out dough into a long sausage shape.  Curl the playdough sausage into a snail shape. Pinch out a tail and head.

Making Peas

Tear off small pieces of playdough.  Use your thumb and pointer finger.  Roll the pieces into small balls (our peas).

Using Two Hands Together

These videos show games using two hands together.  We need our hands to work in lots of different ways.  When you roll out playdough, both hands need to move in the same way.  When you are tearing paper, your hands do the same action but move in opposite directions.  When you are opening a jar, writing or using scissors, one hand needs to lead and one hand needs to help.  

Activities for Using Two Hands Together

Card Games

Play card games.  Practice dealing and shuffling too.

Dealing Cards


Shuffling Cards

Playing Card Games

Peg Games

Use clothes pegs in a range of colours.  Use thumb, pointer and middle fingers to open and close the pegs when playing these games.

Pegs with Teddy Bear

Pegs with Card

Number Pegging

Peg Game


Use what you have at home to practice threading.  Make it easier or harder by using different 'threads'; pasta, pipe-cleaner, rope, wool.  Make it easier or harder by using different 'beads'; chopped up toilet roll tubes, pasta, polo mints, cheerios.  

Other Activities

There are lots of other activities you can do around the house that help your child to build hand skills.  Things like Duplo or Lego, helping in the kitchen, playing board games and art and craft activities (tearing paper, using scissors, sticking, colouring in, drawing), dressing up, the list goes on.  Here are some examples. 

Helping in the Kitchen

Baking: using a rolling pin, stirring, pouring ...



Follow the instructions or use your imagination.  Start with larger bricks and work to smaller sized bricks.