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.
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.
Here is a recipe and video to show you how to make your own playdough.
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.
Play card games. Practice dealing and shuffling too.
Use clothes pegs in a range of colours. Use thumb, pointer and middle fingers to open and close the pegs when playing these games.
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.
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.
Baking: using a rolling pin, stirring, pouring ...
Follow the instructions or use your imagination. Start with larger bricks and work to smaller sized bricks.