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Entertaining Activities to Develop Your Child’s Hand Strength

Developing children’s hand strength, especially the intrinsic muscles (the small muscles) is very important.

This strength helps children participate in activities such as printing, colouring, buttons, zippers, tying their shoes and more. These daily tasks are so important and it’s essential for every individual's daily functioning to develop the strength in the small muscles of your hand. We want your child to be able to do these things too, so let’s help them with some entertaining activities!


Ice Cube Melt

The Ice Cube Melt activity involves items you can find around your home and will help keep your child busy and engaged. Note: You will need to prepare this activity the night before or at least 3-4 hours in advance for the water to freeze.

What you will need:

  • Ice cube tray

  • Water

  • Small toys (small enough to fit inside an ice cube slot)

  • A baster

  • Large container

  • Salt (optional)


  • Place the small toys inside each slot of the ice cube tray

  • Fill with water

  • Place inside the freezer until water freezes

  • Place warm water in a larger container

  • Place ice cube tray inside container with warm water

  • Let your child use the baster to “free” the toys by sucking up the warm water and squeezing it out on top of each cube


  • You can put salt in the hot water to make the ice melt faster!

  • Another option with the same materials and benefits: you can have your child fill the ice cube tray back up!

  • Colour the water with food colouring (one drop is all you need!)

Hide and Seek in Putty

This activity is easy to do and can get other siblings involved in the fun too! This activity helps children to build strength in their hands using small movements.

What you will need:

  • Putty or Play-dough

  • Small items such as beads, coins or toys


  • Hides your small items in putty or play-dough

  • Make the activity into a fun race to see who can find all the items first (with other siblings or yourself)


  • Make sure you know how many items are in each putty, if you have an older child (put more items for them to find in their putty)

  • Draw a chart with squares for them to put each item they find in each square

Both of these simple yet fun activities are helping to build your child's hand strength which is important to help them develop the strength to complete other daily activities and life skills. These activities are a building block activity to help your child master skills such as opening a container, tying their shoes or holding a pencil.

Learning can be fun!


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