Grip strength is essential for basic functioning. It is important that young children develop sufficient muscle strength to accomplish simple tasks like writing with a pencil or dressing themselves. To help your child improve grip strength, we have put together a list of activities that you can incorporate into your child’s daily routine.
Playing with Playdough
Encourage your kids to play with playdough. They will easily be able to pass many enjoyable hours creating all sorts of imaginative sculptures. More importantly, repetitively squeezing, molding, pinching and rolling the playdough with their fingers will allow them to strengthen the muscles in their hands.
Monkey bars are a fantastic way for children to work on their grip strength. They need adequate strength and muscle endurance to dangle from the bars and to swing themselves across the monkey bar. Mastering the monkey bar will also give them a great confidence boost.
Playing with Slime
Slime has been a popular trend for some time now. Kids love squeezing, kneading and mixing the slime with their hands. It may seem like a pointless activity, but it is great for strengthening the muscles in their hands to improve grip strength.
Climbing on Spider Nets
Children naturally love to climb. A spider net structure provides them a safe way to climb around with minimal danger. Climbing on a spider net also forces children to make use of the strength in their fingers and arms to pull themselves up.
Playing Tug of Car
One of the most enjoyable ways to improve your child’s grip strength is to play a simple game of tug or war with them. All you need is a small cloth. Have your kid hold on tight to one end of a cloth while you tug on the other end. Just be careful not to let go suddenly and to ensure that they will not get hurt if they lose their grip on the cloth and fall backwards.
Using Stress Balls
Introduce a stress ball to them. Squishing and squeezing the stress ball frequently will help them to increase their grip strength. It is even more beneficial if you have a child who loves to fidget and is easily distracted. Squeezing the stress ball sends sensory and motor signals to the brain that reduce impulsivity, increasing attention and focus. The stress ball is even helpful for managing stress and attention disorders in children.
Carrying Grocery Bags
Have your kids help you with the groceries. Carrying these bags to and from the car after shopping is great way for your kids to develop healthy muscle in their arms and hands. You can also use it an opportunity to teach them about helping others.
Squeezing Wet Cloths
Wringing the water out of damp or soaking wet cloths is a great way to train the grip strength of your children. Have them help you around the house as you do the household chores. They can help you to wipe the dining table clean before and after meals or help you to squeeze cloths or sponges dry before you wipe down the windows.
Helping in the Kitchen
Invite your child to give you a hand when you are cooking in the kitchen. Give them simple things to do such as kneading bread dough, rolling out cookie dough, using a garlic press or peeling vegetables. All these tasks are great for enhancing grip strength. Remember to supervise them though. Safety first!