Hole punching fun
Using a hole punch to create a picture or design will improve both hand strength and visual skills, according to Pancchetti-D-Amaro. Here’s to do: With a marker, draw the shape or design of your child’s choosing on a piece of paper. Instruct them to use the hole punch to create the border of your drawing. An older child can use yarn or a pipe cleaner to lace in and out of the punched holes. This activity is perfect for a rainy day as well as these other indoor activities for toddlers.
“Beading builds the small muscles in one’s hands by having to stabilize the yarn or string and then place each bead on the string,” says Liz Matheis, PhD, of Psychological and Educational Counseling in Parsippany, New Jersey. Stock up on large, wooden beads and colorful yarn and twine for this fun activity that requires both concentration and steady hands. “The great thing with beading is you can help your child make a necklace or bracelet as a gift for someone else” says Dr. Matheis. “It’s very motivating for a little one to see that her jewelry is appreciated.” Here are other kid crafts that make perfect presents.
A colorful challenge
Although she admits this activity may seem a bit mean, Dr. Matheis suggests breaking your child’s crayons. Don’t worry, it’s for a good reason: “A smaller crayon activates and engages more muscles in your child’s hand.” Most of the time, kids won’t even care anyway.