“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 challengeiStock/yukikae4b
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.
Make “spaghetti and meatballs”iStock/minoricious
Toddlers love Play-Doh, so why not use this popular activity to strengthen the muscles in their hands? Dr. Matheis suggests encouraging your toddler to make “spaghetti and meatballs” since it requires rolling and forming.