The muscles in the hand help to control the fingers and thumb for refined movements, for example with tool use, handwriting, dressing skills and manipulation skills.
When the muscles within the hands are weaker it can result in reduced coordination of the hands and fingers impacting upon fine motor development, and overcompensation of the forearm and shoulder.
Theraputty works on fine motor skills, strengthening the muscles of the hands and manipulation skills of the fingers:
Soft strength is an appropriate level to start with, this is usually yellow but colours may vary. You can search on the internet for this using “therapy putty” or Theraputty” in a search engine.
Squeeze the putty 10-20 times using alternate hands, keeping the shape of the ball. Make sure that all fingers and the thumb are included.
Grasp one end of the putty with each hand. Slowly pull arms and hands apart until the putty is stretched thin.
Hide small objects (pennies, marbles etc.) into putty. Pull apart to find ‘hidden treasures’.
Use pastry cutters to cut out shapes from flattened putty.
Using individual fingers to poke the putty with each finger in turn. It may be necessary to stabilise loose joints.
Pinch the putty using the skilled fingers (thumb, index and middle finger).
Occupational Therapy Department
Please ensure that adult supervision is given when completing these activities.