Scissor Skills: Strong Hands

Hand muscles have two functions: power and precision.  Both are needed with scissor usage.  Encourage the major players in scissor usage, thumb, index and middle fingers, with activities such as these:

*Safety warning: An adult should always supervise these activities.  The small items should be enlarged or eliminated with children who still put objects in their mouths.

Tearing old Coke cartons and birthday cards before trashing them

Pinching off play dough or clay, looking for small items hidden in the play dough,

Using strawberry tongs, toaster tongs, tweezers to pick up pompoms, gold fish crackers, etc

Stamping with stamps and paper (place the paper on a slanted surface or on an easel to help with wrist muscle strengthening)

Plastic clothespins: favorite visual perceptual activity using patterns and tiny clothespins: Get A Grip on Patterns by Shaked, alphabet clothespins for spelling a name

Easter egg tongs which look like scissors with cups on the ends

My picture has several of my favorite games which “grow” with a child and strengthen the hands:

Pop Up Pirate:  Place the swords in playdough or clay for the child to dig out before playing the game.

Connect Four: Use strawberry tongs to place the chips in.  Younger children like to do patterns with the chips.

Fine Motor Olympics: Great activities for summer! Order from

Tricky Fingers: Kindergarten and up: Discovery Toys

Calirobics: Pencil control to music: Just happened to be in the picture!:) Not so much strengthening:(

Your favorite?  I am giving away a copy of my book: Alphabet Soup: Stirring Your Child’s Interest in Letters to someone who leaves an activity suggestion.  I promise NOT to add you to my e mail list if you respond


4 Responses to “Scissor Skills: Strong Hands”

  1. 1 Nancy Barth March 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Sorting colored candies, cereal, or marshmallows into egg carton sections.
    Putting money in a piggy bank.
    Tearing paper is one of DGS’s favorite things to do!

  2. 2 Nancy Barth March 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    There’s a funny app called Cut Buttons that works on this.

  3. 4 AVecchioni March 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    There’s some fun ideas here. I like the variety–there’s bound to be a few activities that catch and hold a child’s interest. Nice work–thanks for making these available. –AV

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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R


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