Mrs Gobble: In-hand manipulation

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Mrs Gobble was created to improve finger dexterity.  She will make a regular appearance in future blogs where I am using materials such as beads, coins and pom pom’s.  Good pencil control requires the fingers to move in a coordinated up and down movement.   To train these muscles of the hand the child needs to be able to move small objects from fingertips to palm and then from palm to fingertips.  This is known as In Hand Manipulation.


To make her I used a gum dispenser, craft eyes, red ribbon and red heart stickers.  Little M helped me decorate Mrs Gobble with a red heart skirt.



Here you will see that Big Y is posting buttons.  He has to pick up 12 small buttons one at a time and nest them in the palm of his hand without dropping any.  He then has to move one button at a time from his palm to the tip of his fingers and then post them in Mrs Gobble.  This takes a lot of effort and concentration but is a sure way of getting the correct muscles in action for pencil control.





It is important to choose the correct size of the posting material according to the child’s age and ability.  For Little M and her little fingers’ we used larger buttons and fewer in number to nest.  I would do this activity for both the dominant and non-dominant hand to improve dexterity of both hands for bilateral coordination to improve in areas like buttoning shirts and scissor – paper control.



Key Areas developed:

    • Finger Dexterity
    • In Hand Manipulation

Nesting and posting buttons/coins / beads provides an opportunity to improve finger dexterity and in-hand manipulation.  This makes it easier to form letters and numbers once your child is using a writing tool.

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