We have had some lovely weather this past week in London and we usually take advantage of the sunshine by spending time out in the garden. We took out the little splash pool and added colourful plastic clothes pegs on one of those sunny days.
To encourage Little M to squeeze open the clothes peg we made up a game for her to rescue pegs. Squeezing clothes pegs open using the tripod grip ( thumb, index and middle finger) is a good way of strengthening the muscles of the hand especially those around the arches around the thumb side of the hand. This will get your child’s hand ready to hold a pencil comfortably. In addition by strengthening these muscles we are encouraging the hand to hold the writing tool with a firm grip while keeping an open circular space found within the index finger and thumb when holding the pencil. This is called the webspace.
We had to rescue the pegs out of the water by picking up one peg with another. You will notice that Little M is squeezing the clothes peg open with her thumb and middle finger. This is common when children are starting to develop the muscles on the thumb side of the hand. As part of normal development, infants use the muscles on the little finger side of their hand and will grip with the whole hand with the strongest grip around the curl of the little finger. Clothes pegs activities are therefore very good for helping with the transition of moving from the little finger side of the hand (ulnar grip) to the thumb side of the hand (radial grip).
Little M extended on the game using her imagination and placed the pegs in an ‘ambulance’. This was a nice way to incorporate bilateral co – ordination and watch her figure out what each side of her body should be doing to get the peg in the bucket.
Feeling all satisfied that her pegs have been rescued and safely in ‘hospital’.
Key Areas developed:
- Hand Strength Activity using clothes pegs
- Tool dexterity
Developing handwriting includes strengthening the hand muscles to hold the writing tool comfortably. This will make it easier to form letters and numbers and will allow your child to write for longer periods of time without getting tired.