Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Palm to Finger Activities

One of Big Brother's primary sensory issues is fine motor weakness. Our occupational therapist suggested we work on "palm to finger" activities. The goal is to be able to stabilize small objects in the hand while manipulating them using only the thumb and first finger.

She also suggested "finger to palm translation" activities, where the goal is to pick up small objects with the fingers and hold them in the palm.  Any small objects will work - coins, nuts, rocks.

In the picture above, Big Brother is holding beads in his palm, then transfering them to his thumb and pointer fingers to make a string of beads (a necklace for his OT, whom he loves dearly).

Little Brother was also doing it, but he was putting the beads through the small holes of a spice jar.

On another occasion, Big Brother was putting gumballs into this cheap little gumball machine we got at Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts ($1.49). He's very into gumball machines (and gum for that matter). We can refill the gumball machine with Glee Gum, which has more natural ingredients.

It's interesting that Big Brother seems to be wanting to use his middle finger instead of his pointer finger. I also notice that he is capable of doing these activities, but he tires of them very quickly.


  1. So then, is there a direct relationship between sensory issues and fine motor weakness? My son struggles with this too. He will tire quickly, which results in tremors if he continues to try. It's so difficult watching him shake, sometimes violently, just to zip a zipper or color a page.

  2. Hi Grace! I just popped over to your blog. Nice blog!

    Yes, fine motor weakness is related to sensory issues. It amazing all of the ways sensory issues manifest themselves, isn't it?

    We have done lots of things to work on building fine motor strength, and it has made a HUGE difference. For example....we dig buttons out of therapy putty, pick things up with tweezers and tongs, and string cherrios on string.

    It's all fun stuff and it DOES make a difference. Once Big Brother started strengthening those hand muscles, his writing just took off!

    I have not had that same experience with tremors. Have you talked to an occupational therapist about that?