Continuing with the Easter theme we have been enjoying some finger gym activities over the last couple of days. Building and strengthening the muscles in children’s fingers are essential for them to hold a pencil in the future, and for older children like Isabel it is important for them to keep exercising those muscles just like any other muscle in the body, especially during the school holidays.
Activity 1: Egg collecting
Resources: Pack of small coloured eggs (I got mine from poundland) or chicks, baskets or bowls, tweezers, shredded paper, a tray to put it in.
Hide the eggs in the shredded paper, then use the tweezers to pick out the eggs and collect them in your basket.
Activity 2: Make an egg tree
Resources: A small tree branch with twigs coming off or a variety of twigs tied together with string, a tub or vase to hold twigs in, variety of egg shaped card, egg shaped foam pieces (I got mine from B&M), collage materials, glue, string, scissors, felt pens, hole punch, set of eggs to paint (I got a pack of 5 from poundland)
It can be fun going for a walk to find the perfect branch or twigs, once you have selected the best one secure it firmly into a vase. I used some play dough at the bottom to secure it. Set out the resources and let the children get creative with the materials available. Using scissors to cut out egg shapes, tearing crepe paper, using the hole punch, threading the string and having a go at tying knots are all great for working those finger muscles. Also great are using the pens to draw or colour and use the paint to carefully paint the egg. All the children were able to access this activity at their own level with various challenges and it was lovely to see Isabel helping Megan to trace around an egg shape ready for her to cut out.
Activity 3: Play dough chicks
Resources: Yellow play dough (I use the recipe 2 cups of plain flour, 6 teaspoons of cream of tartar, 1 cup salt, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon oil, few drops of colour. Put them all into a saucepan on a medium heat and stir continuously until it forms a dough and is no longer sticky. Place on counter and when cool enough knead. This is then good to use if kept in an airtight container for at least 3-4 weeks.) googly eyes, pipe cleaners, lolly sticks, pom poms, gems (I just had them in my collage box), feathers
Set the equipment out in an inviting way. I use the base for a pot plant as a tray to put the resources on (purchased for about 99p from Wilko). Invite the children to get creative with the resources, suggest they may like to make an Easter chick but they will probably have their own ideas as well.
Play dough is fantastic for strengthening the muscles in fingers, they can …
squash and pat
pull, twist and roll all while playing and being creative.
Activity 4: Stickers
Resources: Easter stickers (pound land), card or paper, paint sticks, felt pens or pencils.
Children love stickers and peeling the back off is great for the finger muscles. We decided to make Easter pictures so they used the stickers combined with paint sticks to make their own pictures. Isabel made a picture for the wall and Megan made an Easter card for daddy.
As always I hope you enjoy these activities as much as we have.
Happy learning 🙂