Finger Strengthening Activities for Kids with Autism

Finger Strengthening is an important and essential skill to focus on because this is required to perform activities of daily living (ADL). More the strength, good is the endurance to complete any task effectively whereas poor strength leads to slow development.

Nowadays, children do not have adequate strength in their hands and fingers because they are explored with gadgets more than toys. Toys are not only fun for the kids, but they learn, solve problems, their creativity and imagination get improved, and their hands and fingers will be skilled with repeated and complex usage of toys.

To help your child gain strength in their fingers, it is effective to start from proximal to distal, i.e., from the upper arm and gradually to the fingers, because a stable or a strong proximal part is necessary for training the distal regions.

Below are a few example activities to strengthen the upper arm,

  • Make your child utilize (play) the playground equipment in the park productively.
  • Animal walking like an elephant walking, bear walking, crab walking, duck walking etc., are suggested.
  • Wheelbarrow walking
  • Prone on elbow activity
  • Prone on palm activity

(Refer to the Upper Arm Strengthening Activities for more)

Followed by working for the upper arm strength, let’s see some 25 different ideas to strengthen the kid’s fingers,

  1. Encourage your child to play with playdoh like, pressing, rolling, squeezing, making shapes
  2. Using tongs, ask the child to grasp small objects like pom-poms, tiny beads, small pieces of straws, wool, etc., and release them in a cup placed at varying distance.
  3. Crayons or chalk pieces can be provided to the children and ask them to scribble or colour on a paper placed vertically or over the chalkboard respectively.
  4. Stringing beads activity – Initially, a pipe can be used to stack the beads and after mastering this task, strings of variable size are provided to perform this activity.
  5. Insert coins into a collection box
  6. Paper folding activity
  7. Paper tearing activity
  8. Finger painting activity
  9. Vegetable printing activity
  10. Stamp and ink pad activity
  11. Sand play – building a castle, finding a hidden object in a basket of sand. Sand can be replaced with kinetic sand.
  12. Building blocks activity
  13. Using a water spray bottle filled with water, as the child to water the plant
  14. Squeeze spiky balls, sponges
  15. Ask the child to carry a basket or bag filled with sandbags of varying weights or any heavy items
  16. Using a Rubber Band, tie (not too tight) the child’s thumb, index and middle finger and ask the child to pick small objects (tripod grasp) and transfer to another bowl. As the rubber band provides resistance, it helps in strengthening the fingers.
  17. Child-safe scissors are provided to cut papers and make shapes out of it.
  18. Using paper clips ask the child to pin them all over a sheet
  19. Using clothespin ask the child to clip them over a string
  20. Crashing paper activity
  21. Screwing and unscrewing the lid of the bottle, jar, etc., of various
  22. Zipping and unzipping activity
  23. Buttoning activity
  24. Nuts and bolts activity
  25. Punching hole activity

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