THUMBS & FINGERS

Too often children have a tense or awkward hold on writing tools. For some playful ideas to get a good “hold” on the matter, go to the September third post and the heading HANDS AND FINGERS. I am always looking for more solutions. Here are wise words from Carrie Lippincott OTR/L
…consider the child’s thumb use.

I’ve found that children hold their pencil vertically to avoid flexing 
their thumb interphalangeal joint. I work on getting children more 
comfortable with flexing their thumb (tweezers use, using a sparkle 
wheel and a pickle fork or 3 pt grabber). I also work on improving 
distal control of the thumb/index finger coordination by working on 
improving finger control in small spaces ( such as drawing small loops 
in a picture or using a pushpin to poke holes in reinforcer circles 
stuck to paper with an old mouse pad underneath).
An idea from Kristi White, another pediatric occupational therapist:
I also have a box with a latch that is locked and the child has to access it with a key.  Inside the box are tasks designed to increase thumb and index finger strength.

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