10 FUN summer activities that benefit your child’s development!

What our children need the most this summer is to have fun and just be kids! This past school year has been challenging for them on many levels. Taking a break from academics can help them come back stronger but this doesn’t mean you can’t add some fun activities that can also do wonders for their little hands and bodies.

Top FUN summer activities to strengthen little hands and bodies.

1 – Playgrounds, nature, the outdoors!

This gives them the multi sensory experience of a lifetime! Climbing, crawling, swinging, running, leaping! It’s overall the best “jungle gym” out there! 

2 – Sand

Get them digging for lost treasures! Build a castle. Cup hands to carry sand and water. The resistance and weight of wet sand helps strengthen hands. It also a complete sensory experience!

3 – Swimming Pools

The pool is hands down one of my favorite activities for children. Swimming works on core strength and shoulder strength. It works on bilateral and reciprocal coordination. It improves a child’s endurance and exhausts them! A sensational benefit for children with excess energy 😉

4 – Play dough, clay, thera-putty!

Hide small items like mini erasers in play dough and have them look for them (with their eyes closed too!)

Roll the play dough, squeeze it, use cookie cutters, build a city! The different hand/finger movements required while manipulating dough will strengthen all muscles of the hand.

5 – Clothespins 

Get children to clip clothespins a paper plate to make a sunshine.  You can also have hang items like clothing or paper using clothespins. The resistance will help strengthen the muscles needed for a good pencil grasp. 

6 – Tweezers

Play relay races using tweezers by picking up small items like mini erasers or pom-poms. Search for hidden items in a bean box or rice bin using tweezers. The correct finger placement to hold tweezers mimics the finger placement for a pencil.

7 – Scissors

Get kids to cut anything! It does not have to be paper! (In fact paper can be boring…just saying) cut paper straws, play dough, wrappers, food items etc…the resistance of the scissors strengthens hands while working on bilateral coordination!

8 – Beads

You’ve heard it many times before. It’s important to strengthen a child’s neat pincer (ie. Pinching using the thumb and index while all other fingers are tucked in the palm of the hand) these are our precision fingers. Beading to make bracelets and necklaces is a really fun way to work on those tiny but important muscles of the hand.

9 – Spray bottles, water shooters

Not only are spray bottles super fun they also help build the arches of the hand.  Developed arches result in more powerful hand strength. Get children to spray plants, flowers, each other! Use water toys to spray at balloons and different targets.

10 – Coloring

Most kids love to color. Don’t just color on plain white paper! Entice them with coloring pages from their favorite characters. Color on different surfaces. Use window markers (no one can resist those!) Use magic markers! Any coloring movement that requires a child to hold a tool correctly while moving back and forth to color, helps them strengthen the grasp for handwriting success! 

**You can find all these items and sooo many more in Miss Mancy’s Fine Motor Tools KIT!

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Hi, I 'm Nancy

I’m an Occupational Therapist (OT) with more than 18 years of experience and whose greatest passion is working with children of all abilities. 

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@missmancyinc

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