What is Funky Fingers?
Funky Fingers a series of fun activities for children to build up their upper body strength (gross motor skills) and finger/hand strength and control (fine motor skills). There are a wealth of activities that you can do with your child to improve these skills and get them ready to write. I can recommend visiting the website ‘Therapy Street for Kids’ which has a lot of information on the different skills to develop as well as lots of great ideas.
On this page there are:
- Pre-writing and early writing activity ideas to get you started
- Videos with demonstrations of pre-writing activities and guidance
- Examples of warm ups children can do before picking up their pencil
- A video to demonstrate the ‘dynamic tripod’ grip
- The letter families to help you practice at home
Pre-writing activities to get you started:
- Complete activities whilst lying on their tummy, taking the weight through their elbows. E.g. watching TV, reading a book, puzzles.
- Climbing, seesaw, tug of war and swing activities with the child holding onto ropes.
- Craft activities – cutting, scrunching, gluing and ripping paper and bending pipe cleaners.
- Toy tools such as sawing, drilling, hammering, screws and bolts.
- Games involving flicking small objects e.g. flicking balls of paper of a table into a ‘goal’.
- Place a firm elastic band around tips of fingers and thumb. Open and close it 10 times with each hand.
- Dough gym – pinching, pressing, rolling, squeezing
- Holding a handful of items in hand and posting them into a jar one by one (buttons, coins)
- Picking up items with pegs, tongs, tweezers.
- Ribbon dancing
- Threading beads, straws etc.
- Walking fingers e.g. along tape placed on the table. Ring and little finger curled out of the way.
- Pop bubble wrap
- Turn keys in padlocks
- Tying knots into string and linking paper clips
- Posting items into the ‘hungry guy’ (tennis ball with slit in the top)
- Picking up sequins off a table or stickers off a sticker sheet
- Interlocking construction
Early writing activities:
- Tracing and stencil activities
- Colouring in activities, staying inside the lines.
- Dot to dots
- Drawing letter shapes in the air to music
- Copying over letter shapes
- Drawing letters in sand or shaving foam spread thinly on a table.
- Write with chalk, crayons, finger paints, pencils, pens etc.
- Write letters in the air with eyes shut.
- Recognition of letters through touch (stick letters, magnetic letters, fuzzy felt, sand paper letters).
- Drawing or writing on vertical surfaces (chalkboard, whiteboard, tiles at bath time with bath pens).
- Drawing or writing with chalks on the ground or pavement
- Water painting on outdoor walls with paintbrush.
Letter family groups:
Long ladder letters:
l, i, t, u, j, y
One arm robot letters:
r, b, n, h, m, k, p
Curly caterpillar letters:
c, a, d, o, s, g, q, e, f
Zig-zag monster letters:
z, v, w, x