Here are 5 easy exercises that kids will love to do.

They won’t even realize that they are strengthening their fingers.

Jellyfish fingers

Children use their index or long finger to scroll on their devices.  Their muscles learn that the position on their finger in a neutral position is natural.  Without intentionally bending their knuckles, the small muscles in their fingers do not get adequate exercise. The jellyfish encourages kids to bend their fingers and knuckles, thus preparing fingers for holding a pencil.


Resistive pinching improves finger strength.  By encouraging the movement of pushing, the resistance activates the nerves in their fingers.  The reaction wakes up the proprioception receptors in their joints to encourage movement. 

Tools that you can use to encourage resistive pinching:  use a tweezer to pick up small objects, squeeze play-dough or therapy putty, or play Jacob’s ladder or other string games. Devices do not resist enough to increase muscle strength of fingers.


Pushing objects with an open hand activates the neuroreceptors in your arms.  Wall push-ups are a good example.

Cupping Hand

cupped hand
Cupped hand
Troughed hand
Troughed hand

The muscles in your hand need to be able to hold water like a cup, or like the picture a cube.  A trough posture flattens the palm and allows one to hold something across the palm.   A cup posture is required to hold a pencil.

See how much water your student/child can hold as you drip it from a medicine dropper.  The extended time facilitates a sustained posture which in turn will decrease and pain.

cupped hand with cube
Cupped hand with cube
trough hand with pencil
Troughed hand with pencil

Thumb use

The ability to oppose your thumb to the pads of each finger and hold it there without pain is a precursor to effectively holding a pencil.  Hold a straw in hand.