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Finger Movement Exercise

There are many ways to develop fine motor skills. This exercise should be used with other exercises to strengthen fine motor skills, muscle tone and finger coordination. This exercise has the advantage of being able to do it just about anywhere. It can be performed in the car, at the mall and even in the bath tub. It is a simple exercise and does not require much time. We recommend doing this exercise several times a day for individuals with poor finger coordination, poor muscle tone, and/or fine motor skill problems.

No equipment is needed. The tip's of the participants fingers are used. The use of a metronome (actual or digital) is optional. For children with an Attention Deficit Disorder, the child would benefit from the addition of a metronome. The participants uses their fingers of both hands to do this exercise.

Step by Step Instructions: Finger Movement Exercise.

1. The proper body posture for this exercise is to stand up or sit up straight. The hands are placed where the participant can see them. A pattern of finger movements will then be established.

2. The easiest pattern of finger movements is for the tip of the index finger to touch the tip of the thumb (of both hands). Next the middle finger touches the tip of the thumb followed by the ring finger. Finally the small finger touches the tip of the thumb. Next the ring finger and then the tip of the thumb followed by the middle finger and then the index finger. Next the middle finger touches the tip of the thumb and the pattern repeats itself.

3. The participant sees how well and how fast he or she can do the pattern for about a minute or two. The participant should not spend more than five minutes at a time on this exercise.

4. When the simple pattern is mastered (mastery is fast movement with no errors for 60 seconds). An error is defined as a skip in fingers or time delay between fingers etc. A more complex pattern is initiated. An example of a more complex pattern would be for the index finger to touch the tip of the thumb, followed by the middle finger, followed by the ring finger and then followed by the small finger. The small finger touches again, followed by the ring finger, followed by the middle finger and then finally the index finger. The index finger touches the tip of the thumb again and the process repeats itself.

5. The more complex pattern is practiced over time until mastery has been achieved as defined above. Following mastery, an even more complex pattern is given. For example, index finger touching the tip of the thumb followed by the ring finger which is followed by the small finger and then middle finger. Next would be the index finger and the process is repeated.

6. The even more complex pattern is practiced over time until mastery has been achieved. At this point the child should have much better coordination and hopefully stronger finger muscles.

Exercise: Finger Movement Exercise.

Time: about 2 to 5 minutes depending on how frustrating it is for the child that day.

Recommended Frequency: repeated two or three times a day, 5 or 6 days a week until step 6 has been mastered.

Materials Needed. Metronome (actual or digital) is optional.

Pretest Assessment: participant not very coordinated at moving their fingers. Usually these children will have poor fine motor skills.

Mastery. participant can quickly complete a complex pattern for 60 seconds without any errors.

Additional comments: Try to keep the atmosphere light and game like. Use this exercise several times during the day. Children with Attention Deficit Disorders will benefit from the use of the metronome. When using a metronome, have the child accurately time when the fingers touch to the beat of the metronome. For some children, it may be best to wait for mastery before introducing the metronome. The new mastery will be that the child is able to keep in time wiht a relatively fast beat and not make any errors or delays in the pattern. This activity can even help some children focus when they become board within the classroom. They can do the finger movement exercise which may help them focus more on what the teacher is saying. Other children may become to distracted in this exercise and should not do it when they are bored during class time.

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