03 Aug 2020

Occupational Therapy: Helping your child with pincer grip

Our North Lakes based occupational therapy team are passionate about supporting children with a disability to do more everyday activities that help them to live a fun and more independent life.

Using pincer grip (thumb and index finger) to grip small objects can play a big part in some of the activities that children will want to (or should be encouraged to) take part in every day, according to their ability. Some examples include:

  • Gripping a pencil / paint brush
  • Holding eating utensils like spoons (with or without modifications)
  • Using scissors
  • Pulling clothing on or off

To grips these objects requires lots of little muscles in your child’s hand to do all of the hard work. Like any muscle in the body, these tiny little muscles can be strengthened and there’s lots of fun ways that children can work towards this that just feel like fun and play. And even better, you don’t need expensive equipment. Here are some everyday items you can have fun with at home.

Play doh – rolling, flattening and pinching play doh is great exercise for little hands. Make play doh spaghetti, pizzas or just have your child enjoy the sensation of squeezing the doh.

Paper crumpling – show your child how to scrunch up scrap paper into balls, squeezing the paper to get it as small as possible. Once the paper is scrunched into small  balls, have them practice flicking the scrunched up paper balls with their index finger.

Pegs – squeezing clothes pegs or even serving tongs helps to build hand muscle strength. Try picking up items with the pegs or tongs.

Spray bottle – fill a clean spray bottle with water, get your child to squeeze and spray. If you’re outdoors, spraying water onto a concrete surface can create cool patterns.

Pipe cleaners – these fun little things can be made into anything, people, flowers, simple shapes like circles and squares.

Further information

If you’d like further information about how our North Lakes occupational therapy team can support your child and your family, call us on 1800 XAVIER to chat to one of our friendly team members or email