This week we’re going to do something different. We’re going to work on your fine motor coordination, which will help you with daily tasks, such as buttoning your shirt, improving your handwriting, putting on your makeup or working on any other small items in the house. These exercises will require equipment, and luckily one of them is a household item that most people will have lying around.
Exercise 1 | Playing with Toothpicks
Get a box of toothpicks. Now, take five toothpicks out of the box. Now, you’re going to line these toothpicks up on the box. Make sure the ends of these toothpicks are hanging off.
Now, take your two thumbs and squeeze that toothpick together in between. Pick it up. You want to keep the pressure on the toothpick, so it stays in between your fingers. Now, you are going to take your next fingers for picking the second toothpick up in the same squeezing manner. Now, pick rest of the toothpicks using other sets of fingers. To end the exercise, you’re going to put these toothpicks back down.
About eight out of ten times, you may end up dropping the thumb. So, don’t get discouraged if you drop every toothpick every time. Keep working at it even if you just pick one toothpick at a time. Hopefully, eventually, you’ll be able to get where you can pick them all up and down at once.
If you have a toothpick box that doesn’t work, you can always try a matchbox or anything else that is bigger than the actual toothpicks.
If you experience intense tremor, you may want to try picking toothpicks up when your medication is working at its best.
Exercise 2 | Theraputty
If you’ve done any type of occupational therapy or even physical therapy, there’s a good chance you might have used Therapy Putty (also known as TheraPutty). You can buy TheraPutty of different strengths and figure out which one works best for you.
To perform the exercise, pick your TheraPutty up and mold it into a ball, using one hand. The goal is to be able to use just one hand squeezing the putty in and out, moving it around and manipulating it until you get a relatively round ball.
Once you get that ball shape, put all four fingers on it and squeeze. Squeeze until the putty starts coming out. Keep squeezing through both ends until you feel like you can’t push it down anymore. Now, you’re going to take your fingers off, and then you’re going to roll it back into that ball again, using the other hand. Perform this exercise 10 times a day (for each hand).