Hand and Finger Warm Up Exercises for Kids

Hero image
Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 4 min read

When it comes to fine motor development, hand warm up exercises certainly don’t spring to mind straight away. Looking into an early years classroom, you will no doubt see tweezers or pegs getting used, or scissor activities. However, getting your students into the habit of ‘warming’ up their hands and fingers before using them for certain activities, such as handwriting, is a great routine to set in your classroom. Plus, all your students need is a pencil and their hands! Have I caught your attention?

Why should we get kids to warm up their hands and fingers?

All you need to do is spend a couple of minutes rotating through some of these hand exercises. By doing this, the little minds in your classroom are working hard to increase their tactile and proprioceptive sensory messages from their hands! It’s also allowing them to become more sensory aware of what their hand and muscle joints are doing.

And to top it of, these hand and finger warm ups are a great way to improve fine motor control and aid in their motor memory!


8 Hand and Finger Exercises for Kids

If you would like to see some of these exercises in action, head on over to the Teach Starter Instagram page and check out our Finger Exercises Reel. As you scroll through these exercises you’ll notice that not only are these finger and hand exercises good for warm ups before handwriting, but they are also a great brain break!

(1) Finger Wedge Pencil Pick Up

In this activity, students will place a pencil on the table in front of them. Then, they need to cycle through their fingers to pick up the pencil by holding one finger on one end of the pencil and the other finger on the other end. You could even get them to pick up the pencil and raise it above their head, or even over to the side to cross their midline.

finger exercises for kids

(2) Pincher Grasp Fine Motor Exercise

This second exercise has your students doing the simple pointer and thumb pinch to pick up the pencil. Then, they can go ahead and do the middle finger and thumb, ring finger and thumb and finally the pinky and thumb.

You can rotate through this exercise and have them count how many times they can do this in 15 seconds.

finger exercises for kids

(3) Finger Sit Ups – Fine Motor Exercise

This third exercise is all about finger control. Students balance a pencil on both pointer fingers and roll the fingers over to grasp the pencil and then open again. Then, they can add their middle finger and repeat the exercise. Finally, adding their ring finger and repeating the exercise again.

finger exercises for kids

(4) Twist and Turn Hand Exercise

This one is really getting that mind and hand communication going. Have students use their whole hand to hold the pencil horizontally with the right hand holding the left end of the pencil and their first facing up. Then, have them cross over their left hand to hold the right end of the pencil. Again, this is fantastic for students to cross their midline too!

One hand then lets go and the other twists at the wrist so that the fingers are now facing up, the other hand now grabs the empty end of the pencil. Now, both hands are facing upwards and the right hand is holding the right end of the pencil, and the left hand is holding the left end of the pencil. Now, the other hand lets go, and twists at the wrist so that the fingers are facing down, the other hand crosses over again to grab the empty end of the pencil. We’ve included a short video to as this is a tricky exercise to explain.

 

(5) Rub Hands Together Hand Exercise

A simple rubbing of the hands together with the pencil is a super easy one for really little hands. Add another element of this and have students move both hands over to the right of their body and then over to the left – another way you can encourage them to cross their midline. And, also thinking about their right and left!

finger exercises for kids

(6) Tricky Finger Trick Fine Motor Exercise

This will really get their minds thinking. Show them this picture and have them hold a pencil in each hand with the middle and ring finger on one side and the pointer and pinky on the other. Then simply have them open and close their hands

finger exercises for kids

(7) Balancing from Hand to Hand

A simple yet effective one that is really going to open up that communication channel between the mind and the hands. Balance the pencil on one hand then slowly create a decline so that the pencil falls into the other hand. Keep doing this going from the right hand to the left hand or vice versa.

finger exercises for kids

(8) Pincher Slide Fine Motor Activity

In this exercise, students need to hold the pencil with one hand at the bottom and then hold their pointer and thumb at the top and slowly slide down the pencil to the bottom, then they move to the thumb and middle finger, then the thumb and ring finger, and finally to the thumb and pinky.

finger exercises for kids

Have you got a go to hand and finger exercise you do with your early learners?
Check out our collection of printable fine motor activities too!

 

Comments

Login to comment

Popular blogs right now!

  • Go to Book Week Costume Ideas for Teachers blog

    blog

    Book Week Costume Ideas for Teachers

    Are you looking for some Book Week costume ideas for teachers? Check out these super cool ideas from some of our favourite teachers!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to 6 Effective Ways to Make a Fresh Start for Teachers blog

    blog

    6 Effective Ways to Make a Fresh Start for Teachers

    If you want to make a fresh start in some aspect of your teaching life, you are not alone. Read on for helpful tips and ideas for making a fresh start and kicking off a new term with renewed energy.

    Photo of Alison Smith 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to Book Week Activity Ideas for the Classroom blog

    blog

    Book Week Activity Ideas for the Classroom

    If you're looking for the ultimate Book Week 2022 activity ideas for your classroom - you've come to the right spot!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    3 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to 10 Ways to Calm Your Class After Lunch (Teaching Tips) blog

    blog

    10 Ways to Calm Your Class After Lunch (Teaching Tips)

    Finding ways to calm your class after lunch is a must in any classroom! Check out our top ten ideas featured in this blog.

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    5 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to Easy Science Activities for Kids blog

    blog

    Easy Science Activities for Kids

    Amazing science activities for kids that use minimal materials and work every time!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing