AOT, Inc.

Arm and Hand Strengthening Activities

For Upper Arms/Forearms:

1)        Floor push-ups

2)        “Wall” push-ups

3)        “Wall” push-ups on extended fingers

4)        “Chair” push-ups

5)        Tug-o-war

6)        Use a rolling pin to flatten clay or dough (see recipes on PLAYDOUGH page)

7)        Practicing arm hangs/pull-ups on monkey bars

8)        Wheelbarrow walking

For Hands/Fingers:

1)         Clay/playdough (see recipes on PLAYDOUGH page):

  • Squeeze the play dough with your whole hand.
  • Poke holes with your index fingers.
  • Pinch small pieces of clay off of a large ball of clay; roll into balls.
  • Roll “snakes” and wrap the snakes around all the fingers. Then spread the fingers to “break away” the clay.
  • Hide pegs or pennies (or other small objects) in a ball of putty or modeling clay; have children search through clay to find them

2)        Pump a spray bottle

3)        Pinch clothespins – alternate using thumb and index finger, then thumb and middle finger, thumb and ring finger, etc.)

4)        Use a hole punch (hand held single punch) to punch out X’s drawn on paper. Difficulty can be increased by doubling or tripling the paper, by introducing heavier paper or cardstock.

5)        Stir a thick batter/dough with a spoon (as in making playdough recipes on back)

7)        Rubber band: place it around the tips of fingers then spread fingers apart (resistance can be varied by using thicker rubber band – or by using more than one).

8)        “Bubble wrap” (packing material) – use fingers to pop the bubbles

For Combination of forearms/hands:

“Double Squeeze” – squeeze a fist-sized “stress-reliever” type ball; don’t let go — hold the grip; squeeze the ball even harder

  • The first squeeze strengthens the forearm and the second squeeze concentrates on hand muscles.


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