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Activities to Improve Hand & Finger Strength & Scissor Skills

Free Handout: Tips on How to Teach Cutting with Scissors 


Watch for free one of three videos each starting with an action song with specific movements to develop strength & coordination in the fingers. 


If you have bought the program you will be able to watch all the videos using your password. 


Each song is followed by fun, hands-on activities. Important instructions plus the numeracy & literacy extension learning activities are in the book. 


Tip: It is important to first build strength & then coordination in the thumb, index & middle fingers. I call these 'The 3 Friends'.


Our hands are anatomically divided in the radial or thumb side & the ulnar or little finger side. When we hold a pencil or scissors, our first three fingers control the movement with our ring & little fingers bent in to keep our hand stable.


'I like the walking & the eating caterpillar song.' Scarlett, age 4 Australia


'As a result of doing the activities at school & at home, Kerry has been able to increase the strength & coordination in her hand & fingers to such an extent, that she is now using her dominant hand skillfully.'  Chris, New Zealand


'It was fun! Look what I made.' Craig. age 7

Fantastic Fingers Fine Motor Program

Free Activity Demonstrations from the Fantastic Fingers® Fine Motor Program - includes numeracy & literacy early learning activities

Clever Caterpillar - Track 5 

Clever Caterpillar is an original, well loved song about the life cycle of a caterpillar & develops very specific finger movements needed for good pencil control. The activities that follow increase strength in the fingers & improve cutting with scissors. Use with the worksheets specified.


Refer to pp 32-35 of the book Songs & Games for Fantastic Fingers®  for the complete instructions, fortnightly program with materials required, evaluation questions & the extension learning activities (not shown on this video). 


I Love Popcorn - Track 10

Research from Berninger & Rutberg (1992) shows us that children who can touch their thumb to each finger tip in sequence are ready to control a pencil & start learning to write letters & numbers. Five year olds should be able to touch the thumb in one hand to each finger tip in turn & back to the thumb smoothly & evenly. Seven year olds should be able to do it with both hands together & their eyes shut!


The song is followed by further effective games. Use with pp 46-49 of the book. Also use the worksheets specified for the extension activities which develop motor skills & teach number name & order, initial sounds, blending & simple addition.

Finger Drum - Track 12

These actions to this song are getting more challenging & that's why it's important to have worked through the earlier activities first as presented in the program in the book.


Children need lots of practice to develop their fine motor coordination. Refer to pp 54-57. The extension activities (not shown on this video) teach number sequences, final sounds, CVC patterns & sentence making.

Clever Caterpillar
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