Friday, March 25, 2011

Hand Separation

Starting today, I’ll be sharing activities that will improve fine motor skills. Remember the importance of working on foundational skills before you start working on fine motor activities. For example, you’ll want to make sure that your child has good postural control, and is skilled with large and medium motor tasks before moving on to fine motor skills. Control and stability are important prerequisite skills for fine motor activities such as writing and cutting!

Hand Separation: The hand can be divided into 2 separate sides. The pinky and ring finger side is for stability. The thumb, index and middle finger perform manipulation skills.  It is important to be able to separate the two sides of the hand when it comes to fine motor skills. As you can see in the photo above, I am stabilizing two coins using my pinky and ring fingers, yet I am still able to hold and manipulate a quarter using my thumb, index and middle finger. In the video below, I am performing translation skills. When I pick up the buttons and bring them into my palm, this is called finger-to-palm translation. As I bring one button out to my fingertips at a time, while stabilizing the others in my palm, this is called palm-to-finger translation with stabilization. This is a great exercise for working on hand separation! A similar activity is to have your child put coins into a piggy bank.
Resource: Exner, C.E. (1997). Clinical interpretation of “In-hand manipulation in children: translation movements, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, (9), 729-32.


  1. thanks- I am studying for the Reg exam and I did not know that the term translation meant

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