In Hand Manipulation
This is the term used to describe moving a small object around and within a single hand. It is important for the development of fine motor control and enables children to carry out tasks such as holding pencils, fastening buttons, using a knife, fork or spoon and being able to tie shoelaces.
There are 3 movements which require the skill of in hand manipulation.
1. Translation- Using your fingers to move a small object from the fingertips to the palm of your hand and vice versa, e.g. When you hold a coin in your palm and move it to your fingertips to push it into a piggy bank or vending machine
2. Shift- Moving an object using the pads of your fingers, e.g. Adjusting your pencil grip before use, or manipulating a button or a zipper with the fingertips
3. Rotation- This is movement of an object in more than one plane, done by making alternating movement between the fingers and thumb e.g. Rolling a pencil in your fingertips, turning a pencil over to use the rubber, or opening a bottle top by rotating the lid between your fingertips.
You can try these actives to improve your child’s in-hand manipulation, which will ultimately encourage use of a functional pencil grasp:
Translation (Finger to palm)-