In Hand Manipulation Skills

In hand manipulation skills are the ability to manipulate a small object in a single hand.

It’s a critical step in the development of fine motor skills.

Fine motor control helps us to perform activities including carrying pencils, fastening small buttons and tying your shoe laces. Between the ages of 2 and 4, children learn these skills, with finger to palm translation developing first, followed by palm to finger translation, rotation, and shift.

Children at this age are capable of performing the skills with a single object.

They can manipulate and stabilize several small objects inside the hand by the age of six to seven.

Classifications of In hand manipulation skills

In hand manipulation skills are mainly classified into three types

Translation : It is the ability to transfer the object from fingertips to palm or palm to fingertips.

Activities to improve Translation includes the following:

  • Play Connect four
  • Pick up coins and putting coins inside coin box
  • Stringing beads
  • Sticking button
  • Getting coin out of a purse
  • Picking pulses and putting it in bottle
  • Picking small beads from table  and ask child to hold the beads in Palm
  • Hiding small objects in a play dough
  • Pick up small pegs one at a time and hold them in the palm, then retrieve one at a time to place in pegboard

Shift :It is the ability to use fingertips to manipulate an object in a linear manner. It is of two types.

  • Horizontal shift
  • Vertical shift

Activities to improve shift includes the following:

  • Pencil flips
  • Repositioninga pencil
  • Fanning playing cards in the hand
  • Turning pages
  • Matching games
  • Card play
  • Candy games
  • When cutting, practice turning the paper with one hand and use the scissor to cut with other hand

Rotation : It is the ability to rotate an object using the pads of the fingers and thumb or rotating an object using the palms of the hand. It is of two types : simple (180°) and complex rotation (360°)

Activities  to develop Rotation includes the following :

  • Opening  and closing small or large lids
  • Rotating the pencil from one side to opposite side
  • Tangram printable puzzles
  • Six sided block puzzles
  • Play with dice
  • Shape sorter
  • Screwing
  • Spinning top

An occupational therapist has a great role to play in helping a child develop his/her In hand manipulation skills.