Our hands are one of the main ways we interact with the world. So it's important we take good care of them. At aMuse, we see a lot of Physical Therapists (PT’s) who buy therapy toys to use with their patients. Play, for both kids and adults, is a great way to rehabilitate or develop lost or lagging fine motor skills. Here is a list of great hand dexterity toys that are both fun and therapeutic for people of all ages.
Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty is often used by arthritics to exercise stiff and painful joints. Many times people with arthritis avoid using these pained joints, but that often makes the problem worse. Casually playing with the putty at work, while reading or watching TV is a great way to help increase hand strength, loosen bad joints and get some hand exercise while not in the PT’s office.
It's important to develop hand strength in children for various reasons. Strong, precise fingers are needed for playing instruments, building complex structures and other precision tasks. Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty also makes a great toy for traveling with children because of its easy portability.
Buckyballs are great for increasing finger dexterity. Manipulating the small, magnetic spheres requires patience, finger strength and precision. Many use Buckyballs as a stress ball to increase overall hand strength.
Eni Puzzles are a work out for both your hands and brain. To solve the Eni Puzzle you must turn the sphere and shift the colored pieces until you achieve the desired color pattern. The pieces will only shift when it's precisely lined up. There are many open-ended solutions.
For younger players, Eni Puzzles make great fidget toys that give kids a great hand workout. Their portable size makes them excellent for traveling with children.
Magnetic Mighty Mind is not just great for building finger dexterity and practicing precision, it's also great for building logic. This tin filled with magnetic shapes of different colors is great for travel and makes a perfect guided, independent activity.
Pirate's Blast requires both hand strength and fine motor skill. Players must squeeze the bellows with force to project the wooden ball out of the cannon and to sail their ships across the sea. The finger dexterity required to load the cannon with the wooden ball is great practice for hands as well. The game's concept is so appealing to children, they focus and practice until their skill levels improve through play.
My Busy Town by ALEX Toys keeps even tiny hands working hard. This stand alone wooden cube is ornately decorated with bright colors and patterns that visually stimulate young eyes. Each side of the large cube has a fun activity. It features a spiraling abacus, doors that open and close, shapes to move and a traditional abacus. Because of its height, it also encourages younger ones to get up and stand. It is, in our opinion, one of the greatest developmental toys both physically and cognitively for younger children.