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YES-U-CAN: Exercises for Fine Motor Development

The purpose of the YES-U-CAN exercise program is to provide manual activities to improve hand dexterity and functional coordination of the hands.

Animated trash can, 1,087 bytes

Buy a mini-garbage can and put these items in it. Beans, buttons, safety pins, toothpicks, tweezers, straight pins, pin cushion, cards, clothespins, paper clips, nuts and bolts, wax paper, beads, ribbon, and pencil. Then use these instructions for exercising the hand which needs therapy.

 1. BEANS: sort the beans according to shape and size. Open the trash can. Place the beans one at a time into it.

 2. BUTTONS: Place the buttons on the table, some on either side of the trash can. Open the can. Pick up buttons one at a time, with either hand, and place in the can.

    Variation: Place the buttons on the table and turn them over one at a time.

 3. SAFETY PINS: Pour the safety pins onto the table. Pick them up one at a time; open and close the pin.

 4. TOOTHPICKS: Place toothpicks on the table next to the opened trash can. Pick them up one at a time and drop them into the can.

    Variation: Use tweezers to pick up the toothpicks.

 5. STRAIGHT PINS: Place them in a pin cushion. Remove pins.

    Variation: Use tweezers to pick up the pins.

 6. CARDS: Deal the cards flat onto the table. Pick up cards with fingertips and turn them face up without bringing cards to the edge of the table.

 7. CLOTHESPINS: Place them on the table in front of the YES-U-CAN. Pick them up with the injured hand and clip onto the side of the can. Then remove them. Repeat with the other hand.

    Variation: Place clothespins on the playing cards.

 8. PAPER CLIPS: Join them together in a straight line. Then separate the clips.

    Variation: Place paper clips around card edges.

 9. BOLT: Hold the bolt in your left hand. Unscrew the nut with the other hand. After removing the nut, replace it again. Repeat 3 times with each bolt. Then, reverse the procedure, using the right hand.

10. WAX PAPER: Place one large sheet of wax paper on a table. Place the palm of your hand on the table with fingertips touching the edge of the paper. Keeping wrists on the table, crumple the paper into the palm. Toss the balls into the YES-U-CAN. Then remove the balls and spread them flat on the table, using fingertips with wrist on the table.

11. BEADS: Using both hands, separate the beads. Then join them together.

12. RIBBON: Place ribbon around the YES-U-CAN. Tie a bow. Then untie the bow. Repeat at least four times.

    Variation: Make continuous knots in the ribbon.

13. PENCIL: Twirl the pencil between the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Repeat four times.

    Variation: Twirl the pencil through all four digits, going over and under each finger. Repeat four times.


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