What are in-hand manipulation skills?
- In hand manipulation is the ability to move or adjust an object once it is being held in the hand.
- In hand manipulation skills are important in the school setting for tasks that require use of writing utensils, flipping through pages in a book, as well as, projects that require manipulation of various tools such as scissors or glue.
- Also important for self-care activities such as using a fork or spoon while eating.
In-hand manipulation skills are divided into 3 categories:
Translation is the ability to move objects from the palm to the fingertips or the fingertips to the palm within one hand. An example of translation (palm to fingertips) is moving coins from the palm of your hand to your fingertips in order to insert the coins into a piggy bank. Translation (fingertips to palm) can be seen when picking up small marbles or game pieces using your fingertips and repositioning them in the palm of the hand.
Shifting is the ability to slide things across the tip of your fingertips with your thumb in a linear manner. An example of shifting is when turning pages in a book or repositioning the shaft of a pencil within the hand to achieve a better grasp.
Simple rotation is the ability to spin an object using the pads of the fingers and thumb such as when removing bolts. Complex rotation is used when turning an object so that the top is now oriented toward the bottom, such as when flipping a pencil around in order to use the eraser.
Activities to help promote In-hand Manipulation skills
Translation (from fingertips to palm):
- Picking up coins or beads from a container
- Crumpling paper
- Picking up small pieces of food during mealtime
- Pulling chips off of magnetic wand and holding within palm
Translation (from palm to fingertips):
- Moving coins from the palm into a piggy bank or container with a small slot
- Playing a game such as Mancala where “stones” are held within palm and then dropped into the holes/pits one at a time
- Connect 4- Make a rule to keep a specific number of chips in the palm of hand while playing
- Reading a book and turning the pages
- Separating playing cards in hand during game in order to view all cards
- Stringing beads on lace or pipe cleaner
- Coloring activity- shifting crayon or marker in hand
- Twisting toy nuts and bolts
- Wind up toys
- Spinning tops toy
- Making small balls with fingers using clay
- Twisting open caps on small bottles or lids on containers
- Using double-sided crayons during coloring activity to encourage rotating of crayon
- Rotating puzzle piece before placing it down
- Shape sorter toy requires rotation of pieces in order to fit it into the hole