Your elbow provides stability for your forearm, which allows your wrist and fingers to use a pen or pencil. Forearm stability helps wrist extension, which is necessary to get into the proper writing position. (You also need to keep your elbow next to your side to prevent your shoulder from moving.) 

These activities can help develop your elbow and forearm stability: 

  • Flipping cards, cans and buttons (without setting them on the edge of a table) 
  • Playing with a Slinky® 
  • Placing stickers in your palm 
  • Walking like a penguin 
  • Scooping and pouring water 
  • Doing high fives with your palm up 
  • Filling plastic eggs with things that make sounds; one hand holds the egg 
  • Carrying books or trays with your palms facing up 
  • Bouncing a tennis ball on a tennis racket 
  • Wringing out a towel by twisting it 
  • Turning the pages of a book 
  • Playing the “guess-which-hand” game where you turn over your hand palm-up to show a hidden object 
  • Placing small objects in your hand 

Ask your therapist if you have any questions about the activities listed above.

Ideas adapted from Mary Benbow’s hand skills. 

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.