Sit in a circle on the floor, and have everyone sit on their hands. Put something interesting in the middle of the circle, and ask the children to think of some ways to get it, without using their hands.
Put some cereal on napkins on the table, and have the children eat it without using hands. Now try it with your fists closed. Now with just your thumb and pointer finger. With thumb and each finger in turn. Which was easiest? Hardest?
Look at your hand with a magnifier. Do you see all the lines? Fingernails? When you bend your fingers, how many sections are there? Introduce words like palm, knuckles, wrist, index finger.
Our hands our very useful to us. Let’s think of some ways that we can use them. Make a list. Button clothes, tie shoes, draw pictures, play with and pick up toys – the children will think of many things.
Do animals have hands? Describe some ways that animals use parts of their bodies to help themselves. Show lots of pictures of animals, so that children can have a reference point.
We have thumbs that can move in different directions from our fingers. Try it. Other animals cannot do this. Having this kind of moving thumb can help us enormously when we hold pens and pencils, knives and forks, and in operating tools and machinery.
Paint your hand with a layer of tempera, and make some prints on paper. Do it with closed fingers, then open. Dab paint on just fingertips, and make spots. Paint the back of your hand, and print it. How does it feel when you paint your hands? Where does it tickle more: the palm or the back?
Use tweezers to pick up Cheerios from a bowl, and drop them in another bowl. Use tongs to do the same thing with pieces of sponges, or tissues.
Have the children help you make a list of their 7 or 8 favorite finger plays. Print them out, staple them together, and the children can illustrate the finger plays and take them home to “read” and perform for family.