Fine Motor Coordination Activities for Patients with Parkinson’s

People with Parkinson’s Disease can see limitations in fine motor coordination which can lead to difficulties with manipulating items such as buttons, makeup and small items around the house.  There are several activities at home that you can do to maintain and increase coordination in your hands, as listed below:

In-Hand Manipulation

  • Rotate items in you palm such as Chinese medicine balls, golf balls, small tape measurer, etc. (make sure you rotate both clockwise and counterclockwise)
  • Keeping your hand flat and still, use just your fingers to bring a small item from your palm to your fingertips and then back to your palm

Finger Isolation

  • Place your hand and fingers flat on the table and lift one finger off of the table at a time
  • Make an “O” by touching the thumb to fingertips one at a time
  • Keeping your hand and fingers flat on the table, move each finger individually “right to left” or “in and out”
  • Place a towel or pillow sheet on the table and place a flat palm on top. Then, one finger at a time, crumple the towel into a ball
  • Playing paper football or marbles
  • Playing the piano, keyboard or any string instrument

Dynamic Movements

  • Sewing, knitting and cross stitching
  • Jewelry making or stringing beads
  •  Manipulating small nuts and bolts
  • Picking up small items off of a table (such as buttons, coins, etc.) by lifting off of the table versus pulling off of the table
  • Use clothespins to pick up small items or put on an edge of a coffee can

Be sure to ask your local Occupational Therapist for more coordination activities or with any questions.

About the Author


Heather Simpson, OTR/L

Heather Simpson graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following…

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