What does Finger Isolation mean?
A child needs to be able to initiate movements with each finger separate from the others. This is a life skill in order to press buttons, pick up small objects, manipulate buttons and zippers, and more.
With handwriting, this means a child needs to be able to differentiate their fingers and recruit them for different jobs. The thumb, index, and middle fingers provide dynamic movement of the pencil, while the ring and pinky fingers remain static and provide stability.
We call this the “stop” fingers and "go” fingers!
Or as Handiwriter describes... "The Three Friends"
To develop isolation and separation of fingers, children need lots of time with fine motor play and tasks to build up their strength, coordination, dexterity, and motor planning.
Stringing beads, play dough work, stickers, Legos, lacing cards, and many games can help build up this skill! Using a correct pencil grasp for coloring and writing also enhances finger isolation and separation. Coordinating these tiny muscles and movements leads to improved pencil control. There are many resources and free printables online for pencil control, including mazes, tracing, connect the dots, and more.