We use fine motor skills to make small movements such as holding a pen, using a pair of scissors or stacking something on a shelf. As all of these things become second nature to us as we get older, it’s not something we actively think about in everyday life.
Fine motor skills are complex however because they involve the coordinated efforts of the brain and our muscles. As your child enters preschool, this is the time they’re going to start developing the motor skills they need to help them gain greater independence.
In order to write or draw for example, a child’s hand must be strong and coordinated enough to hold a pen or pencil steady for a period of time. This is what will also help them to participate in sports and games.
Some of the other fine motor skills your child will start to learn at preschool include:
- Clapping their hands
- Pasting things onto paper
- Buttoning and unbuttoning their clothing
- Working a zip
- Building towers of blocks
- Completing puzzles
- Using crayons
- Copying shapes onto a piece of paper
- Cutting out simple shapes with (child-friendly) scissors
While Tigers Day Nurseries incorporates all of these activities into daily play, there are so many things you can do at home to encourage your child to develop their fine motor skills.
Filling up containers
You’ve probably noticed that your toddler loves nothing more than filling up a container with all their toys, only to tip them out and start again. It might seem like an odd game to us, but it requires integrated muscle movements, concentration and cognitive reasoning which makes it a fantastic way to develop their motor skills.
Let them use their own utensils
Any parent will know that meal times are slow and messy. While it may be tempting to speed up the process and feed your child yourself, try to be patient when they’re using their own utensils. They will struggle with this for quite some time but by letting them figure it out themselves, you’re helping to develop their fine motor skills.
Play-Doh and putty are often used as part of the heavy work component of sensory play but they’re also great for improving a child’s fine motor skills. Encourage them to squeeze, stretch and pinch the putty as well as roll out snakes. You can also encourage them to cut up the Play-Doh with scissors.
Painting is fantastic for building motor skills because it helps to strengthen hand-eye coordination as well as manual dexterity. Finger painting is great for giving kids the opportunity to use their hands and painting with a brush helps them to learn how to hold a brush and gain greater control using it as a tool.
Paper folding not only helps to build skills, it’s also a fun family activity. You can use construction, wrapping or other decorative papers to make origami shapes. Paper cutting activities build skills and control and can be as simple or complex as you need. Very young children can start with cutting out paper chains and progress to more complex projects.
To find out more about fine motor skill development you can follow this link for further information: https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-are-motor-skills-3107058
If you would like to find out how Tigers Day Nurseries helps your child to develop their fine motor skills while in our care, please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to help.