When it comes to aiding our children in their physical and mental development, there are few things of greater importance than fine motor skills. A child’s fine motor skills are crucial for learning to write and manipulate small objects, and if under-developed, can lead to frustrated children who struggle to progress with their peers. Thankfully, most children can develop their fine motor skills from a very young age through practice and by engaging in developmental activities. Let’s look at some of these activities that could help with your child’s development.
Playing with Putty, Clay or Play-Dough
Children develop their fine motor skills through learning and there are few better tools to facilitate that than playing with putty-like materials. Through squeezing, stretching and rolling the putty, children are strengthening the muscles in their hands and fingers, as well as learning to manipulate the material. This kind of play can do wonders to improve your child’s dexterity.
Coloring and Painting
It’s never too early to start painting and coloring! Initially, children can learn much from finger painting. This technique is a sensory sensation for children, and allows them to learn dexterity of the hand while strengthening their muscles. Progressing on from that, children can start to color with crayons. Initially, children will grip the crayons any way that feels comfortable, but with practice, you can start to introduce the correct grip for holding a crayon. This is one of the most important activities for your child, as it will give them a tremendous foundation for when they go to school and need to hold a pencil.
Playing With Materials
It’s one of the simplest ways of training fine motor skills and one of the least utilised methods, but setting up a materials bench for your child is always a brilliant idea. At the bench, you can have a number of containers with different materials in each. Asking your child to move water from one container to another using some sort of bottle or cup is not only fun but an excellent training tool. Similarly, a sand bucket presents different challenges to a young child. Add a little water to your sand and all of a sudden you can start making sandcastles!
These are simple tricks to help develop your child’s fine motor skills, but the possibilities are endless. Any kind of play that requires your child to exercise control over the hands and fingers is a great starting point…so get started!