You may have heard the term “fine motor skills” used before, but perhaps you don’t have a firm grasp on exactly what that means in terms of your child’s development. Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the hands and fingers and the synchronization of the eyes, which enable children to complete such tasks as writing, grasping small objects and fastening their own clothing. Tasks that are obviously important to the growth and independence of your child.
Encouraging strength and dexterity in these muscles through daily experiences will benefit pre-kindergarten children greatly. Here are some simple ways you can incorporate fine motor exercises into your at-home time that will require you to hardly lift a finger.
- Use a water bottle to spray water on plants or even as a super clean way to create a spray painted drawing on concrete.
- Make a counting game with child-safe tweezers and mini-marshmallows. They can transfer the little items into an ice cube tray or other container using the tweezers.
- Lace small items like Cheerios, Fruit Loops or even dried pasta onto strings to create delicious jewelry.
- Use an eye-dropper and some food coloring mixed with water to create a tie dyed inspired creation on fabric or coffee filters.
- Model with playdough.
- Cut pictures from old cards or thick card-stock paper with child-safe scissors.
- String pipe cleaners through the holes of a colander to create an out-of-this-world space helmet.
- Sprinkle a thick layer of salt onto a cookie sheet and have them use their fingers to create letters, numbers or just designs.
- Build with blocks.
- Use large plastic needles and yarn to have them “sew” through hole punched paper or netting.
- Open and close Tupperware containers with lids.
- Play with finger puppets.
- Color with broken crayons (the smaller pieces will require children to hold the crayon between their thumb and forefinger)
- Play with sponges, filling up and squeezing out water.
Our certified early childhood teachers understand the connections between fine motor skill development and the future academic performance of each of our students. Although each child will progress and develop independently, we know you will agree it’s important not to let their progress slip through their fingers.
If you have further questions on how we integrate fine motor development in our Early Childhood Education Programs please contact us!