Fine Motor Skills: As a Parent, Are You Doing Enough?

As a parents, are you doing enough to develop your child's fine motor skills in order to prepare them for pre - school?

What are fine motor skills?

Fine motor skills refer to the small movements we make with our hands, feet and mouth. At an early stage of a child’s development he/she will learn to control and coordinate the movement of their body. It is important for a parent to provide learning opportunities for their child as these skills play an important role in getting your child ready for school.

Why is this so important for school readiness ?

It is often one of the first skills that is assessed in the early stages of schooling

Children need to use fine motor skills to do many school - related tasks such as: holding a crayon or pencil, drawing, handwriting, stacking blocks, stringing beads and using a scissors or ruler. Fine motor skills are also used in a child's self care tasks such as - opening lunch boxes, tying their shoes, brushing their teeth etc. Without the ability to complete these tasks (home and school tasks) it can negatively impact a child's self - esteem as well as their performance in school.

How does technology have play a role?

There is a new disturbing phenomenon on the rise where many children arrive at pre - school with poor fine motor skills due to the increased use of touch screen technology and a decreased use of crayons, paints pencils etc. Technology is not going away so it is entirely up to parents to limit the use and ensure that young children have normal play experiences. Children can not learn by passively watching a screen, they learn by doing and experiencing through play.

How can you improve your child’s fine motor skills ?

There are a wide variety of tasks that can assist in the development of a child’s fine motor skills, and it should be reinforced regularly.

Here is our guide to developing fine motor skills in young children:

1. Start by drawing with your child, this will help in strengthening their pencil grip.

2. Finger painting is another task that can be done at home, it will get messy but your child will have fun.

3. Playing dress up, any child loves to dress up whether it’s in fancy dress or just wearing their moms or dads clothes, plus it’s entertaining for the whole family.

4. Play dough is a good fine motor skills activity and you can easily find an at - home recipe that is safe for children to use.

5. Stacking blocks, the use of blocks helps with your child’s grip as well as with their hand-eye coordination.

6. Finger games such as Itsy Bitsy Spider assists in increasing their coordination.

7. Stringing pasta - make bracelets/ necklaces with the use of string and pasta this assists your child with their precision in their hand movements.

8. Puzzles which help in the development of the pincer grasp.

9. Using tongs/ tweezers, create a game using a pair of tongs/ tweezers where your child needs to pick up objects such as grapes, buttons or coins and transfer them into a bowl.

10. Bath time play, using sponges, cups and squeaky rubber toys that they can fill up and squeeze.

There are many tasks that you could do at home. We also provide a wide variety of resources in-store that assist in the development of your child’s fine motor skills and these can be used for children aged 8months and older.

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